What is Premature Ejaculation?

You can find different definitions of Premature Ejaculation. The consensus is that Premature Ejaculation is a condition where a man lack of control over his ejaculation or ejaculate quickly after or before the penetration.

Premature ejaculation has three dimensions: time, control and satisfaction.

  • Time = how much time does it take before you ejaculate?
  • Control = do you decide the moment where you ejaculate?
  • Satisfaction = are you happy with your ejaculation time and control?

Man need help with premature ejaculation

Premature Ejaculation

Other Names: Early Ejaculation, Rapid Ejaculation
Suspected Causes:
Diminished Serotonin Level, Lack of psychosexual skills, Short frenulum
Symptom: Short Intravaginal Ejaculation Latency Time
Suspected Risk Factors: Genetic, Bad masturbation habits, Anxiety, Penile hypersensitivity
Possible Treatments: Cognitive behavioral therapy, Behavioral therapy (exercises), Delay products, SSRI, Dapoxetine


PE Help

Lifelong vs. Acquired

Ejaculation time, control and satisfaction aren’t set in stone. Those factors will vary from times to times. A man can ejaculate within standard timeframes sometimes and have some episode of rapid ejaculation other times. It is normal. However, when a man always ejaculates rapidly and if he feels distressed by the situation, then he might suffer from premature ejaculation.

Some men have a regular ejaculation control and suffer from a significant loss of control and a shortened ejaculation time later in life. This change can be sudden or gradual.

For this reason, specialists split premature ejaculation into two different types: lifelong PE and acquired PE. Lifelong premature ejaculation is the condition where the man always suffered from rapid ejaculation since his first sexual activity. Acquired premature ejaculation is when a man develops rapid ejaculation at a specific point in his life.

The 4 different type of PE

Over the years, the scientists proposed several criteria for premature ejaculation. Based on the two different types of premature ejaculation, the International Society for Sexual Medicine (ISSM) came with an “evidence-based” premature ejaculation definition in 2008.

However, this definition is extremely restrictive. Men need to last less than a minute to be considered a Lifelong PE, and less than 3 minutes for Acquired PE. Yet, a lot of guys who can last more than one minute and are still unsatisfied with their average sex time. They still feel like premature ejaculators.

So, if we want to answer the question “What is Premature Ejaculation,” we need to include all people who feel like “premature ejaculator.” That’s why in 2006, a premature ejaculation expert proposed two other types of Premature Ejaculation: Natural Variable PE (Variable PE) and Premature-like ejaculatory dysfunction (Subjective PE)1.

In short, Natural Variable Premature Ejaculation is when someone climax early (under 2 minutes), but other times don’t (over 2 minutes).

Premature-like ejaculatory dysfunction is used to describe a guy whose penetration time is in or above average but still is unsatisfied with his ejaculatory control.

Lifelong Premature Ejaculation

Shortname: Lifelong PE

Symptoms: Ejaculation occurs too early (less than 1 min) in all intercourse with every partner and remains rapid throughout the lifetime of the subject.

Average time of sex: less than 1 minute

Frequency: Happens each time the person has sex

Suspected Causes: Physical and/or Neurologic

Recommended Treatment: Premature Ejaculation Exercises and Sex Therapy with or without Delay Products and Medication 

Prevalence: Low2

Lifelong Premature Ejaculation Graph

You think you may suffer from lifelong PE? Pass the premature ejaculation test

Acquired Premature Ejaculation

Shortname: Acquired PE
Symptoms: Ejaculation control is fine until a time when there is a sudden or gradual change in ejaculation control.
Average time of sex: less than 3 minutes
Frequency: Happens most of the time
Causes: Medical and/or Psychological
Treatment: Sex Therapy with or without Delay Products or Medication or specific treatment for the exact cause (ex: antibiotics for prostatitis caused PE).
Prevalence: Low2

Acquired Premature Graph

You think you may suffer from acquired PE? Pass the premature ejaculation test

Natural Variable Premature Ejaculation

Shortname: Variable PE

Symptoms: Early ejaculations (less than 2 min) are inconsistent and occur irregularly

Average time of sex: most of the time between 2 and 8 minutes, sometimes less than 2 minutes

Frequency: Happens only in certain situations, or with a specific partner

Suspected Causes: Lack of Psychosexual Skills

Recommended Treatment: Premature Ejaculation Exercises or Sex Therapy

Prevalence: High2

Variable Premature Ejaculation Graph

You think you may suffer from variable PE? Pass the premature ejaculation test

Premature-like ejaculatory dysfunction

Shortname: Subjective PE

Symptoms: Subjective perception of rapid ejaculation, even though, the ejaculation time is normal

Average time of sex: between 3 and 20 minutes

Frequency: Variable, but always over 3 minutes

Suspected Causes: Lack of Psychosexual Skills

Recommended Treatment: Premature Ejaculation Exercises or Sex Therapy

Prevalence: High2

Subjective Premature Ejaculation graph

You think you may suffer from subjective PE? Pass the premature ejaculation test

Which type are you?

As we can see, there is not a single answer to the question: “What is Premature Ejaculation ?”. Premature Ejaculation isn’t a single entity, but four different conditions. Each one of those conditions has its own causes and treatment. Therefore, if you are unsatisfied with your ejaculation control, you need to figure out which Premature Ejaculation type you suffered from.

If you want to know if you suffer from one of those types, you can pass the premature ejaculation test. The test will also point you to the right resources to address your problem.

Prevalence of Premature Ejaculation Types

Another subject up to debate by specialists is how common premature ejaculation is. There is not a lot of studies made on the prevalence of each subtype. There is one Turkish study2 that have surveyed 2,593 Turkish men. On those 2,593 men, five-hundred twelves (20%) were premature ejaculators. Fifty‐eight (2.3%) suffer from lifelong PE, 100 (3.9%) from acquired PE, 215 (8.5%) from natural variable PE, and 131 (5.1%) from premature-like ejaculatory dysfunction.


  1. Waldinger MD, Schweitzer DH (2006) Changing paradigms from a historical DSM-III and DSM-IV view toward an evidence-based definition of premature ejaculation. Part II: proposals for DSM-V and ICD-11. J Sex Med 3(4):693–705
  2. Ege C. Serefoglu, MD , Onder Yaman, MD, Selahittin Cayan, MD, Ramazan Asci, MD, Irfan Orhan, MD, Mustafa F. Usta, MD , Oguz Ekmekcioglu, MD, Muammer Kendirci, MD, Bulent Semerci, MD, Ates Kadioglu, MD (2011) Prevalence of the Complaint of Ejaculating Prematurely and the Four Premature Ejaculation Syndromes: Results from the Turkish Society of Andrology Sexual Health Surve Sexual Medecine Volume 8, Issue 2, Pages 540–548

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