Increase Your Sexual Stamina
Mexican culture is overtly passionate—there's passion for women, passion for food, passion for life, passion for dancing—and sex is a natural extension of that culture. It's also a leisurely culture, as are many societies that grew up under the hot sun. This combination of passion and a leisurely approach to it transfers seamlessly into the bedroom, where, according to our survey, Mexican men have the most staying power.
“Women need a little more time, and the best lovers give it to us,” says Elsy Reyes, sex and relationship expert for the Mexican edition of Men's Health. “The best trick is making the initial game last as long as possible—kisses, hugs, oral sex, and stimulation. Breathe properly, and focus on giving pleasure, not just on your own satisfaction.”
Length of sex, from foreplay to climax (in minutes):
Marathoners aren't made overnight, as we learn from the Dutch, who last almost as long as the Mexicans. “In Holland, sexuality is not repressed,” explains Ascha Vissel, a Dutch psychologist and sex therapist. “Here, young people can relax and experiment, and don't have to have sex or masturbate in a hurry while being afraid of getting caught.” The moral: While in-the-moment techniques might buy you 15 extra seconds, retraining your sexual system will help you hop off the express train for good.
In this chapter, our experts will tell you how going lentamente makes it caliente.
How Long Should It Take?
A study done by the late, great Dr. Alfred Kinsey found that most men (about three-quarters) ejaculate within 2 minutes of penetration. Other studies show that at least one-third of all men report dissatisfaction with how long they can last. That was certainly borne out by our survey, in which 21 percent of you said that the superpower you'd most want would be the ability to last as long as you wanted to in bed.
But here's the million-dollar question: Does it really matter?
Less, perhaps, than you'd think.
“Women need a little more time, and the best lovers give it.”
It's fairly clear that men have benefited from the female sexual liberation of the past 50 years. A woman who initiates sex, enjoys it, and takes pleasure in sharing her body is infinitely preferable to one who lies there crafting her shopping list and waiting for it to be over.
But there's also more pressure on both partners to perform, and one of the foremost standards against which men are judged is the stud who can go “all night.”
Ira L. Reiss, PhD, former president of the International Academy of Sex Research and the author of An End to Shame: Shaping Our Next Sexual Revolution, has an interesting take on this whole stamina issue. Coming quickly is still a sign of virility in boyhood circles (or perhaps we should say circle-jerks), and women with the same hair trigger are praised as sexually responsive. If there is a real problem, the best strategy is to “treat it, not demean it,” he states (and you'll find help in Chapter 11). But he advises against jumping to a diagnosis too soon, because “most dysfunctions are societal, not physical.”
Or, as Mantak Chia and Doug Abrams point out in their book, The Multi-Orgasmic Man, which is based on ancient Chinese techniques, “the question is not whether you can last for a certain number of minutes on the stopwatch, but whether you and your partner are satisfied with the duration of your lovemaking.” In other words, it might be time to take the clock out of the bedroom. After all, the average penis is not the kind of athlete who performs his best under stress.
And you might be a little surprised by what you find when you talk to women about the issue. Since most women don't orgasm from intercourse alone, the male drive to go all night may be slightly misplaced. “I don't come from sex anyway!” says Liat, a retail store manager from Israel.
Women do, on average, need more stimulation than men do in order to achieve orgasm. So she does want the sex act to last more than 5 minutes, for sure. And she does want you to give her as many orgasms as she can physically tolerate and to drive her to previously unseen heights of ecstatic bliss. But that's not quite the same thing as being able to pound her for hours on end. In fact, from the female perspective, there's often too much time spent on intercourse—many women get sore after too long. “What is it with these guys that think you're going to whine to your friends if they don't go for a certain amount of time or whatever?” complains Sylvia from Germany. “It's like they turn it into another athletic event, another competition with their friends. It has nothing whatsoever to do with what I want.”
Perhaps we've had the wrong focus this whole time. Perhaps the goal is to stretch out the encounter, and not necessarily the intercourse. Chapter 3, “Enjoy the Most Leisurely Sex in the World,” gives you some insight into women's favorite ways to do that. And in this chapter, we'll gladly provide you with some tricks to last longer. Ideally, you'll use the latter to make sex more fulfilling and exciting—not another time trial.
Tricks to Last Longer
Since there's no medical standard for the length of time a man “should” have sex before ejaculating, premature ejaculation, or PE, can only be defined by you and your partner—ejaculation that happens before either of you want it to, the majority of the time. It may look like there is some biological basis for premature ejaculation, but in many cases, it's the result of anxiety and stress. Guilty feelings about sex, concerns about a health problem, or worry about losing your erection all may contribute. The good news is that it's very common, and highly responsive to treatment. “These are problems that can be easily corrected with sex re-education or sex training,” says Robert Santo-Paolo, a French psychologist and sexologist and the founder of the Web site sexotherapie.com. “It would be a real pity to have an unhappy finish to a relationship so beautifully begun.” Here are some options:
THE ART OF SELF-CULTIVATION
Practice, as they say, makes perfect. And what is masturbation if not practice for sex? Most of us have quite a bit of experience with the solo tango by now. As a result we've got it down to an art form—and a pretty speedy affair. “I can make myself come before I'm even completely hard,” confesses Eric, a librarian in Indonesia.
The ancient Chinese referred to masturbation as “self-cultivation” and viewed it as a way to get in shape for the main event. So, the next time you find yourself in the mood for a little self-love, take your time. Get into it, and then back off to recover a little. See how close you can push yourself to the edge without going over. And see how long you can stretch it out. You'll notice a big difference in the quality of your orgasm. And, with a little practice, you'll see that you're able to use some of these same tricks when you've got company.
Play a practice round beforehand. Teenagers everywhere know that masturbating a few hours before the main event takes the edge off. That's both a good and a bad thing, of course. You'll notice that it takes you quite a bit longer to get turned on with her, and to come once you're inside. But while you may last longer for the main event, you may enjoy it a little less. So Mahinder Watsa, MD, a sex therapist in India, suggests increasing your staying power by having more sex—and who can argue with that?
Try again. “I always come really fast the first time, so we usually do it twice—once for me, and once for her!” says Junior, an environmental engineer from the Philippines. If you're able to achieve another erection soon after you've ejaculated, doing it again might be the best way to solve the problem. You're guaranteed to last longer the second time around.
Relax. You can increase your stamina by reducing your muscle tension, says Marc Goldstein, MD, professor of reproductive medicine and urology at Cornell University Medical College. One way to do that is to have her get on top, so you're not supporting her muscle tension as well as your own.
The most important thing you can do, however, is to breathe. “The problem with most men is that they don't know how to breathe and organize their energy,” says Reyes—and 5,000 years of Tantric practice support her position. Breathing deeply and slowly does two things: (1) It calms the nervous system, which is helpful when you're trying to pull back from the brink. And (2) it circulates the sexual energy concentrated in your genitals throughout the rest of your body. Not only does this help to delay orgasm, but it makes it much more powerful when it finally happens.
Increase slowly. Your best strategy for building your sexual stamina? The same thing that works on the treadmill: Go a little longer every single time, until you've built up to where you want to be.
Close your eyes. Men are strongly influenced by the visual. That's why we like porn so much more than women do. The right visual—a bouncing breast, the down on the inside of her thigh—is all too often the straw that breaks the camel's hump. So insulate yourself from the possibility for a minute or two by closing your eyes.
Take your balls out of play. As you've probably noticed, the testicles are filled with lots and lots of nerve endings—a bad thing when you're playing ice hockey, but a wonderful thing when you're body checking her. Positions that stimulate them (like the missionary or rear-entry positions, where they brush—or bang—up against her body) may give you a little more stimulation than you can handle. Switch to a position that takes the testicles away from the action, like her on top and leaning forward.
Don't think about it. Easier said than done, we know. And yet, it makes sense. “There's a Hungarian proverb that says ‘Do not paint the devil on the wall, for it will appear,’” says Agnes Beregszászi, a sex columnist in Hungary. Translation: The area of the brain responsible for triggering orgasm is engaged whether you're trying to have one or halt one. So stop thinking about it. How? Focus on what's going on with her instead.
“Good sex is like driving to a faraway city,” says Beregszászi. “You know your destination, orgasm, but you need to concentrate on the road ahead of you—turn left here, turn right there. If you focus on what is happening now—her silky thighs on your hips, say—you can diffuse your pleasure throughout your whole body.” So instead of worrying about how long you're lasting, concentrate on gauging your partner's response to each move—did she “o-o-oh” or “eh-h”?—until you find her sweet spot.
Slip-slide away. “A really slippery lubricant could decrease the amount of friction you feel and allow you to thrust longer before you reach orgasm,” says Gerald Weeks, PhD, a psychologist at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas.
DEPARTMENT OF FUN FACTS
There seems to be a mysterious correlation between how you shave and how long you last in the sack. In a recent survey, men who used shaving cream and a razor said they lasted an average of 5 minutes, while those who used an electric razor lasted 10 minutes more.
Wear a raincoat. Along the same lines, if you're not using a condom, consider doing so. The main complaint about condoms is that they reduce sensitivity—something that can work to your advantage if you're prone to going off too soon.
And if even that doesn't work, consider using a rubber specifically designed to reduce your sensitivity. Condoms treated with numbing agents like benzocaine and lidocaine can help to slow you down. These can prolong erection time by 3 to 8 minutes, says Debbie Herbenick, PhD, the Men's Health “Bedroom Confidential” columnist. “That's usually enough of an extension for many men—and women—to feel good about.” Research has revealed that men who used a topical cream of prilocaine and lidocaine (available by prescription) increased their stamina from an average of 2 minutes without the cream to about 8 with it.
The downside is obvious—if evoking the dentist's chair wasn't un-sexy enough, “numb” isn't usually a word one wants associated with one's privates. Less sensitivity means less sensation, and less sensation usually means less enjoyment. You'll have to review the spreadsheet yourself: The stamina benefits may not be worth the pleasure cost.
Choose your positions wisely. You can actually do quite a bit while you're having sex to prolong the activity—and she'll never be the wiser!
Certain positions will make her feel tighter—like doggy style, for instance. Others provide less friction for you, like her on top.
The tip of your penis is the most sensitive part. The more direct stimulation it receives, the more likely you are to come. So even something as simple as your angle of entry makes a significant difference.
Alternating between deep and shallow thrusts will help you to increase stimulation gradually. Added bonus: She'll love the tease. Shallow thrusts also concentrate the stimulation precisely where she needs it, since the majority of the nerve endings in her vagina are in the very first few inches.
Vary your positions. The longer you spend in one position, the less control you have over when you come. Mix it up, and you'll last longer than usual. In a study at the University of New Brunswick, researchers found that men who frequently changed sexual positions were better able to delay ejaculation than those who used other methods to try to stall. See Chapter 7 for a wealth of different configurations.
Slow it down. “When my boyfriend slows it down, I feel every bit of him,” says Maria, a receptionist in Mexico. “It helps me focus on the sensation, and puts me over the top when he speeds up again.”
“When my boyfriend slows it down, I feel every bit of him.”
“Men need encouragement in the counterintuitive act of penetration and lying still,” says Mike Perring, MD, the medical director of Optimal Health of Harley Street in London. He suggests that you share your breathing pattern and connect emotionally with your partner, but have absolutely minimal movement. This isn't simply a recommendation for men struggling with premature ejaculation, either, but an exercise with a much wider usefulness. “Men are prone to get in there and thrust away,” he says. Slowing down “allows them to explore what their sexuality is for themselves. Too often, we're ignorant about our own sensations—how does it feel to be touched there, or there, or there?” Ironically, developing hyperawareness is the road to greater control.
BASEBALL IS NOT THE ANSWER
It's tempting to think about something else—anything, anything!—to keep from exploding, but it may not be the best strategy. First of all, the quality of your orgasm may suffer—it's hard to finish the job with enthusiasm when you've just forced yourself to think about your neighbor with the hairy mole. In fact, for some guys, there's no coming back at all, and that's really no fun.
Plus, lots of women report that they'd be willing to shave a few minutes off the clock in return for you keeping your eye on the ball. “I'd rather that he come a little faster than think about his grandmother or Cricket Victoria, to be honest,” says Meghan, an Australian chef. “It's better for me when he stays in the moment, even if it ends sooner.”
Take a break. The best scenario for both parties may very well be where you take a break when you feel yourself approaching your point of no return (technically, “ejaculatory inevitability”). Treat this feeling as a cue to slow yourself down and bring her up to speed.
What you do depends on you. Sometimes it's enough to stay inside her but simply stop moving. Lie still and touch her clit with your fingers. Of course, if she's enjoying what you're doing, she may move around in a way that defeats your best-laid plans. If this happens, pull out and touch her. Or, sexier still, tell her that you'll stop moving your fingers unless she stops moving everything else.
Or pull out and do something else entirely. Many men think of oral sex as something they can do only before intercourse, but there's no rule that says your tongue can't revisit a favorite stomping ground. And if she protested when you pulled out, use one hand or your tongue to stimulate her clit while your fingers on the other hand sub in for your recovering penis.
Another alternative is for you both to please yourselves. This is a lovely thing to do, for any reason. It gives you a chance to look at her, and to watch how she touches herself and gives herself pleasure. At the same time, it's a more controlled situation, so that you can touch yourself only at the rate you know you can tolerate, while her experienced fingers play catchup.
THE POWER OF THE QUICKIE
You know what? There's nothing wrong with a little wham, bam, thank you, ma'am. A quickie is “fast furious fun that promises orgasms in less time than it takes to make coffee,” says British expert Emily Dubberley in her book Sex for Busy People.
“I love it when my husband turns around and comes back to bed on his way out the door to work. There's something incredibly hot about a quickie when he's wearing his suit,” says Marina from Brazil. “He usually gets a pretty nice welcome-home present, too, after cranking me up and leaving me at slow simmer all day!”
“Good quickies are about delirious, delicious sex that's just as good (and sometimes better!) than the kind you'd have in your comfortable bed with time for fabulous foreplay,” says Dubberley. A quickie every once in a while is a significant sign that your relationship is strong—and that your partner understands your sexual needs, says Ava Cadell, PhD, a Hungarian-born, British-raised expert who has traveled and taught widely throughout the world. If you're worried she thinks you're quick on the trigger, tell her it's just a preview—and make sure you follow through. If she's nice enough to understand how much you need the 1-minute variety, reciprocate with the 1-hour kind (or at least the 18-minutes-of-foreplay kind).
Chances are, you won't need a lot of time to settle down—a minute or two is usually enough to pull you back from the edge. So when you're miles ahead of her, give your penis a break. Don't worry about losing your erection—her mounting excitement will bring it back even stronger than before.
Wait it out. It'll get easier to hold out as you age.
Talk to your doctor. If PE has suddenly begun to be a frequent problem for you, you'll want to mention it to your doctor. Inflammation of the prostate should be ruled out, says Hungarian urologist Ferenc Fekete, explaining that a prescription for an SSRI-type antidepressant may help.
You may also want to look for a sex therapist who can help you to understand what's behind the problem. One study showed that more than 70 percent of men were able to last longer in bed after discussing the problem with a sex counselor. He or she will teach you how to “retrain” yourself with practical exercises like the following:
The Semans Stop-Start Method: This technique was developed by Beavis-James Semans, a well-known urologist at Duke University in the 1950s. It's best to try this technique for the first time while you're masturbating. Start by stimulating yourself to the brink of orgasm, then pause and let your arousal diminish. Repeat this cycle three or four times until you begin to feel in control of your response.
Kegels: Strengthening your PC muscle with Kegel exercises will greatly improve your success rate with the stop-start method. The PC is the muscle you use to stop urine flow. Contract it now to familiarize yourself with the feeling—what you just did was a Kegel. Do 20, 50, 100, or more daily—at your desk or in your car. Since it's the same muscle that contracts for ejaculation, strengthening it will give you more control during sex.
Peaking exercises: “Label your arousal level on a 1-to-10 scale, where 1 is no arousal and 10 is ejaculation,” says sex therapist Barbara Keesling, PhD, author of Sexual Healing. “Have your partner [or yourself] stimulate you to a 3; then let the peak go down. Next, go to a 4, then back off, and so on. Relax and focus on the sensation, flexing your PC muscle to keep from ejaculating. When you can withstand about 20 minutes of manual and oral stimulation, you're ready for intercourse.” Next, try it during intercourse. Whenever things heat up, just slow down or stop thrusting as necessary. With enough practice, you'll be lasting so long you'll be able to put away the stopwatch.
Get hip to hypnotherapy. Hypnosis isn't tarot-card voodoo; it's simply an altered state of consciousness that both increases your concentration and makes you more susceptible to suggestion. It's gained a great deal of credibility as a behavior modification technique over the past 30 years; you probably know someone who used it to ditch his beer belly or pack of Camels. And a lot of men have gotten very good results from hypnotherapy when dealing with PE. To find a reputable hynotherapist in your area, contact the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis (www.asch.net), the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis (www.sceh.us), or the National Board for Certified Clinical Hynotherapists (www.natboard.com).
The Other Length You Worry About
We know you're probably concerned not only with lasting long enough but with, well, being long enough. We're talking about the age-old question of whether or not size matters, and if it does, how much?
Here's something to think about: We polled men in 38 countries, asking them how satisfied they were with their penis size. In every single country—every single one—the majority of respondents said that they were “somewhat satisfied,” as opposed to “very satisfied.” Some insecurities, apparently, know no borders.
Average penis length and diameter (flaccid) = 3.5 x 1.25 inches
Average penis length and diameter (erect) = 5.1 x 1.6 inches
Average percent increase in volume, flaccid to erect = 300
Longest medically recorded erection = 12 inches
All this self-doubt is largely (no pun intended) unfounded—or at least as it pertains to a man's ability to keep his lady happy. The average vagina is 3 to 5 inches long, and—we'll say it again—only the first third—that's 1 inch or so—has a large concentration of nerve endings. You do have at least an inch, right? “The average penis is perfectly suited to the average vagina,” says British expert Phillip Hodson, author of How Perfect Is Your Mate? “It might not be perfectly suited to appear in pornography, but that's a different story entirely.”
Of course, consolation on this topic is nothing new. Of the many debts we owe to Dr. Alfred Kinsey, one stands out. He was the first expert to publicly say that penis size doesn't matter—in 1953. So sometimes women are right when they say we don't listen.
And, when you talk to the experts who really count—those women, in other words—you hear something very similar. “Every guy I've ever, um, known has confessed that he didn't think his penis size was anything to write home about,” says the Men's Health Girl Next Door, Nicole Beland. “But they were all perfectly well-hung.” Women don't say that size doesn't matter—of course it does, along with your ability to entertain a toddler and watch football at the same time, your foot-massaging skills, and your air-percussion version of Duke Ellington's “Malletoba Spank.”
But without fail, they also say something else: “It's not how big it is, but what you do with it.” Here's the translation: Pretty much anything—skills in the bedroom and outside of it—easily trumps size in a woman's mind. See it from her perspective. Guy #1 has an armadillo in his pants, and zero oral or social skills. Guy #2 has a perfectly respectable member, can tie a cherry stem in a knot without using his hands, and offered to dance with her aged and toothless Aunt Millie at her cousin's wedding without prompting. Ask the average woman to choose, and she doesn't even have to think about it (unlike the way you might have to think before choosing between your beloved and a pair of triple-Ds). Guy #2 is getting lucky tonight—let's just hope he can banish all thoughts of Aunt Millie before the games begin.
In fact, it's not uncommon to hear women complain about a penis that's too large. Now, this raises some questions, given that the feminine space in question is designed to accommodate an entire 6-to-20-pound human being. But since the question of whether or not one's member can be too big is academic for most of us, let's return to the question at hand: If she doesn't care—or can be bought off with the sexy tongue-lashing you perfected by reading Chapter 5—then what's all the fuss about?
“It's not how big it is, but what you do with it.”
Answer: men. Other men. A South African study indicates that men's fears and anxieties about penis size have their roots not in the reactions of the women they'd been with but in the reactions of other men. This may be why researchers have found that the average man thinks he's below average. When Peter Lee conducted penis research at the University of Pittsburgh, he found that “men were good at appraising their overall physique,” he says, “but when it came to relative penis size, as a group they tended to underestimate.” Twenty-six percent of respondents to Lee's study gauged their own penis size as “below average,” but a mere 5 percent ticked the “above average” box.
Why? “It's difficult to accurately assess penis size,” says Lee. The damn thing is always growing bigger and smaller, and your point of view can be misleading. “If you're in a changing room with other men, theirs may look bigger because you're seeing them in profile. You look down at your own.” In every sense of the phrase.
If she doesn't care, why should you? On the other hand, we're all neurotic about something. So if, even after all this reassurance, you're genuinely concerned about the size of your penis, here's what you can do to make it look bigger when it counts.
Lose weight. You know extra weight is bad for your heart, but it also shortens your penis—you lose a half-inch for every 15 pounds you gain. Here's why: The fat pad that protects your pubic area creeps over the shaft's base as you get fatter, obscuring perfectly good penis. A better diet and more exercise means more where it counts, too.
Trim your pubes. Yes, it works. And it's sexy to do together. Only if she's down there with a pair of scissors, your friend might go into a defensive crouch, defeating the purpose of the experiment.
Pump it up. If you've got a big night coming up, don't masturbate for at least 2 or 3 days beforehand; this will cause your erection to be at its largest and strongest, says Lou Paget, a certified sex educator in Los Angeles and the author of 365 Days of Sensational Sex. When the fateful moment arrives, squeeze a little as you slide off your shorts. By flexing the muscles of your lower abdomen, you'll cause your penis to lift an inch or two. You'll also force blood into the head, making it momentarily swell even more than usual.
You've got to ac-cen-tu-ate the positive. Make the most of what you have by using powerful, deep thrusts at a slow-to-medium pace. “It can be wonderfully intense. Piston-like porno thrusting feels horrible. It can leave a girl dry, sore, and bored,” says Girl Next Door Beland. To vary the stimulation, add side-to-side movement, or up-and-down pelvic pressure against her clitoris when you're all the way inside.
For best results, avoid the following: Cold weather, chilly baths or showers, exhaustion, nonsexual excitement, and illness. All have been shown to shrink the average penis by as much as 2 inches.
Oh yes, and penis enlargement scams. We get the same spam you do, and yes, we've also wondered at least once if there's anything behind the promise of MaKe Your PEniS HuGe!
Some men—more than 15,000 in the United States, a very rough estimate since there are no official numbers available—do opt for surgical procedures to lengthen and widen the penis. This involves severing the ligament that holds the penis to the pelvic bone; once this is done, the penis hangs a bit lower and looks larger. Other girth-enhancing surgeries involve liposuction: sucking the fat out of some other part of the body (usually the abdomen) and injecting it into the shaft of the penis.
This is, to put it frankly, a terrible idea. The procedure isn't taught in medical schools, it's not regulated, and it's not safe. When things do go awry—as they often do—men are often too embarrassed to tell anyone. For these reasons and more, the American Urological Association (AUA) and the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons (ASPRS) do not endorse the procedure. But that's not stopping doctors from operating, or men from seeking out these doctors.
GOING FROM BAD TO WORSE
In Uganda, weights are tied to the end of boys’ penises at puberty, and the weight is gradually increased, says Don Voorhees in his highly entertaining book of sex trivia, Quickies. “A teenager may eventually end up with a 20-pound stone disc swinging from the end of his member!” Apparently, it's very effective—a boy's penis can be stretched to up to 18 inches.
However, as Voorhees points out, these extended penises may be long, but they're thin, making it difficult to do even simple things like sitting down. It may not have been a formal poll, but we weren't bowled over by the reaction we got from women when we asked them how they'd feel if their partners brought them a penis they could tie into a pretty bow.
Of course, that's not your only option. According to British expert Graham Masterton in his book Up All Night, in 16th century Brazil, the Topinama Indians found a way to enlarge their erections to immense sizes by encouraging poisonous snakes to bite them. Apparently, it worked—terrible pain for 6 months, then monstrous penises. But, as Masterton points out: “Like the first man to eat an oyster, it makes you wonder who was mad enough to try it first.”
A number of urologists do a brisk business in correcting these surgeries. Some, like Gary Rheinschild, MD, an Anaheim, California, urologist, claim that if penis enlargement “is done properly, the results are good. Unfortunately, most of the time, it's not done properly.” According to Dr. Rheinschild, proper technique involves two things: performing the lengthening and widening techniques at least 6 months apart to ensure that proper bloodflow is restored between procedures, and steering clear of the fat injections.
Not only is the procedure often performed improperly, but it's also performed on men who simply don't need it. A study in the Journal of Urology concluded that lengthening procedures should be advised only for men whose penises are 1.56 inches when flaccid, and 2.9 inches erect.
“I have men who come back time and time again wanting this surgery, and each time I reassure them that they fall well within the normal range, and in many cases above the normal range,” says Laurence Levine, MD, director of the male sexual health and fertility program at Rush Presbyterian–St. Luke's Medical Center in Chicago. “I routinely recommend they see a sex therapist instead.” He also points out that the surgery, even when properly performed, may not achieve the desired results. “In many cases, men see less than an inch added after the surgery, or even a decrease in length.”
And the potential cost of that small gain may extend well beyond the doctor's fee. Keith Schulner is a Camarillo, California, attorney whose firm is handling 58 penis-enlargement lawsuits against one surgeon. Schulner says his clients have experienced everything from scarring and lack of sensation to curved penises and foul-smelling discharge. “After one man's surgery, his penis came out through the middle of his scrotum rather than over it,” says Schulner.
“This surgery is something I've really come out against,” says Ronald Iverson, MD, a plastic surgeon in the San Francisco area and president of the ASPRS. “There are no peer-reviewed articles that show that it's an effective and lasting procedure. Even in the best hands, it may not be a procedure that can be done safely and effectively,” he says. “If you're considering a penis enlargement for purely cosmetic reasons, you'd better think twice. In fact, let me be blunt: Don't do it.”
Moving on to a less cringe-worthy topic than botched weenie jobs: According to our survey results, more than a quarter of men worldwide would like to go beyond just lasting longer and looking bigger—they wish they could experience multiple orgasms. Frankly, we were surprised the number was so low—as far as we're concerned, the more the merrier!
Multiple orgasms are those that happen without a loss of sexual arousal. In other words, you stay hard in between. “Impossible,” you're thinking—“when I'm done, I'm done.” It's true that men do have what's called a refractory period after ejaculation, a time when it's impossible to become erect or to ejaculate again. Coming, in other words, is akin to firing a gun. You can't do it again until you've put another bullet in the chamber, and reloading takes a little time.
But that doesn't mean that you can't have orgasm after orgasm. The Chinese figured this out about 3,000 years ago, although it took until about the middle of the 20th century for the news to reach the United States. The catch? You just don't come—except for the last time.
“Around 80 percent of men can have multiple orgasms after 3 months of training.”
You heard right: It turns out that orgasm and ejaculation are actually different events. If you think back to the period of time before puberty kicked in, when you were trying unsuccessfully to masturbate, you did a lot of this orgasm-without-ejaculation stuff. With some practice, you can learn to do it on purpose. “Around 80 percent of men can do this after 3 months of training,” says Barnaby Barratt, PhD, a psychologist and sexologist in Santa Barbara, California, and the author of Sexual Health and Erotic Freedom.
Mastering these techniques gives most men longer, harder erections, and a much greater degree of sexual control than they've ever had in their lives. That, of course, is great for the women in their lives, and their relationships as a whole. If stamina is a concern for you—or your partner—this is the best party trick you'll ever learn.
Two very ancient traditions—Tantra, in India, and Taoism, in China—incorporate this practice, using many of the same techniques. We spoke to experts in both traditions and culled everything you need to know to make it happen. It might take a while—weeks, maybe even months. But trust us, training for this particular event is much more fun and rewarding than running a 6-minute mile. (Please note: If you have serious health problems or high blood pressure, talk to a knowledgeable practitioner—a Universal Tao educator, for instance, at www.universal-tao.com—before doing these exercises.)
Benefits of Multiple Orgasm
In Taoist sexuality, one of the primary goals of sex was to achieve health—in fact, doctors would often prescribe sex in various positions. In this tradition, the goal of orgasm without ejaculation is to conserve vital energy. Ejaculation represented a tremendous expenditure of energy—no accident, then, that men crash so hard after sex. Orgasms, on the other hand, allowed sexual energy to recirculate through the body beneficially. So, orgasms without ejaculation—preferably a couple of them!—is the best-case scenario.
Now that's not to say that people who practice this technique never ejaculate. They just pick their times. “I conserve now when I feel depleted, tired, or on the verge of getting sick, and I'll ejaculate less as I get older,” says Zhou, a reporter in China.
Everyone's agreed on the most important thing: The orgasms are mind-blowing. Non-ejaculatory orgasms are sometimes called Valley Orgasms. “Full-body” is one of the things you hear over and over. “Day-long results” is another. “It's the best, cleanest high you can imagine,” says Andreas, an artist from Bern, Germany. “You can go on having sex forever, and then you feel like you're jacked up all day.”
Proponents even claim that these techniques can prevent prostate problems and impotence in later life. Not to mention lasting long enough that she can get off over and over again too—but more on that in a bit.
A little training is all you need to put this into practice. Cue “Eye of the Tiger”. . . .
Gentlemen, Meet Your Pelvic Floor
The pelvic floor muscle is more sassily known as the pubococcygeal muscle, but let's call it the PC muscle for short, which is what most urologists do. Exercising it is the key to getting control of the ejaculatory process—not to mention better erections.
How do you find this love muscle? Take a whiz—and then stop. The muscle that enables you to stop the flow of urine midstream is your PC muscle. You can think of this pee test as the proving ground for your multiple orgasm ability: If it's hard to stop peeing, your muscle is weak, and you've got some work to do.
“You can go on having sex forever, and then you feel like you're jacked up all day.”
The good news is that you can see real gains in just a couple of days. You'll also be relieved to know that exercising your PC muscle is easy, and can be done anywhere—while you're driving, in line for the bank, talking to your co-workers. In fact, it's kind of a sexy feeling. The first time you try it, though, do it at home, and while naked, so that you can see and feel what's going on, says Carla Tara, a Tantric educator who was raised in Italy and who teaches in New York, California, and Hawaii.
Take the floor: Inhale deeply, pulling your belly back toward your spine and your balls up into your body. You may see your balls and penis move up and down with each squeeze; that movement will increase as your PC muscles strengthen. Keep your abs and glutes out of it—no gyrating butt cheeks, or clenched abs, says Dr. Herbenick. If you're not sure if you've got the right spot, press your fingertips against your perineum (the area between your testicles and anus). That's your pelvic floor; you should feel the muscles in there contract as you squeeze.
The rapid pump: Start this exercise by taking a breath deep into your abdomen; imagine that you're sending the breath down to your genitals, says Carla Tara. Hold your breath down there while you squeeze and release the PC muscles quickly 10 times. Exhale, and rest for a few seconds.
Repeat this exercise as often as you can. Tara has her clients do it up to 20 times a day, first in several short sessions and eventually in one long session. As your PC muscles get stronger, you'll be able to raise the number of squeeze-and-release movements from 10 to increasingly higher numbers.
The hold-and-squeeze: Begin this exercise by taking a deep breath, as you did with the first. Now squeeze your PC muscle—without releasing the pressure—for about 5 seconds. Exhale, and relax the muscle for a few seconds. (If you find the full 5 impossible to hold, start with 3.) Tara recommends at least 60 repetitions of this exercise every day, at first in several short sessions. When you're accustomed to the routine, you can do 60 repetitions in one long session.
As your PC muscle gets stronger, you can increase the length of time for each inhale-and-squeeze repetition to 6 seconds, then for progressively longer periods. You'll find that you can sustain the squeeze for up to 10 seconds and more as your muscle control improves.
Taoists call these exercises Sexual Kung Fu, which sounds incredibly cool (kung fu means “practice”). They also add an interesting twist: “As you contract your PC muscle, contract the muscles around the eyes and mouth as well,” says Doug Abrams. According to traditional Chinese medicine, the circular muscles of the body—including those around the eyes, mouth, perineum, and anus—are connected. Try it, and you'll see that it increases your PC strength immediately.
Stopping the Train
What are you going to do with this pumped-up PC muscle? You're going to use it to stop your ejaculation. Here's how it works—and since we strongly suggest that you try this by yourself the first couple of times, that's how we'll walk you through it.
You'll have all the beautiful feelings you associate with orgasm—without ejaculating.
Build yourself up to the brink of orgasm, then, uh, stop. By brink, we mean the minute right before the point of no return. When you're there, squeeze your PC muscle, just like you've been doing in the bank line, but for a count of 10. Take a little break, and then get started again with the sexual stimulation.
Do this three times. In this case, as tempting as it may be to rush to the finish, slower is better. The last time, as you reach the point of no return, stop all stimulation and squeeze. Don't let yourself come (it's okay if you don't manage this the first time, or the 40th; it'll get easier as your PC muscle gets stronger and you get more comfortable with the timing). Instead, breathe deeply from the very base of your stomach, and relax all the muscles in your back, rear end, and pelvis.
It's difficult to describe, but many have called the next step as “relaxing into orgasm.” You'll have all the beautiful feelings you associate with orgasm—racing pulse, waves of euphoria, and relaxation—without ejaculating.
After you're done, you'll need a minute or two to recover. Breathe deeply and evenly. You should still feel really turned on, and many people report feeling a strong surge of energy at this point. Use it to continue—until you have another orgasm.
DON'T GO RETRO
A common technique for suppressing ejaculation is to press on the perineum (the landing strip between your balls and your anus) just as you're about to come. We don't recommend this, as it can lead to what's called “retroejaculation,” which is a fancy way of saying ejaculating into your bladder. Besides just sounding gross, this move can cause nerve damage.
Taking It into the Bedroom
Once you've done this by yourself a couple of times, you'll want to bring your new trick into the bedroom. (Talk about a fantastic Valentine's Day present!) Some things that might help:
It may be easiest for you to focus on your PC muscle if you're in a position where all of your muscles are more relaxed—with her on top, for instance.
It's going to be harder not to ejaculate. “As you feel yourself approaching the point of ejaculatory inevitability,” says Carla Tara, “change your pelvic movement from the fast and strong thrust to a slower and more relaxed one, perhaps directing the thrust away from your partner's body and softening the penetration.”
If after a few ejaculate-free orgasms, you decide to ejaculate as well, Tara recommends that you do that by taking the longest, deepest breath and then exhaling slowly, vocalizing your excitement while you're ejaculating. “Tantric masters can prolong their ejaculations to last for nine consecutive deep breaths,” says Tara. “In the end, even if you decide to ejaculate, you'll have absorbed most of the energetic content of your ejaculate.”
The Worst-Case Scenarios Are Not So Bad
If you do ejaculate, even when you don't intend to, don't give yourself a hard time about it. It doesn't necessarily mean that you won't be able to go again. It may be tough to eliminate your refractory period altogether, but it's not that difficult to shorten it. Ask your partner for a relaxing massage. Relieving tension in your thrusting muscles improves bloodflow, helping encourage a rejuvenated erection.
And if the idea of sex without orgasm—without end—is that attractive to you, make it happen: Stop before you come, focus on her pleasure, and go to bed “hungry,” so to speak. It may not be the most comfortable feeling in the world. One of the functions of the orgasm—besides pleasure, of course—is to help expel blood that is congested in genital tissue during sexual arousal. But even without an orgasm, the congested blood will eventually dissipate on its own and return to the un-aroused state. It can take anywhere from several minutes to several hours, but it's not harmful, and most men find the squeezed sensation of blue balls to be quite sexy. You'll certainly spend the rest of the night in a heightened state, and your partner will find you very enthusiastic the next time you meet.
Making Multiples Happen for Her
The first thing to keep in mind about serving her a second helping of ecstasy is that just because a woman can get off again doesn't necessarily mean that she wants to. “If a woman's partner prolongs that sequence of orgasms, she may ultimately find the experience not only unsatisfying, but unpleasant,” says Marianne Legato, MD, New York–based author of Why Men Never Remember and Women Never Forget. “It's like eating more chocolate cake than you wanted—the first slice was terrific, and maybe even the first bite of the second, but by the fourth or fifth, it's really not what you want to be doing anymore.”
“The hotter I am, the easier it is for me to come again.”
Even if she is interested in another serving, a genitals-only approach to multiple orgasm won't work for most women, says Taoist sex expert Rachel Carlton Abrams, who co-wrote the Multi-Orgasmic Couplewith Mantak Chia and her husband Doug Abrams. In order to build her up to an appropriate level of arousal, you have to multitask. What does that mean? First of all, you need her mind on board. Get her fully engaged mentally—whether that means using dirty talk or looking deeply into her eyes. You want her imagination and emotions working with you, not against you. “The hotter I am, the easier it is for me to come again,” says Natalia from Rio.
Carlton Abrams also stresses the importance of hitting multiple pleasure zones. Does she melt when you kiss her neck or lick her ear? Then do that—with one hand on her oh-so-sensitive nipples and the other between her legs. Only you (and she) know where her particular power points are, but this is a time to use them. For instance, for many women, stimulation of her G-spot as well as her clitoris is a factor in her being able to come more than once—and in the kind of orgasm she achieves when it happens.
Remember that what she wants where—rough pressure on her nipples, a feather-light touch on her clit—can depend on her level of arousal, the time of the month, and a hundred other factors, so ask her for feedback.
Don't forget to tease her: When going for your own multiple, you're encouraged to build up and back off, build up and back off. Guess what? It works for her as well. Stay sensitive, though—you don't want her getting bored or frustrated before the main event.
She will also benefit from doing the same PC muscle exercises that you've been doing. (Women, particularly if they've had children, tend to be more familiar with these moves than men are.) Encourage her to “grab” at your penis—it's a wonderful sensation for you that also greatly increases her orgasmic facility.
Once she's had her first orgasm, a window of opportunity presents itself. It's a little tricky—her clit will be very sensitive after she has come. But wait too long—more than about 30 seconds—and she'll move into a refractory period similar to yours. So your challenge is to maintain her arousal between orgasms while backing off enough so that you're not overstimulating her. Your best strategy is to switch to indirect touch: Focus on her breasts, thighs, lips (either set), or neck until she recharges. Apply lube and touch her clitoris indirectly. Encourage her to breathe deeply. And let her give you guidance. “My wife loves to have her first orgasm from oral sex, and her second while I am inside her, using my hands,” says Aurelio, an advertising executive in Brazil.
So there's your introduction to a very complex system of energy management. Have fun trying again and again to get it right.