I am suffering from premature ejaculation…

I am currently suffering from premature ejaculation, a problem which is negatively impacting my sexual relationship with my wife. I wish I was a “minute-man” — I’m more like a “30-second-man”! I’ve been prescribed Paxil, which has helped, but I don’t like the way SSRIs make me feel, and I’d rather not become dependent on them for sexual function. At the very least, I’d like to start incorporating other techniques such as kegel exercises and edging in addition to medication in my attempt to treat my PE.The problem is that edging is just another term for masturbation, something that ranges from unquestionably condemned at worst to a gray area at best. I know you’re not my bishop and that you’re not a substitute for maintaining a prayerful relationship with God. I also know that God expects me to use every resource at my disposal, and I’d consider you one of those resources!

Do you have any thoughts/experience regarding masturbation being used as an exercise to improve your sexual relationship with your spouse?

It sounds like you have received some sound advice as to treatments for premature ejaculation (PE).  Everything you are trying and incorporating is right on track: SSRIs, kegel exercises, and controlled penile stimulation leading towards ejaculatory control.  

I assume you have had a complete physical to rule out any biological reasons that could be affecting your sexuality?  I always recommend this be the first step when it comes to any sexual dysfunction. 
You could also speak with your doctor about the possibility of using an anti-anxiety medication in addition to the SSRI.  During the initial treatment of PE I would encourage you to not be concerned about becoming dependent on medication.  SSRIs are not known to be habit forming and you may choose to decrease your use of them as you see progress in your PE treatment and gain in confidence.  I strongly recommend you go off your meds the same way you went on – with the oversight of your physician.  
As part of a comprehensive treatment for PE, I would also encourage sensate focus exercises, relaxation exercises and sex therapy to address any psychological issues (i.e. intimacy fears, unrealistic sexual expectations, sexual anxiety, body image issues, current stressors in your life, sexual cooperation between you and your wife, communication of emotion, sexual education, family/cultural/religious history, possible abuse history, etc.).  Some mental health disorders (i.e. generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, etc.) can exacerbate symptoms of PE – so those are important to rule in or out as well.  A sex therapist can offer guidance in relaxation skills and formulate a treatment plan incorporating tools you and your wife are most comfortable with which fall within the bounds of your value system.  I recommend you and your wife attend these sessions together (at least to begin with).  

Genital self and partner exploration exercises are encouraged for the treatment of a variety of sexual disorders for both men and women.  As a Mormon therapist, I am completely comfortable prescribing these types of exercises.  These are some reasons why:
  • These exercises have the specific purpose of enhancing and improving the overall sexuality of the marriage.  They are not being used for selfish reasons and are negotiated and agreed upon by both partners.
  • I believe in “relational sexuality” supported by the stance of the church that sexual behaviors be decided upon by marital partners in a way that is cooperative and comfortable (leaving out anything coercive, forceful or abusive).  If the couple jointly agrees that these exercises are in the benefit of their sexual future, then they have the physical and spiritual right to make this decision for themselves.  This falls under their marital stewardship. 
  • I encourage everything occurring sexually within a marital system to take into account the needs of both partners, to be open and disclosed – it is only when masturbation is done in secrecy or in disagreement that it can cause marital tension, a sense of betrayal and/or a disinterest in sexual unity.  
  • Your joint goal is to have a healthy, satisfying, bonding and pleasurable sex life.  Treating PE is part of the sexual journey you are both on towards that worthy goal.  So using treatment strategies such as masturbation, joint stimulation, medication, sensate focus, etc. is, as you well stated, the “resourceful” thing to do.  Not doing so would more than likely cause ongoing and unnecessary conflict, frustration and sadness for both you and your wife.

I encourage you and your wife to see your PE treatment as a sexual adventure and journey you are embarking on together.  I also encourage you to clearly see PE as the enemy, not each other.  This is neither one of your fault.  You may not have wanted PE as one of your trials, and that is understandable.  At the same time, going through this treatment will open up doors and possibilities within not only your physical intimacy – but your spiritual and emotional intimacy as well.  Ones you may not have otherwise experienced.  I wish you both the very best.

I would recommend the following book: Coping with Premature Ejaculation by Michael Metz and Barry McCarthy. 
Mayo Clinic has the following information:

Navigating a Faith Crisis in your Marriage Workshop
Mixed-Faith Workshop
How do I teach my kids about pornography?
TLC’s My Husband’s not Gay…
  • Anonymous

    Condoms help; another option is to shower beforehand with your spouse and jointly masturbate to orgasm. Following the shower, take your time at foreplay (maybe a long massage for your wife) and try intercourse when you are able to feel aroused again. You will last a lot longer in this "encore" situation.

  • Anonymous

    You don't mention much about your wife, but you may want to consider getting her a good vibrator to use as part of intercourse. My husband also suffers from PE, and a few years ago we got a hitachi vibrator. When his "30 seconds" have passed, he uses the vibrator to help me reach orgasm. While it's not the same as intercourse, it helps me feel more satisfied in our sexual relationship and I think he doesn't feel as discouraged because he knows he is doing more for me. Good luck!

  • Anonymous

    Not entirely sure where to post this, but this is an advice needed query. I hve been I am a 16 girl, who is a lifetime member of the lds church. For many years I was very sheltered and protected. I have been schooled at home. And until I was ten, wasn't exposed to anything bad. Then my parents business changed and i helped with it. As a result, I was exposed to books that were not in keeping with gospel standards. It was a book business. I was curious and looked at some of the romance novels and other pornographic literature. It took me until i was 12 to read these type tthough, I just tiptoed around them otherwise.About 4 years ago, I started having problems with masturbation. For most of the 4 years, I knew it was wrong. I lied in interviews, but only wwent to the temple 3 times, i was prevented other wise. I got my patriarchal blessing and young women's recognition award during that time though which i regret. Finally this year I confessed to my bishop, in April. He has been working with me from that point until now and still is. I am still having a problem but have got my issue down to around every month, not every other day as i did for over 3 years. Logically I know that it is not good. But emotionally I still want it. My bishop has said i am conflicted. And i am. Any advice on how to kick this for good? I have tried for 3 years to quit. But I get put ina spot and I'm weak. And i fail.

  • Anonymous

    I find it so sad and disturbing that an adult male would be so averse to masturbation that he would avoid it as a possible tool in helping overcome a sexual disorder that is causing such apparent problems. Masturbation is demonized by the culture yes, but rarely mentioned in anything official coming from the church. The all or nothing thinking being instilled in the general membership makes them all too skittish to think, and act for themselves. Context is everything brother, talk to your wife about your sexual relationship and come to a conclusion that works for, not church leaders. How are they to know?

  • Anonymous

    In response to the young woman above: As a former bishop who has counselled young women about masturbation problems, I have since reflected and researched on this issue. The scriptures are silent on the issue, and it has not been discussed in the last 25 years in general conference, and is not in the general handbook of instructions (the Bishop's manual). It was condemned by Prophets in the past, but you have to understand that Prophets have been wrong in the past, otherwise you could never reconcile all that has been said. We have always maintained that the scriptures are the most reliable source of revelation, and on this topic, it is silent. I can not speak for the Lord, nor for the church, but I personally have come to the conclusion that it is not wrong. Do I know that for sure? No, but I have started doing it to help relieve some of the tension in my marriage relationship, and it has helped significantly. Dr. Parker and other LDS therapists are starting to tell us that it is not something that is wrong, and believing it is wrong can bring about a lot of unnecessary guilt and shame. Feeling guilty about it, or about your God-given sexuality can also cause you to have a poor sex life once you are married. For a long time, I believed it was wrong, but not very wrong, and I told youth they could repent of it themselves – they did not need to confess. Maybe it would help you to take that perspective. Do it, then repent quickly. If I were called as a Bishop again, I would not inquire my youth about it. I wish it could be more clear for you, I share your frustration in the apparent ambiguity that comes from the church, but this life is about learning, line upon line, precept upon precept, so that is what we and our leaders are doing. Above all, the Lord wants us to be happy most of the time, not constantly depressed about things. And He gave you those feelings. I do believe that pornography should be avoided as much as possible, but that can be a separate issue from masturbation.

  • Anonymous

    We've found these posts really helpful in working on sensate focus if you choose to go that route.http://gweninlove.blogspot.com/search?q=sensate+focus+challenge

  • Anonymous

    They make sprays that can help. Trojan condoms extended pleasure help, wipe off the outside once it’s on so your wife doesn’t go numb too. And buy her a vibrator it was one of my best investments and it’s fun to know I’m giving my wife that pleasure still.