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    Behavioural techniques for premature ejaculation

    On this page
    1. How to prevent premature ejaculation without medication
    2. What should I do if these techniques don’t work for me?
    3. Medicine to treat premature ejaculation

    There are various techniques and treatments used to stop premature ejaculation. Lots of people try behavioural techniques (also known as “self control “techniques) to help them manage the condition. 

    We have listed some of the most common behavioural techniques for preventing premature ejaculation below. The techniques are intended to be used by a couple to help the man to ‘unlearn’ the habit of premature ejaculation.

    How to prevent premature ejaculation without medication

    Squeeze technique


    Premature ejaculation squeeze technique - Picture

    Aim of the squeeze technique

    This involves squeezing the end of the penis when you are just about to ejaculate. Doing this  will help you to learn to recognise the “point of no return”, i.e. the point when ejaculation is inevitable and can’t be stopped, no matter how hard you try.  

    Recognizing how this feels and “doing the squeeze” just before you reach that moment can delay ejaculation. This will take time, but practice makes perfect!

    How to use the squeeze technique

    After practicing for a couple of times, you will be able to get a feel of what works best for you. In general the squeeze technique works best if you follow these steps:

    • Moments before you think you are going to ejaculate, yourself or your partner squeezes the head of your penis. You can place your thumb either under or above the penis (see diagram above).
    • Maintain the squeeze for 10 to 20 seconds until you feel your impulse to ejaculate pass. After you release the squeeze, wait for around 30 seconds, before returning to stimulation. You may find that your penis becomes less erect during this period – this is normal.
    • For optimal results, this process is carried out several times before ejaculation is allowed to occur.

    It can also be helpful to practise the squeeze technique whilst masturbating.

    Stop-start technique

    Aim of the stop-start technique

    By stopping sex or reducing stimulation when you feel you are just about to ejaculate, your impulse to ejaculate will be reduced. This works in a similar way to the squeeze technique, in that the more you practise this technique, the more confident you will feel about delaying ejaculation. Over time, you should be able to build control during sex without stopping.

    Practising the stop-start technique when masturbating

    As with the squeeze technique, it can be helpful to practise the stop-start technique when masturbating. Some men find it helpful to masturbate almost to the point of ejaculation and then to stop. Repeating this two or three times before ejaculating can help build control.

    Pelvic floor exercises for PE 

    Pelvic floor exercises strengthen the muscles that can help you control or delay ejaculation. You can find out more about pelvic floor (kegels) for men by reading our guide here

    Masturbating before sex for PE 

    For some people masturbating an hour or two ahead of sex can help control ejaculation. But make sure you do this in a relaxed environment, as fear of being caught or rushing masturbation can be one of the contributing factors to PE.  

    Therapy for PE 

    Some people might be offered counselling or therapy to help with their PE. This could be on your own, or with your partner. Therapy can help you untangle past relationships and experiences which might be contributing to PE. It can also help you develop coping techniques and strategies for dealing with it in the future.   

    What should I do if these techniques don’t work for me?

    The first thing to remember is not to worry. Premature ejaculation is one of the most common types of sexual dysfunction amongst men, and can be due to multiple factors, including psychological causes. Worrying about your condition, therefore, can increase your emotional stress and this could in turn make your PE worse.

    The best thing to do is try to work out what the root cause of your PE is, enabling you to make a decision about the best way to treat it. If you have tried behavioural techniques and found they haven’t worked, then seeking medical help might be the next best step. 

    Medicine to treat premature ejaculation

    One place to start is consulting a GP or one of clinicians. Here at Online Doctor we can prescribe two treatments for PE. 


    EMLA is a local anaesthetic cream. It's applied direct to the penis and numbs it. This can increase the time between gaining an erection and ejaculating.


    Priligy is a tablet which you can take ahead of having sex. It causes a delayed reaction in the areas of the brain that cause ejaculation.

    Medicines such as Priligy and EMLA do not provide a permanent solution for PE, however using one of them in combination with behavioural techniques may help to provide a longer term solution.


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