Mind Over Matter

It is a pity that the rate of separation amongst couples has increased due to sexual dissatisfaction. I recently got a call from a friend whose wife asked for separation on the basis of the husband’s inability of physical love.

Unfortunately, the stress of ‘sexual performance’ is mostly on men. And one of the common issues faced by men is pre-mature ejaculation. This common problem has a common solution- in one’s mind itself!  Before we delve into that-

Let us understand the anatomy: The penis has two chambers called the corpora cavernosa, which run the length of the organ and contain a maze of blood vessels shaped like cavernous spaces (like a sponge).The urethra, or channel for urine and sperm, which runs along the underside of the corpora cavernosa erectile tissue, which surrounds the urethra, two main arteries and several veins and nerves. The shaft, the longest part of the penis; the head (glans), which is at the end of the shaft, the meatus, or opening at the tip of the head where urine and semen are discharged

The erection happens when the blood vessels of the corpora cavernosa relax and open up, blood rushes in through the cavernosus arteries to fill them. The blood then gets trapped under high pressure, creating an erection.

An erection begins with sensory and mental stimulation. During sexual arousal, nerve messages begin to stimulate the penis. Impulses from the brain and local nerves cause the muscles of the corpora cavernosa to relax, allowing blood to flow in and fill the open spaces. The blood creates pressure in the corpora cavernosa, making the penis expand and creating an erection.

Ejaculation is a reflex action controlled by the central nervous system. Sexual stimulation and friction provide the impulses that are delivered to the spinal cord and into the brain. It is triggered when the sexual act reaches a critical level of excitement. It has two phases.

In the first phase, the vas deferens (the tubes that store and transport sperm from the testes) contract to squeeze the sperm toward the base of the penis and the prostate gland and seminal vesicles release secretions to make semen. At this stage, the ejaculation is unstoppable. In the second phase, muscles at the base of penis contract every 0.8 seconds and force the semen out of the penis in up to spurts.

 

Premature ejaculation mostly happens due to the psychological factors. But, I am describing biological factors also for the readers’ benefit.

 Psychological Factors

  • Anxiety about intercourse,
  • Being in a situation in which you hurry towards a climax,
  • Cultural guilt related to sexual pleasure,
  • Erectile dysfunction,
  • New partner,
  • Problems or lack of understanding between you and your partner,
  • Long time since last ejaculation.
  • Injury or trauma.
  • Sexual abuse
  • Guilt
  • Depression
  • One or combination of factors

  Biological Factors

  • Long-standing illness
  • Hormonal problems with the thyroid gland or abnormal levels of sexual hormones in the body,
  • Problems with neurotransmitters in the brain, which therefore fail to carry right signals to the pleasure centers of the brain,
  • Problems with the reflex mechanism of your ejaculatory system,
  • Infection in the urethra or prostate,
  • and
  • Damage to the nervous or sensory system due to either surgery or trauma.
  • Side effects of some drugs.
  • One or combination of factors

There are no physical or biological complications of premature ejaculation. But it might strain your relationships. Many men also find it humiliating due to our social construct. Occasionally, premature ejaculation may cause fertility problems. If you have been ejaculating too often or too prematurely, your sperm count may be low. Ejaculating prematurely may also prevent fertilization from taking place.

What can you do?

Enjoy.. sex is not a race! Premature ejaculation gets better on its own with time and experience. Relax! Look at intercourse as something pleasurable and not a trophy to be won!

 Talk it out- Talk to your partner about your anxieties if it helps. It is ok to not be comfortable and feel stressed. Talking might help you feel ‘lighter’.

You might wish to take therapy from a sex therapist who will undertake a physical examination, talk to you and your partner about your sexual life to understand the root of your sexual problems. You could be prescribed medications along with techniques to delay orgasms. While the therapy ensures that your sexual encounters are stress-free, medications ensure that your hormonal levels are in check and that you are healthy enough to have normal, pleasurable intercourse. While antidepressants and topical anesthetics are used, none of these drugs are medically approved for specifically treating premature ejaculation.

Kick the stress out: One of the best ways is to be happy and stress-free. Keep your “mind” in check. Relaxation techniques like meditation and deep breathing relieve stress and gradually it settles down anxiety of intercourse.

If you have a lot of stress or if you are depressed as well, your doctor may advise cognitive behavior therapy. This is a psychological treatment for you to be more open and less anxious about sex. Counseling and cognitive therapy are usually used in conjunction with drugs like antidepressants or mood enhancers.

 Try the “Start-Stop” Technique. This is by far the simplest technique and can be done alone or with a partner. The technique involves stimulating the penis and stopping just before you feel you are about to ejaculate. Stop the stimulation for 30-60 seconds and start again once you feel that you have regained control. Repeat this process 4-5 times, stopping and “resting” every time you feel that you are about to have an orgasm. Finally, let the ejaculation occur so that you can identify the “point of no-return”

“Squeeze” Technique- works by squeezing the penis in the area between the shaft and the glans (for about 30 seconds), just before you are about to ejaculate. This stops the ejaculation, but may affect your erection, at least until you are stimulated again. You should then repeat this process 4-5 times until you decide not to delay orgasm anymore. To be effective, this method has to be used for several months and it requires great perseverance from the man and his partner. The idea behind the “squeeze” technique is that, after a while, you are able to recognize the “point of no return” and may be able to delay future ejaculations.

Ayurveda prescribes gentle message of the penis with 1 ounce of sesame oil, 5 to 10 drops of mustard oil 1 hour before intercourse. Wash it off thoroughly before intercourse.  You can also use medicated ghees like brahmi ghee, shatavari or ashwagandha ghee to message the pubic bone and the glans penis before making love.

 

Yoga Asanas as answers!

Matsayasan- Fish pose Helps improve posture, strengthens the upper back and back of the neck muscles, stimulates and stretches belly and front of the neck muscles.                                       

 Vajrasan relieves stress and tones the body.

                                                                                                                       

Bow Pose stimulates the spine, expands the shoulders and chest, strengthens the lower back, hip’s gluteus, hip flexors and hamstrings. It helps strengthen the low back musculature which plays an important role during intercourse. This pose can stimulate organs of the neck and tone the abdominal organs

 

Ustrasana- Camel Pose helps improve the posture, strengthens the back muscles and stretches the hip, groins, ankles, chest, abdomen and the entire front body

 

For optimal results take deep 5 breaths in each asana. These asanas are not only effective in premature ejaculation but are also known to increase the libido.

There are numerous reasons for premature ejaculation and the most common of these being the cluttered mind. The issue is over once you gain confidence. Hopefully, the above-given techniques will be of help to you all.

 

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