The sooner the better?

Posted on September 16, 2008. Filed under: Sexual issues |

When does a normal function become a medical disorder? When it’s premature ejaculation. There are a myriad of things one could discuss about this phenomenon, most of them controversial, and frequently gender-biased. Just the definition is confusing. Premature? For who? 

The mammalian activity of relatively rapid ejaculation (within one to several thrusts) when mating had been selected for its advantage long before Homo sapiens arrived on the scene. There are a number of imaginable reasons that success went to the quick; among them: not getting killed while having sex. While it is said that all men pay for it one way or another, that price is too high. To my mind, I see no reason to imagine that early hunter-gatherer humans had long bouts of lovemaking, just as modern non-human primates do not, as a rule. I have commented earlier about the lack of evidence for a reproductive role of the female orgasm, and I doubt that Alley Oop brought flowers and practiced foreplay. Actually, I doubt he asked permission. I feel certain that the desire of males to increase ejaculatory latency voluntarily is a relatively recent development, and a social one, that goes against genetic tendencies. In other words, the condition we now call “premature ejaculation” is biologically normal. But this is one area in which almost every man I know prefers to be “abnormal”. At least since Casanova, men have recognized that this is a race in which they are better off not to finish first.

I have some thoughts about this, as you may have anticipated. Consider this:

On different occasions, Man A has intercourse with Woman A, Woman B, and Woman C. In all instances, he ejaculates within thirty seconds of intromission. Woman A hates intercourse, can’t wait for it to be over, fakes an orgasm when Man A ejaculates, and praises his performance. Woman B loves intercourse, has multiple extremely pleasurable orgasms, but requires at at least five minutes of thrusting for the first one to occur. She wants her orgasms to result from intercourse. Woman C has a near-clonic orgasmic seizure at the moment of intromission, and is fully satisfied for the night.

Man A has the identical physical performance in each scenario. What is his diagnosis? Well, it depends on the point of view. 

Female viewpoint:

  • Women A and C say Man A is normal
  • Woman B says he has premature ejaculation. Corollary: Woman B would still say Man A has PE, even if he lasted thirty minutes, so long as it was inadequate for her.

Male viewpoint:

  • Man A judges his performance by the woman’s reaction. Rating: normal with A and C, premature with B (same as the female viewpoint). If retrospectively he discovers Woman A was faking, he changes his rating from normal to premature.
  • Man A judges his performance by the physical pleasure he receives by ejaculating. Rating: normal with all three.
  • Man A judges his performance by whether he lasts at least time T, where T>30 seconds. Rating: premature with all three.

What other physical “disorder” comes and goes (so to speak) according to the attitude of the observer?

And how about this: a man ejaculates in thirty seconds, but remains erect and continues thrusting until the woman is satisfied. PE?

Or, a (very young) man ejaculates in thirty seconds; tries again and lasts a minute; tries again and lasts five minutes; tries again for many minutes and cannot ejaculate at all, but the woman has an orgasm(s) with this last effort. PE?

While clearly going against the gene-grain, the goal of today’s man is to ejaculate when he chooses, rather than having the moment chosen for him. While my blog does not offer medical advice, the marvels of modern Sexual Medicine make it possible for men to be just what they’d like: abnormal.


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I agree completely; your post is much better than any I could have made to express the same sentiment.

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    The director of the Sexual Medicine Center leaves penile implants behind, and launches a quest for knowledge about Artificial Intelligence, extended life, and the issues inside the health-care industry.


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