The invention of premature ejaculation

Ejaculatory speed is the main cause of sexological consultation in men of our culture, but did you know that fast ejaculation is a natural biological response?

Males of most species ejaculate very fast. In the animal kingdom a long intercourse would not be adaptive and may even endanger the life of the animal. Here are some examples: A couple of bunnies would be mostly exposed to a possible attack by a predator; a female elephant would be exhausted by having to carry the weight of the male; the lion could be attacked by the female if it takes too long since she may consider him an enemy; and as a last example, in mating season what interests some animals is to copulate and get as many pregnancies as possible, the more kids they have the stronger their species will be, that's what happens with Sir bonobo for example.

And this is the phylogenetic heritage human male have received, for us to ejaculate quickly is neither adaptive nor maladaptive for procreation or for survival, but, like it or not, this is stuck in our genes. So, on average, human male ejaculation, from the start of penetration, naturally ranges between 30 seconds and 2 minutes.

We all are premature ejaculators, take that!!

For thousands of years, 'premature ejaculation' was not a problem. Moreover, until the mid-twentieth century was even evaluated positively.

All this has an explanation.

As years have gone by, concepts of sexuality have changed. Until the mid-twentieth century women's sexuality wasn't taken into account, and when it was recognised it was assumed that males dominated female sexuality. As women weren’t kept in mind, a quick ejaculation wasn’t considered problematic, what mattered was the pleasure of the man, and ejaculating before or after wasn't a problem. In fact, the concept of 'premature ejaculation' didn’t exist.

Let's have a look at some history:

During the nineteenth and part of the twentieth century, sexuality was only justified for the purpose of reproduction within an official marriage (marital debit). Out of these parameters, it was considered a pernicious instinct that had to be avoided and fought against, even looking at your wife with desire was a sin. It was a time when sexual morality was totally dominated by religious orders that promoted fear, darkness, silence and morbidity.

The man was the victim of uncontrollable carnal impulses and he had to defend himself against them, through discipline, to keep his spirit clean. The woman just didn't have any sexuality at all. Her role in the world was to be the belly carrier and the receptacle for the sperm of her children's father. Pure and chaste, silly and without sexual desire, or, on the contrary, bad, whore and sinner.

As we come into the twenty first century, things start to change a little bit, especially for men. Sex is still seen as something negative, but is also highly desired. So, the official discourse was something like “Sex is bad, evil and dirty”, but among friends the tone of the discourse was rude, playful and desirable. The woman is still not seen as sexual, and expect to be respected and loved for her purity. Now men's sexuality is already positive, he is entitled to have desire, but if she does it, she'll be a whore. At this period it gains huge importance the insatiable penis, always erect and ready, at any time, with anyone. Marital sex is demanded by the man and suffered by the woman. The man is an innate predator and all women are seductive preys.

Fast ejaculation is considered an advantage so far, an indicator of virility and manliness. In fact, in 1944, in the famous “Kinsey Report” that studied the sexual behaviour in the human male, the author described “premature ejaculators” as “supermen”, as it was an act of support to reproduction.

After the Second World War there were a few important changes, among them, feminist groups started to demand equality between men and women, and the acceptance of female sexuality as normal, valuable and positive. It is just here when the concept of “premature ejaculation” first appears, and this is where we are today.

Sexuality is now positive for everyone, necessary for couples, it's promoted and promulgated, there are hundreds of books about sexuality and even a discipline called sexology.

The current sexual model has a particular structure with some ideas and inherent values that are not free of prejudices and misconceptions: The woman is now bearer of desire, but she doesn't own it, as it all depends on the skill of the man, depends on how skilful and good of a lover he is. He is the host, the driver of the sexual encounter, responsible for the pleasure of the woman. Her enjoyment depends on him. It's also thought that she is “slower” than him, and takes longer to get aroused and to reach orgasm. What is important is intercourse, the erect penis, and to reach orgasm through penetration, wow! Man is expected to bring woman to orgasm through penetration. For this to happen, it doesn't just have to be a good erection, it also has to last long enough so the woman has time to orgasm before or at the same time as him. Here we end the necessary conditions to introduce the 'problem' of 'premature ejaculation'.

Something is fast regarding to something else. Ejaculation starts to be considered premature in relation to female’s orgasm. In addition, there are a series of misconceptions regarding the mechanism of the female sexual response. We then have a series of contradictory factors that make quick ejaculation a problem.

In summary, early woman's sexuality wasn't taken into account, which is obviously a very negative thing. Now, women's sexuality is taken into account, but the way of thinking about sex in general is still not fully adequate. 

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Liverpool, L2
Written by Eva Nogales, Sex therapist (EN-Sexology)
Liverpool, L2

Eva Nogales. Sex Therapist, Counsellor, Sex Educator, Psychologist.

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