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Lasting Longer

HTHGS: Lasting Longer
Ask Erika
First of all, let me thank you for sparing time to read my problem. You are indeed doing a noble work offering your consultation on web.

I am 42 year man, married for 17 years. My wife is now 36, and we have a daughter 11 years old. Although, generally happy, I feel that I am unable to hold erection for sufficient time. Although my wife has not complained, but I realize that I am unable to satisfy her fully on most occasions. My erection lasts on an average for about 2 minutes. Although, there have been occasions when I could hold it for 10 to 15 minutes. (In mornings, I can hold it for longer) However, that is rare. You may be surprised why I am telling all this now. Well, I have been really shy to share my problem with anyone, and I thought that it perhaps did not affect our married life much. But of late, I have been feeling that my wife expresses her frustration in other small matters which perhaps is due to my inability to satisfy her sexually. Though she insists that she is satisfied with me, but I am not convinced. I feel this because this I know that my erection time is not long and I can't see the type of enjoyment on her part which I have noticed in women in several erotic movies. My wife however enjoys oral sex a lot. I too enjoy kissing her sexual organs. On top of all this, I feel that size of my sex organ is too small. It grows to a length of five inches at the most. I think this is hereditary. We have never indulged in extra marital sex.

No one knows our problem and we have not even discussed this with anyone. My problem hurts me as I feel immensely guilty of not being able to give maximum pleasure to my lovely wife. I think its importance is 10 on 1 to 10 scale. I am opening out at this late stage, as I feel it is never too late and we still have about 10 years of sex life left.We indulge in sex act for about 5 to 6 times in a month now. I am primarily writing to you to please advise me whether
   1) I should consult a doctor at this stage. Whether it is likely to  help?
   2) Whether drug like viagra be helpful?
   3) Whether size of the sex organ matter? If yes, are there drugs to increase its size?
   Yours sincerely and awaiting your reply anxiously,
 Dear AKS,
 Thank you for your question and your honesty. Your concerns are ones that many men share--you are definitely not alone!
Let me first address your statement that you have 10 years of your sex life left. At 42 now, that would put you at about 52 years old.  Sex definitely does NOT end at 52, or at any age! In fact, it is normal and healthy to continue to be sexually active until your 80s, 90s, 100s, and beyond. The activities may not be the same or may not happen in the same way or with the same frequency as when you were younger, but sex definitely does not ever have to end (you already mentioned that you and your wife enjoy activities such as oral sex, which is great!). People tend to live out their belief systems and if you believe that sex stops at a certain age, then that may be the pattern you experience. If you believe that sex continues indefinitely, then that may be the road you take. It is a myth that older people do not have and act on sexual feelings. I encourage you and your wife to continue being sexual with each other far beyond 52--besides, you still have perhaps another 50 years of life and marriage!
Second, it is great that you and your wife have talked about your feelings and level of satisfaction. It can be very difficult for couples to communicate openly about sex and the two of you are already a step ahead on that one. As far as your concern about the length of time of your erections, the best feedback, of course, is from her. There is no "normal" or "right" length of time from erection to ejaculation. Or for penis size, for that matter. The standard is based on the couple and not on an outside standard such as erotic movies. In fact, most commercial erotic videos often set unrealistic standards--the "perfect" bodies, the "perfect" penises, breasts, etc. Many people are tempted to compare themselves to these individuals and behaviors, but know that they do not represent the typical human experience by any measure.
So, talk to your wife because it is your shared experience that matters the most. If you find that you remain "stuck," it may be helpful to talk to a counselor who specializes in sexuality issues.  You can find a certified sex therapist in your area buy going to the website for the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists ( They may be able to give you  information about internationally-based counselors as well.
 To answer your questions specifically:
   1) It may be helpful for you and your wife to speak with a sex counselor or therapist to help work through some of the psychological issues (i.e., guilt, beliefs about sexuality, communication etc) that you mentioned. If early ejaculation is a problem, then this could be  treated as well.
   2) Viagra helps men get erections, not sustain them. It is used in  men for whom erections are not possible for medical reasons (e.g.,  heart disease, circulation problems, etc).
   3) There are no drugs to increase penis size. As I said above, there is no outside standard of "normal." Products that are sold to  increase penis size are not FDA-approved, probably won't work, and may even be harmful. Thanks for your questions,
  HTHGS: Too fast
Ask Erika, 
This is probably something you get a flood of letters about but my situation is a little different, I figured maybe you could help.

Lately anytime my girlfriend and I have any sexual contact it's over before I can blink. (Ok so I am exaggerating a little but that is how its seems. Especially for her.) The strange thing is that this is not normal for me, so it brings some concern to me. I never seemed to reach orgasm this quickly. At first I thought it was just her sexual experience and my inexperience but when we had a rough time and decided to split up to give each other some space I spent some time with an ex-girlfriend with whom I had a very active sex life- same result. Since then my girlfriend and I have reconciled and things are now great, except the sex life. It has gotten so bad that she won't even have sexual intercourse because she knows that I won't be able to give her an Orgasm. So I will usually do it manually or orally (which I don't mind at all !) but I still want to be able to give her all of myself. Mentally, physically, and Meta-physically or spiritual.

We have tried some things such as desensitizing lubricants but this removes all feeling in my pelvic area so it is difficult to feel how far inside of her I am. (we decided that this wasn't a good idea because of various reasons, mostly that she was extremely sore afterward) short of this we haven't been able to come up with any ideas. I'm afraid of losing her because of this. Things are serious between us and I love her very much. 

Any help that you or any of your colleagues could provide would be absolutely invaluable. Thank you for your time in considering this e-mail.

Dear Josh,
Thank you for your question. I hear that you are very concerned and I appreciate that you wrote to ask about it. What you are describing sounds like early ejaculation, a very common problem in which a man feels that he has no control over the timing of his orgasm and ejaculation. Most commonly, men seem to have control over their orgasm/ejaculation (which by the way, are technically separate events that often occur together for most men) during masturbation. It's when they are with a partner, however, that the lack of control comes up. As with any sexual difficulty/dysfunction, it is not just "your" problem--the couple is affected any time one person is experiencing a difficulty.

It's great that you and your girlfriend have been able to find alternative methods for sexual pleasuring; however, it is natural to want to have intercourse. There are some methods you can try as a couple to help you gain control over your orgasm and ejaculation. The first one is called the "squeeze technique." In this method, your partner will stimulate your penis using her hand. Then, when you reach the point where you feel you are going to ejaculate, tell her to stop and she will gently squeeze with her thumb and forefinger right below the glans (tip) of the penis until the feeling subsides. Repeat this to slowly help you (with your partner) regain control over ejaculation. The "stop-start" technique involves a similar process only instead of squeezing right before you are about to ejaculate, you will just stop stimulation until the feeling subsides and then resume. Again, repeat in order to help you regain control. This can also be used during intercourse.

It is important to note that, according to experts, early ejaculation seems to be a learned behavior in which heightened anxiety often plays a role in the loss of control. Thus, it is possible to "unlearn" it and regain control over the process. The above techniques, along with very open and honest communication with your partner, can help you do this.

Finally, because there are often very complicated emotional and psychological aspects involved with sexual difficulties and dysfunctions, as well as relationship issues, it may be helpful to seek counseling from a professional experienced in sexuality issues. Contact the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT) at to find a certified sex counselor or therapist in your area. Good luck and thank you for your question,
Erika Pluhar

This tip was written by Erika Pluhar Ph.D. (c)

* Do you want to try an herbal remedy? Just make sure you tell us if it worked- we have only heard of the product - but have no idea if it is effective
Natural Viagra Alternative


HTHGS:  Difficulty maintaining an erection, (written by Dr. Erika Pluhar)

Ask Erika,
I was about to make love to my girlfriend and couldn't keep it hard. Today I've taken a Clariton D for my allergies, 2 beers and smoked some pot. The beer and pot could not affected me because in the past, I have been able to become erect while intoxicated without a problem. Now I have narrowed the problem down to the Clariton. This is not the first time I have experienced erectile difficulties. This does not occur every time I take Clariton, what should I do? My girlfriend says something about her not being good enough for me but I have never "had" better. She is my first sexual partner so how could it be her? I love everything about her. She has the perfect body and a nice vagina so it could not be her. What should I do about my impotency? I get so frustrated when this happens because it is off and on. It happens just about every other time we have sex. I told her that if I were masturbating I wouldn't have a problem with keeping it up and then she said something about that her not being good enough. I am so confused. Will you please help me? Please reply. Thanks


Dear Confused,

Thank you for your question.  At some point in life, all men will experience trouble getting or maintaining an erection, so don't beat yourself up over it.  However, it can be understandably frustrating for you and your partner.  Reassure your partner that it isn't her. You may wish to share this response with her if she is unconvinced. The chronic condition in which one is unable to get an erection is called erectile dysfunction (this term is preferred over "impotence," which literally means "powerless") and is more common in older (65+) men.  In younger men, not being able to get an erection is often situational (rather than every time) and is usually related to factors such as drinking, smoking cigarettes, using other drugs, anxiety, and other factors.  I have not heard of Clariton D (an antihistimine and decongestant) being related to erectile function.  The alcohol and pot both are likely explanations, even if you haven't had trouble before.  In fact, alcohol is one of the top causes of not being able to get an erection.  I would suggest refraining from both drugs the next couple of times you have sex to see if it makes a difference.  That you say you are able to get hard while masturbation suggests that anxiety may also play a role (i.e., if you are feeling nervous or anxious and are worried that you might not get an erection, this can make you more likely not to get one).  It is not clear from your question, however, whether alcohol and other drugs have been involved when you masturbate. If the problem persists despite not using alcohol and other drugs, I would check with your health care provider to rule out other factors.  But know that it is common for men to have trouble getting an erection at some point in their lives, so you are not alone.

 Best of luck,




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The Founder: "Alex" Caroline Robboy, LCSW, QSW, CAS

Ms. Robboy is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Center for Growth Inc and How To Have Good Sex Inc.  Alex practices marriage and family therapy and sex therapy, and also conducts periodic seminars about human sexuality throughout the northeastern United States.

Ms. Robboy graduated from the University of Pennsylvania where she earned a Masters degree in Social Work, a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Human Sexuality Education and a Post-Masters Certificate in Marriage Counseling & Sex Therapy. Through the American Board of Sexology, she is a board certified sexologist and through the American Association of Sex Educators Counselors and Therapists a certified sex therapist.  Additionally, she is a licensed clinical social worker and a member of the American Board of Marriage and Family Therapy.


  Our Philosophy sex is like dancing, it changes every time. It depends on culture, atmosphere and mood. Sometimes it is done alone, with a partner or in a group. It can be fast and hard or slow and soft. Sex is a combination of non-verbal negotiation and verbal cues: a scream, a twitch of the toes, or a flush of the face. There is no one 'right' way to move, only what feels good to all those involved. 
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