Getting into Bed Support Clean Sheets: Visit the Bookstore

Keeping a Good Thing Going

by Kristine Hawes

Prolonging the Pleasure
Sex is a great team sport, boys and girls. It can be done solo (and quite well!) but there's something special about sharing your body with another person. We have intimate, sexual encounters to make ourselves and our partners feel great. This isn't just a physical "great" -- it's a mental "great", too. Both people have to take responsibility in making it be the best it can be. It's not a free-for-all -- it's an ALL-FOR-ALL.

Most people want to make a sexual encounter last as long as possible; however, for men, this is not always an easy thing to do. When the scene gets going, the petting gets heavy, and resolve gets firm, it's very difficult for some men to control ejaculation. Some people call it "premature ejaculation". That is a horrid term. It implies that something is wrong with the man, that there is some preordained, minimum time that the man must achieve. It's even refered to as "the man's little problem". Quaint, but why perpetuate the situation by calling it a problem? In my experience, it's something that can be rectified with a little work on the part of both partners.

We need to start with the assumption that both partners feel comfortable discussing sex, anatomy, and other factors relating to bedroom activities. Both partners also must have a willingness to change the current game plan. Gentleness and compassion, mixed with patience and communication, go a long way to making great sex.

Some men will orgasm even if they haven't been physically touched. Now, there are some women who think this is flattery of the best kind; however, this doesn't do anything positive for the male ego and it does less for a woman's own sexual drive. Men who ejaculate quickly may feel inadequate and often have very little self-esteem. Women may become frustrated and expect more from their partners, thus perpetuating the downward spiral of unsatisfying sex. The key here is sensitivity and compassion. In some cases, especially if the man hasn't had sex for a long period of time, he's going to be extremely sensitive to your touch, or even the IDEA of your touch. You may be ready to go and he may have a stomach full of fear. Go slow. Enjoy taking the time. Once you know how sensitive a man is (or isn't), you can work from there.

Ask him where he's most sensitive. Ask him what turns him on and what doesn't. Then stay away from the hot spots. Yes, STAY AWAY -- at least for the first few sexual encounters. It might feel good to him for a brief, shining moment but the idea here is to sustain pleasure -- both yours and his. If you know that the touch of your tongue on the underside of his glans is going to send him off, and you want him to be able to continue, don't do it. Wait.

In some cases, especially if it's been a while since he's had sex, it might be good just to get it out of the way: that is, just go with the hormones the first time. It leads the way for you to be able to work without pressure.

During this time, you're going to have to do some experimenting on your own. He may not be able to communicate clearly what his hot buttons are. He may feel differently with you than he did with his last partner. Now it's up to you. Use your tongue, your hands, your body, and genitals: see what brings him to edge quickly. Don't focus on making him come -- focus on dragging out the sensations of pleasure. Does he like his balls licked? Does he begin breathing hard and thrusting his hips? Then STOP! You've found the trigger point. You can then go to another part of his body, like the inside of his thigh. Let him anticipate you touching his balls. Don't. Wait. Go back to them after a breather. You may find that he's more sensitive or you may find he's less. Pocket the information. This is part of the repertoire you will use as your work towards sustaining your sexual encounters.

There are some common spots that are the most sensitive in men: the underside of the shaft to the base, the ridge of the head (if they've been circumcised), the base of the penis if encircled with a mouth, anus, or vagina, and the very tip of the penis. These spots vary from one man to another. Some men can handle prolonged sucking on the head of their penis yet come in an instant when someone deep-throats them. Others could have their balls licked for hours and come at the first hint of a lick on the tip. For some, intercourse could last for hours but fellatio is another matter. Every man is different. It might help you to try some of the same techniques you used on your last partner. If they don't work, alter them slightly: see if using the flat part of your tongue will be less sensitive than licking with the tip. In some cases, it won't take much to send him flying.

One key time when men lose control is when they enter someone. The combination of heat, wetness, and a firm grip are enough to send some men right off the edge. If you know your partner is sensitive, take it slow. Enjoy the sensations of a slow entrance. Don't expect the great, hold-my-hips pounding right off. Three strokes and it could be all over. Instead, focus on how it feels to have him inside you. Is it tight? Loose? Hard? Warm? How does he move? Does he savor the sensation, too? That initial contact can be incredible if you take the time to taste all of it.

When he is inside, and you're moving, listen/feel/watch his reactions. We all know that body language is the great communication device but we forget about it in bed. If the man you're with is the strong, silent type, you'll have to rely on his face, his moans, and his body movements to determine whether or not something is too much. Don't be afraid to ask. While some men have difficulties with their partners talking, most will find it a relief to be asked how THEY feel.

Some men will actually tell you, at the moment of truth, that they can't move fast or hard or they will come. "Wait, don't move, if you do, I'll come." This is great because it gives you the chance to manage the process, so to speak. If he's talking to you while you're in bed, this gives you the opportunity to try things out and know when he's about to come.

There are certain ejaculation control techniques that you can do together. One technique is called "the grip". If you're in the position to use your hands, and your partner is about to orgasm, tightly grip the base of the penis with your entire hand. Don't stroke him, squeeze him, or move in any other way -- simply grip him firmly until he indicates that he is not going to orgasm. This could take several very long seconds. This seems to suspend the whole orgasmic process and allow you to continue on the plateau were it began.

Another technique is massaging the prostate. In many men, this is an area of intense pleasure; however, by pressing on the area between the base of the testicles and the anus (as the man is near climaxing), you can cause a "hiccup" in the process. This "hiccup" stops the orgasm mid-stream (so to speak) and allows the man more control. It may take some time to find the exact spot where this works, so don't give up! For men who enjoy anal play, the prostate is also easily massaged through the anal wall. Insert your (lubed) finger and curve it toward the front of his body. By stretching slightly, you will find a firm, spongy area. Press down, lightly at first and then harder as you and he feel comfortable. In some cases, the man might climax as a result of this internal massage; keep trying different locations and times -- you will probably stumble on the one that helps him achieve the best orgasmic control.

During intercourse, some men find it optimal to be in a position where they can control the thrusting. Vary your positions and try something different. If he comes very quickly when he's entering from behind, have him move to the "missionary" position, or you move on top of him. This can even be done anally. Don't be afraid to try something new -- you may stumble on the perfect position for you both.

For penile/vaginal or penile/anal intercourse, it might be very helpful for the partner being penetrated to absolutely stop moving when the man is trying to control his orgasm. Some men have found the technique of "swallowing their orgasm" to help. By using abdominal and pelvic muscles, they are able to "swallow" the impending climax. When this "swallowing" is happening, it is best for the partner to be totally still. Some men, after practice, are able to "swallow" without worrying about their partner moving; however, for most men who have learned to "swallow", it is easier on them if their partner can hold off his/her movement until the moment of truth has passed.

Tantric massage is also great for helping your partner become aware of his body and its workings. Tantric massage focuses on the energies involved in pleasuring the body, not the actual ejaculation process. A very good site on Tantric sexual practices is at http://www.tantra.com. Another site, specifically about lingam (penis) massage is: http://www.tantra.org/lingam.html. This technique has been used for centuries, and by thousands of people, with great success. By bringing the man close to orgasm, backing off, and doing it again, you are able to help him monitor how his body works and get a handle on controlling it. A great many books have been written about tantric massage and sex rituals: this might be one course you and your partner are willing to follow.

If all else fails, take a break. Don't be afraid to slow down, stop, hug, lie together, and just relax. In order to break the idea of "premature ejaculation", you need to let go of the idea that sex is a beginning-to-end event. Even if your partner is not having difficulties with ejaculation, taking a break can be a good way of breaking up tension and sustaining the sexual experience. Have your partner focus on your orgasm -- fingers, hands, toes, tongue, toys -- whatever works. Trade off, so to speak. It will give him a chance to figure out how your body works. He might find something that will help him better understand his own sexual process.

The bottom line is open, honest communication. Relax. Sex is one of those incredible experiences that we get to share with another person. If we take the time to explore each other, we find our own sexual experience is enhanced. By helping him achieve new heights, you're just liable to find some new ones of your own.

©1999 by Kristine Hawes

In the coming months (or maybe years, who knows?) we hope to travel many byways of sex and sexuality. Whether the sex is gay, straight, or other, our main purpose will be to explore some of the ways to add excitement to sex and relationships. We don't claim to know everything, but we'll do our best to find the people who do have answers for you (or sometimes we'll just tell you what we think). You can join in too -- send us your ideas, questions, opinions, and perspectives to howto@cleansheets.com.

-- Jaie Helier and H.L. Shaw

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