My girlfriend and I are waiting until marriage to have sex. Should I be worried about premature ejaculation?

Samantha Lee/Insider

Crystal Cox/Insider; Samantha Lee/Insider

  • Premature ejaculation affects 1 in 3 men, so I understand your concerns.
  • At the same time, there's no evidence that abstaining from sex until marriage causes chronic premature ejaculation. Although you might not last long your first time, you should be OK as you start to have sex more frequently.
  • If you start to experience regular problems, however, there are products and medications that could help.
  • Have a question for Julia? Fill out this anonymous form. All questions will be published anonymously. You can read more Doing It Right here.
Advertisement

I'm very religious and have a strong faith. Because of that, my girlfriend and I decided to wait until we're married to have sex.

When I shared this belief with my friends in high school and college, they would always say, 'Man, you won't last very long.'
Advertisement
I understand that I probably won't last long the first time I have sex because I'm not used to it, but I'm wondering if my abstinence could make premature ejaculation a chronic issue for me. Should I be concerned?

- Ohio

Dear Ohio,
Advertisement

First, I'm impressed with your steadfastness in sticking to your beliefs despite your friends' comments.

Though there is some truth to their words — men who don't have sex frequently, or who haven't had penetrative sex before will ejaculate earlier — it doesn't mean it will be a chronic problem in your life. Stress is one factor that can cause premature ejaculation, according to the Mayo Clinic, and as you may imagine, your first time having sex might be stressful because it's a new experience. Poor body image, depression, and erectile dysfunction can also cause premature ejaculation.
Advertisement

But as you continue to have sex with your future wife, premature ejaculation should become a non-issue. That's because having sex more frequently can help your penis get used to the sensation of arousal over time.

In fact, a March 2018 study in the Asian Journal and Andrology found that sexual abstinence wasn't linked to chronic premature ejaculation in men.

But if you're still worried that chronic premature ejaculation could affect you, I understand your concern. In fact, an estimated 1 in 3 men have dealt with premature ejaculation at some point in their lives, so the problem is somewhat common.
Advertisement

If you were to experience chronic problems with ejaculation, I want you to know that it doesn't mean your sex life has to suffer.

People who experience premature ejaculation can try various products, medications, and techniques to delay when they come, New York City-based urologist Seth Cohen previously told me.

Cohen said sprays and condoms that desensitize your penis are a good place to start. He suggested the brands Promescent and Roman.
Advertisement
There are also medications that can be used off-label to treat the problem. Cohen said SSRIs like Prozac, which are commonly used to treat depression, can also send a signal to your penis to hold out a bit longer.

"We only learned this because hundreds of thousands of men who take SSRIs complain it's difficult for them to ejaculate at all," Cohen said.

You have to take an SSRI daily for it to work, so if you're not good at remembering to take medications, this might not be the best option for you.
Advertisement

But before you try any of these products, I suggest you enjoy your relationship as it is, and wait until you experience sex to worry about what could happen next. After all, the best sex happens when you and your partner are both living in the moment together.

As Insider's resident sex and relationships reporter, Julia Naftulin is here to answer all of your questions about dating, love, and doing it — no question is too weird or taboo. Julia regularly consults a panel of health experts including relationship therapists, gynecologists, and urologists to get science-backed answers to your burning questions, with a personal twist. Have a question? Fill out this anonymous form. All questions will be published anonymously.
Advertisement
{{}}