What Is the Difference Between Premature Ejaculation and Erectile Dysfunction?

And how do I deal?

Image by Marcy Gooberman

Image by Marcy Gooberman

PE and ED stand for premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction respectively, and it happens to people with penises.

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What is Premature Ejaculation?

The most common type of ejaculation difficulty is premature ejaculation (PE). It happens when a person’s ejaculation occurs rapidly, much faster than what is desired by the individual or their partner. PE is also known as rapid ejaculation, rapid climax, premature climax or early ejaculation (EE).

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What is Erectile Dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction is a common health problem characterized by the consistent inability to sustain an erection sufficient for sexual intercourse or the inability to achieve ejaculation, or both. This problem can be occasional, as well as periodical. Any diseases that affect blood flow such as hypertension, high blood pressure can cause ED.

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What can be done?

These are some general things you could do which will help you regardless:

1. Do your Kegels.

Kegel exercises strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and reinforce your neuro-bio (mind-body) connection. These are the same muscles you use to stop the flow of urine while you’re urinating. You can do the squeezes (when your bladder is empty, of course) anywhere at any time — whether you’re sitting at a desk, queuing, or on public transport. Kegels can help you increase your awareness of your sexual response. This pelvic floor squeezing can return a feeling of control when you are approaching the edge of ejaculation or ‘point of no return’. In addition, stronger pelvic muscles and mind-body connections increase connection and confidence around erection as well. Of course, this method will not necessarily work for everyone (the same goes for people with vaginas).

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2. Stop-Start Method.

When you feel you are about to come during sex or masturbation, slow down, stop your hand movement, and/or think of something else. After two or three minutes your arousal should have dropped, so you can then return to what you were doing — but take it slowly. These practices will support in learning to slow down or withdraw altogether from your partner. It is easier to master this technique by yourself when masturbating. Note: It is much harder to do this while watching porn, as the above instructions require you to be present in your body and notice your internal sensations.

3. Use Lube.

There is a link between ejaculation control and erection confidence. You can incorporate the use of lubricant into your self-practice and further your mastery of the stop-start method. Check out the tabú guide to lubes to decide which lubricant is right for you. Should you choose an oil-based lubricant, remember that it is not safe for use with condoms, and not recommended for use during vaginal penetration.

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4. Communicate.

Discuss openly and honestly with your partner about sexual desires and needs. You might be surprised that a distressing condition for you may genuinely be a non-issue for your partner. If this is a goal you wish to work on for your own sexual fulfillment, ask directly for how and in what ways you would like support. One way to take pressure off you is by agreeing to engage in other kinds of sexual activity, such as the use of sex toys or oral sex.

5. Get professional support.

For both PE and ED, besides oral medication, treatment options include mechanical devices, behavioral training as well as couples coaching.

You can seek professional help that doesn’t rely on pharmaceuticals, preferably a trained pelvic floor physical therapist and/or sexologist who will coach you through the different options.

Image source: GIPHY


Dr. Martha Lee is Founder and Clinical Sexologist of Eros Coaching. She is a certified sexologist with a Doctorate in Human Sexuality. She provides sexuality and intimacy coaching for individuals and couples, conducts sexual education workshops and speaks at public events. For more, visit www.eroscoaching.com or email drmarthalee@eroscoaching.com.