Premature ejaculation: is it all "in your mind"?
If we have some trouble around sex, it's quite unlikely that we would talk about it. All sorts of sexual issues, such a ejaculating too early, not ejaculating at all or not having a sufficient erection are often kept secret, as we might feel embarrassed or inappropriate about it. However, all these things are much more common then we might think, and it is a shame to keep suffering in silence. Often, the problem is much easier and quicker to solve than we assume.
Premature ejaculation, when a man reaches orgasm too soon, is often caused by a small thing which is becoming a big problem through a vicious circle. This is similar to how insomnia can develop: someone is under stress at a particular moment (perhaps lost a loved one or has financial problems), and cannot fall asleep. The lack of sleep makes the next day more difficult to cope with, so the following evening the person really hopes to be able to fall asleep and thinks: "I must fall asleep now! Tomorrow is another hard day, I must not be tired!" Such thinking, of course, only creates more stress and makes it significantly harder to fall asleep. In an unlucky case scenario, this can lead to another sleepless night ... and yet another ...
Similarly, someone might have experienced premature ejaculation once, perhaps due to stress. (It's important to remember that stress doesn't necessarily mean something bad, even positive feelings, such as great attraction or feeling positively challenged can cause stress. Psychologists call this eustress. In the long run, however, both "good" and "bad" stress can have the negative effects of chronic stress.) If someone experiences premature ejaculation once, that can set a negative expectation for the next time: "Oh, I hope I won't fire too early again!" Similarly to the anxiety of not being able to fall asleep, this can create another stressful event, another early climax, and even more anxiety for next time. One is caught in a vicious circle, from which it is hard to escape. Or is it?
In the 1970s Herbert Benson, a doctor from Harvard discovered that a certain mental attitude can trigger the relaxation response in the body. This attitude involves being passively observant, yet focusing. Once the relaxation response is triggered in the body, stress disappears, for relaxation and stress response can never co-exist (in the same way as a cup of the cannot be hot and cold at the same time).
Hypnotherapy is the ideal way to trigger the relaxation response, which doesn't even require any deep trance state.
Once the relaxed state is achieved, thoughts and feelings about ejaculating too early can be reprogrammed. The "trick" is to take thoughts and feelings from one area of life, which works well, and transfer it to the problematic area. For example, a highly successful, but also highly stressed businessman (a group vulnerable to suffering from premature ejaculation) can feel very calm while playing golf or confident while negotiating. The brain can be taught to transfer the feelings of calm and confidence into a sexual situation, and thereby remain in control.
Another important factor is breathing. From ancient times, breathing techniques have been used to change one's bodily reactions, and they can indeed be used to reduce stress and thereby even last longer in bed.
At this point you might think, this sounds all good, but how much gain is there if I constantly have to monitor my thoughts and even breathing patterns while wanting to enjoy those special moments in life? Rest assured, you would only need to use these techniques at the beginning, until your body forms new habits. Once back on track, the most natural thing in the world will become totally natural again...
About the author
Viktoria G Duda, Ph.D. is a hypnotherapist, trainer and author. Over years, she has developed an approach to therapy which addresses aspects of mind as well as body and our spiritual dimensions.
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Carrie BarberNovember 25th, 2016