What is the role of performance anxiety in acquired premature ejaculation (PE)?

Updated: Jan 15, 2019
  • Author: Samuel G Deem, DO; Chief Editor: Edward David Kim, MD, FACS  more...
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With regard to acquired premature ejaculation, some type of performance anxiety is often a major factor.

Performance pressure (ie, fear of failure to satisfy the partner) can arise from various precipitating events. Erectile dysfunction is one of the more common events of this type. Fear that an erection will not last may precipitate premature ejaculation. In such cases, the patient may say that the early climax was the result of being extremely excited by his partner, in an effort to avoid admitting that he was unable to maintain his erection throughout intercourse.

Often, however, the situation is more complex. Erectile dysfunction may not be involved, and the key factor may be, for instance, a belittling attitude on the part of the partner. In addition, a female partner actually may have difficulty achieving climax through intercourse and may require direct clitoral stimulation to experience an orgasm. If she does not communicate this to the male partner (and she may conceal it because of feelings about her own inadequacy), coital satisfaction is unlikely.

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