Talking to the partner
“I realise I can’t say anything because he’s feeling inadequate”. (Revicki V, 2008)
The response of the woman to Premature Ejaculation (PE) of her partner changes over time: initially, a woman can avoid raising the problem for fear of hurting the man’s feelings and/or of increasing his feelings of inadequacy. This can lead to a ‘collusion of silence’, where neither partner is willing to talk about the problem. Later, she may raise the issue but finds the man denying that there is a problem or reluctant to discuss the issue of PE, which can result in feelings of frustration, anger and contempt towards the man. If left untreated, the situation can lead to increased irritability, interpersonal difficulties and the deepening of an emotional rift. The man perceives moaning while the woman perceives indifference.
Only a doctor can identify and accurately diagnose a possible condition of PE, and if necessary prescribe the appropriate treatment. As even just talking about this sexual dysfunction can sometimes be a problem, only 9% of men with PE actually seek professional advice from a doctor.
A woman, who shares the burden of PE may also contribute to the solution. The role of women, in fact, is essential, and can facilitate the realisation of the problem by the partner and together they can seek a solution. It is often thanks to women that men go to see a doctor. This is the only way to diagnose the problem properly, find the cause and, if necessary, give effective therapy to treat it. It is essential that any man suffering with PE strives to "break the ice", knowing that his doctor will understand and advise him.
There are some tools that may help men with PE and their partner to obtain a more objective evaluation for example the PEDT test (please notice that PEDT doesn’t substitute doctor’s diagnosis), that could also be useful as a starting point in the conversation with a doctor.
See more and try the PEDT test
While some men wish to hide their condition, studies have shown that couples who communicate openly and honestly about male sexual dysfunction have the best chance of dealing with the issue effectively. Men who involve their partners often discover that they are just as interested in sexual intimacy and are willing to give their support. This makes it easier for couples to do something about the problem together.
A woman can talk to her partner gently, helping him to become aware of the problem. She plays a fundamental role by supporting her partner, who needs to realise that the problem can be resolved by going to see a doctor together.
Some advice: it’s important to help the couple understand that making love is more than increasing “intercourse time”. This time is necessary, but is not a sufficient condition for a really rewarding sexual experience! Learning to extend their “love map” and sharing exciting growth in terms of erotic skills may help the couple to move from the minimalistic “time related performance perspective” to a more varied, rich and rewarding sexual repertoire. This is why the perfect therapeutic approach to PE implies lifestyle changes, psychosexual advice to the couple (the female partner may also need help for independent problems or concerns!) and appropriate drugs, when indicated.
- Revicki V et al. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes 2008;6:33.
- Graziottin A. Althof S. The Journal of Sexual Medicine 2011; 8 Suppl 4: 304-309.
- Porst H et al. Eur Urol 2007;51(3) 816-824.