Questions Men Frequently Ask About Sex

Men worry most about penis size and cumming too quickly.

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When you write about sex, as I do, two questions men frequently want to be answered appear in your inbox: 1. How big is the average dick? 2. What is the average length of time it takes to cum?

We can divide the question about cumming into two issues: In general, young men want to slow it down, and older men want to speed it up.

Take as an example, this note I received [edited for clarity]:

I am in my early forties, and I’ve never had sex except to masturbate. Is it normal to cum too fast? I cum in about five minutes. What is the average size of a dick if you don’t mind my asking? I am just admitting I am gay, and I get nervous around guys because I get aroused quickly.

Men are fascinated by their penises. Nothing brings them so much joy; few things produce more anxiety.

Penis size

I was a Flight Surgeon in the U. S. Navy, and for much of that time, I performed flight physicals on mostly healthy young men. I’ve seen a lot of penises, and I can tell you this: There are fewer differences in bodies than there are in the way men perceive them.

Locker rooms are fascinating places to research penis size. Men try to avert their eyes, but at the same time, they covertly scan the competition.

“Show-ers,” made confident by their impressive size, strut around exposed, while “growers” hasten to get into their underwear.

The basics:

  1. The average length of a soft penis is 3–4 inches.
  2. The average length of an erect penis is 5–7 inches.
  3. More variation exists in the size of flaccid penises than in erect penises.
  4. Ethnic variations exist.
  5. Experts consider a penis to be abnormally small if it measures less than three inches when fully erect.
  6. Men worry more about penis size than women.
  7. Size matters, but extraordinarily large penises have their problems, too.

Skinny guys simply have more that shows.

How to measure your penis:

Your penis begins at your pelvic bone, not on the skin’s surface, but the part of the penis from the pelvic bone to the skin’s surface is not visible.

Men who have a significant amount of belly fat usually appear to have a smaller penis than they have.

So, place your finger on the top of the penis at its base. Push your finger through any fat you have until you reach the bone of the pelvis.

For some of us, this is no small task.

Measure from the bone to the tip of your penis. That’s the actual length of your dick.

This piece of information may have just added inches to the size of your appendage. You’re welcome.

Sex is not a performance.

Ejaculation problems and solutions

Men are often hesitant to bring up concerns about cumming. First, they are worried about discussing it for fear they don’t know the proper words. Second, they are embarrassed even to think they have questions about it.

I don’t like the term “sexual performance.” Are we expecting a standing ovation? Sex is not a performance.

Three principal problems relate to ejaculation:

  1. Premature ejaculation
  2. Delayed ejaculation
  3. Retrograde ejaculation

Premature ejaculation

Premature ejaculation is when a guy cums too quickly during sexual activity. The average time to ejaculate during vigorous intercourse is about 5 1/2 minutes. An individual or a couple must decide if that is too long or not long enough.

No universal rule dictates what is too fast or too slow.

You do not have a problem with premature ejaculation unless you cum too quickly more than half of the time you have sex.

Some men brag that they can edge for hours without cumming. Wake me up when you finish!

When sexual excitement is high, and hormones are surging, ejaculation may not take long at all. The good news is that if interest remains strong and recovery time is short, a second-round will take longer.

Some think older men make better lovers because the ejaculatory process naturally takes longer.

Physical causes of ejaculatory difficulty:

  • Prostate problems
  • Overactive or underactive thyroid problems
  • Recreational drugs

The list of psychological problems is longer:

  • Depression and anxiety
  • Stress
  • A new relationship or relationship problems
  • Prior problems of sexual functioning
  • Early sexual experience, including sexual trauma
  • Religious or cultural beliefs about sex

You can learn to delay ejaculation.

You can do several things to slow down the problems with premature ejaculation::

  • Masturbate a couple of hours before a planned sexual event.
  • Wear a thick condom.
  • Tell your partner to slow down when you feel close to cumming.
  • Distract yourself by thinking of something unpleasant or dull.
  • “Squeeze technique” — While your partner is masturbating you when you begin to have a feeling of ejaculation urgency, have your partner squeeze the head of your penis for 10–20 seconds. (Or sing “Happy Birthday three times.) Wait another thirty seconds before resuming sexual activity. A couple can repeat this technique several times before they allow him to ejaculate.
  • “Stop and go” — As you edge closer to cumming, take a break (A game of Yahtzee?) before a return to more intense lovemaking.

These techniques may require practice to be effective.


Several medications taken for depression may delay or even inhibit ejaculation. This side-effect can create problems for those who need these medications, but it may have potential benefits for others.

The most commonly prescribed antidepressants are called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). The most recognized names are Paxil (paroxetine), Zoloft (sertraline), and Prozac (fluoxetine).

Even when prescribed in low dosages, these medications may help delay ejaculation, but you may need to take them for 1–2 weeks before they have any effect. Sometimes the results are more immediate.

All medications have potential side effects; review them with your doctor.


One report suggested that Viagra (sildenafil) was more effective in treating premature ejaculation than paroxetine or the squeeze technique, but others found this research flawed.

Delayed ejaculation

Experts define delayed ejaculation as an unwanted delay of 30–60 minutes, or an inability to ejaculate over half the times you have sex.

Both physical and psychological factors may be responsible.

Psychological problems:

  • Sexual trauma
  • Strict upbringing
  • Relationship problems
  • Stress or depression

Physical problems:

  • Diabetes
  • Neurological — spinal cord injury, MS, bladder or prostate surgery
  • Increasing age
  • Medications — antidepressants, antihypertensives (blood pressure), beta-blockers, antipsychotics, muscle relaxants, pain killers

If you struggle with delayed ejaculations, first consult your physician to see if physical problems are responsible. (In speaking with him or her, don’t be intimidated if you don’t know the formal terms; you won’t shock them if you use the words you’re more familiar with.)

Once you have eliminated physical explanations, you may wish to consult a psychotherapist or sex therapist concerning possible psychological solutions.

Try these at home

Although not for everyone, these may help some couples:

  • Erotic videos
  • Erotic fantasies and role-playing
  • Lubricants and lotions
  • Sex toys

Alcohol and drugs

Alcohol and drugs may serve as a social lubricant and can reduce inhibitions, but they can also result in difficulties with ejaculation.

Retrograde ejaculation

Retrograde ejaculation happens when semen travels backward into the bladder instead of out through the penis. Ejaculation expels little or no semen.

Men with retrograde ejaculation still experience the sensation of an orgasm, and the condition does not pose a danger to health. But sometimes the lack of physical evidence disappoints.

Prostate gland or bladder surgery are the most common causes of retrograde ejaculation. Other reasons are diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and medications used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension).

Involve your partner

If you have problems with your sex life, involve your partner and talk with him or her about your concerns. They have an investment in a solution, too.

A willing and cooperative partner can help to resolve many of the problems.

On the other hand, when a partner’s cooperation feels too much like a demand, it can be counterproductive. Your partner may also have problems that contribute to difficulties with your sex life.

The whole purpose of sex is pleasure and procreation. If you worry because it doesn’t meet your expectations, that will almost always compound the problem.

Put some fun back into your sex life. If you’re approaching sex to prove what kind of man you are, you’re likely to have difficulty. Talk with your physician, and don’t worry about the words you use; he or she will know the same terms you use.

Sex should be about giving and receiving pleasure.

Disclaimer: This information is not medical advice. Is provided to allow for informed decision making. It is not a promotion of any medication. You should always consult your primary care physician.

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Written by

Gay father; Psychiatrist; Award-winning author FINALLY OUT. Chapter excerpt here: Top writer on Medium. Not medical advice.

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