Couple of years ago, I met a guy at my local bar, and as soon as I beat him at eight-ball, he said he liked my eyes. We went to his place and stumbled quickly into bed, and after he slipped something on, we got down to business. He squirmed a little as he entered, and I noticed that it was very small. Being polite, I didn’t say anything, and we were still fumbling at it fifteen minutes later when I said, “Too many beers?”
He shook his head mournfully. “It’s just the opposite. It already happened.”
“Like almost instantaneously. I’m sorry.” As bad as I felt for him, I didn’t mind stopping, since I wasn’t close myself. (One-night stands always work better in theory than in practice.) I understood his shame, but at the same time, I envied him. As a woman, I just couldn’t see how coming early could ever be a bad thing.
There are a lot of guys like my eight-baller—in a recent NYU Medical Center survey presented to the American Urological Association, 32 percent of men characterized themselves as premature ejaculation pills. In the past, PE sufferers resorted to slowing things down through sexual techniques, drinking heavily, applying numbing solutions like ManDelay, or picturing Rosie O’Donnell naked. In recent years, depressed guys learned that selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) could delay orgasm—a negative side effect for some, but positive for premature ejaculators. Now Johnson & Johnson is developing a treatment for PE that may be available as early as 2006: dapoxetine, a fast-acting SSRI. Some premature ejaculators are eager to take the drug. But others say they’ve learned to live with their problem, finding that their “dysfunction” has opened them up to a more nuanced view of what constitutes mutually satisfying sex.