He finally did it. He landed himself in-between the sheets of a woman he’s been courting for weeks and can’t wait to flex his sexual skill in the sack. One thing leads to another, the arousal period begins, and clothes are removed with the quickness. Everything’s going well and both partners are heated up and ready to go as the rubber glove gets put in place for protection. Anticipation has built up in his mind for so many weeks picturing what sex with this gorgeous woman would be like for the first time… and under 60 seconds of entering her sacred space, it’s all over.

This scenario happens more often to men than many think. It’s a common assumption that every healthy man can last long in bed if he’s able to “stand at attention” with ease. However, premature ejaculation strikes one in three men at some point within their lifetime. Many men desperately search the Internet to answer why this occurs and how to naturally remedy this problem. Luckily this is a common male sexual issue that can be treated and prevented.

So what exactly is premature ejaculation—or early ejaculation as more “sex positive” individuals like to call it? PE (or EE) is defined as a man ejaculating sooner than he or his partner would like during sexual intercourse. Early ejaculation isn’t a problem if it happens infrequently; there’s no reason to be concerned. But there are three factors that would determine if a man meets the diagnostic criteria for PE.

Always (or nearly always) releasing within the first minute of penetration; having an inability to delay ejaculation during sex most time or nearly all times; or avoiding sexual intimacy because of feeling distressed or frustrated about the issue all diagnose a man with a clinical issue of early release.

The exact cause of EE is unknown. However, doctors have discovered it’s a complex issue involving a combination of psychological and biological factors. Abnormal hormonal levels, abnormal levels of neurotransmitters (brain chemicals that help in the arousal state), inherited traits, abnormal reflex activity of the ejaculatory system, certain thyroid issues and inflammation or infection of the urethra or prostate are all biological factors that can play into the issue of EE.

Anxiety, relationship issues, and even erectile dysfunction are psychological factors that add to EE. One major injustice that many men do to themselves early on in their sexual experiences is the “hurry up and rub one out before I get caught” pattern. Masturbating while anxious about getting caught and hurrying through the experience creates a pattern that can be difficult to break later on. Feeling ashamed about having a release or being shamed over it also places a mental block on many men, making them feel anxious in sexual situations.

Early ejaculation can be classified as lifelong (primary), which means EE is something that’s occurred since the beginning of sexual activity—even during masturbation—or acquired (secondary), which only occurs after having had previous sexual experiences without the issue of releasing too quickly. If EE happens in every sexual situation, it’s time to see a doctor about the issue.

If moments of rapid release come and go, and natural remedies are the focus at hand, here are several ways to prevent the sudden end to a sexual experience that can also help deepen intimacy between partners.

1. Deep Breathing

Rapid breathing is common during sexual activity, but this type of breathing can also trigger a rapid release. Get into a meditating state, reduce the heart rate and relax the mind by practicing deep breathing. Before having sex, both partners can sit face to face and practice deep breathing by taking one long breath, holding it for three seconds and then releasing the breath slowly for five seconds. If this technique can be practiced for five minutes or more, then deep breathing can be used during sex.

2. The squeeze method

This method requires for either partner to squeeze the base of the penis at the onset of feeling a release rising. The idea is to reduce his erection through squeezing. This is a method that men can practice during solo sex and eventually teach their partners to join in to help extend the sexual experience.

3. Start and stop method

This is a technique that begins as a solo exercise and can be used with a partner once mastered alone. During masturbation, the male partner should bring himself as close to an orgasm as possible and then stop right before the climax. After relaxing, he should continue to bring himself closer and closer to an orgasm, stopping himself each time right before he releases. By practicing this method several times alone, a man can learn his “point of no return” (the area of time where an orgasm can’t be stopped). Once mastered, he can practice this technique with his partner in sexual activities that stop just short of intercourse.

4. Kegel exercises

Kegels are beneficial for men just as they are for women. Using this method will strengthen the pelvic region and PC muscle, which can help with controlling ejaculation. The easiest way for a man to find the muscle is for him to stop the flow of urine when he uses the bathroom. (The PC muscle controls this.) Once found, it’s time to whip it into shape by recognizing how the muscle feels, where it’s located, and contracting it.

Kegels are performed by quickly contracting and releasing the PC muscle repeatedly for 10 seconds. Performing three sets with 10-second breaks in-between will help with gaining control over the muscle. By contracting this muscle at the onset of ejaculation, a man can slow things down and prevent early ejaculation from occurring.

Tantric techniques, numbing sprays, climax control condoms and medication options are other ways to combat EE. Further details about these options can be found in this amazing article by leading sex and relationship educator Dr. Laura Berman.

Glamazon Tyomi is a freelance writer, model and sex educator with a deeply rooted passion for spreading the message of sex positivity and encouraging the masses to embrace their sexuality. Her website, www.glamerotica101.com, reaches internationally as a source for advice and information for the sexually active/curious. Follow her on Twitter at @glamazontyomi.