They say to have a better future you must first understand the past. This is true in many cases and, for the medical community, looking to e past often inspired new understanding and treatment options for a variety of conditions. In the case of premature ejaculation, researchers have been delving into the history of this condition in order to develop new approaches for the future.
A Historical View of Premature ejaculation
Ejaculation in general s addressed in many mainstream religious texts. In the Bible, men are instructed to “Be fruitful, and multiply and replenish the earth” in reference to semen. When one man, Onan, disobeyed this law by not ejaculating in his wife, he was punished. In fact, today the word Onaninsm is defined as the act of interrupting sex to ejaculate elsewhere or simply masturbation. The Hindu religion, meanwhile, has Shiva, a god with the power to both destroy and create. Shiva is often depicted with an erect phallus and is shown to hold back his seed, or his power. In the Indian culture, semen is seen as being especially powerful. In one of their religious books called the Atharvaved it is said that it takes 1090 drops of blood to create even a single drop of semen.
So ejaculate has been seen as being powerful throughout history. As a result, it’s no wonder that problems with ejaculating can be emasculating to men, even if they don’t personally subscribe to these religions. It’s a perception that permeates cultures – even today.
The Kama Sutra, the Public and Sex
The Kama Sutra was written sometimes between the first and fourth centuries AD but remained relatively unknown until the mid-1960s when it was more widely published in the west. In truth, much of the Kama Sutra is a lifestyle guide for bachelors during that time in history. The first half of the book is filled with tips on freshening your breath, looking your best and essentially the earliest forms of ‘peacocking’. But it’s the second half that has always been so alluring to the public thanks to its incredibly frank and overly optimistic sex advice. While the positions is promotes may seem more like a dare than simple instruction, it does touch on various aspects of sexuality, including premature ejaculation. ““If a male be long-timed”, it says, “the female loves him the more, but if he be short timed, she is dissatisfied with him”.
So it’s clear that sexual performance and endurance have always been an important part of sexuality and masculinity. So what does this mean for men who have struggled with premature ejaculation throughout history?
While once seen as simply a personal failing, researchers have learned over the years that the condition can be triggered by a litany of issues ranging from nutrition and overall health to stress, anger and emotional distress. Sometimes there isn’t even an explanation for it – it simply happens. Evolutionary biologists point out that many mammals ejaculate quickly and that the condition may be a leftover of evolutionary design, albeit an unpleasant one.
As a result, a number of treatments have evolved over the centuries, many of which are still in use today and have become the basis of modern treatment plans for men struggling with the condition.
• Sensate Focus – This method requires that men focus on sensations other than sex in order to prevent orgasm. It can be difficult to master but is meant to help redirect their attention and prevent them from becoming over stimulated.
• Stop-Start – Just as it sounds, this technique is essentially just withdrawing and changing positions often during sex. Many men swear by this particular technique as it gives them a chance to take a break and regain control while also showing off their skill in terms of creativity with partners.
• Squeeze – By withdrawing from sex and squeezing the head of the penis, men can prevent an early orgasm. This too can be difficult to master as men need to stop right before they are about to orgasm so timing can be an issue.
• Numbing Creams – Topical creams that numb the skin have been in use for decades and with positive results. The drawback with this is that it lessens the pleasure for men as well.
• Medication – In the past several years, doctors have begun using certain medications off-label, or for problems other than which the medications were originally designed, in order to treat premature ejaculation.
These treatments show the evolution of how early ejaculation has been approached in the past. Today, researchers are using them – and the history of the condition itself – to help men struggling in the 21st Century. Will the past contain the magic key to treating PE in the future? Only time will tell.