Premature ejaculation should not be classed as a male sexual dysfunction, according to a new review published in Clinical Anatomy – a verdict that could cause problems for the companies making millions of dollars from treating the condition.
In fact it may be more accurately described as "an illness constructed by sexual medicine experts under the influence of drug companies" according to the authors of the review.
The researchers behind the report say premature ejaculation is a natural occurrence, especially among younger men, and that those affected can learn to control their response to stimulation themselves without recourse to any drugs or therapies.
They also point out that false assumptions about sexual intercourse aren't helping to dispel the idea that premature ejaculation is an illness to be treated.
"It is important for men to understand that in premature ejaculation the physiology of ejaculation and orgasm is not impaired, and that it is normal in adolescent males especially during their first sexual encounters," said report co-author Vincenzo Puppo. "Teens and men can understand their sexual response during masturbation and learn ejaculatory control without drug therapy."
The review goes on to say that penile-vaginal intercourse isn't important for a woman's orgasm, so in that respect it doesn't matter how long the sex lasts.
"In all women, orgasm is always possible if the female erectile organs are effectively stimulated during masturbation, cunnilingus, or partner masturbation, before and after male ejaculation, or during vaginal intercourse if the clitoris is simply stimulated with a finger," explains the report's other author, and Vincenzo's daughter, Giulia Puppo.
As many as one in three men may experience premature ejaculation during sex, though reliable statistics are hard to come by, and that means the report is likely to generate a lot of interest – especially one that says pills and surgery aren't necessary to help men last longer in bed.
The term 'premature ejaculation', or PE, was first used in 1915 and for a long time has been associated with psychological issues. Other medical researchers suggest there's a link between PE and genetics.
According to Puppo and Puppo, couples shouldn't be embarrassed about premature ejaculation and can find natural ways around it, and those experiencing their first sexual encounters might find that idea more reassuring than most.
"Urologists, sexologists, and sexual medicine experts must acknowledge that PE is really normal in adolescent males, especially during their first sexual encounters," says the report, which has been published in the journal Clinical Anatomy.