Sexual Wellness

How To Increase Your Sexual Stamina

Fact Checked

Lasting longer in bed can lead to more fulfilling sex by extending your sexual pleasure and pleasing your partner. Here are the best ways to boost your sexual stamina.

Last Updated: 04/25/2022

Written by

Kimberly Wilkes

Medically Reviewed by

Dr. Paul Thompson

It’s not surprising that men can feel insecure about how long they last in bed given that there’s a definite gender gap in how long it takes to orgasm. For men, it’s an average of only two to six minutes. For women, having an orgasm can take an average of 20 minutes. 

For a man to please his partner and extend his own sexual pleasure, slowing things down can have definite advantages. Increasing your sexual stamina allows you to please your partner before you reach orgasm—or at least allows the two of you to climax at the same time. Increased sexual stamina can also lead to multiple rounds of toe-curling satisfying sex.

What Is Sexual Stamina?

Generally speaking, sexual stamina means lasting longer in bed before you need to call it quits. But sexual stamina can mean something different to everyone. 

The average guy might consider sexual stamina the ability to last as long or longer than his partner. Still other men might think of it as a night of never-ending love making.

For a man with premature ejaculation, it means having an orgasm only after entering his partner and delaying orgasm until after his partner is satisfied. Men with erectile dysfunction consider sexual stamina to mean being able to have an erection and maintain their erections long enough for a satisfying sexual encounter. 

Even though younger men usually have greater sexual stamina than older men, low sexual stamina can happen at any age and to any man. 

The good news? There are a lot of ways you can boost your sexual stamina. This article will take a look at your many options for maximizing sexual performance. 

Best Ways To Increase Sexual Stamina and Sexual Health

If you feel like you should last longer during sex and improve your overall sexual performance, there are a lot of things you can try to improve sexual function. Here is a deep dive into the many ways to increase sexual stamina.

See Your Doctor 

The first step? Visit a healthcare professional to rule out any health problems that could be causing your sexual dysfunction. Cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure can all weaken your ability to perform in bed. 

Even younger men under 50 can suffer from these diseases, so if you’re having sexual stamina problems it’s a good idea to rule them out no matter what your age. One study from Australia found that roughly one in 33 male patients aged 18-49 years suffered from diabetes. Another study in the United Kingdom found that one in eight new cases of type 2 diabetes occurred in adults who are 18-40 years old.  

Men who have premature ejaculation who haven’t had success with lifestyle changes can also talk to their doctors about the use of antidepressants like sertraline and paroxetine to treat this condition off-label

Masturbate A Few Hours Before Sex

Getting yourself off two or three hours before you have sex with a partner can slow down the amount of time it takes to reach orgasm and improve your sexual stamina. 

After men climax, they enter into a recovery period—what’s known as the refractory period—the time it takes to recover before having sex again. This recovery time can last anywhere from a few minutes in the luckiest or youngest of men to a few hours or even a full day.  

Make sure you don’t masturbate too close to the time you have sex with your partner, otherwise you might still be in your refractory period. Likewise, avoid masturbating too far away from sex since you’ll lose the full benefit of this technique. Experiment to find out what timing works best for you.  

Use a Thicker Condom

For many men who want sex to last longer, the solution may be as simple as using a thicker condom. Look for extended pleasure or delay condoms designed to slow down the time it takes to ejaculate.

The downside? Some men find that thick condoms reduce sensation too much and reduce pleasure. Shop around to find a condom that works best for you.    

You can also try condoms with numbing ingredients like lidocaine that reduce sensation just enough to delay climaxing. 

Edge Your Way Into Sexual Stamina

Another technique some guys use to boost sexual stamina is called edging. Here’s how it works: masturbate until you’re just on the “edge” of reaching climax, then stop and let yourself calm down.

This is a type of orgasm control. As you become more familiar with what it feels like to be on the edge, you’re more likely to stop yourself before you climax during sex.  

Start-Stop Technique for Enhanced Sexual Performance

This is similar to edging, only you do it during sex with a partner to delay ejaculation. Start by doing all the things you would normally do leading up to reaching orgasm, but just before you climax either slow things down or pause until you no longer feel the urge.

During the pause, get your mind off of sex for a few minutes and calm yourself with deep breaths. In a little while, restart sex. 

This may take some practice, which you can do on your own before sex (see the edging technique earlier in this article).

Research on this technique has found that 45%-65% of men experience improvements in the short term, although over the long-term results haven’t been all that impressive.    

Squeeze Technique

This method involves squeezing the penis head right before climaxing. At that point, wait for about half a minute before resuming sex. This is meant to stop a man from reaching orgasm too quickly.  

You might need to practice this technique and sometimes even have your sexual partner do it for you. To boost its effectiveness, try combining it with the start-stop technique. 

Get Enough High-Quality Sleep

Exhaustion does nothing to build sexual endurance. If you’re tired and fatigued, you’re not going to have much lasting power. 

Research has found that poor sleep is linked to worse erectile dysfunction. There’s also evidence that not sleeping well is an independent risk factor for premature ejaculation. 

Aim for at least seven hours of nightly shut eye, as this is the amount found to be best for health, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society

Obstructive sleep apnea, a condition where a person stops breathing intermittently during sleep, is a common reason why some men wake up feeling exhausted. A scientific review of published studies found that men who don’t have this condition are significantly less likely to have erectile dysfunction. If you snore or are overweight, you’re at an increased risk, although normal weight people get sleep apnea, too. You’ll need to work with your healthcare provider to rule out this condition.    

Reduce Stress

Being stressed out is another reason your sexual performance may have declined. Increased pressure at work and becoming overwhelmed with responsibilities at home and in the workplace can lead to erectile dysfunction. These psychological factors are all distractions that take your mind off of sex and impact your sexual endurance.

Chronic stress can also lead to health conditions that affect sexual stamina such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and obesity. In addition, stress often causes men to engage in activities that aren’t good for sexual function such as increasing alcohol intake.

Maintain a Healthy Weight 

This is one of the best ways to improve sexual endurance. Compared with men who are normal weight, men who are overweight or obese have a 30%-90% increased risk of erectile dysfunction. 

Being overweight or obese puts you at risk of a number of conditions that can affect blood vessels throughout the body, including those leading to the penis. This blocks the blood flow necessary for long-lasting erections. 

Losing weight can lead to better cardiovascular health, which in turn is also linked to stronger erections.  

What’s more, men who need to lose weight often have low levels of testosterone, one of the most important sex hormones for male sexual function. And it works both ways—men who have low testosterone levels are also more likely to have increased fat mass, especially belly fat. 

Staying slim has another advantage—it increases your self confidence and improves your body image. If you’re not as focused on how you look, you can pay more attention to enhancing sexual pleasure between you and your partner. 

Build Your Physical Strength

It makes sense that to increase your stamina during sex you would need to boost your physical strength. To do this, you’ll need to increase your physical fitness. 

Cardiovascular exercise and strength-building moves can lead to increased endurance. They also reduce the risk of diseases linked to erectile dysfunction like cardiovascular disease and diabetes. And regular exercise can also help maintain a healthy weight. Exercise can help by improving heart health, which is linked to the healthy flow of blood to the penis.

A review of published studies found that physical activity significantly improved erectile dysfunction. The best results came from moderately to vigorously intense aerobic exercise. 

Eat a Healthy Diet

One of the best ways to keep the pounds off and enhance sexual health is to eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. There’s evidence that a Mediterranean diet, which includes fruit, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and olive oil along with some fish and chicken, improves erectile dysfunction. People on this type of diet only occasionally eat red meat or sweets. 

Another good dietary strategy to boost sexual performance is to eat foods rich in L-citrulline and L-arginine. These two amino acids increase levels of nitric oxide, a chemical produced in the body that improves blood flow and triggers healthy erections.

Arginine is found in animal-based protein sources like fish, poultry, red meat, and dairy. L-citrulline is found in watermelon, salmon, dark chocolate, onions, legumes, garlic, and nuts.  

Dietary Supplements

In addition to dietary sources of L-citrulline and L-arginine, you can also take supplements that contain these amino acids. One study found that L-citrulline supplements increased the hardness of erections in men with mild erectile dysfunction. 

Antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids are also important for lasting a long time during sexual activity. Omega-3s are found in fatty fish like wild salmon and tuna and also some plant foods like flaxseeds. You can also increase your intake through fish oil supplements.

By reducing inflammation, omega-3s boost levels of nitric oxide, a chemical produced in the lining of vessels that’s essential to strong erections. Men with erectile dysfunction have low levels of nitric oxide. Omega-3s also support heart health and a healthy heart is necessary for strong erections. 

Antioxidants reduce a damaging process known as oxidative stress, which is linked to erectile dysfunction. Antioxidants increase nitric oxide in vessels and improve erectile function, especially in men who smoke, are obese, or have diabetes.      

Herbal Supplements

Some research indicates taking an herbal remedy may improve sexual performance. One review of 24 peer reviewed studies that included a total of 2,080 men with erectile dysfunction found that ginseng was one of the most effective herbal supplements.

According to the review, two other effective herbal remedies were maca root (Lepidium meyenii) and French maritime pine extract (Pinus pinaster), although the evidence was from preliminary trials and more research was needed. Saffron and Tribulus terrestris had mixed results, although one randomized, placebo-controlled trial of 180 men between 18-65 years found that Tribulus terrestris improved erectile dysfunction.   

Another more recent review of 42 published studies found that Panax ginseng, Tribulus terrestris, Pinus pinaster alone or combined with L-arginine and L-citrulline were able to enhance erectile function by boosting levels of nitric oxide.

Before using any herbal remedies or dietary supplements, speak to a doctor who is familiar with the use of these alternative treatments. Some dietary supplements can interact with medications, so it’s a good idea to seek professional medical advice. 

Stop Smoking

Smoking cigarettes increases the risk of erectile dysfunction by harming the lining of blood vessels and increasing oxidative stress. Smoking also leads to cardiovascular problems linked to sexual dysfunction. 

One study found that the longer a man has smoked and the more cigarettes he smokes daily, the more severe his erectile dysfunction.  

That’s the bad news. The good news is that according to a review of 13 published studies, quitting smoking was an effective way to increase sexual stamina by reducing erectile dysfunction.     

Limit Porn

Watching too much porn can lead to unrealistic expectations about sexual performance and cause men to believe it’s normal to last an uncanny amount of time playing under the sheets. Researchers have observed a possible link between how much porn men watch, decreased sexual satisfaction, and increased sexual dysfunction.   

If you feel like porn is interfering with your sex life, cut back on the amount you watch or stop watching it altogether.

Take Time for Foreplay

Men tend to be focused on penetration, but taking time to tantalize your partner with an opening act to the main performance can lead to more satisfying sex for both of you. Engaging in foreplay like kissing, touching, caressing, and oral sex slows things down and extends pleasure for both you and your partner while building sexual intimacy.

Drink Enough Water

Believe it or not, the amount of water you drink can make an impact on how long you last in bed. This makes sense when you consider the importance of staying hydrated for other forms of physical activity. Drinking enough water and other liquids boosts blood volume, increasing blood flow throughout the body and to the vessels of the penis.

On the other hand, dehydration constricts the vessels so your blood doesn’t flow as freely to areas involved in sexual health.

So how much H20 should you down per day? According to the Mayo Clinic and the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, healthy guys living in a temperate climate should consume 15.5 cups of liquids daily. This number takes into account that 20% of daily fluid intake comes from food.  

Pelvic Floor Exercises

Pelvic floor exercises—otherwise known as kegel exercises or pelvic floor muscle rehabilitation—help men have better control over the muscles that stretch from the pubic bone to the tailbone. These muscles are involved in both urination and controlling ejaculation. 

In a study of 40 men with lifelong premature ejaculation, 33 (82.5%) gained control of their ejaculatory reflex and the mean time it took them to ejaculate significantly increased. 

These type of exercises may also increase sexual stamina in men with erectile dysfunction. A study of 55 men who had suffered from erectile dysfunction for six or more months found that pelvic floor exercises combined with lifestyle changes and biofeedback led to the return of normal sexual function in 40% of the men. Another 35.5% of the men had some improvement. Only 24.5% of men did not improve at all.     

Drink Coffee

Drinking 2-3 cups of coffee daily can reduce the risk of erectile dysfunction, according to a recent study of 3,724 men. Don’t like coffee? The study found that caffeine was the ingredient that improved sexual stamina, so dark chocolate and tea are good alternatives.

It’s best to drink or eat caffeinated beverages or foods earlier in the day, ideally before noon. It takes some people up to 12 hours to metabolize caffeine and it can keep you up at night. This leads to exhaustion that will do nothing to improve sexual stamina.   

Use Premature Ejaculation Spray or Wipes

Sprays or wipes containing anesthetic agents like lidocaine can decrease sexual stimulation without making the penis so numb that you can’t feel any pleasure. These are often used to decrease the intensity felt during sex. This extends the amount of time a man can last until he has an orgasm. 

The sprays or wipes are used 10-15 minutes before sex. You can control the amount you apply to whatever works best for you.   

Try a Different Position or Technique

Mix it up a bit by trying something new in bed or out of it. Different sexual positions can lead to different levels of stimulation. This can vary from man to man, but many guys last longer when their partner is on top since this position leads to less stimulation of the penis. 

Changing your technique can also make a difference. Many men typically thrust hard, deep, and fast, which leads to a quicker climax and can tire you out, ruining your chance of having the energy for a second round. 

Instead of going at it hard and fast, try shallow thrusts. For many men, this leads to better sexual endurance because it reduces stimulation to the penis head.

How fast you thrust can make a difference too, so experiment and try different speeds and depths.   

Limit Alcohol Consumption

Drinking a small amount of alcohol can make you less inhibited, but drinking a lot of it can affect male sexual performance and the ability to maintain an erection. 

According to an analysis of scientific studies, drinking a small amount of alcohol isn’t linked to erectile dysfunction. In fact, drinking one drink in men who weigh less than 190 pounds and two drinks in men who weigh more than that enhances sexual desire and sexual function. 

However, in men who periodically binge drink, often drink heavily, or who are alcoholics, alcohol increases the risk of sexual dysfunction. One study found that in 104 men with alcohol use disorder, giving up alcohol for three months led to improvement in erectile dysfunction in 88.5% of the study subjects. 

Use a Penis Sleeve

Like the name implies, penis sleeves are silicone or rubber sheaths that slip over the penis. Most penis sleeves are designed to prevent overstimulation, which is helpful for men who want to last longer during sex.

Penis sleeves that are customized to a man’s individual size may be the most effective. And you’ll want to avoid the products that vibrate or are textured on the inside, since these intensify sexual sensations and lead to faster orgasms. Texture on the outside, however, might lead to enhanced sexual satisfaction for your partner.       

Get Help for Mental Health Issues

Mental health problems can lead to poor sexual performance. For example, depression ramps up the risk of premature ejaculation. 

Depression is also associated with erectile dysfunction and can become a vicious circle, where ED causes depression and depression makes the ED worse.

If you suffer from depression or anxiety, consult with your doctor or make an appointment with a therapist. 

Try ED Medications

Doctors can prescribe medication to men who want to last longer in bed. The little blue pill can be helpful for men who aren’t able to achieve or maintain an erection. Research also indicates this ED prescription medication may help premature ejaculation. ED medications like sildenafil and tadalafil work by temporarily increasing the flow of blood to the penis, which leads to stronger erections. 

Replenish Your Testosterone Levels

Testosterone is a hormone involved in sexual activity and sex drive. Low levels of it can lead to sexual dysfunction. 

Aging, diabetes, alcohol abuse, obesity, sleep apnea, illness, and trauma are some of the reasons why testosterone levels fall.

Talk to your doctor about having your testosterone levels tested. If your levels are low, testosterone replacement therapy may be important for improving sexual function.  

LI-ESWT

Urologists use a method known as low-intensity extracorporeal shockwave therapy(LI-ESWT) to fix the leading cause of ED, which is reduced blood flow to the penis.

In fact, 70% of ED cases are caused by poor blood circulation. Prescriptions, like the little blue pill, can help damaged or weak vessels relax/expand to temporarily allow blood through, but they come with side effects and often stop working within a few years

Also known as acoustic soundwave therapy, LI-ESWT uses powerful soundwaves to:

  • Safely dissolve plaque in existing vessels to promote improved blood flow.

  • Encourage the growth of new vessels to maximize blood flow.

Discuss with your urologist whether LI-ESWT is a good option for you.

Communicate with Your Partner

In the end, the most effective way to extend the length of a sex session is to talk to your partner about what they like in bed. 

Men often feel a lot of pressure about how long they should last in bed because they feel like they’re not meeting their partner’s expectations. But your partner may be perfectly happy with the way things are now or just by having longer foreplay sessions. You’ll never know what makes them happy if you don’t ask.     

Frequently Asked Questions About Increasing Sexual Stamina

How long should a man last before climaxing?

Men take on average 2-6 minutes to climax while women take an average of 20 minutes. In a study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, sex therapists estimated the ideal amount of time sexual intercourse should last. Their conclusion? Three to 13 minutes. The therapists considered 3-7 minutes adequate and 7-13 minutes desirable.   

How can a man last longer during sex?

Whether a man has premature ejaculation or simply doesn’t want to lose his erection too soon during sex, there are ways to increase sexual performance. These include:

  • Working with your doctor to resolve related health conditions

  • Masturbating before sex

  • Exercising

  • Losing weight

  • Eating healthy

  • Using a thicker condom

  • Practicing techniques like edging, the squeeze technique, or the start-stop method

  • Getting a good night’s rest

  • Stopping smoking

  • Engaging in foreplay

  • Reducing stress

  • Trying dietary supplements like L-citrulline

  • Drinking enough water

  • Limiting porn

  • Trying pelvic floor exercises

  • Using a premature ejaculation spray or wipes

  • Taking ED medications

  • Drinking coffee

  • Trying a different position

  • Limiting alcohol

  • Using a penis sleeve

  • Trying acoustic soundwave therapy

  • Limiting alcohol

  • Communicating with your partner

  • Using a penis sleeve

  • Trying a different position or technique

Can erectile dysfunction medications help me last longer in bed?

ED medications are used for men with erectile dysfunction who are having a difficult time getting or maintaining an erection. If you’re losing an erection too soon during sex or are having a hard time getting an erection in the first place, these pills can do wonders for your sex life, although they do come with risks.

ED medications like sildenafil and tadalafil may also delay climaxing in men with premature ejaculation. 

How can I permanently solve premature ejaculation?

In many men, premature ejaculation can be fixed, with a little patience. If the problem is sexual performance anxiety, relaxation techniques like meditation, yoga, or exercise can reduce your stress and possibly delay your time to climax.

If overstimulation is the problem, penis sleeves can work or even trying a thicker condom. Masturbating a few hours before sex or trying a premature ejaculation spray or wipes can also slow things down. 

The stop-start technique, edging, or the squeeze technique are all methods some men use to increase the time it takes to climax.