Premature ejaculation is a common condition that affects many men. Although it can be treated successfully, in some cases it persists into adulthood. This is because the cause of PE remains unclear, and doctors are unable to offer definitive diagnoses without proper testing and research. Some scientists believe that PE results from a failure of nerve impulses reaching the brain during arousal. Other researchers have suggested that PE could stem from a combination of genetic factors and environmental influences.
In this article, we’ll look at what happens in the brain during sexual stimulation, how these nerves work together to trigger orgasms and ejaculations, and why some people get PE despite having perfectly healthy brains. We’ll then take a closer look at whether training techniques can help resolve the issue for others.
What does the brain do during sexual activity?
The human body contains two main types of neurons: those involved in basic bodily functions like breathing and heart rate, and those that perform higher-level tasks like thinking, learning and memory.
Brain scans show that certain parts of the brain – called the limbic system – are activated more when we experience emotions such as fear or love. During sexual activity, such areas become more active as well.
Cause of premature ejaculation in the brain
Because men and women often experience quite different emotions during intimacy, including feelings of love, sexual arousal and the like, this binary cognitive process isn’t always a perfect analogue of human (or animal) sexual behavior, at least not in terms of our understanding of how the amygdala, the hippocampus, and other limbic system components interact.
However, we do know that limbic regions are sometimes described as the brain’s “emotional” control center. When stimulated, they increase our heart rate and generate other physiological changes associated with strong emotions. They also play important roles in the formation of memories.
As we noted above, some experts believe that premature (or rapid) ejaculation has its roots in a problem with a man’s autonomic nervous system. This system controls many of our unconscious and vital bodily processes including sexual arousal and the subsequent release of involuntary reactions during the excitement phase, climax, and resolution stages of sexual encounters.
If this theory is correct, all men should experience problems with healing after surgery, strong emotions, or intense exercise. Clearly this isn’t the case. It’s possible that all men do have a degree of nervous system excitability. But in men with premature ejaculation, the sensitivity of this nervous system is simply out of the ordinary. Men with this condition experience extremely fast, almost instantaneous orgasms beginning soon after initiation of intimacy and without the kind of stimulation necessary to produce such an intense reaction in most other people.