Worried about your sexual stamina? You’re not alone. Medical study data shows that premature ejaculation is one of the most common sexual performance complaints for men, with up to 39 percent of men stating that they ejaculate earlier than they’d like to during sexual activity.
Even for men who don’t meet the clinical definition of premature ejaculation, it’s quite common to want to improve your sexual stamina and last longer in bed.
Today, a variety of treatments are available for premature ejaculation, ranging from sprays like lidocaine-based premature ejaculation spray to techniques like the stop-start strategy, the squeeze technique and masturbating before sex.
Then, there’s Viagra. Although it’s designed and marketed primarily as a treatment for erectile dysfunction (ED), many men believe that Viagra can make it easier to last longer in bed.
Below, we’ve looked into the evidence for and against sildenafil (the active ingredient in Viagra) as a treatment for boosting sexual stamina and lasting longer in bed. We’ve also listed a range of real, science-backed options for improving your sexual stamina and performance. (Learn more about premature ejaculation)
Can Viagra Help You Last Longer?
Sildenafil, the active ingredient in Viagra, works by increasing the ability of blood to flow into the soft, erectile tissue of your penis. This makes it easier for you to get and keep an erection. It can also give you a firmer erection that improves the sexual experience for your and your partner.
Viagra is not an effective treatment for premature ejaculation, meaning it usually won’t have any effect on the amount of time for which you can have sex before you ejaculate, the amount of sensitivity you experience during sex or when you orgasm and ejaculate.
Despite this, there are a few interesting studies about Viagra’s effects on premature ejaculation that are worth mentioning:
In a small 2007 study, researchers found that sildenafil (the active ingredient in Viagra) was linked to an increase in ejaculation time in men affected by premature ejaculation.
Another study from 2005 found that men who used sildenafil experienced a small increase in time before ejaculation. However, the increase compared to placebo wasn’t statistically significant.
While these are interesting studies, they’re not enough to call Viagra a proven treatment option for increasing the amount of time you can last in bed. If you notice any results, it’s best to think of them as a bonus, not as a primary effect of sildenafil.
However, there is one situation in which Viagra can definitely help you last longer in bed. If you tend to lose your erection during sex and need to stop because you’re no longer hard, Viagra’s effects could help you have sex for longer without being affected by erectile dysfunction.
What Else Won’t Viagra Do?
Like many other popular medications, Viagra’s effects are often exaggerated and misunderstood by people who haven’t used the medication. Media reports on Viagra, which often present it as a “fix anything” sex drug, have helped to spread these misconceptions.
In addition to having little to no significant effects on the amount of time you can last before you climax and ejaculate, Viagra also won’t:
- Boost your sex drive. Contrary to popular belief, Viagra won’t make you hornier or help you feel sexually aroused when you otherwise wouldn’t be interested in sex. All it will do is make it easier to get an erection when you’re already sexually aroused.
- Prevent you from getting tired. While Viagra does have some effects on blood flow throughout your body, there’s no evidence that it increases your physical fitness during sexual activity and helps you last longer before getting tired.
- Make your penis larger than normal. If you have erectile dysfunction and normally find it difficult to get a complete erection, Viagra might cause your erection to feel bigger than normal. However, it will not make your penis physically larger than its regular size.
Our guide to what Viagra does to your sexual experience goes into more detail on these myths, as well as the actual type of experience you can expect from using Viagra.
What Will Viagra Do?
Viagra’s primary benefit is well known — it makes it easier for you to develop an erection and maintain it during sexual activity.
However, it also has several secondary benefits that can improve your sexual experience and, in some cases, boost your sexual performance. By using Viagra, you could:
- Improve your confidence. Because Viagra makes it easier to become hard and remain hard during sex, it could increase your sexual confidence. This can increase sexual enjoyment for you and your partner and reduce any feelings of anxiety or nervousness.
- Shorten your refractory period. Your refractory period is the amount of time your body needs to recover after sex before getting an erection again. There’s some evidence that sildenafil can shorten this post-orgasm recovery window.
- Enhance your sexual experience. Most men with erectile dysfunction who use Viagra report a significantly improved sexual experience — a topic we’ve covered in more detail in this guide.
How to Last Longer in Bed
While Viagra isn’t likely to directly help you last longer in bed (unless you frequently lose your erection during sex), it’s still worth considering if you’re prone to erectile dysfunction.
Luckily, there are several proven, science-backed treatments available that can help you delay ejaculation and last longer in bed. We’ve listed these below, along with the scientific study data to back up each option.
Premature Ejaculation Spray
Premature ejaculations sprays use substances like lidocaine to reduce the sensitivity of certain parts of your penis, all without making them feel overly numb. This helps give you more control over how and when you ejaculate, allowing you to last longer in bed.
Studies show that lidocaine-based sprays are extremely effective as treatments for premature ejaculation. In a 2003 study, men with PE were able to increase their ejaculation latency from 74 seconds to 11 minutes and 21 seconds after applying a lidocaine-based spray.
Our premature ejaculation spray is designed for application five to 10 minutes before you have sex, making it easy to use before you get into bed with your partner. It absorbs quickly and only affects the parts of your penis to which it’s applied, meaning you won’t lose any enjoyment.
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)
SSRIs, such as sertraline, were originally developed as treatments for depression and other psychiatric disorders. However, certain SSRIs are also effective at prolonging sexual activity before orgasm and treating premature ejaculation.
In a 2007 study, researchers found that men with premature ejaculation who used paroxetine, fluoxetine or escitalopram experienced reduced levels of premature ejaculation symptoms and an improvement in sexual performance.
Today, sertraline (the active ingredient in Zoloft) is one of several SSRIs used to treat PE and improve sexual performance. Our Sertraline 101 guide covers this in more detail, with data on sertraline’s effects and benefits as a PE treatment.
Beyond medications such as lidocaine and sertraline, there are several ways to increase your time before ejaculation and improve your sexual performance without using drugs.
These include simple techniques like masturbating before sex, which takes advantage of your body’s natural refractory period to make you last longer before ejaculating a second time, plus science-backed techniques like the “stop-start” method.
It’s also often possible to improve your sexual performance through behavioral therapy, which could increase your ejaculation time. Our guide to stopping premature ejaculation covers all of these approaches in more detail, with scientific data to back up each treatment option.