A great concern of today's men is the idea that they'll disappoint. Disappoint their families, their bosses, their friends. Being a disappointment in a sexual setting is the front line of this anxiety. Coming too early not only leaves your partner smirk-frowning in a what-the-fuck-bro state of confusion, but it also sends you to sleep immediately—like a big, stupid bear that's just eaten all its hibernation food at once.
There are ways to stop the flood, though, to tighten the screw on the bubbling hydrant—just with the power of mind. We canvassed a bunch of dudes from all over Europe and asked them what they think about to keep the hot panic of ejaculating at bay.
JONO, 23, UNITED KINGDOM
I like to imagine what capitalism would be like if it was a person and how much it would hurt if it actually stepped on my balls, rather than just figuratively speaking.
PAOLO, 26, ITALY
I think of a shitting dog's face. You know that stupid face dogs have when they're shitting? Like they're scared to death because they're pooping and can't run away if there's any danger afoot.
CHRIS, 29, GREECE
I have no idea how this came to be, but every time I try to keep myself from coming, I think of Jacques Cousteau commandeering a small ship, with whales swimming in the waves behind the boat. I really have no idea why. I never particularly cared for Jacques Cousteau or the sea in general—I'm not even sure what Cousteau ever actually did, beyond helping me stave off orgasms.
WILLIS, 20, GERMANY
I mentally play a bunch of really complex deathcore tracks on guitar. It's pretty distracting, even without having an actual guitar. And no, that doesn't mean I suddenly start fingering my partner's fretboard the same way.
PABLO, 21, SPAIN
I try to remember as many football team lineups as I can. It's simple, but effective.
LEON, 23, ITALY
I concentrate on the feeling of having some shards of glass in my mouth. I don't know why, but I just find that terrifying. When that's not enough, I imagine those shards actually being glass splinters. It always works—to the point that I once lost my erection. And even when I think about it now, I feel queasy.
TOM, 23, UNITED KINGDOM
[British Labour politician] Ed Balls's Shadow budget proposals delivered in a monotone drawl.
ZORAN, 26, SERBIA
I was never any good with numbers and math in school, so I try to do some calculations during sex. For example, I will take two big numbers, like seventeen and fifty-four and try to multiply them. That's hard to do for me, so the trick usually works—but the strange thing is that now when I have to do some simple math I sometimes get a bit of a boner.
ALEXANDRU, 28, ROMANIA
I usually try to think of video games. I'm a gamer, so I just close my eyes and think about the last level I've played—that'll get my mind off of things. And if that doesn't work, I just think about the possibility of leaving the girl pregnant or searching for the morning-after pill at three in the morning.
ELLIOT, 21, UNITED KINGDOM
I usually think of something that's a shock to the system—like being hit by a car or punched in the face or something. And every now and then, when I'm really desperate, I think of the Queen in a bikini.
SIMON, 26, FRANCE
It's quite rare, but I think of my great-grandmother. She was bedridden for two years before she passed away, so you can imagine in what awful states I've seen her.
CYRIL, 27, FRANCE
I always have the same trick: I deeply concentrate on a particular element of my surroundings. I'll study the patterns on the bedsheets, look intensely at a crack in a wall, or just focus on the bed frame. It's had a hundred percent success rate so far with me.
ENZO, 30, ITALY
I generally think of metaphysical stuff—things like death and void. The futility of existing—the futility of it all, really. Is there a life after death? Sometimes I think of a lizard lying on a road, completely ripped open. Which would mean the lizard is dead—so basically everything that revolves around the idea of death works for me. It's a bit sad that you're forced to think about something like that in those sweet moments of joy.
JULIAN, 28, SPAIN
I think about wood—wooden furniture, usually. Touching or knocking on wood is an old superstitious custom for good luck, and I'm a very superstitious guy—so that might have something to do with it.
SAMUEL, 25, SPAIN
I think about numbers—mainly the last numbers I've had in mind. So I think about how much money I spent on dinner and how much money I still have in my account after it. Things like that.
MICKEY, 23, THE NETHERLANDS
I usually think about something I find really disgusting. I once saw my dad take a dump. That image generally works.