Category Archives: Sex

Make Love, Not War

You’d think that a country renown for its Islamic zeal would have fairly conservative policies toward sex and reproduction. Not so with Iran. Even though Ahmadinejad denies the holocaust, he can’t deny the excessive population growth and burgeoning AIDS epidemic that currently confront his country. That’s one of the reasons why Iran is installing vending machines that dispense condoms and syringes.

Iranian scientists are hopping aboard the love train as well. Apparently some non-zero fraction of said scientists devote their time to sexual enhancement therapies instead of developing nuclear technology. A new paper in Neuropsychopharmacology tests the safety and efficacy of dapoxetine for treatment of premature ejaculation.  Dapoxetine is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) that I have written about previously.

While Iran’s nuclear ambitions often take center stage in the media, the country is home to a rapidly growing and diverse community of scientists. The government has relatively liberal stem cell laws, and hopes to use such cutting edge research to enhance its international profile. Eventually, progress in the academic sphere may help temper the fundamentalist elements in Iranian politics.


Premature Ejaculation? Try an Anti-Depressant.

It is not uncommon for men to feel embarrased about their stamina in the sack. The question, “How short is too short?” lacks an objective answer, but it is generally agreed that an intravaginal ejaculation latency time (IELT; a great acronym, though not the greatest) of less than 2 minutes leaves something to be desired. Unfortunately, Alfred Kinsey’s research in the 1950s showed that most men fail to meet this relatively generous benchmark.

Over the years, numerous therapies have been devleoped for premature ejaculation (PE).  Some of these involve behavioral modification, such as the traditional Stop Start Technique. Others involve a local anesthetic like Benzocaine, though condoms containing this compound receive mixed reviews.

Though the ejaculatory reflex is mediated by neurons in the spinal cord, it is also amenable to cognitive control by brain regions such as the nucleus paragigantocellularis. A new generation of psychoactive PE medications is inspired by anti-depressants that inhibit reuptake of serotonin (SSRIs). Inibiting reuptake increases the concentration of serotonin at the synapse, which is thought to be critical for ejaculatory control. 

Unlike anti-depressants, it is desireable for PE medications to be fast-acting and have a short half life. Science Daily reports on a clinical trial of dapoxetine, an SSRI with these properties. Giuliano et al. show that dapoxetine, taken only a couple hours prior to intercourse, increases mean IELT by several minutes. It’s no miracle cure, but it helps.

On the other hand, some people are proud of their..ehem..efficiency. Dave Chapelle appears to be one of them (note: adult language).