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Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Premature Ejaculation

Illustration by Hilton Dresden

A modern reboot of the SATC episode, where Justin Theroux plays Valerie Harper's sexually incompetent son.

In high school I walked up to my friend, hugged him, and came. If you were unclear about the real-life implications of premature ejaculation, consider that scenario moving forward.

"Oh, look! I've peed my pants," I giggled sheepishly, after an uncomfortable pause in which the onlookers of the scene, which included both my sister and mother, gazed from the misshapen spot on my Target basketball shorts up to my pimply face with the same expression Miranda gives Carrie when she finds out about the Natasha affair. The friend I ejaculated upon mid-hug has since married a woman and made all his profile picture captions Bible verses about bathing oneself in baptismal rivers.

I've cum too quickly ever since I started exposing my penis to other living beings. It's an anxiety thing, I think, or, as several Yahoo! Answers threads have indicated, an evolutionary development so my sperm can get women pregnant faster than other men. In this case, however, the joke appears to be on nature, as the closest I've ever come to impregnating someone is when I saw Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets in theaters for my 12th birthday and told all of my friends I wanted to have sex with Hermione "in the bathtub."

I've actually found myself oft avoiding sex for the precise reason of not wanting to underperform and reveal my inadequacy to potential partners. That and the fact that when men touch my crotch I often find myself doubling over in painful stomach cramps--an image that doesn't exactly say, "Keep fondling me, please, sir! I'm loving this!"

I've come to see my speedy tendencies as shameful--monstrous, even--like I'm a Blast-Ended Skrewt who might explode without warning or provocation (yes, Harry Potter is playing in the background as I write this). So how, then, am I to overcome by premature propensities and achieve the fulfilling, lengthy sex I've dreamt of since hearing Miranda's ghostly shrieks as she comes into contact with Steve's naked butt for the first time?

To no one's surprise, since my last column I have not so much as made eye contact with a man whom I haven't excessively farted around enough to firmly establish a friends-only relationship. And while I've extensively researched solutions to my condition, and found the most critically-acclaimed remedy to be masturbation before coitus, I decided to direct my questions at a real-life person instead of Yahoo Answers' own FapMaster007, to see just how alone I was in my predicament.

Related | Keep Your Friends Close & Your Enemas Closer

Turns out, I'm not the only one finishing too fast. My friend Vernon (not his real name, and yes, definitely still watching Harry Potter) was quick to admit he'd recently been hooking up with his boyfriend and run into the bathroom mid make-out to quickly jack off into the toilet so he could last a respectable amount of time back in the boudoir.

I was admittedly shocked to learn that even that elusive, mysterious specimen--the person in a happy relationship--could also share my precocious problem. I'd assumed my faulty penis was a big factor in my sustained singlehood.

Only a couple months back I'd found my way into bed with a handsome boy sporting tortoiseshell glasses and a rather annoying propensity to say the word "same" a lot. We'd bonded over the fact we were both from Wisconsin, and were just beginning to bond over our appreciation of the nude male form when--BAM!--as his mouth made contact with my genitals, I erupted (side note: I'm as upset as you are that I just used "genitals" and "erupted" in the same sentence. Only so many synonyms for orgasm out there before things start getting weird).

"That's just precum, right?" he asked with a mixture of suspicion and hope. Mortified, I quickly began to yank my high-waisted corduroys back on. "It's all right, babe. It's hot that I turn you on so much," he cooed, and as I heard the word "babe," I instantly knew it was time to say "goodbye."

God, I wish I could have Apparated. I mumbled something about an early day at work (I was unemployed at the time) and bolted. As I made my way home, blasting Dido's power anthem, "White Flag," I remember thinking one thing: could it really be a turn-on for someone to make their partner climax so instantaneously, when we both knew that my speed had little to do with the quality of a blow-job's technique and much more to do with the crippling fear and cramps that had become synonymous with sex for me thanks to years of villainizing my own attractions?

More recently I was invited to drinks over Grindr with Shawn, an incredibly handsome man in his early thirties with a big, strong chest who still got help with his rent from his parents. Shawn and I walked to a park bench shortly after I downed three gin and tonics (being a recovering alcoholic, he just had seltzer) and blew each other in the shadows--though I kept pulling his head away in an effort not to end early. When I texted him a few days later saying, "I want you to boss me around and have your way with me," he ignored, and when I walked headfirst into him on the G train a few weeks later, he stared right through his Ray-ban aviators back at me, stone-faced, and turned to stroll away. For some reason he was carrying a briefcase, even though I happen to know he's a waiter at a three-star restaurant in Chelsea.

Is my lack of stamina to blame for my failed attempts at finding a fuck buddy who likes to hang out and watch Harry Potter instead of fucking? More likely it's my impossible standards, regrettable hygiene and wildly incorrect insistence that were I to be a Potter character, I'd be Fleur Delacour (more realistically I'm Kreacher meets Rita Skeeter). But still, I couldn't help but wonder, "Am I at a real disadvantage because of my semen?"

I don't always cum too quickly. Sometimes, especially when I'm drunk, everything goes fine. The same can't be said of my emotional overeagerness. Even the slimiest, most boring of toads seem to leave me moping if and when they inevitably ghost me. I'll talk openly to friends about how boring I found the previous night's date to be, only to plunge into a manic depressive state when the boy I didn't even enjoy being around fails to text. I wonder if the concept of jerking off before having sex to provide oneself with more stamina might translate into the mental sphere.

What we need to start doing, perhaps, is freaking out on ourselves, alone, in an enclosed space--confronting our fears and anxieties, and recognizing them as childish before venturing out into the real world. No, wait. I just plagiarized Lupin giving a Defense Against the Dark Arts lesson on how to tackle Boggarts.

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