Growing up in the 1960s and ’70s in a rural, coal mining town, Jeff Abraham knew his values didn’t align with those around him. He “escaped” to California, built a successful business career and now runs the esteemed sexual wellness company, Promescent, where he regularly fields questions from couples who want more from their intimate experiences.
I loved chatting with him about his sexual empowerment journey, his top sex tips for couples, how Promescent’s delay spray can benefit anyone with a penis who wants to last longer during penetration and the tragic loss that fuels his work for this week’s Girl Boner Radio episode.
Stream it on Apple Podcasts, iHeartRadio, Spotify or below! Or read on for a lightly edited transcript.
Jeff Abraham, the CEO of Promescent, grew up in a small, coal mining steel town south of Pittsburgh. He was born in 1957, so he’s 63 now.
So not only am I from a generation ago, I’m also from a part of the country that’s two generations behind where anyone normally is to begin with. So, when I was in high school, no one really had sex until they they were at least a senior in high school, like on your senior prom.
And I remember the first time, I think I was in sixth or seventh grade, when someone started explaining exactly how babies were made, you know what I mean? Typical thing, you were like in the lunchroom. One of your friends is like, “Hey, guess what?” I’m like, “Oh, my parents don’t do that. That’s disgusting.”
And then when the hormones kick in and you start, you know, reaching puberty, you realize that’s not gross at all. These feelings are legitimate. But back then you’re taught that you don’t have sex and masturbation is a sin. And you’ll grow hair on your palms..and you’ll do all these crazy things.
But it leaves you in conflict because you’re going, Hey, this feels good.
So that was back in the late 1960s, early 1970s. You know what else was happening then? A hippy-loving, bra-burning sexual revolution. [sounds of hippies gathering in a crowd]
Ironically, that’s also when there was a ton of added resistance to sex education. It became a political issue around then, as religious conservative folks started building a movement that opposed sex ed of any kind in public schools.
According to a Newsweek report, a pamphlet was passed around widely in 1968 called “Is the School House the Proper Place to Teach Raw Sex?” There were all sorts or rumors going around about sex ed teachers encoruaging students to become gay, as though that were possible, or stripping down naked in front of students. [sultry music]
So you can how confusing it must have been for someone like Jeff, in a small town, removed from the more progressive, comprehensive ideas about sex and sexuality as normal parts of the human existance.
In his teens, he started working at a restaurant, where a waitress took a liking to him. Soon, she became his first sexual partner.
So I remember the first time we got in her car and she had like a six pack of beer. We drove down this country road and I was like, Oh, my god. I’m like, that is the best thing ever.
And so, you know, once a week or twice a week would do that. And then we start getting a little more daring, like we’d have a break and would run out and get it on in our car and everything. And then one night, the night watchman caught us, and I ran away.
And next thing you know when I went back to work on Monday, it was on a Saturday night, the manager pulled me in his office, you know. Were you there, you know, whatever. And of course I denied it, you know what I mean? I’m like, “no, it wasn’t me,” you know what I mean? Well, and one thing led to another, and pretty much they knew it was me, you know.
And then I remember when my mom found out. She’s like, started crying, there’s something wrong with you, you know? And I’m like, “No, there’s not.”
If she and his dad did it more often, he thought, they would probably get along better.
Also, that was the first time that he and his mom ever talked about sex.
Oh, that was the first and last, okay? I mean, my parents, they were married for 53 years before they both passed away. I think they might have been the only one each one was ever with, to be quite honest. Got married young, the whole thing. And I love my parents. They were great parents. They were wonderful. But I’m like, you can’t relate to my world at all.
It was just so weird to have my parents preaching something that I knew wasn’t remotely true, something I couldn’t relate to.
So I had to say to myself, these are good people that really don’t understand. They don’t know better. They’ve been raised in a fashion. As much I love my mom and dad on everything I know they know about, I’ll listen to them, but as far as that goes, get out of here, okay?
One thing leads to another. I moved to California.
Or, he said, “escaped” to California was more like it. When he was 32, Jeff learned that the woman he had been dating was pregnant.
I remember my whole family at that point were like, “well, if, you know you love her enough to have sex with her, then you need to get married,” you know, and I’m like, “time out.”
Jeff wasn’t going to tell his family what to do with their lives and he wanted the same from them. He described the woman he had been dating as wonderful and very troubled. She was in the thick of battling a severe eating disorder, bulimia, and showed some manipulative behaviors. For example, he found out that she had secretly stopped birth control with hopes that pregnancy would cement their romance long term—the “glue” that would keep them together.
Even though the relationship felt neither healthy or stable enough to become more serious, messages from Jeff’s upbringing left him feeling guilty leaving and obligated to stick it out. So she moved in with him on a sort of trial basis.
Because I knew the way that I’m wired. If the child had lived as a unit with the two of us until five years old and all of a sudden I’m leaving. “Daddy, don’t go” and they’re hanging on your shoes as you’re walking down the driveway with your brief or your suitcase.
That would have been the “hardest thing for [him] ever.”
Things did not improve for the woman or their relationship. So when their child, Nick, was a year old, the pair separated and Jeff went on to raise him as a single dad. Nick is now 32—the same age Jeff was when he was born—and getting ready to get married and start a family of his own.
One thing I so appreciate about Jeff is the way he’s stayed true to his own value system and beliefs, even when they differed a lot from people he grew up around.
I think one of the reasons that I moved away from Western Pennsylvania, I was just tired of hearing racial slurs and homophobic slurs and it—I don’t know—I’ve just always looked at every situation: I’m going to let my interaction with that person judge my feelings for that person.
And I just needed to be somewhere different than I grew up. Everything about that, the repression from a sexuality standpoint, just from a lifestyle standpoint. And everybody back there was like “Find a job with the state or the county. They have good retirement and you’ll be on easy street. You can like put away stuff; you can retire at 58 and then live like a king.”
And I’m like, I’m 23, okay? I’m not worried about retirement. I want to see the world. I want to start a company. So it just wasn’t the right situation for me, not only from a sexuality standpoint but just from a lifestyle standpoint.
How much did those experiences and the repression around ideas of what sex could look like—when it can happen—how much did that inform the work you’re doing today?
It held me back early in my life because I still had that—and I’ll be honest with you, a lot of men to this day still have that—they have that Madonna whore complex. Like, well, a woman you want her to be sexual but not too sexual, you what I mean? Like, “Oh my god, Where’d you learn that? How many guys have you been with?”
And the whole idea that we literally celebrate men for being virile and having partners and everything and then we slut shame women is disgusting.
Amen to that. Those messages and Jeff’s frustration are two of the reasons he and Promescent focus so much on pleasure for couples. He told me that everything they do aims to close the orgasm gap and the arousal gap between women and men. They want female pleasure to be prioritized, not dismissed—something Jeff learned to embrace over the years.
When you’re younger, at least for me, you’re more focused on your own pleasure, you know? But about 30—this is in my experience; I think a lot of guys are the same way—there’s some switch that flicks. And you’re like, Wait a second. There’s someone else in the room, here. You know, what I mean? It’s not all about me.
But you flick this switch and you go, if I really care for a person and I’m in a relationship or I’m intimate with someone, I want to make sure that they’re really receiving as much pleasure as possible.
Now, as the CEO of Promescent, Jeff hears from countless people, especially folks in cis hetero relationships—which is where those gaps tend to happen—who want that same thing.
Given his previous career as an executive of an engineering business, he seems amused, proud and honored to field so many questions about sex. In his 11 years with Promescent, he’s learned a lot about that mutual pleasure, as well as barriers many couples face—both from the general public and customers and sexuality experts.
So I thought it would be fun to explore some of Jeff’s top sex tips for men and couples before we get to the delay spray Premescent is especially known for.
Here is one tip (that suddenly feels like a pun) that Promescent encourages through their blogs:
Do not be intimidated to use toys and vibrators and everything. Because a lot of men have this feeling that oh, there’s something lacking. I’m not enough for you. You need a vibrator, you know what I mean? Are you kidding me? Shut up, okay!
You want your partner to experience as much pleasure. Bring every toy, bring every vibe. Whatever that gives my partner pleasure, I’m all for. I think it’s really important, and to allow your partner to express themselves.
Yes, yes, yes. So important. His second tip? Use your mouth.
The most important sexual organ is your mouth, not from pleasuring someone from communicating.
I’ve had people that I talked to that said, “Oh, you know, my husband, you know, ejaculates, you know, prematurely. He lasts a minute, you know. It takes me minimum seven, eight minutes. And I go, “Well, you know, what do you guys talk about?” They go, “we’ve never discussed it.”
That’s really, really common, by the way. Talking about sex, espeically in terms of challenges and desires, does not come easily to many folks, for all sorts of reasons. And getting past that hurdle can go far.
If you’re not sure how to please your partner, Jeff suggests having them masturbate in front of you. You all know this gets a Girl Boner thumbs up.
There’s no better way to learn than to have someone feel so comfortable that they could literally please themselves in front of you.
He called mutual masturbation, also known as side-by-side solo play, the height of intimacy.
I think breaking down barriers and comfort levels and feeling secure that you’re not going to be judged, I think it only adds to intimacy. And I think that’s crucial.
Jeff also thinks that everyone, especially men who love women, should learn to leave their ego at the door.
People used to ask me what is the most fragile substance—before I took over this company—what’s the most fragile substance on earth? I go, I don’t know. A Faberge egg. You know, one of those like crystal eggs or some fine English China.
Now, after having worked this job in this company for 11 years, the most fragile thing on earth is the male ego. It is the most fragile thing on earth. So many women are afraid that if they say something, the first thing their man is gonna go, “Oh, I’m not good enough for you?”
Often when Jeff appears on radio shows to talk about Promescent’s delay spray, listeners call in. And half of the people who call are straight women who want their male partner to “last longer” before climaxing during sex.
And they all have the exact same question: we really need this in this relationship but how can I bring it up without, you know, offending my partner?
So Jeff developed a strategy. And he said it really works.
And I say what you need to do is you need to not personalize it, not go, “Hey, you’re not lasting long enough. Use this.” I go, “Create like a fantasy night, a 50 Shades of Grey night. Get a blindfold, a pair of handcuffs, you know, a riding crop, a feather duster and some Promescent.
So that way you’re not focusing on, okay, you know, you need to last longer. It’s like “we’re having this fantasy night and oh, by the way, here’s one of many things.” So it doesn’t feel like you’re personalizing or attacking someone.
That’s one part of the equation he no longer has to worry about. You’ll never have to tell him to use it again.
Premature ejaculation is common, affecting some 30% of people with a penis. PE is considered a medical condition if you always or almost always ejaculate within one minute of penetration, can’t delay it most or all of the time and feel so distressed or frustrated that you avoid sexual intimacy.
But delay sprays can also help make sex more pleasurable for someone who just wants to stay hard, or have their partner stay hard, a bit longer. Maybe it’s been a while since you’ve had sex or you’re in the brand new intoxicating phase of a new relationship, so there’s extra arousal. And some people would just rather have lengthier penetration (no pun intended) without having to think about holding back.
And of course, there are many other ways to make sex last longer—such as orgasm control, aka edging, where you intentionally stop and basically cool down just before you reach the point of climax repeatedly. That probably won’t work if you have full fledged PE, but otherwise, it can be fun for most anyone.
You can also engage in other types of play before any penetration, such as lots of kissing or making out, fondling and massages or having the person who tends to come quickly go down on or use toys on their partner, for example. Doing so enhances arousal big time for folks with a vulva, too, and makes way for much stronger orgasms. And of course, sex never has to end with one partner’s climax.
Regardless, for the many people who really enjoy penetrative play and find that it doesn’t last as long as either partner would like, I love that there are options like delay spray. And Promescent’s Climax Control Spray is literally the only one I have ever recommended. It’s not like other sprays that go way overboard with the numbing or use toxic ingredients.
Promescent is especially helpful for scenarios like this one that Jeff often hears about:
Any guy that will tell you that he wasn’t at some point acutely aware like, oh my god, not yet, oh. You feel that point of inevitability coming. Oh, my partner hasn’t climaxed yet? Not yet. Oh, my God, let me think about baseball scores. Let me think about my grandmother naked, you know what I mean? Oh, my God, let me let me think about anything.
In some cases, and I know this. I’ve talked to couples where the female will think, oh, he’s really not that into me because during intimacy, he kind of zones out, not realizing he knows he has a tendency to prematurely or rapidly ejaculate. So he isn’t feeling pleasure on purpose. He’s distancing himself because he knows if he gets into and feels that it’s like game over.
And nobody should ever feel anxiety during intimacy. Those should be two separate emotions. When you’re intimate and you’re receiving or giving pleasure, the feeling should be just waves of pleasure washing over you. Not some little guy on the shoulder going, Not yet! No, hold back! You know what I mean? That is not what intimacy is about.
So I tell people that the majority of our customers now don’t have clinical PE. There’s somebody that goes, oh my god. Now instead of going, Can I last long enough to satisfy my partner? The equation is, Do I want to stop after one or do I want to give my partner two orgasms before we’re done here? You know I mean? Any guy loves that feeling. Removing anxiety out of the equation is very positive.
To give Promescent a try, head to delayspray.com and use the code august15 at checkout to save 15% on your first order. 🎉
I’ll highlight more of their awesome products in the next couple of months. So far I’m really loving their aloe-based lube and I’m excited to try their massage oil and Arousal Gel for Women. That discount code, august15, will work on all of their products.
The thing that struck me most about Jeff when we started talking was his passion and enthusiasm for the company and their mission. When he shared the history of the company, I realized one of the reasons. What you’re about to hear is a tale of friendship, entrepreneurial genius and a really heartbreaking tragedy.
It starts after Jeff’s retirement from his hugely successful semiconductor engineering business. He was 53 and easing into whatever came next.
One of my neighbors and my very good friend and also my doctor was Dr. Ronald Gilbert in Newport Beach, California, Hoag Hospital. And so one day I went to see him for my yearly physical PSA.
And he’s like, “You know, I know your story. You grew up with nothing, came out to California with two suitcases and $500 and built this empire and retired. I have this business on the side. It should be doing much better than it is” blah, blah, blah.
And I go, “What is it?”
And he goes, “I developed a treatment for PE.”
I go, “You developed a treatment for physical education?”
He goes, “No, no. It’s premature ejaculation.”
I go, “Oh, you mean erectile dysfunction is ED. This is PE.”
So Jeff asked for a sample, tried it and was blown away.
It really works really well. And so I invested 100 grand in the company, retired. So I wrote him a business plan. And it really juiced the company.
And he goes, well, take us to the next level. I said, “Okay, great.” He said, “Well that’s going to take 400 grand. We don’t have that cash.” I said, “Well, I’ll raise another 400. I’ll put it in but you have to do exactly what I’m telling you to do.” Because the company had been horribly mismanaged before I took it over.
So Jeff raised that capital and they asked him to take over the company, which he did in 2011. Two years later, in January, 2013, he heard horrendous news. His long time friend and Promescent’s founder was dead.
Ron was murdered in a case of mistaken identity. Somebody had a prostate surgery, 23 years prior, decides he was going to kill the doctor who did the surgery. He got the name wrong. He went to the VA and said, “I want to see my medical records.” And they said, “We don’t have them here.”
You’re not old enough to realize this but they used to have something called microfiche that you go to the library and you scroll it. It’s like cellophane.
So the man looked up the doctor who he thought had performed his botched prostate surgery.
He made an appointment with Ron, the wrong guy. Ron walked in to see what he thought was the last patient of the day, and the guy shot him eight times through the heart and murdered him.
Jeff almost walked away from the company at that point. He told me there’s nothing more senseless or devastating than the way Ron died. He even moved to another state, from California to Nevada, to try to ease some of the emotional pain.
You can’t run from emotional pain but you can remove these triggers: okay, here’s where we work out; here’s where we do this. So I, literally, go, “I have to get away.” I almost walked away and was just going to have someone else take over the company but I became introspective. I start thinking about it. I got emotional, I started to cry.
And I was so upset, because one of the things that made me happy was how happy Ron was that his business finally took off. His wife Ellie told me at one point, it was a Christmas party at his house, that it actually improved their marriage. And he was such a quality person. Such a good guy. It gave me a lot of pleasure.
And instead of walking away, I thought, you know, that’s a coward’s thing to do. I can’t unring the bell. I can’t bring it back. The only thing in my power is to make this company so successful that he has a legacy. That this is Ron’s company. That’s why I bring the story up; Dr. Ronald Gilbert, genius, invented this product. At the same time his wife and his two sons still own 20% of the company.
So I said the two things in my control are to give him a legacy as something other than a doctor shot by the crazy guy and to provide for his wife and kids, and it gave me the energy and the momentum to go, I’m going to make something good out of this horrible situation. It’s not as good as obviously still having him here. But it’s the only thing in my control.
[a few bars of emotional music]
So that’s what Jeff and his colleagues have done, and today, Promescent is thriving. In the last two years, they’ve expanded their product line to include the lube, massage oil and arousal gel I mentioned. They also sell supplements called VitaFLUX for increased arousal and more intense orgasms.
Their delay spray is in the protocol for 2,000 urologists in North America, which reads, “Promescent is the answer.” You apply the spray to your 10 minutes before penetration, and unlike other delay sprays, it won’t make your partner numb or take away all pleasurable sensations for you.
The Promescent website reads, “Enjoy all the sensations of sex without holding back or worrying about finishing too soon.” And that enjoyment and message ties in really with this last tip from Jeff for better sex: If you want to spice things up and invite more pleasure, he said, break out of your routine.
I can’t tell you how many times I hear from one person to the other and they’ll say, “we’re just in this routine.” Especially if you’ve been in a relationship for 10 years or 20 years.
While there’s nothing wrong with having a sexual routine—as Dr. Megan has said, it’s sort of like having your favorite, go-to type of ice cream—even small amounts of novelty can go a long way. In other words, novelty is like adding “sprinkles” or “hot fudge” to that ice cream….or indulging in a rich banana split you have on special occasions. Yes, that’ll take more effort, but don’t most adventures?
And usually when people say “Well, we’re just in this routine,” the subtext is more like “we’re stuck in a rut.” That, said Jeff, is when it’s time to get creative. And he practices what he preaches.
My girlfriend currently, we were talking last night. She said, “I’m so glad it’s getting warm. As soon as, you know, another month comes, I want to do it out in the jacuzzi. I want to do it out in the backyard.” Hey, I’m down for that.
Switch it up. And even if you’re married, it’s okay to every once in a while go, “I want to do it in the car. I don’t want to make love tonight. I want to just pretend like we’re high school kids and break out of the routine.” Do it on the kitchen table, you know what I mean? Do it in the backyard.
Remember that it’s fun. And it’s adventuresome. And it’s supposed to be something that you get a kick out of. It’s a little bit edgy. Even though you think oh, we have a healthy sex life, turbocharge it.
Learn more about Promescent at delayspray.com or the link down in the show notes. And again, that promo code to save 15% on your first order is august15.
Dr. Megan Fleming wanted to let you all know about another special discount:
I’m away this week, but I wanted to hop in and let you know that after recording my latest Pleasure Pick segment last week on Yarlap, they extended a generous discount for you all. So in case you missed it, Yarlap is a kegel exercise kit and system that prevents and treats urinary incontinence. And in my experience, my favorite perk is it invites more pleasure and stronger orgasms. So to get the discount, enter GB50 at checkout.
Lastly, but so far from least, huge thanks to everyone who’s joined my Patreon community so far. I hope you’re enjoying your bonus content, and knowing how much I appreciate your support of this show and my mission. To learn more or join us, visit Patreon.com/girlboner.
Stream the full episode, which includes a bonus segment about a healing dream Jeff had about his late friend after the outro music, up above or on your favorite podcast app!