How Long Does Sex Really Last?

For years, R&B crooners have serenaded and tempted us with their songs about ‘getting it on ‘til the break of dawn’. But, are most people really sexing for hours and doing it all night long? According to the science, ABSOLUTELY NOT! Well, at least not for heterosexual couples having old-fashioned vaginal sex.

Historically speaking, renowned sexologist Alfred Kinsey reported in his 1948 magnum opus, Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, that 75% of men ejaculated within 2 minutes of  vaginal penetration. That’s certainly not a lot of stroke time, but, sex appears to have gotten longer over the years.

According to a 2005 study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, the average length of sex, from start to finish, was a mere 5.4 minutes. To note, this study didn’t take into account foreplay, anal and oral sex, female orgasm, or same-sex relations. Men basically started a stopwatch when they entered their partner’s vagina and stopped it when they ejaculated. Sounds fun, right?

American and Canadian sex therapists also weighed in on the topic. A 2008 study revealed that sex therapists considered sex that lasts between 3 to 7 minutes as “adequate”, while 7 to 13 minutes was deemed “desirable”. On the other hand, 1 to 2 minutes worth of sex was considered “too short” and some thought 10 to 30 minutes was just “too long”. 

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Of course couples had to have their say on the matter too. A survey of heterosexual couples found that women preferred sex that lasted about 14 minutes. But, men wanted sex to last a little closer to 18 minutes. 

So what is the magical number you should be shooting for to adequately satisfy your lover? 

Honestly, there is no mathematical equation or scientific experiment that can tell you the ideal amount of time it takes to please your lover(s). Besides, it doesn’t help to get caught up on data or “cultural scripts” that attempt outline how long sex is suppose to last.  It’s best to openly communicate with your partner(s) about what is desirable and needed for a mutually pleasurable experience. Whether it’s 2 minutes, 20 minutes, or 2 hours, stick to what works for you and your partner(s).