How Long Should Sex Last?


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how long should sex last

I don’t know where or how guys got the idea that girls want sex to last ~all night long~ but it is simply not true. I don’t want it to last all night long — hell, I don’t want last longer than an episode of The Office. Some people disagree with me, but those people are liars. Think about it. The first five minutes you’re super into it. You’re feeling hot, you haven’t quite gotten to any weird positions yet, and you’re hair is still at that sexy Victoria’s Secret bombshell stage. By minute fifteen, you’re starting to wonder when he’s gonna wrap things up. You’re hot (physically, you’re burning up), you’re getting lightheaded from all the fake panting, and you can’t quite tell whether the sweat on your boobs is yours or his, but one thing you do know is that sweat is falling off his head and into your mouth and you are not okay with it. After twenty minutes, you’re beginning to chafe and things just went from not fun to downright painful.

A woman at GQ delved deep into this topic when trying to figure out the precise amount of time sex should last to maximize the woman’s enjoyment. This is the kind of research the bright young minds of tomorrow should be focused on, not that physics and quantum mathematics crap.

According to a 2005 Journal of Sexual Medicine study, “the median length of intercourse was 5.4 minutes, although other research has found medians of up to 7.5 minutes.” For the purposes of this study, they only counted heterosexual penis-in-vagina sex. Foreplay is not included in that timeframe, which is important to note because foreplay is a huge part of sex, no matter who you’re boning.

A 2004 study published in the Journal of Sex Research found that participants enjoyed 11 to 13 minutes of foreplay followed by seven to eight minutes of intercourse, but interestingly enough, participants generally wanted sex to last for double the time. I think this has to do with the fact that people think they want sex to last longer because it sounds so great in theory. We’re biologically programmed to love sex. Guys, in particular, treat the amount of time they can last as a literal dick-measuring competition, actively trying to hold out longer and longer. Everyone loves sex because it makes you feel good, but sometimes less is more. I’d rather have five to seven minutes of mind-blowing sex than five to seven minutes of great sex, followed by twenty minutes of thinking about my grocery list waiting for it to be over.

Sex therapist and licensed marriage and family therapist Ian Kerner, Ph.D., describes it best when he says sex isn’t about amount the length of time, but about the quality of the sex itself.

“Sex should definitely last long enough for both partners to achieve mutual pleasure, generally in the form of orgasm,” says Kerner.

A-freaking-men, Dr. Kerner. There are plenty of women out there who’ve never orgasmed at all, so if you can’t get there, don’t worry. The point is you should be enjoying yourself the entire time.

Dr. K is also a big fan of foreplay, which I think is as important, if not more important than sex.

“I always encourage couples to engage in as much outercourse as possible before intercourse,” says Kerner. “The more outercourse you engage in, hopefully the higher your level of arousal and the closer you get to orgasm.”

This is the key to sex right here. More foreplay, better sex, better relationship, better chance of him getting down on one knee on a beach somewhere, etc. etc.

So maybe there isn’t a magical number for how long sex should last, but in general, it should be long enough that you get your money’s worth and short enough that you don’t get bored (and unaroused) halfway through. You might have to sit through a few two-pump-chumps and Italian stallions that want to “go all night” to find the guy that knows how to make your time worth it, but when you find your perfect sexual match, you’ll just know: he’s the one.

Well, at least the one for tonight.

[via GQ]

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Cristina is a Grandex Writer and Content Manager. She was an intern for over two years before she graduated a semester early to write about college full time, which makes absolutely no sense. She regretfully considers herself a Carrie, but is first and foremost a Rory. She tends to draw strong reactions from people. They are occasionally positive. You can find her in a bar as you're bending down to tie your shoes, drinking Dos XX and drunk crying to Elton John. Email her: (not .com).

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