Your preconceived assumption of how long sex should take is probably based off expectations from movies, naughty movies and your mate Jimmy who says he can “f#ck for days” - but you know Jimmy is full of it. The real answer is sex should last for however long you want it to, mate.
People often mistake the quality of sex for how long it lasts, which is kind of like assuming that a four-hour long movie will be the best movie you’ve ever seen, which is almost always not the case.
Preferred sex-length varies from individual to individual and couple to couple. Some may enjoy fast-paced quickies in the shower, whilst others may prefer longer, more sensual experiences. It all depends on the time needed to satisfy everyone involved. If a couple goes down on each other for half an hour and then only has 30 seconds of intercourse, as long as everyone involved has had a screaming good time, you’ve nipped it in the bud, friend!
But if you’re after some cold hard facts, we got that covered too.
There have been numerous studies that have examined just how long couples last in the bedroom. But it’s good to point out that a lot of these studies focus on straight couples and penetration, leaving out other sexualities and foreplay (it’s 2021, come on researchers, #gayforeplaymatters!)
What does the research show?
In 2019, GQ constructed a Twitter poll asking how long people thought sex should last. With over 2,380 responses, the results indicated that 61% of voters wanted
penetration to last within 5-10 minutes and 26% wanted sex to last longer than 11 minutes. (1)
While it’s perfectly normal to wonder how you stand with other blokes, it’s good to be aware that when people talk about their sex lives, they usually only share the highlight reel and not so much the fails.
If we refer back to our motormouth-buddy Jimmy and his sexcapades, taking your mates stories as gospel can often lead to self-doubt and a blow to your self-confidence.
If ever in doubt about your contributions in the bedroom, chat it out with your partner about what works in the bedroom and what doesn’t.
Not meeting your partner’s needs?
First of all, chin up buddy! Not only is it perfectly normal but there are many ways to rectify this issue.
A study in Helsinki found that out of 8000 women, 68% of them had orgasms between half the time and never during sex. (3)
So, it’s pretty clear that not completely satisfying your partner is pretty rife around the world, that’s why it’s so important for us guys to work on improvements. The easiest way is to ask your partner what actions need to be taken to make it happen which can often consist of more oral play, sex toys or even more lubrication.
However, if the issue runs deeper than this and you have consistently unsatisfying sexual encounters, there could be a potential for some form of sexual dysfunction at play.
Studies show that 31% of Australian men experience some degree of sexual difficulty, such as Premature Ejaculation (PE) (4), so there are plenty of other guys trying to shake these problems off as well.
While we’ve discussed average sex length, it’s important to remember some of the most satisfying sex comes out of keeping an open conversation about desires, wants and needs with your partner. Intimacy depends on so many factors and everyone is completely different in what works for them. The more comfortable you are in a relationship, the more you are informed about what feels good and works for that person. This intimacy may lead to quicker sex, or it may result in slower, longer-lasting sex.
If you are still finding it difficult to satisfy your partner after having this open conversation, it may be beneficial to consider getting help from a medical standpoint. Always remember to keep yourself and your partner informed on what products you are using and if they are the right fit for your mental and physical health.