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Average Time for Sex: How Long We Want Vs. How Long We Last

In your fantasies, sex may last for hours. But how long is too long in real life? We have answers, and so we’re looking at the average time for sex.

average time for sex

On average it takes a woman 15 to 40 minutes to achieve orgasm. Yet, the average time for sex is about 5.4 minutes. Does anyone else see a problem here?

Some people prefer long, passionate intercourse while others are game for an over-the-counter quickie. For the rest of us, a mixture of both sounds pretty great.

The truth is that, depending on your mood, alcohol intake, and sheer willpower, sex is never going to last exactly the same amount of time for anyone. What may take you minutes to come one day, may turn into 20 the next. The question is, how long is the average time for sex?

We’re looking at how long men and women want sex to last for versus how long the average time for sex actually is.

Why longer sex seems like a great idea

What is the ideal average time for sex? For the sake of argument, the term ‘average time for sex’ here refers to the point from penetration to ejaculation. We’ll get to foreplay a little later on. In the meantime, many might claim they’ll take an hour-long session every chance they get, and here’s why. [Read: How long should sex really last? The real score!]

#1 More opportunity to get off. Longer sex is usually more ideal than a quickie, especially for women. As previously mentioned, it takes women anywhere from 15-40 minutes to get off. This makes the idea of longer-lasting intercourse seem like an orgasmic dream.

For men, longer sex means a giant buildup or sexual tension, and then an intense release. Plus, the satisfaction of your girl raving afterward about your skills in the sack. [Read: 20 moves to last longer during sex without any difficulty]

#2 Multiple orgasms. A longer duration of penetration is also ideal for having multiple orgasms. Again, mostly for the ladies.

#3 Taking time and enjoying each other. Sex should never be a rush. It seems both parties are so excited to get to the finish line that they forget to enjoy the scenery! Longer sex means more time to kiss, caress, fondle, and express your passion for your mate. [Read: Slow sex – 13 steamy reasons why it’s the best sex ever]

Why long-lasting sex may be a letdown

Long sex sounds like a dream. I mean, what’s better than some extended play of pure pleasure? The truth is that the reality may not be so ideal. Here are some common complaints from those who have had long-lasting lovers.

#1 Sensitive after orgasm. For both men and women, their sensitive areas – the clit and head of the penis – are extremely sensitive post-orgasm. So, while having another round, or continuing on after orgasm, may seem like a fun idea at the time, the reality of it may be more painful than anything.

#2 Putting off orgasm. If your man is a sensitive lover who always lets you go first in the bedroom, consider yourself a lucky lady. But, let’s not take advantage of his kindness, either. Do you know how frustrating it is to be on the brink of an orgasm and have to keep talking yourself down for 30 minutes? When you get off, he should as well.

#3 It starts to hurt. For both men and women, going at it for an extended period of time may lead to some extreme discomfort. Even the best lube won’t last the duration of a long sex session.

As penetration continues, a woman will become less lubricated, especially if she is nowhere near orgasm. This means after a while, your penis feels like a raw battle-axe inside her vag. Similarly, extended play may cause chafing around the penis and some sore balls. [Read: 20 problems in a relationship you can easily avoid]

How long men and women want sex to last

In days gone by, both men and women reported that both wanted sex to last 30 minutes or more, but just couldn’t seem to get there. This information is surprising considering new standards. A 2008 survey of men and women’s ideal length for sex clocked in at 3-7 minutes being adequate, desirable being 7-13, and too long being anything 30 minutes and beyond.

Here’s the average time for sex and foreplay

One research study asked 152 heterosexual couples to list what they thought their partners’ desired duration of foreplay and intercourse was. The couples were also asked to list their own opinion on how long a romp should take.

How well did these couples know their partner’s sexual wants and needs? Apparently, not very! Women on average underestimated how long their partners wanted to engage in both foreplay and intercourse. They guessed the men would want shorter rolls in the hay when the opposite was true. [Read: Mind-blowing sex – 12 moves to go from ho-hum on oh-hot-damn]

So how long is the average time for foreplay? According to research, the average amount of time a couple spends participating in foreplay is 15 minutes.

Actual penetration clocks in anywhere from 33 seconds to 40 minutes, with an average of 5.4 minutes.

How to make sex last longer and feel better

If you’re finding that your 5 minutes of bliss isn’t pleasing enough for you or your partner, there are ways of extending your lovemaking. These simple tips will help you last longer in bed.

#1 Practice delayed orgasm. For men, this will help build control of your ejaculation. One trick is to wear thicker condoms or to masturbate a few hours before penetrative sex. This will numb your senses and help you last longer.

Another method is to squeeze the head of your penis 20 seconds before finishing.

Another method is to stop masturbating right before you ejaculate, wait, and then start again. Repeat this stop-start method until you feel you have a better idea of how to delay your gratification. [Read: The art of edging – 6 sizzling ways to control your orgasms]

#2 Switch positions. Vary your positions during sex. This will help the man stay just distracted enough that he’s still stimulated without coming too soon.

#3 Distract yourself. Men are visual and verbal creatures in the bedroom. They’re turned on by sights and sounds. This can be a problem when you’re moaning in ecstasy, and he’s trying not to finish too soon.

Many men find success distracting themselves during penetrative sex by taking mental breaks, such as solving math problems or focusing on work. Just don’t focus so hard that you lose your hard-on! [Read: How to keep your erection up for longer – 20 moves that always work]

#4 Engage in plenty of foreplay. For women, foreplay is one of the most enjoyable parts of sex. This is where you stimulate her clit, engorge her vagina, kiss her all over, and get her nice and wet.

Foreplay should last about 10-20 minutes. This gives her more of a chance to orgasm either during foreplay or penetration since you got her all worked up.

[Read: Foreplay done right – The art of really turning her on]

Hours of sex may work for some, but for the average time for sex, a sprint is definitely preferable to a marathon. However long it takes you to reach the big O, remember to have fun and go at your own pace!

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Waverly Smith

Waverly Smith is a freelance writer who has been getting paid for spreading her sarcastic take on love, life, and sex since 2010. She is many things that peo...

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