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How To Get Better At Sex

How Long Should Sex Really Last..?

Sex can make many of us insecure. Have I got a sexy body? Am I good in bed? And one of the big questions is: am I/are we doing it for long enough? In popular media the impression given is that great lovers “go all night” or at least are at it for hours. The truth is that the average session is way shorter than you might think – and is actually wished by most people to be shorter than these clichés of marathon sessions would suggest.

There was a famous study in 2005 where researchers asked this question – meaning specifically of penis in vagina sex from penetration to withdrawal (mostly after climax for the man at least) – of sex therapists. Their views were interesting – on the one hand 1 to 2 minutes was judged as being “too short” but, more surprisingly, anywhere between 10 to 30 minutes as “too long”. Not hours then!  Averaging it all out, 3 to 7 minutes was deemed “adequate” where somewhere between 7 and 13 minutes felt to be optimum.

Again, specifically related to the penetrative part of a sex session, a Twitter poll run by GQ in 2019 appeared to produce similar results. Of the several thousand respondents to that survey, 61% wanted penetration to last 5 to 10 minutes with as few as 26% saying that longer than 11 minutes was desirable. In actuality, though, the real number seems to be between 3 and 5 minutes.

The Real Number Appears To Be Only Between 3 And 5 Minutes

Don’t forget that these studies didn’t include foreplay, and are concerned only with heterosexual penetrative sex. And these are averages – so whatever your timings are, the real answer to the question should be whatever timing feels right for you both. And that may range considerably even from one session to another.

Certainly, you should beware of letting anyone else’s sex life – or what they claim their sex life to be – make you critical of your own. You need to communicate with your partner to gauge whether your sex sessions usually  last long enough for mutual satisfaction – or if they sometimes go on beyond what is comfortable

Overly worrying about how long – particularly men – last in bed can actually be self-fulfilling and create sexual dysfunction. It might result in erectile dysfunction (ED), where he has trouble achieving or maintaining his erection. This can happen if the man has been drinking – and as men get older. Or it could result in premature ejaculation (PE), where he climaxes sooner than he or his partner would like. Though this can happen at any age, it tends to occur more with younger men.

The length of penetrative intercourse can equally be determined by the woman rather than the man. Too long a session can cause her to become dry or sore and sex goes from being pleasurable to uncomfortable or painful. That may mean stopping – or something to ease the problem for the woman, such as a change of position, activity or more lubricant. Men often ask about how to last longer when their partner would prefer a shorter more intense sexual event than a longer, extended one.

What if sex is lasting longer than you want? Talking things out is always a good place to start when something about your sex life is less than ideal. We realize that sometimes that’s easier said than done—but remember, your partner wants you to enjoy the experience too; that’s what it’s about.

Show (or tell) them what turns you on. You can touch yourself in ways that help you climax, or you can tell your partner how to stimulate you in ways you especially like. Sex toys can be a good asset for demonstation here.

What if it’s too short? Quickies can be fun—when you’re both up for one, but not if the man is ejaculating too quickly for his or his partner’s satisfaction. There are, though, various methods to help him last longer. First off, there are wipes, sprays, creams and even condoms that have a numbing effect on the penis and thus can help delay the man’s orgasm..

There are also physical methods, such as the well-known ‘squeeze technique”. When he gets close to orgasm he or she grips the end of his penis, at the point where the head (glans) joins the shaft, for several seconds. The urge to climax should subside.

Another is the stop-start method, also known as “edging’. This is something you can practice with a partner or as you masturbate. When you’re masturbating and feel like you’re about to come, stop until the orgasmic urge fades. Then you resume the stimulation. Repeat as often as necessary.

Strengthening the pelvic floor muscles, or Kegels, isn’t just great for aiding the female orgasm but in men are the ones that can control ejaculation. You can feel them by making yourself stop urination in mid-stream. Exercise them by rhythmically tightening and releasing them.

We have largely concentrated on how the man may speed up or slow down – but a lot depends on the woman achieving the satisfaction of her own orgasm. Remember, this is unlikely to happen with penetrative sex alone – so ensure there is plenty of foreplay before actual intercourse. As to the question “are you having sex for long enough” the answer has to be for as long as you are both feeling pleasure from it. Enjoy!

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