Do men and women want the same thing when it comes to the length of the penetrative sex?
How Long Should Sex Last

If you're wondering how long sex should last, you've come to the right place!

Read on as we uncover the optimal timeframe that men and women enjoy sex and how to enhance the passion to keep your partner fully satisfied.

In this article:

Note: Read the whole article or scroll down to the KEY TAKEAWAYS section at the end of this article for a short summary.

Measuring Sexual Duration

Sex "officially" starts from the point of insertion to the moment of ejaculation (for the man). That is known as the Intravaginal Ejaculation Latency Time, or IELT for short.

Sex, also known as penetrative vaginal sex or penile-vaginal intercourse, refers to the penetrative activity between two individuals that begins when the penis is inserted into the vagina.

Sex "officially" starts from the point of insertion to the moment of ejaculation (for the man). That is known as the Intravaginal Ejaculation Latency Time, or IELT for short.

It's important to note that the IELT does not include any of the warm-up activities that take place before penetration, such as foreplay, oral sex, manual stimulation, and so on.

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The ‘Most Desirable’ Sex Timeframe

On the other hand, these same therapists determined a sex session lasting 10 to 30 minutes was considered ‘too long’.

There are varying opinions on the topic of sexual activity, particularly when it comes to how long sex should last.

According to Canadian and American sex therapists' perceptions, the majority found that the ideal or ‘most desirable’ length for ejaculatory latency was between 7 and 13 minutes.

This study also found that anything lasting under 3 minutes ‘warrants clinical concern’. In some cases, this may have to do with a sexual dysfunction known as premature ejaculation.

On the other hand, these same therapists determined a sex session lasting 10 to 30 minutes was considered ‘too long’.

While these findings shed light on the most and least desirable sex timeframes, opinions on average sex differ between heterosexual men and women.

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How Long Sex Should Last, According to Men and Women

Men assumed that their female partners wanted shorter durations of sex, while women believed their male partners desired longer periods.

What we desire in the bedroom isn’t always what we get. Experts have found that there is an apparent gap between how long sex lasts between couples versus how long they desire it to last.

Adding another layer to this issue, research has found that both men and women had misconceptions about their partners' desired duration of intercourse. Men assumed that their female partners wanted shorter durations of sex, while women believed their male partners desired longer periods.

Interestingly, it turns out that men and women want nearly the same thing!

According to a survey published by Saucy Dates, the average time women preferred to engage in intercourse was 25 minutes and 51 seconds, while men, on average, desired sex to last 25 minutes and 43 seconds.

Thanks to the orgasm gap, sex typically does not last anywhere near 25 minutes.

The Role of the Orgasm Gap

The orgasm gap refers to the difference in orgasms between couples.

This sexual phenomenon is used to describe the imbalance in the number of orgasms achieved during vaginal intercourse. The orgasm gap can be used to measure sexual satisfaction.

Research on the differences in orgasm frequency found that heterosexual men were able to reach climax 95% of the time, while heterosexual women were only able to finish 65% of the time.

The main reason for this discrepancy is that most men take 5.4 minutes on average to reach ejaculation, while women take much longer.

However, women reported orgasming more frequently if they:

  • Received oral sex
  • Had longer-lasting sex
  • Were more satisfied in their relationships
  • Asked for what they wanted in bed
  • Tried new positions
  • Expressed love and passion during intercourse
  • Incorporated sex toys and dirty talk
  • Acted out fantasies
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Is Having Long Sex Really Better?

Most women focus more on intimacy versus orgasm when it comes to experiencing fantastic sex.

In heterosexual relationships, how long sex should last is more of a personal preference than a central part of sexual satisfaction.

Sex therapist agree that as long as you and your partner's sexual needs are met throughout your relationship, there is no specific duration of sex that is more or less beneficial.

As a couple, enhancing your sex lives is more about passion, intimacy, connection, and communication rather than the time it takes to orgasm. Most women focus more on intimacy versus orgasm when it comes to experiencing fantastic sex.

Of course, the mind-blowing sexual stimulation is a huge bonus!

Factors That Affect How Long You Last in Bed

Did you know that premature ejaculation (PE) is one of the most common sexual disorders? It can affect up to 21% of men at some point.

If you're wondering why you're not lasting as long as you think you should, here are a few reasons that may explain why.

Age

As you get older, you are likely to experience a range of physiological changes that can affect how long sex lasts.

Men experience declining testosterone levels after 30, affecting erection and penile muscle strength. At the same time, women face estrogen fluctuations during menopause, leading to vaginal dryness and reduced libido, affecting their ability to achieve orgasm.

Sexual Dysfunction

Did you know that premature ejaculation (PE) is one of the most common sexual disorders? It can affect up to 21% of men at some point.

PE is defined as having uncontrollable ejaculation (between 1-2 minutes or less) that leads to shorter-than-desired sexual encounters for men.

Lifestyle factors

here are several unhealthy lifestyle habits and other factors that can impact penile-vaginal penetrative sex.

Some problematic habits that can cause decreased sexual durations include smoking, drinking, medications, relationship conflict, and sedentary behavior.

Health concerns

Health conditions are a major cause of decreased sexual activity performance in both men and women. Some common concerns include diabetes, heart disease, depression, anxiety, cancer, chronic pain, arthritis, and HIV/AIDs.

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FAQs

How long should sex last?

The most penetrative sex ranges from 7 to 13 minutes.

Do men and women have different expectations regarding the duration of sex?

Men and women differ in their sexual requirements. While men perceive 'good sex' to be longer in duration, women focus more on emotional connection and sexual satisfaction.

Why do I struggle to last longer during sexual intercourse?

Low ejaculatory control may be caused by stress, performance anxiety, relationship issues, medication, age, or certain health conditions.

Sex lasting less than 1-2 minutes may be a sign of premature ejaculation, which is a common sexual dysfunction in men.

Is it possible to last longer in bed?

Yes!

The best ways to boost your sexual stamina are by using desensitizing condoms or delay sprays, exercising your pelvic floor muscles, or trying out expert-recommended sex methods such as the squeeze technique.

ALSO READ: What's your best sex position? Let's find out.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Maintaining a satisfying sex life is crucial for healthy relationships
  • Therapists suggest 7-13 minutes is optimal to experience enjoyable sex
  • Most men and women prefer to have longer intercourse, lasting up to 25 minutes
  • Satisfying relationships don’t require longer sex but rather more passion, intimacy, and communication
  • Consult a healthcare provider if bed-lasting concerns arise
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Medical Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to give medical advice or substitute for the medical advice of a physician.

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