How Long Should Sex Last?

How Long Should Sex Last

Have you ever asked yourself how long sex should last? Or maybe you have been asked what the average duration for sex should be.

Well, almost every sexually active person has had to ask this question at some point, so there’s nothing to feel weird about.

Vaginal sex, which arguably is the most common, typically lasts between three to seven minutes, according to findings from a 2005 study by the Society for Sex Therapy and Research.

Per findings from the survey, vaginal sex that lasts no longer than one to two minutes can be considered “too short.” Also, vaginal sex that lasts between 10 to 30 minutes can be considered “too long.”

So the big question remains how long should penetrative or vaginal sex really last? Below are a few factors to consider that may answer this question.

It boils down to how you and your partner define sex

Most studies and researches of this nature are often based on intravaginal ejaculatory latency time, also called (IELT).

IELT is used in reference to the time it takes the owner of a penis to ejaculate while engaging in vaginal penetration.

But then, this is far from how everyone defines having sex. Many people believe that the end of sex is defined by when all parties involved have climaxed.

This may be, however, be achieved through oral sex, touching, anal sex, vaginal sex, or a combination.

If penetrative sexual intercourse is the only thing that makes up your definition of sex, then you must know that “sex” will possibly only last a couple of minutes.

It’s also worth pointing out that using IELT as a standard assumes that penile-vaginal intercourse is also the standard.

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Vaginal sex doesn’t involve a partner who owns a penis in every case.

And although it is not impossible to extrapolate these numbers to penile-anal intercourse, it is important to note the vaginal and anal sex are two different things.

More studies are needed to determine the desired and average duration for these encounters.

Sex should be enjoyed and pleasurable over all else, and this asleep comes down to individual preference.

Some people are in search of a long, sensual encounter, while some others are in need of something fast and aggressive.

The main aim here is that you satisfy your sexual needs as opposed to trying to beating the clock.

All that said, no person can fight biology

In a lot of cases, underlying biological factors may have an effect on how long your sexual sessions last.


The older they get, the greater your chances of finding that:

  • It takes much longer to get aroused
  • Erections become even harder to achieve and to maintain
  • Hormonal changes play a role in things like decreased libido and vaginal dryness


There are different types of penises, and that has become a factor as well.

Researchers in one study carried out in 2003 found that the shape of a parsons penis, mostly the ridge around the penis head — may have evolved to become more competitive.

The ridge of the penis is able to displace all preexisting semen in the receiver’s vagina. Deeper and more vigorous penetration results in even more displacement of semen.

This makes it possible for the ejaculating partner to create room for their own sperm, thus increasing their chance of making babies.

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Using competitive evolution as a basis, this could explain why some individuals find it painful to continue thrusting even after ejaculation. Continuing to move back and forth may displace your semen and, in turn, decrease your other chance to reproduce.

Sexual dysfunction

Sexual dysfunction is another factor that can affect how much time you spend during sex. Premature ejaculation, for example, can cause an individual to climax much faster than they would want to.

People who have delayed ejaculation may take a longer time to climax if at all they’re able to do so.

If you want a shorter encounter

If what you want is a quickie, these techniques may be all you need to get there faster.

Don’t be shy to Touch yourself

If you feel like you’re running against time, masturbation can be a great way to make sure that you reach the Big O. After all, no one knows your body better than you!

If your partner is touching you already, explore a different area. You have the liberty to:

  • Gently pinch or pull your nipples
  • Rub your clitoris
  • Smack your behind
  • Gyrate your hips

You can even enjoy mutual masturbation, in which both of you pleasure yourselves.

This gives both of you the opportunity to climax even faster while enjoying intimacy.

Don’t be afraid to tell your partner what you want

Communication is essential even in sex. Do well to discuss your desires with your partner — and vice versa — as this can help both of you understand what it requires to make each other get an orgasm.

You can make use of what you will learn to get to the finish line even faster for some mutually-gratifying quickies.

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Try some climax-inducing positions

If you know that certain positions feel better for you than others, ensure to shift as needed so you can get yourself there even faster.

This can do well to include sexual positions that allow for deeper penetration or sexual positions that make it easier for you to pleasure yourself or your partner manually at the same time.

If you wish to have longer encounters

If you crave a longer time of sexploration, the following techniques may help:

Try the semans’ stop-start technique

Also called “edging,” this sex technique involves stopping all sexual stimulation temporarily when you feel like you’re getting close to ejaculation.

Once the feeling has passed, you and your partner may resume your sexual activity.

Although this sex technique was originally created to help a person who owns a penis to delay ejaculation, things work differently now. It can be used by any person looking for a prolonged climax.

Try the Johnsons’ and Masters’ squeeze sex technique

This sex technique requires you to gently squeezing the end of your penis for a few seconds just before ejaculation until the need to ejaculate subsides.

People can also find it useful if they wish to practice ejaculatory control.

Final thoughts on how long sex should last

Factors such as how we define what sex is, Mutual desires, and individual expectations all influence the duration of time sex may last.

If you feel concerned about the duration of your sex sessions, you should consider making an appointment with your doctor or any other healthcare professional.

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