This is how long sex is *really* meant to last

  • Marie Claire is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission on some of the items you choose to buy.
  • (And it’s not as long as you think)

    Right, it’s time to face facts. Sex that lasts for hours and hours really isn’t that fun. In fact, it can actually end up being downright dull. And not just any dull – the kind of boring where you’re secretly fantasizing about the sarnie you’re going to make for yourself afterwards or trying to remember where you left your bank card reader…

    But sex that’s over in 30 seconds? Not that great either. So what exactly is the ideal amount of time that we should be getting down and dirty?

    Between three and thirteen minutes apparently, according to experts.

    The Daily Show with Trevor Noah GIF – Find & Share on GIPHY

    The Emmy and Peabody Award-winning Daily Show takes a reality-based look at news, trends, pop culture, current events, politics, sports and entertainment with an alternative point of view.

    Surprised? Join the club. But there are a few more factors involved in that result.

    Researchers from Penn State Erie surveyed sex therapists across the US and Canada to come up with the following categories for the optimum time frame from penetration to ejaculation:

    •Too short – 1-2 minutes
    •Adequate – 3-7 minutes
    •Desirable – 7-13 minutes
    •Too long – 10-30 minutes

    So those sex scenes which make it look like the on-screen lovers are lasting for hours on end? Complete BS. In fact, you could have had better sex in the ad break…

    But why then do we think that longer is better? According to the researchers, it’s popular culture that is to blame: ‘Unfortunately, today’s popular culture has reinforced stereotypes about sexual activity. Many men and women seem to believe the fantasy model of large penises, rock-hard erections and all-night-long intercourse.’

    As a result, past research has shown that a large percentage of those interviewed wanted sex to last for half and hour or longer, choosing fantasy over reality.

    ‘This seems a situation ripe for disappointment and dissatisfaction,’ explains lead researcher Eric Corty, an associate professor of psychology. ‘With this survey, we hope to dispel such fantasies and encourage men and women with realistic data about acceptable sexual intercourse, thus preventing sexual disappointments and dysfunctions.’

    So if you’re usually queen of the quickie, don’t sweat it – your sex is probably best anyway. Well done you!

    Reading now