When it comes to sex, turns out men and women both want to make it last.
According to a recent survey by U.K.-based dating site SaucyDates.com, on average, when respondents were asked how long they would want sex to last, both men and women answered in the 25-minute range.
Women surveyed expected sex to last 25 minutes and 51 seconds, while men expected 25 minutes and 43 seconds.
“The bad news is the average [person] in any country and of any age cannot get close to hers or his ideal duration. Both men and women are not reaching the duration they both desire,” the survey authors note.
The survey, which polled 3,836 in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia and India, found most countries (except India), lasted longer than the international average, with men in the U.S. leading the pack. Canadian men, however, outperformed other countries until the age of 28.
“The trend in India is different to other regions and their men get better and better with age. By age 50 they are very close to the rest of the world,” the authors note.
The survey also notes duration times were anywhere from less than a minute to an hour, and for the most part, both men and women wished sex lasted longer.
According to a previous 2005 study, sex on average lasted 5.4 minutes (without foreplay or a female orgasm), Esquire notes, while another study found seven to 13 minutes was considered a “desirable” amount.
“Very few people have intercourse per se that goes longer than 12 minutes,” sex therapist Barry W. McCarthy told the magazine.
“We have limited data on how long sex actually lasts, as most people aren’t concerned with timing themselves during an out-of-lab sexual experience,” she tells Global News. “And once you put them in a lab or ask them to set a timer, it likely skews the results … they might try to last longer than normal and focus on duration as opposed to pleasure.”
Longer doesn’t mean better
And just because penetration is longer, it doesn’t necessarily mean the sex is better.
“Get over cultural stereotypes that suggests that longer is always better. Do what feels good for you and your partner and forget about the marathon sessions you see in porn,” she says.
O’Reilly says for anyone with a vagina, penetrative intercourse is one of the least effective paths to orgasm.
“Women are more likely to orgasm using hands, tongues, toys and other body parts that allow them to grind and rub.”
She adds not everyone wants to last longer in bed and the average duration of intercourse, for example, may only be a few minutes.
“Research suggests that men who have sex with women tend to desire longer duration of intercourse than women and this may be tied to their perception that their female partners want it to last longer,” she continues. “Porn may play a role in shaping this perception and it’s important that you get feedback from your partner — you may believe they want you to last longer during intercourse when in fact, they may not.”
She adds your partner may be perfectly satisfied with duration but may have other desires on top of intercourse.
How to make sex last longer
And if lasting longer means switching things up in the bedroom, O’Reilly says the first thing you have to do is slow down and change positions once you’re arousal levels almost reach an orgasm.
“Masturbate more often so that you can learn to identify when you’re going to orgasm or ejaculate,” she says. “If you can recognize when you’re about to go over the edge, you can stop for a moment or experiment with engaging your pelvic floor muscles to delay orgasm.”
She also suggests toning your pelvic floor — and it’s not just about Kegels. “See a pelvic floor physiotherapist to make sure your muscles are in tip-top shape — this type of fitness is essential to sexual response and can help you to ‘control’ your orgasm.”