Good sexual intercourse lasts minutes, not hours

Satisfactory sexual intercourse for couples lasts from 3 to 13 minutes, contrary to popular fantasy about the need for hours of sexual activity, according to a survey of U.S. and Canadian sex therapists.

Penn State Erie researchers Eric Corty and Jenay Guardiani conducted a survey of 50 full members of the Society for Sex Therapy and Research, which include psychologists, physicians, social workers, marriage/family therapists and nurses who have collectively seen thousands of patients over several decades.

Thirty-four, or 68 percent, of the group responded and rated a range of time amounts for sexual intercourse, from penetration of the vagina by the penis until ejaculation, that they considered adequate, desirable, too short and too long.

The average therapists’ responses defined the ranges of intercourse activity times: “adequate,” from 3-7 minutes; “desirable,” from 7-13 minutes; “too short” from 1-2 minutes; and “too long” from 10-30 minutes.

“A man’s or woman’s interpretation of his or her sexual functioning as well as the partner’s relies on personal beliefs developed in part from society’s messages, formal and informal,” the researchers said. “”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. ”

Past research has found that a large percentage of men and women, who responded, wanted sex to last 30 minutes or longer.

“This seems a situation ripe for disappointment and dissatisfaction,” said lead author Eric Corty, 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.”

Corty and Guardiani, then-undergraduate student and now a University graduate, are publishing their findings in the May issue of the Journal of Sexual Medicine, but the article is currently available online.

The survey’s research also has implications for treatment of people with existing sexual problems.

“If a patient is concerned about how long intercourse should last, these data can help shift the patient away from a concern about physical disorders and to be initially treated with counseling, instead of medicine,” Corty noted.


The material in this press release comes from the originating research organization. Content may be edited for style and length. Have a question? Let us know.

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68 thoughts on “Good sexual intercourse lasts minutes, not hours”

  1. I’m always concerned to read data like this because it seems such a complete disconnect from my reality! Like a graphic I’ve seen of men having their penis pointing downward when erect after they are 40 years old and older!

    Seriously, the best sex is less than 9 minutes? Well don’t ask me or my wife for sure. We have hours of sex weekend days and yes with long penetrations that easily spans a couple of hours. We crave it! Even on workdays we’d have an hour of penetration at least. Neither I nor her would ever want to change that. We are each other’s dream sexual partner because we want that kind of sex!

    I don’t think a survey of 50 people part of a particular group can be called “science”. Real actual data from a significant pool of people is bound to offer a different view for sure than the one offered by these member of the society for sex therapy. I might be above average, but still, considered the fact that I’m 55 I can almost guarantee many younger guys out there must be outpacing my older-guy abilities.

    I understand that some people might have concerns regarding not being able to have long-enough sex, but it seems to me you’re coming up with skewed data in order to make them feel “normal”. What’s normal? Maybe these people were quite happy with 8 minutes of penetration because they are not enjoying the sex so much, maybe because the woman is dry or other?

    I mean, one’s perspective on sex/partner is sure to affect “desirable length”. Me and my wife just have an extremely positive view of sex as the most beautiful, powerful and intimate thing to share and so, we absolutely LOVE the very frequent and very long sex (impossibly long compared to your results!!!) We’ve been at it almost daily for years and we certainly don’t want it to change.

    Sex is fantastic and hours of penetration can be the best thing imaginable! It is for us.

  2. I will like to know y I don’t sex drive any more with my wife but when I go to other woman I get this sexual drive
    I don’t get erected enough when I am with my wife I want to do it but I can not because of my erection
    Y it always happen like that with her not else where

  3. A survey obviously isn’t going to be the absolute objective measurement, but it’s nice to have one try to broach the subject.

    I think what we should take away isn’t an ideal timeframe, but the opposite. We should accept sex depends on the partners, the situation, and the mood and we shouldn’t set silly standards for ourselves. Many of us have had the all night love-a-thons. And many of us have enjoyed sex that only lasted a few minutes.Some of us take 45 minutes to ejaculate and some only a handful.

    The point is that it doesn’t matter. If both of you enjoyed the sex honestly, then the difference between 6 hours ands 6 seconds is irrelevant. Just enjoy yourselves

    • first things first, masturbate once before sex, get the first impatient nut out of the way. secondly, if you can’t control it on your own, then use distractions, and don’t think / pay attention to whats going on, instead think about something else, sing a song in your head, look around the room and think about the stuff there, some people like to think about things that may be a turn off. third, when you feel yourself getting close but you don’t want to finish yet, then by all means slow down, even take a break and use other appendages to pleasure with.

  4. Yep, on average, our first session of baning each night only lasts between 11 and 15 minutes, but the second one take between 45 minutes to one hour. My woman only likes to try for #3 or more sessions on weekend nights, because she gets quite tired and sore, and it takes about 1 hour with heavy pumping and sweat to finish project #3. Our record was 7 sessions in 1 night, but we didn’t get much sleep that night, and were very dehydrated. She does not like to do that many times anymore.

  5. Yep.. I’ve done it for 45 minutes.. I think that was my record. My vagine was as sore as anything, but it was GREAT.

  6. THAT IS ACCORDING TO SURVEY BUT TO ME DURATION KEEP ON CHANGING WITH AGE OR STATE OF MIND?? I USED TO TAKE HOURS BUT NOW ONLY 1O-20 MINUTES I WAS WORRIED NOW I WILL RECONSIDER…….

  7. thought provoking entry. Thank you for taking the opportunity to approach this topic. I was looking for the facebook like button to add this entry to my feed.. do you have one?

  8. i’ve been searching some stuff about this theme..and i got to say, im shocked :o, ive only and sex a few times and the last one lasted something like 2 hours xD (seriously)

  9. I don’t know what your survy says but I want to give my hounest data here . I have penis sized of 5.25 or little more. ME AND MY PARTERS INTERCOURSE LAST 45 MINS EVERY DAY I DO FULL PUMPING ALL THE TIME MANY TIME LAST MORE THAN HOUR .

  10. It is obvious that sex need strenght for you to have it well to your desire, from penetration to ejaculation it does not take TWO minutes for me to pour out my hot sperm what do i do? Do i need to take drugs if yes what are the drugs. Be cool

    • same here. UI hate it most is is just f****** 1min. I disvirgin the girl and her viagina tastes like what i never felt before. I am new in sex game though.

  11. This might sound like a joke but if you want a woman to have multiple orgasms ask her to squeeze her Ass during sex. just try it once.

  12. that is so serious I long for a length satisfying sex. Another man worked on me for several hours, then I wondered if he was on drugs. I tresure a friendly sex. sex is all that we need. even if it is short no problem, satisfaction is the concern.

  13. me and my fiancé we in the beginning was just a quick 90 seconds before it was over, one thing we talk about it was that if we have more sex and just dont do once a 1 more like 3-4 a week we might change that, so than this entire week i swear i went from 3 to 7 minutes than next day it went from 5 to 10 than 15-30 but i dint like it though cause a 30 minutes of sex is everyone dream but you want both of you guys to have a sexual pleasure of the orgasm so a 5-10 minutes of hardcore sex and loving will do it just do more often and you’ll last longer, we had a fight today because it took me 43 or 45 minutes before i came…”it aint my fault”

    • Yeah, my BF and I discovered this too. He usually lasts about 5-15 seconds, but I actually haven’t bothered asking about it because he’s so completely lacking in any sort of half-baked sexual competence that I’d just as soon he get it over with so I can go to sleep. :-/

  14. I read somewhere that “premature ejaculation” is usually classed as anything below two minutes after starting sex, but it can be over two minutes depending on the person’s norm. In the study you talk about in the post, 3-7 minutes was considered adequate for sex, so surely this has implications for men who think they’re not lasting long enough.

    Like one of the other commenters says, the study doesn’t take into account all the variables – what’s normal for one couple won’t be normal for another. There are loads of drugs on the market for premature ejaculation (I think Priligy is the latest), but maybe for a lot of men drugs aren’t the answer. They should be made more aware of studies like this one that put things into perspective!

  15. i just wanna know how to have sex for 20 to 30 minutes cause i can only last for 3 to 5 minutes before my sperm just start bursting out.

  16. I think you need to worry about the quality of your writing before anything else. Seriously? I have no idea what you mean.

  17. Do all these people eat fast food? Eat more natural food and come back with the same results then we will be on the same page.

  18. Stick to one partner and work through the relationship instead of **cking around like a stray dog. What good is a human being without discipline?

  19. The atticle falls short of proffesionalism.
    sex is enjoyed by over 500 million people per day and interviewing 50 people in a couple of days leaves one to ask “what ratio is there? Even thou it depends from partiner to pertiner, that duration is too short!!!!

  20. Lead up to Q: ive had too many sexual partners to say but it backs up my experience and i know women like it to last. Finally ive met the woman of my dreams and now i gotta be a one pump chump!!! she only lasts if we do any position other than missionary… and if we slip into missionary its over in seconds.. this normally is good with women as they get multiple orgasms but she cant. (maybe shes too unexperienced?) she says theres too much feeling.. then its like shes not there and me wearing a rubber makes it almost impossible to finish..

    Q: is there anything she can do to last or to be able to get multiple orgasms rather than just changing positions?

      • all i have to say is that im very sexual and i would love to try some positions but i have no one sadly well yet anyway. the point is im a girl and i wanna have sex but it seems im way to horny and once i get turned on i cant help what happens next i just want a boy with a big who canstick it in me and me real good and for a long time. Oh and someone who is willing to eat me out.

        xoxo

  21. I am not a doctor, so consult yours first, but I got Paxil or Paroxetine HCL (generic) for a similar issue and it works great. I would recommend about 30mg. It depends on your drug tolerance and how long you want to stay in control of course. For me at least, I have no side effects and the enjoyment is still there. It just delays the ending. I would say I could go 30 min with a Carrie Underwood. I think Paxil is normally to treat anxiety and even though I don’t have that, it doesn’t change my personality. It does however intensify your buzz without you knowing it. Heavy drinking and Paxil can cause more frequent blackouts which aren’t always bad, just be careful and aware I guess. All in all though, it’s truly a wonder drug.

  22. It is obvious that sex need strenght for you to have it well to your desire, from penetration to ejaculation it does not take five minute for me to pour out my hot sperm what do i do? Do i need to take drugs if yes what are the drugs. Be cool

  23. I think you need to stop seeing the sex as a competition and see it as something beautiful where if she is pleasured then you are happy. It is hard for a woman to relax when a man is pumping away on top of her trying to get her to respond.

    Sex is intimacy and if you keep going at it like it’s mechanical and all about your ability to make her cum, you will lose her. I bet you don’t realise that listening to her, holding her and just being slow and gentle with her are all part of the experience.

    Get back to the place of love. Also if she is the woman of your dreams -MARRY HER!!!

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  25. Modern science is ass-backwards! If you want to do valid research, you must have a wide variety of variables and a large enough of a control to get substantive results from any type of research. What did this research leave out? Individuality! Every sexual experience is like snowflakes; no two are the same. Penis size is trivial when contrasted with vaginal laxity, dryness and lack of sensitivity in either the male or female; the prominence of vaginal rugae or lack thereof. Here is where the problem lies. Moreover, their ages were not considered (or mentioned) and their respective intelligences were also not tested; two imbeciles will not correctly be able to assess/differentiate what they are feeling. Two many unknowns to accurately come up with conclusive results. Please google: ‘Science of Sex’ by Dr. Kevin Pezzi.

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