Normal sex duration

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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 the 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.

Writing in conclusion the authors say, Therapists' beliefs about ejaculatory latencies were consistent with objective data on ejaculatory latency and were not affected by therapist demographic characteristics such as sex or experience. Our results suggest that the average sex therapist believes that intercourse that lasts 3 to 13 minutes is normative and not prima facie worthy of clinical concern. Dissemination to the public of these results may change lay expectations for intravaginal ejaculatory latency and prevent distress. These results may also be beneficial to couples in treatment for sexual problems by normalizing expectations.

Journal reference:

Canadian and American Sex Therapists' Perceptions of Normal and Abnormal Ejaculatory Latencies: How Long Should Intercourse Last? Corty, Eric W. et al. The Journal of Sexual Medicine, Volume 5, Issue 5, 1251 - 1256,


  1. Roger Paul Roger Paul United States says:

    When I first started having sex it was a couple of minutes.  Years later it was usually 30 min to 1 hour (active intercourse).  My longest being 2 hours (with some chemical help).

    My present wife can't seem to take anything over 5 minutes and I am having a real tough time coming so quickly.  This is a serious problem that causes many problems in our marriage.

    So am I to blame for loitering in there or is she just to sensitive in there?


  2. R.C. SCHILLING R.C. SCHILLING United States says:

    I am in a serious relationship with a women in her mid 20's. I am 50 and our sexual encounters about 4-5 times per week last over 2-3hrs. Her preference is female on top. Does the position have a factor? She follows with felatio and other intimate activity lasting over a hour is this normal?

    • Johann Wolfgang Johann Wolfgang United States says:

      What's abnormal is dating someone young enough to be your daughter. Try dating someone your own age for a change, and let kids be kids.

      • Joe
        joe igweindahouz joe igweindahouz Nigeria says:

        He is normal. The lady's activity is a factor that contributes to that. There is nothing wrong with his having an affair with a younger lady. We are talking about sexual activity. I stay about 4 - 7 minutes when am riding the woman with different sex positions but she can go as long as 1-hour and above when she is on top of me.

    • Jason Jason Canada says:

      I feel your a perfectly normal couple don't let age be an issue. If she wants and older guy she will have on be glad it you.

    • Kitten Kitten United States says:

      Efftard. Nothing we do in our 20's is serious. You're clearly extremely wealthy, and therefore very physically attractive. I'd let you hit it for a good solid 9 minutes before I threw your Viagra-enhanced ego off and sent your ass back to 'Old Douchetown'.

    • Jackson Jackson United States says:

      Hey man, you're living life. 30 years difference doesn't mean anything. Lust, love, attraction are all the same. Look at Michael Jackson, he was 50 and healthy and there were plenty of young 20 year old somethings that would throw it at him, PLENTY. I hope you don't feel a bit of shame for the blessing you have. Longer sex is great sex as long as its passionate as well. Keep the passion, the spark, the fire, and nothing is ever wrong. Short or long. We don't have long for this world as it is. Live it up!

    • Mike Mike United States says:

      Dude, you're living the dream, what you have is not normal but consider it extraordinary, something legendary, something above and beyond normal. My only advise is to leave her before she leaves you. Her being in the 20's is too volatile. But your edge is that she is unlikely to find another like you.  If you believe you're in love,make sure you have a spare tire,and be prepared to get a flat.  In other words,prepare your heart to be broken.  Way to go da man!

  3. nirmal nirmal Canada says:

    I am 30 year old guy. When I first started having sex it was a couple of minutes.  Years later it was usually 10 min to 20 min (active intercourse).

    My wife is taking time to climax over 5 minutes and I am having a real tough time climaxing so quickly.  This is a serious problem that causes many problems in our marriage.

    Please suggest

  4. The truth The truth United States says:

    It's all about foreplay anyhow.  I participate in foreplay for a good 30 minutes teasing my partner.  During actual sex I may last for 3-10 minutes of actual pumping.  That is all it takes!  Anything over 15 minutes would be exhausting and defeating the purpose. Holding each other and talking afterwards in bed is the the final step in wowing your woman!! It's that simple.

    • Yeaaaah Yeaaaah United States says:

      THANK YOU!

      Why won't more women (BTW, if you're effing ONE, it's a WOMAN, not "a women") tell the truth: women don't WANT anything more than 5 - 15 minutes! That's why our natural lubrication lasts that long.

      Viagra is the enemy. Porn and Viagra/Cialis have wrecked sex for women, because now, men expect women to be up for hours of thankless, brutal raw intercourse. It's not hot, boy-o. It's gross. Chub it up & wank away for 1.75 hours, then we can talk. For 3 more minutes. You joyless narcissistic prix.

      xoxo, The Troof

  5. shahab anwar shahab anwar United States says:

    What is the normal sex duration of women to have full pleasure and go to orgasm state during sextual intercourse?

  6. Roger Roger United States says:

    Troof - thanks for your view, but it is just that yours.  If you'd read my post you would have noticed that some of the women I've been with enjoyed sex for well over 15 minutes - so you obviously don't speak for every woman.  I'm just not sure how many women feel this way.  We certainly have your opinion.

    • Bird Bird United States says:

      I've been getting a yeast infection almost every time after sex. I realized that it's because the sex takes way too long. I only enjoy it up to 15 minutes and anything after that it starts to hurt and the bacteria get into the tiny rips in the tissue, causing this horrible infection. The women who enjoyed sex for hours with you were probably pretending after a while.

  7. vivek vivek United States says:

    What is the normal sex duration of men? Becouse I am 30 year old guy. when I first started having sex it was a couple of minutes. I get feared I have sex problem.

  8. liam liam United Kingdom says:

    I'm I am 18 and first started having sex only a year ago, my current worry is that I last too long, I have gone 4 hours of sexual intercourse (not including foreplay) without ejaculation before, no drugs no anything, my girlfriend claims that she doesn't mind when I last a long time (up to 3) but 4 hours is far too much. I want to know basically is there any named medical condition for it. We have linked it to my unusually high pain threshold and decided I may have a whole body under sensitivity problem any help???

  9. abc abc United States says:

    My dear friend, I am also suffering with the same situation. Can you please tell me the name of drug and did you feel any side effect?

  10. hasan hasan People's Republic of China says:

    Hi guys the name of medical spray is VIGO its swedish made available for 1.5 USD here. it has no side effects I am using is for many years. Its odorless, and require 10 mins before pleasure time starts - it help to last for 90 mins or more. U can come in 20 mins too, if u apply this spray on penis tip only.
    Other one is TOKO D cream its german cream xtreemly good

  11. waqas aslam waqas aslam Islamic Republic of Pakistan says:

    sex should be in natural way....all medicines and sprays have side effects per sure and long sex cause problems like blood pressure, impotent penis, less charm towards sex...kidney problems and many others....
    in start,we can sex having small time...but when we do it as a routine, naturally our time period increases...
    problems appears when you are young and want sex with call girl..she will demand long time because she had much much experience in sex while you have'nt....or you are old and go for young girl then long sex will never please girl and if she got habit of long sex she will find another young guy per sure because old is old and cannot run with young normally.... we should do sex with suitable persons naturally then no problem causes

  12. john john United States says:

    i am 20yrs old, i had my first sex at the age of 18yrs and it last for about 2-4mins, but now i can't even last up to 2mins, pls help me on wat to do, i don't want to use drugs becos they have side effects.

  13. GW bush GW bush United States says:

    Spray is better than any oral medicine

  14. zahidul karim zahidul karim Bangladesh says:

    What is the Intercourse duration per day?
    How many hours is the perfect Intercourse duration per week?

  15. savita savita United States says:

    our intercourse duraion is only 8 to 10 seconds,so i never satisfied with there any oral or cream for long duration without side effect

  16. realityalwaysrule Joolie realityalwaysrule Joolie Islamic Republic of Pakistan says:

    Sex is not only for fun even 5 minutes are enough but it is also important for human reproduction it is not just a thing to be used only if you use it wrong way then you may have bitter adverse effects of it.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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