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How long should sex last: Is longer always better?

How long should sex last is a question which has puzzled many. Research says that seven to fifteen minutes a good duration for sex.
A couple in bed
having multiple sexual partners and frequent sex increase the chance of UTIs. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Anjuri Nayar Singh Published: 8 Nov 2023, 09:17 pm IST
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Popular culture has glorified the stigma around men coming too fast and too soon. Several movies in the recent past have poked fun at couples for whom sex lasts short and quick. But the question of how long should sex last is something that continues to remain a mystery. While a shorter sex session might not be that impactful or pleasurable, longer sex may actually come with added problems!

To answer the question about how long should sex last, Health Shots reached out to Anu Goel, sex therapist and mental health expert. She says, “The time duration of vaginal sex should be between 7-15 minutes to be able to give maximum desirable results and to get an orgasm (though it’s never guaranteed). But sex is just not vaginal, it has got foreplay as well, which is very important.”

As per research, she says that men typically ejaculate after 5-10 minutes of sex. A study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, divides sex into the basis of adequate, desirable, too short, and too long. It claimed that sex lasting 3 to 13 minutes is normal. Sex lasting between three to seven minutes is tagged as adequate and sex that goes on between seven to thirteen minutes as desirable.

How to have good sex?

Irrespective of how long sex should last, good sex is something that everyone enjoys. That takes work, says Goel.

“To have good sex, partners need to educate themselves, as well as discuss about it. Give yourself time, explain to each other what makes the other one feel good and discuss things. You can even discuss your fantasies, practice touching, discover different things,” she explains.

A sexual experience is not just about having sex. The foreplay is as important as after-sex cuddles. The pleasure is as important as the communication. Expressing your emotions even during the act helps a lot. “Saying things and moaning during sex helps your partner to understand a lot more about what you like,” says Goel.

How can you make sex last longer?

If you are still wondering how long should sex last and want to increase your time, there are few practical tips suggested by Goel.

A couple having sex
Foreplay is a very important part of good sex and should not be skipped. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

1. Increase foreplay

Foreplay is something that creates excitement and arousal in people. This is the sexual activity before you begin penetration. This helps you build emotional intimacy as well with your partner. It also leads to sexual arousal, which is very important for good sex.

2. Take things slowly

Sex doesn’t have to rough and rugged. Keeping it slow is another way to get the juices flowing. This also increases the chances of a potential orgasm, and you have more freedom to explore different things.

3. Build on stamina

If you want sex to last longer, you do need to have the energy for it. Once your stamina increases, you can perform the same activities with less stress on your body. A great way to do this is to do more exercises. Pelvic exercises, especially, really help with this.

Also read: Is your partner struggling to improve sexual stamina? 7 tips to help them last longer

4. Discuss with your partner

Telling your partner what you want can be a good way to not only make the sex longer, but to enhance the quality as well. Trying out different positions, role play are efficient ways to enjoy sex more. On that note, have you heard about edging for long-lasting sex?

A woman facing sexual health problems
Very long sex can often lead to STIs and other infections. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

What happens if sex is too long?

While one may feel that the longer the sex, the better, it might not be true. Long sex can also come with its list of complications. “If sex is done for too long, it can create vaginal infection for a person. This happens because of the constant contact of the two human beings,” says Goel. It can also lead to vaginal pain and even swelling. If lubrication gets dried up due to the long duration of the sex, constant activity may cause friction, which can led to pain. Of course, there is also more risk of UTIs. Very long sex can also leave you physically exhausted.

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About the Author

Anjuri Nayar Singh has over 12 years of experience in writing for various topics including lifestyle, films, television and OTT. She also writes on art and culture, education and human interest stories. ...Read More

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