The Average Duration of Sex Might Surprise You


The Chriselle Factor

For any couple, the average amount of time spent in intimacy might be difficult to pin down. Time spent having sex is influenced by a number of factors and varies per occasion. But when talking averages, it is possible to gauge just how long most heterosexual couples are spending in bed. Sex toy retailer Lovehoney surveyed 4400 of its customers and found that most heterosexual couples have sex that lasts for an average of 19 minutes. That total is broken down—on average—into 10 minutes of foreplay and 9 minutes of intercourse. Of the couples surveyed, 52% said they were satisfied with that number, but 23% of men and 29% of women said they wanted longer sessions.

Whether you think this number is high or low, it should be noted that this number is well above previous studies measuring the same subject. One from 2008 found that sex considered "adequate" lasts from three to seven minutes, whereas sex considered "desirable" lasts from seven to 13. Another study conducted last year had heterosexual couples log the length of their intercourse over a four-week period, and the range spanned from 33 seconds to 44 minutes. 

It's important to point out that the latter survey doesn't accurately measure the whole story, as it only considered the time between penetration and ejaculation—decidedly male-centric. This is problematic because first, there are many forms of sexual intimacy that don't require any penetration. And second, as the Lovehoney study points out, 75% of men surveyed climax every time they have sex while only 28% of women do. So for heterosexual couples looking to move the needle, the takeaways can be to spend more time engaging in foreplay and prioritizing the female orgasm.

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