How long should sex last?

4 minutes

One of the most hotly debated aspects of sex is how long it should last, and it’s not uncommon to hear people argue about what is the ideal time to have sex. Naturally, not a single person is the same and we all like our sex in a different way. One thing, however, most of us can agree upon. Sex should not last too short but, most certainly, also not too long! So, with that in mind, what really is the ideal time to make love and how long should sex last?


Of course, the last thing we want to think about when having sex is to keep track of time. After all, sex is something that comes naturally and is all about enjoying each other. Nevertheless, there certainly is a time-frame that can be considered as the ‘’best length for sex to last’’. And although movies, books, and magazines might have made us believe that the longer we last the better it is, the actually preferred length to have sex is likely shorter as you previously thought!

How long an act of intercourse lasts has many variables: his age, the newness of the couple to each other, whether other sexual acts included, whether there are breaks in the action, whether the man was drinking beforehand, etc.

Physical factors affecting how long sex lasts


Men will find their ejaculatory pattern is likely to change as they age. They need more physical stimulation to get a firm, solid, erection, and this takes longer to achieve. After vaginal penetration, it generally takes longer to ejaculate. They may ejaculate less forcefully, with smaller quantities of semen. It can take longer, sometimes a full 24 hours, before they are able to ejaculate again.

Sexual dysfunction

For men who experience issues obtaining and maintaining a good enough erection for vaginal penetration which is also known as erectile dysfunction, they may find they can’t control their ejaculations as well. They often feel anxious, and they either ejaculate too quickly or not at all. 

They may also experience premature ejaculation (which is when a person ejaculates within one minute of vaginal penetration). There is usually an underlying psychological cause for this and usually, stress and performance anxiety can also result in erectile dysfunction and affect all aspects of a person’s sexual performance.

How long should sex ideally last

According to a study performed by Dr. Eric Corty,  The findings of his study, which was aimed at 50 couples, gave us a clearer insight into what people believe is the best length to have sexual intercourse. It has to be noted, however, that his study only focused on the act of sex itself, meaning from the first moment of penetration until ejaculation. In other words, foreplay is not included in the time. It is stated that if the duration of sex is

0 to 2 minutes: every couple who participated believed this was too short

3 to 7 minutes: this time-frame of having sex was considered to be satisfactory

8 to 13 minutes: was considered by most couples as the ideal duration

More than 13 minutes: this time-frame of having sex was considered to be too long

Now we know that the ideal time to have sex ranges from 8 to 13 minutes. However, this time-frame does not include one of the most important aspects of any sexual encounter – the foreplay! After all, we all know the importance of foreplay for having exciting sex. The numbers show us that men need around 3 to 5 minutes to orgasm whereas women need significantly longer with 10 to 30 minutes. As such, it’s important for men to hold back a little, making foreplay an essential part of satisfactory sex for both.

Having great foreplay together with your partner will work wonders when it comes to enjoying the actual sex later on. So, don’t be shy and encourage each other to play around a bit before having sex. There are many fun and exciting ways to have foreplay such as using your hands, mouth, or one of the latest sex toys for women like a realistic dildo or vibrator that are guaranteed to turn your partner on.

As of now, we know that the foreplay should ideally be around 10-30 minutes and the ideal sex duration is about 8-13 minutes we can conclude that the overall ideal time duration for sex should be around 18-43 minutes. It also goes that the ideal time would eventually depend on you and your partner as it can differ from person to person.