How Long Should Sex Last?

3 minutes

The fact that we’re still using the word ‘should’ around our own sexual pleasure is the first clue that there’s no one right answer to the question. A lot of people might believe that longer is better, or that other people think it is, and till-the-sun-comes-up long sex sessions are a pretty universal barometer of how hot and heavy last night was. And yet.

If everybody is doing it all night, how come Netflix is so successful? All joking aside, in real life, whether you are in the mood for penetrative sex that lasts for hours or oral sex that curls your toes but lasts 5 minutes, pleasure is pleasure. And hello, what about quickies? A quickie is one of the most erotic sex plays around, and can also act as an intimate stop-gap when you’ve got a week that allows little together time. Here are some tips to getting it right for you and the expectations that might be getting in the way.

Expectation: We’re gonna do it all night.

Reality: You might. And that is perfectly fabulous. However, an all-nighter is probably not 7 or 8 uninterrupted hours of sex. It’s more a big sexual soup of foreplay, interplay and after play. You might hold each other, talk until the sun comes up and then do it all over again. Or you might have long sex. Or content yourselves with mutual oral sex. As long as you and your partner’s needs are being satisfied and what you are doing feels right, there’s no one right way to do this. Stock up on lubes, condoms and – why not – toys, and enjoy!

Expectation: I’m going to want to do it all night. Every time.

Reality: Few people want to get it on the same way every time. Keep an open mind. And be prepared to mix it up. Pleasure is about moments and touch and all the sensations themselves, not a fixed amount of time you have to stroke in order to tick all the “That was hot!” boxes.

Expectation: The perfect amount of time is…

Maybe you like to do the do for hours. Or used to. Or don’t at all. There are so many different ways to explore each other that getting hung up on some pre-planned ‘perfect’ amount of time could totally get in the way of what you and your partner(s) actually enjoy. A hilarious but telling Twitter poll asked 819 participants, “Ever get bored during penetrative sex or want it to just be over already?” A whopping 82% of them answered yes thereby proving that stamina isn’t everything. And that asking your partner, “Does this feel good?” should be part of an ongoing convo, even in the thick of things.