How Long Does Sex Last? These Are The Average Durations In Different Countries, According To A New Survey
When it comes to sex, it's so easy to get caught up in what's "normal" or what's "supposed" to happen, whether it's how often you should do it or how long should sex last. And while there is no right answer to these aspects of someone's sex life and it will always vary among individuals, it turns out that sex duration may also differ from country to country, at least according to Adult dating site Saucy Dates' latest survey of 3,836 heterosexual people 18 to 50.
Before we get into specifics, as far as expectations around sex (the study just focused on intercourse), men and women were hopeful for more than just a few minutes between the sheets — or wherever it is they've having sex. Globally, when women were asked, "How long would you like sex to last?", the average answer was 25 minutes and 51 seconds. Men gave a similar answer, 25 minutes and 43 seconds. However, the reality's not matching up to these numbers, the survey found, with responses for duration ranging from less than a minute to an hour.
Then again, this begs the question, is there even a "right" length of time for sex? Of course, your sex life is up to you, and there is no "normal" amount of time that sex has to last — some prefer short and sweet while others like to spend all night in the bedroom (which doesn't necessarily mean the quality's any better). It "should" last however long you want it to, whether you're talking about intercourse, outercourse, or masturbation.
"We know that there are a number of health and relationship benefits to sex, and deciding how much sex is too little or too much is not helpful, as there is no magical number," Rachel Needle, Psy.D., licensed psychologist and certified ksex therapist in West Palm Beach, Florida, tells Bustle. "It depends on the individual. Rather than trying to decide if how much sex you are having is 'normal' compared to others, enjoy the sex you are having, think about how satisfied you are with it, and communicate with your partner about your wants and needs."
Dr. Michael Krychman, MD, OB/GYN, sexual medicine gynecologist and the executive director of the Southern California Center for Sexual Health and Survivorship Medicine, agrees with Dr. Needle. "There is no right or wrong frequency and duration of sexual interludes," Dr. Krychman tells Bustle. "Couples readjust to a good satisfying frequency of sexual intimacy, and this may vary depending on circumstances and what is happening in life. For instance, the arrival of a new baby may bring forth a lowered frequency rate as couples adapt. Or stress, fatigue, work commitments, and even positive stressors, like birthdays and holidays, are not always filled with excessive sex."
All that said, it's still interesting to know about others' sex lives. Here's what Saucy Dates uncovered in their survey, and which countries came out on top, so to speak. Note: They found that the international average for how long sex lasts is approximately 15 minutes and 10 seconds.
Survey respondents in the U.S. had more staying power than those in other countries, at 17 minutes and five seconds, and they're also well above the international average for almost the entire age range.
Canadians, too, came in above the international average, at 17 minutes and zero seconds, and were found to outperform everyone else until the age of 28.
When it comes to sexual performance, those in the UK are considered the "best" in their early 30s, at 16 minutes and 58 seconds, and only "average" at the age of 20.
Across the entire surveyed age range, Australian's are above the international average, especially at age 45 and above, at 16 minutes and 34 seconds.
Participants in India "scored" below the international average for the entire age ranged surveyed, at 15 minutes and 15 seconds. However, by age 50, they are very close to the rest of the world, according to Saucy Dates' findings.
The "winning" age? In general, the 30s, though, of course these things are a case-by-case basis. After all, sex is ageless.
As for other countries not included above, the volume of data wasn't sufficient to produce a reliable trend line. "This study was initially to see if men exaggerated their bedroom performance, but we were very surprised to see that men's timings matched the females — there seems to be no bravado when it comes to duration," David Minns, Founder of Saucy Dates, tells Bustle. "It was also fascinating to discover that both men and women had the same expectations. Plus, the variation with age was a very interesting insight that may give the younger generation something to look forward to!"
Sex Is Different For Everyone
In addition to the fact that longer sex doesn't always mean better sex, it's important to remember that everyone defines sex differently; there are probably as many definitions for it as there are sexual positions. "When it comes to duration, how are you defining sex?" Dr. Needle says. "Are you including the time spent kissing, touching, performing manual stimulation, oral stimulation, and other forms of physical touch? As long as you and your partner are satisfied with the duration, there is no need to worry about the duration of your sexual encounter. If you are not satisfied, then communicate with your partner about it. If you have difficulty making the desired changes, it would be helpful to seek out a therapist who specializes in sexuality."
Similarly, Dr. Krychman feels that sexual frequency is unique to each person and couple. "Frequency is an individual decision and this needs to sync with your partner,” Dr. Krychman says. "Mismatch in sexual desire and frequency is a common sexual problem,but usually can be easily circumnavigated with compromise, communication, sometime, and a sense of humor. The duration of sexual play is also something very unique. Some love the hot, passionate quickies that last only several minutes whereas others prefer the long sensual tantric lovemaking sessions. Others have a combination of both scenarios. There is no right or wrong way to have sex — it's important to communicate your desires, satisfy your passions, and communicate intimately with your partner."
As you can see, there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to how long sex should last or what your sex life should look like. It really is up to you, as well as up to you and your partner. All in all, it's a win-win for everybody.