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 orhow 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.