How Long Should Foreplay Last? Men & Women Actually Agree On This One, Study Finds

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

As many women already know, foreplay is super important. Great foreplay can not only heighten arousal and amp up your sex life in the best possible ways, but it can also bring you closer to your partner. But how long should foreplay last?

"For men and women, any type of foreplay that involves touching and showing shared caring intimacy helps with the release of oxytocin and other 'love' hormones," Dr. Steve McGough, associate professor of clinical sexology and director of research and development at Women and Couples Wellness, tells Bustle. According to him, these hormones both enhance the sexual experience, increase intimacy, and help reduce the effects of cortisol and other stress hormones. So clearly, foreplay is beneficial for everyone.

A 2004 study published in the Journal of Sex Research conducted a study of 152 heterosexual couples on the amount of time they spent engaging in foreplay and intercourse, as well as the amount of time they wish they were. Despite a common belief that men aren't too into foreplay, this study proves otherwise. In fact, both men and women say they want foreplay to last about the same amount of time at 18 and 19 minutes. But as research found, foreplay typically lasts about 11 minutes for women and 13 minutes for men. So it's not too bad, but could be better. “Foreplay is the most important part of the sexual act for women," Saketh Guntupalli, gynecologic oncologist at UC Health and co-author of Sex and Cancer tells Bustle. "During foreplay, we release hormones that arouse our desire for an intimate connection. That heightened desire can intensify our satisfaction."

And ho doesn't want intensified pleasure? So if you're looking for ways to make foreplay better or to make it last even longer, here are some expert-given tips and tricks you should know: