How Long Should Sex Last?

As a sex therapist, I often get asked, “what is the ideal length of sex?” It’s a valid question, but unfortunately, there is no definitive answer. In addition to this, the definition of sex is also varied among couples. Some people only say they had sex if they had vaginal or anal penetration. In contrast, others may define sex as any form of sexual intimacy ranging from oral sex to sexual affection. For this post, I am focusing on penetrative sex, which seems to be the most common definition of sex. I will explore some common factors influencing how long sex lasts and offer tips on maximising the quality of your sexual experiences.

Firstly, it’s essential to recognize that there is no set “ideal” length of sex. Some people may prefer shorter, more intense sexual experiences, while others may enjoy longer, more leisurely encounters. 

Furthermore, the length of sex can be influenced by various factors, including age, health, and relationship status. One factor that can affect the length of sex is age. Our bodies change as we age, which can impact sexual performance. For example, older men may experience difficulties achieving and maintaining an erection, while older women may experience vaginal dryness, making sex uncomfortable. These factors can contribute to people choosing shorter sexual encounters when it comes to penetration. 

Another factor that can influence the length of sex is health. Some medical conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, and obesity, can impact sexual function and lead to shorter sexual encounters. Additionally, medications used to treat these conditions can also affect sexual performance.

Relationship status is another factor that can influence the length of sex. In a new or casual relationship, sex may be more intense and shorter. Whereas in a long-term relationship, sex may be more leisurely and longer. 

So, what can you do to make the most of your sexual experiences, regardless of length?

1. Communicate with your partner. Talking openly and honestly about your sexual preferences and desires can help ensure you both have a positive and satisfying experience.

2. Focus on foreplay. Foreplay can help build anticipation and arousal, making the sexual experience more enjoyable, even if it is shorter than you might like.

3. Experiment with different positions and techniques. Trying new positions and techniques can help keep things interesting and exciting, regardless of the length of the sexual encounter.

4. Take care of your sexual health. Eating a diet that works for your body and exercising regularly can improve sexual health and function.

5. Afterplay. Remaining engaged with your partner after orgasm through touch and conversation can build connection and intimacy. This can affect your emotional connection and fuel your desire for one another. 

While there is no set “ideal” length of sex, many factors can influence how long a sexual encounter lasts. Age, health, and relationship status can all play a role in determining the length of sex. However, by communicating with your partner, focusing on foreplay, experimenting with different positions and techniques, and taking care of your sexual health, you can make the most of your sexual experiences, regardless of length.

I wish you all the best.

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