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How long should sex actually last?

June 05, 2018 06:46 AM

COURSEY MIRROR MUMBAI JUNE 3

How long should sex actually last?
There is no universal rule, but experts say that what matters more is the degree of connectedness that a couple derives from the act
| Nasrin Modak Siddiqi
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Is there something like an ‘average time in bed’? Or, more specifically, how long should sex last to be termed ‘good’? Not surprisingly, most people, especially men, are likely to exaggerate time estimates because it makes them sound ‘desirable’. A study by Canadian and American sex therapists, which was published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, focused on perceptions of normal and abnormal ejaculatory latencies. What they found was that if sex lasts from one to two minutes, it is considered too short; three to seven minutes is generally believed to be adequate; and anywhere between seven to 13 minutes is desirable. If it goes for between 10 and 30 minutes, it is considered too long.

But experts say that studies don’t shed too much light on the issue, since no one really clocks a session of love-making. Plus, says relationship counsellor Namrata Shah, men have burdened themselves with several unrealistic expectations, while women could also have an altered perception of how long sex should last. “These expectations largely stem from books, movies, TV and, unfortunately, pornography,” says Shah. In porn films, says Shah, the truth is doctored. “It is important to understand that it is never a valid comparison,” she says.


Sana Shaikh, a 22-year-old psychology student, says that for most men, the refractory period (state that follows orgasm and ejaculation), is usually associated with the end of the act. “On the other hand, women expect any act to last for at least 30-40 minutes because they take longer to orgasm, especially the first one (in case of multiple orgasms). Besides, women also tend to require a lot of foreplay as compared to men.”

Actor-model Mayanka Sharma-Patel says that sex should last long enough for both partners to achieve mutual pleasure, generally in the form of orgasm. “The kind of sex you want to have affects the duration of the act. Sometimes you want to have intense lovemaking, and sometimes you want to do something that’s really fun and adventurous. Sexual satisfaction depends a lot more on other factors than just duration. The time you give to it should include the time to generate arousal both mentally and physically. I believe the more ‘outercourse’ you engage in, hopefully the higher your level of arousal and the closer you get to orgasm,” said Sharma-Patel

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