How long should sex go for?
Q: I’ve heard different things from everyone and don’t know what a good amount of time is.
There are so many questions when you’re first diving into the bedroom with your lover. From how many dates before you should have sex, will it hurt, how much sex is too much…the list goes on.
Here’s what they had to say.
Kassandra Mourikis, sexologist
There’s no right amount of time sex should go for and it’s different for each person and within each relationship, for some, it might last for a few minutes and others it could be closer to an hour or more.
This comes down to a few things:
People define sex differently: For some people, sex is defined as any physical, mental, and emotional experience that is pleasurable and erotic/sexual. This can include so many different experiences. Others may have a narrower view of sex = penis-in-vagina/anal penetration. When you compare the different ways people define sex, it makes sense that those with a more diverse definition of sex that can include lots of things that are often labeled as foreplay and have the potential to have a longer sexual experience. At the same time, they can decide to engage in only one or two sexual activities, making it short. When people define sex as penetration, sex tends to only last as long as a penis can stay erect.
You can decide whether you want to have sex that lasts longer on one occasion and have sex that is quick or only includes a couple of activities on another. This diversity and ability to change it up each time, deciding to diversify your sexual encounters and making sure everything you do together feels pleasurable is more important than how long it takes. If sex isn’t pleasurable or enjoyable, it makes sense why people probably won’t be up for it or into it, regardless of whether it’s a quickie or a long love sesh.
Claire Colclough & Alan McCarthy, Lucy Lube
We believe there is no magic number when it comes to this and there is merit in all types of (consensual) sex!
It’s good to remember that how we define sex can be different from person to person and may be made up of a combination of touching, oral, vaginal, or anal. We believe that being on the same page with your partner is key and this also builds intimacy and connection.
If you have similar expectations to your partner and communicate these, be it wanting a longer intimate experience or a hot and fast quickie the experience will be all the better for it.
Ask yourself what you want out the experience and let this guide how long it should last, ultimately, it should go for as long as you are wanting the experience to last but there are lots of techniques that can help both you and your partner slow things down or speed things up as required!
The key here is to remember that sex is about pleasure. Removing orgasm as the “goal” of sex will only serve your sexual experience, and it will take the pressure off time.
Take your time to explore what you and your partner(s) enjoy and periodically check-in. This is true for you as well – check in with yourself as to how you’re enjoying the experience too. If you feel like you’re not having fun or something is getting monotonous, ask if your partner(s) want to switch it up or take a break.
Create an environment where both you and your partner(s) feel comfortable and relaxed so you can both communicate your needs and desires.
Sometimes it takes time to get into it, and sometimes we get over a sexual encounter quickly. Both of those things are fine.
Sex is an opportunity to better know ourselves and each other, to be and to hold vulnerability. Also – it is a lot of fun!
Remember to enjoy yourself! Rather than worrying about the amount of time sex might take, consider how you might like to use it. It doesn’t matter if sex takes minutes or hours – as long as its a good experience.
Sex should last for as long as the time that everyone is excited, happy, and willing to be there and free to leave whenever they want.
As soon as you’re not enthused about being there, sex should end. I am often asked to quantify how long sex should last, but there is no formula or blueprint, there is no ideal or ‘normal’ time.
Listen to your body, respect your boundaries, and get curious to know what a good amount is for you.
So the long and short of it (see what I did there?) is that I like to think of sex as a ‘choose-your-own-adventure’ experience, sometimes enjoyed as a ‘quickie’ and other times it’s more long, and exploratory.
There’s a lot at play (no pun intended) that determines each sexual encounter, such as what time of day it is, how much time you have, where you are, who you’re with, the ambiance you’ve set (music, lighting etc) as well as how much foreplay you have had in the lead up to really get you in the mood!
Sex is often reflective of how you’re feeling at the time, as well as the energy shared between you and your lover in that moment.
As we say at Jonny HQ, ultimately sex is awesome and should be celebrated, as long as respect and consent are at the forefront, no matter how long or short it is.
Have fun, get nude, play and always use protection… cue Jonny 😉