How long great sex really lasts

Are we done yet?

Are we done yet?

A few months ago, I was surfing around a discussion board for moms when I noticed this intriguing question, “About how long does it take you and your DH to do it?” I clicked through, and I immediately felt inadequate.

Mom after mom was claiming to “do it” for 30 minutes, 60 minutes, and even two hours on a regular basis. These women were describing a “quickie” as sex that lasts for 10 to 20 minutes. A few even complained about short sexual encounters, whining, “I wish my DH had more staying power.”

I wondered, “Who are these women and why are they allowed to type such nonsense on the Internet?”

In my bedroom, a typical session lasts about 10 minutes, and that includes the taking off the clothes part and the clean up.

This, by the way, is not my husband’s fault. His staying power should probably be documented in the Guinness Book of World Records. (Note: His friends read this blog. My husband will now love me forever. He’d also like me to stipulate that the length of his, well, you know, is legendary.)

Our constant use of the quickie is all my doing.

I simply can’t imagine going at it for an hour. An hour?! Two hours?! When I think about having sex for that long, the following words and phrases come to mind:



“I have stuff to do.”

“Are we done yet?”

It’s possible that we completed a few sexual marathons years ago, when we first met. Those were the days when we used to think it was fun to gaze into one another’s eyes. My memories of those times have mostly been erased by a chronic case of momnesia, though.

In any case, we no longer have time to eye gaze, not to mention drag things out in the bedroom. Now in the AK (after kid) era, there’s simply no time for such frivolity. We have a 529 to fund, a daycare bill to pay, jobs to do, a house to clean, toys to fix, and meals to cook. Sex has become something we slip in somewhere between the daycare drop off and a mad dash to the bank.

Still, even if I had all the time in the world, I’m not so sure I’d want it. If sex lasted an hour or more, I’m quite certain I’d need to take ibuprofen for a few days afterward. I’m just not in that sort of shape anymore.

And even if I was in shape, I’m not sure I’m genetically blessed with the ability to go at it for that long. I’ve tried to turn myself into a better sex partner. I really have. For instance, I’ve tried doing it with my husband a lot more frequently, with the idea being that more frequent orgasms would lead to a better ability to delay them.

It sort of worked, too. Instead of 10 minutes, our sessions dragged on for about 12.

I’ve tried to focus my thoughts on nonsexual things, too, like how I planned to straighten up the bedroom as soon as we wrapped things up. I’ve even begged my husband to ease up. “No, don’t push me over the edge honey, I want to see… Oh, it’s too late now.”

It’s like that.

I thought about asking my real life mom friends about their sex lives, but I held off. I figured they might all be marathoners, too. I didn’t want everyone in town knowing that I was a sexual sprinter.

Then yesterday I was doing some research for a heart disease book that I’m writing and I stumbled across a Penn State study. It found that the most sexually satisfied couples usually had sex for just three to 13 minutes. In fact, the psychologists, marriage therapists and sexperts who were studied said that anything longer than 10 minutes was “too long.” (And if you wonder what that has to do with heart disease, all I can say is this: Google isn’t perfect.) The researchers were quoted as saying, “Unfortunately, today’s popular culture has reinforced stereotypes about sexual activity. Many men and women seem to believe the fantasy model of large penises, rock-hard erections and all-night-long intercourse.”

I thought three things:

1.    Hallelujah!

2.    Penn State rules!

3.    Bring on the quickies!

How long does an optimal lovemaking session last?

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109 comments… add one

  • ole lady May 19, 2009, 7:02 pm

    well …. i really need to be touched loved and have sex last for more than 14 seconds what is so wrong with that?

    • ken December 23, 2015, 1:06 am

      3times a week and 30ish minutes each sandlots of cuddling. All the time

  • john May 24, 2009, 7:34 pm

    actually i use to make love at least for 45 minutes some time to 2,3,hours,long time more enjoyment

    • Ed wolf July 23, 2016, 10:52 pm

      You mean 45 min penetration only???
      For a single orgasm?

  • Russell Yazbeck May 28, 2009, 2:10 pm

    I have sex for 30-60 mins. I like to take my time. Taking off her clothes is very enjoyable for me, so is kissing, fondling, oral, etc. Besides that my dick works better if there is foreplay. For me a quickie is 10-20 mins. Normal is 30-60, and if we’re feeling frisky we’ll go for over an hour.

    This is a different situation than in the past, since we all know that every woman is different when it comes to stimulation. I’ve spent 45 mins just on oral with a woman who was inexperienced and had pretty significant vaginal issues, but it was well worth it. I’ve had sex with women who were “done” in less than 10 mins. It varies so dramatically from person to person and couple to couple that there is no such thing as a standard like 10 mins or 4 hours. Some people can get it on all night if they want and some people can’t get it on at all.

    • lina October 2, 2015, 11:57 pm

      yes it is. my boyfriend very good in bed. last night he came and drilled my pussy for 30 minutes and I got 3 times orgasm! I love him so much! He said that my pussy is only for him! that no one can entering only for him!

    • inna October 2, 2015, 11:58 pm

      yes it is. my boyfriend very good in bed. last night he came and drilled my pussy for 30 minutes and I got 3 times orgasm! I love him so much! He said that my pussy is only for him! that no one can entering only for him!

  • TraderHubbyDad August 27, 2009, 7:56 pm

    My wife and I usually start getting rub rash after about 20 minutes of hardcore lovemaking, so I would have to say the optimal penetration session (lovemaking entails everything from pre-foreplay sex talk, foreplay, penetration, afterplay and naked cuddling) for me is no more than 15 minutes tops, 10 minutes preferable.

    • BanksAustine June 26, 2014, 7:30 am

      To me making love for about 30-60 minutes is madness. Not staying on top of a woman is the autimate but, the side effect. You age on time. No doubt about it,love making is good health wise but, not to go extra miles. I think to me 15 minits is alright.

  • Santiago Chadderton January 9, 2011, 1:19 am

    Thanks for taking the time to debate this, I feel strongly about it and love studying extra on this topic. If possible, as you gain experience, would you mind updating your blog with additional information? This can be very useful for me.

  • Matthew Patthew January 26, 2011, 10:41 am

    It really depends on how long you can keep someone down for!
    Matthew Patthew´s last blog post ..Think Sex Sells Not Always

  • Sunshine July 3, 2011, 1:05 pm

    Wow.. I guess I’m really lucky. My fiance lasts from 30 to 45 minutes on average, and counting foreplay, our sessions are around an hour to hour and half easy.. He usually starts with warming me up, often giving me an orgasm or two before entering me. The shortest we’ve had so far is 30 minutes.. it was around 15-20 minutes our first time when we lost our virginity together.

  • Alexis Josue Solo October 10, 2011, 12:20 am

    I cant imagine that people would have sex for less then half an hour. When my girlfriend and I have sex, it usually last 45 to an hour and half.For those who think “i have something to do” or “how long is this gonna last” should probably reevaluate their partners. Great sex usually last long and the pleasure never ceases.

  • Knitted in the Womb November 9, 2011, 10:36 pm

    People who think that great sex can’t be quick obviously don’t have kids. LOL. Yes, it does need to be a bit longer than 2 minutes…but if 10 minutes make both partners happy–who is to argue with them?

  • LEE August 31, 2012, 4:33 am

    I am 52 years old and my friend 28 years. We had sex once with the time 3 hours. Of course we had some break and play around, kiss… She told me that I was so great.

  • sara October 28, 2012, 12:02 pm

    I’m soooo with you on this! My husband actually wants to go for 30 minutes to an hour, at least, and it’s driving me crazy! That’s actual penetration time! If I’m going to orgasm (usually do, but not always), it’s gonna be in the first 10 minutes, and after 1 or 2 orgasms, my will to continue is looooong spent. I’m bored, I’m chafed, and I just have too much to do! I like sex, but not for hours!

  • Lorena December 13, 2012, 1:20 pm

    For us it take us about 40 minute for a regular and 15 for a quickie the older we get actually the longer it takes we try to go until we both get the big O. We take our time get it right. We do do quick oral as much as possible those last 10 minute most of the time I guess we maybe less frequent than some but we time to play

  • Kalonge Bryan February 17, 2013, 11:52 am

    Sometimes, you just blow without warning. I know that if you wanted to fuck this girl for ages, all you need to do.. is tart slowly and turn up the heat.

  • kester February 26, 2013, 4:04 am

    I tink its possible to have sex straight up for an hour without any drugs or something cos i have done it and it was cool.real men do it

  • Emma Gelder March 4, 2013, 12:41 pm

    I can’t imagine having sex for a week that would be so sexy

    • Mike Russo September 15, 2014, 8:30 pm

      You just described something using the word you were attempting to describe. Yes, sex for a full week, would be full of sex, or sexy. It’s kind of a given.

      • Zack endurance August 12, 2015, 2:47 am

        Haha he’s hilarious this guy!

      • Stud rammer February 11, 2016, 12:52 am

        How can u stay in that erotic mood and not get numb down there if you are fucking for more than 10 min .I mean come on lets not lie or dose my dick just not work properly

  • cusunshine May 7, 2013, 12:18 am

    It takes me at least 3 hours to ejaculate…Id love to have a woman that will orgasm over and over again prepping me for my orgasm, as Ive always, ALWAYS have her orgasm first… If you haven’t had a day of sex recently, than you HAVE NO IDEA…and I want it at least once or twice a day….

  • Angela September 15, 2013, 10:51 am

    This blog is appalling to say the least. You seem completely disinterested in sex and I feel for your husband who is prob having or has had an affair. Sexual intimacy is the bond that keeps a relationship healthy and two individuals connected. It is one of the most beautiful and pleasurable acts couples engage in. Unless your husband is asexual I highly doubt you are fulfilling his sexual needs. A 10 min quickie with no passion is not something to be proud of. Your blog is giving terrible advice to women and portraying sex as a chore. To women out there reading this nonsense: love your husbands, cherish them and look them in the eyes when you make love! Desire them and enjoy the act of sexual intimacy. If you don’t someone else will!!!!!!!!!

    • A humble happy man September 20, 2013, 12:45 am

      Angela more women should have your attitude. My spouse and I honestly make love 5 times a week for 90 min to an hour and I’m not a little guy downstairs. I’m not here to brag just express my disappointment in today’s culture. We own a business and work together about 60 hours a week and yet still make time for each other (and I still have plenty of time to play xbox and see our kids). What I enjoy more than my own personal feelings is making her feel good. It takes lots of concentration to have that much stamina especially when with someone you feel comfortable with. Intimate sex is not a “knock the bottom out of it” kind of event. We have 5 kids still living at home but make each other a priority still. We don’t smoke or drink so we get our feelings of excitement from each other. Also the longer your a couple the better sex becomes cause you communicate and it no longer has the stigma associated with it. Anyone can F**k but true intimacy is acquired over time.

    • Mike Russo September 15, 2014, 8:33 pm

      So you are criticizing the author for having an opinion, and you use her article to post…your own opinion…That sounds reasonable.

    • Sam February 17, 2016, 1:32 pm

      I agree with Angela completely! After years of trying to explain my complete dissatisfaction with our sex to my wife I have given up. She was unwilling to go beyond 10-15 minutes and thus never gained an understanding of how my arousal and my body work, sex for me was extremely unsatisfying because my orgasms were weak. There was never any seduction or build-up just a quick race to the technical orgasm finish line, then she disappears to put on sweats and/or falls asleep immediately leaving me there horny and unfulfilled.

      She always asks me why she feels so much distance between us, but as soon as I start to explain that it is because we never have sex, she gets defensive and starts talking about how we did it 3 times this week. Wow, three whole times. It makes me so sad to think that I am wasting the best years of my life with someone who has no desire for me.

      Do I need sex to be a marathon every time? No, just like I don’t need every meal to be a feast, but if all I am ever fed is a half slice of toast a day it won’t take long before I start looking for a Steak somewhere else.

      So now I have affairs. When the kids are grown, I will leave, because this is not an intimate relationship.

      Angela is completely right.

    • Tata March 1, 2016, 9:17 am

      The normal time to achieve an orgasm for a woman is 5 to 20 minutes (I can have it in 1 minute sometimes). More than 20 minutes is an sexual dysfunction. The normal time to ejaculate for a man is also 5 to 20 minutes. If your sex last for 1 hour or more, you are not having great sex, you have only difficulties achieving an orgasm. Also only 10% of women can achieve multiple orgasms (and I doubt that they really exist). There is more faker and boastful.

      • Kristin April 3, 2016, 8:11 am

        Multiple orgasms ARE possible, my husband gave me some last night. He also lasted for 2 hours, bc he WANTED it to last bc it was so good! So your statement just shows me that either you don’t like sex, or you’ve never had good/great/awesome/mindblowing sex. And yes I am boasting!!!

      • Sarah July 20, 2016, 5:50 am

        Are you serious? I’ve had up to 8 orgasms in one night. Normally is 2-3 (1 if it’s quicky). I guess me and my husband are both out of the norm then. Or you need to have more sex and stop focusing so much in those statistics.

  • charles November 10, 2013, 6:46 am

    gud 4 u all bt am the one minute man

  • steve July 8, 2014, 7:41 pm

    You’re all so lucky, 10 minutes or 110, at least you’re getting it! My other half gave up on it 10 years ago with “Quite frankly sex has never really meant that much to me”. Turns out she’s asexual.

    • Michelle November 6, 2015, 2:47 am

      Hey Steve, sorry to hear that. I think most guys are asexual. How long have you and your other half been together?

  • Katie Rose September 24, 2014, 8:55 am

    I feel for you girl. I used to feel the same way about sex. There simply wasn’t “enough” time, and during it I’d think about the to-do list and hope he’d just ejaculate already. But sexual intimacy is such an important part of any relationship, particularly a marriage. “Quickies” are fun and exhilarating, not a chore to keep his penis happy. You should to talk to your husband about reigniting that spark or speak to a sex therapist. Not only for his pleasure but for yourself and your marriage. I didn’t have the luxury of a sex therapist, I had my sister in law (the older sister I never had, really.) Yes, it was an awkward and difficult conversation, but I realized that sexual intimacy (not just fucking) is vital! Unless you’re asexual or physically/mentally incapable, good loving (or hard and dirty) sex will improve your mood and make you go gagga, staring into each others eyea like lovestruck teens. And yes, we are a busy family, too! You might lose one hour of sleep but it can feel like a week long trip to the spa when done right :)

  • Needy January 31, 2015, 12:11 pm

    i only last 10 to 15 Secs,want to go longer,pls help?

    • Tata March 1, 2016, 9:41 am

      You are perfectly normal and in good health.

  • Ajay kumar May 10, 2015, 12:58 pm

    How do I tell this, nobody believes me that I fuck my gf for more than 45 mins she feels shs dead and cannot move out of bed for at least 10 mins and says she cannot manage me, I think is my sex life strong????

    • Simonfizt January 24, 2016, 7:32 pm

      can u tel me what u do to fuck for lng?

  • Zara June 5, 2015, 2:17 am

    10 mins is like a second for me I must say. My husband and i can make love for as long as we like. I think the secret behind it isnt the time really. Its a sort of meditation, and even four hours can pass in the blink of an eye. Its magical to have two souls as one, and the intensity is unbearable. We’ve been married more than four years, but we can’t keep our hands off each other. We put the kids down and get right down to it all the time.

  • Nilda Marcos August 3, 2015, 11:44 pm

    A quickie for my husband is at least 30 minutes.We usually make love for 2 to 3 hours two times a week because we’re busy but when we were dating we stayed in bed every free moment.We once made love for eight hours and it was NEVER dry or uncomfortable.My first husband was very quick but loved to keep at it…I was sore a lot, I much prefer my current arrangement

  • Zack endurance August 12, 2015, 2:40 am

    I just had sex for 3 consecutive hours. She had to take breaks not me. It took me 3 hours to come. She did over a dozen times. I’m 24 and she’s likes 44. Damn I seriously can do it for like 45 minutes straight with out stop. At all. Like I say I can run for miles and miles so I can fuck like an animal for hours upon hours. Proved it tonight haha I’m not even that tired. It’s three am

    • Michelle November 6, 2015, 2:49 am


  • Harry Poon November 27, 2015, 2:06 pm

    your life sounds horrible.

  • john January 6, 2016, 12:58 am

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  • Mr. I. L. Variety January 18, 2016, 5:25 pm

    So like when is the last time anyone went in a restaurant and got pissed that there was a breakfast section on the menu? Sure its 4 pm, who wants breakfast at 4 pm? They should only give out a lunch menu at 4 pm, right? Well, no, variety is the spice of life. The wife and I got a menu to choose from depending on if we feel like appetizers, lunch, drinks, or dessert. Sometimes we…

    …Like it fast. I bend my wife over the bed take as little of our pants down/skirts up as necessary and then race to finish. The best time ever was when the delivery guys were doing an installation in the other room.

    …Are a bit tired but still willing. We agree to just have a little something before we roll over and go to sleep, this is the typical 10-13 minutes at the end of a busy day. Usually one person is doing this favor for the other.

    …Got a little frisky over a few drinks. We might just go for hot passionate sex that usually includes at least 5-15 minutes of foreplay on average, and then finishes off with sex that lasts another 20-30 minutes. These are most commonly the best sex we have and the time we experiment with positions.

    …Want to make love marathon style. This is rare, it requires both to be totally into it. It might happen on an early morning waking up at 4 or 5 but not needing to get up until 6 or 7. Just slow sex starting in a comfortable spooning position and maybe going elsewhere eventually. We both thrust slow and grind for 60-120 minutes. Eventually the orgasm approaches and the pace quickens, this might be the last 10 minutes.

    I don’t know why anyone would limit themselves to one bit of the menu. Everyone in a while the dessert menu should be explored, making it a special treat from time to time. And there are a lot more options than those listed, this is just the first page of the menu.

  • Md faruq ahmed January 28, 2016, 7:43 am

    Nearly Tow years have passed i married & generally i am used to spendig more time doing other thing like kissing,touching etc but drillng pussy in partner is satisfied with that or not i don’t know as she is somewhat reluctant in this case even she is remains silent if i ask for.

  • Darius February 16, 2016, 7:27 pm

    I know this is an old post but i have to say, that through the way the author describes it sh is not fully into the moment and doesnt even enjoy sex. If you enjoyed sex with your husband and he can continuously make you orgam i dont see how going 2 minutes over 10 minutes would be a problem. If anything maybe you need to find someone who is better at sex than your husband or he needs to find a woman who isnt so lame in bed that anything over ten minutes is a marathon. You definitely need sex therapy my freind.

    • Tata March 1, 2016, 6:42 pm

      Only 10% of women can achieve multiple orgasms. Before to tell that other people have a boring sex life, you should know better the woman body and stop your exaggerate expectations.

  • Aaron February 22, 2016, 4:38 pm

    My girlfriend thinks anything less than an hour is a quickie and that a guy should last 2 to 3 hour easily in bed. How do I convince her that is not true?

  • Tata March 1, 2016, 7:36 am

    I often read on the web and magazines, about people who have sex for 4 hours and more, or all the night, because they are so madly in love that they can’t stop. I suspect that they lie or exaggerate. The medias always like the sensational stories. I met several guys before my husband and nobody offered me sex sessions that last that long. Usually, after ejaculating one time, they stop and they don’t feel the need to restart. Maybe we all are boring and our love is not the most “special in the world”. And we are not multi orgasmics. I tried to be multi orgasmic, but after a strong orgasm, my body don’t respond anymore. I always read that “all women are multi orgasmic and don’t need a recovery time”, but it’s not true. I’m like the men. I have a refractory period. If I try to have another orgasms, my skin will be irritated. As I consider my clitoris the most precious part of my body, I don’t want to mistreat him. He is delicate and can’t be scrub for 4 hours! These women who have sex for 4 hours, don’t feel pain and skin irritation? My husband last 20 minutes and this is very above average. He think that the men who have sex for 4 hours take the blue pill. And the women make love with their “friend in plastic with battery”, not a real man.

  • Yeah March 22, 2016, 10:03 am

    I’m currently dating a man 8 years my junior and we have 3-4 hour sex sessions. I’m used to 2-10 minute sessions, if I’m lucky, with past boyfriends. I can say this, we were immediately meshed, we stare into each other’s eyes, i never lose wetness, and we don’t take breaks. It’s just an amazing feeling of love and connectedness I’ve never experienced. It’s possible. It just requires the alignment of the stars, 2 people completely in tune with one another, and no physical issues like premature ejac, or extreme vagunal dryness.

  • Lauryn April 10, 2016, 1:56 am

    I’m pretty much as miserable as I can be with my sex life with my husband. The longest he has ever lasted in our entire dating/married relationship is 3 minutes. That was once! 98% of the time it’s under 2 minutes. I can’t even count the number of times it has lasted 30 seconds or less. He doesn’t even try to last longer for me. I’m so frustrated that most of the time, I wait til he falls asleep and I cry myself to sleep. Every time we have sex it’s always followed with him saying “I’m sorry” because he knows he came too fast for me to even come close to being satisfied. I’m to the point that I hate when he wants to have sex and I don’t even initiate it anymore because I know I will just be left frustrated and unsatisfied. I have to beg for him to do foreplay and even that will only last for a minute or 2. We have sex 5 to 8 times a week but I guess when it comes down to it that’s only like 10 minutes total a week. I can’t even talk to him about it because he gets so offended. It’s just gotten to the point that I let him do it, pray that he falls asleep really fast and then take care of myself.

    • Santinhos June 12, 2016, 5:39 am

      I just mentioned a point about honesty. In my own unprofessional opinion I suggest try not to wait for him to fall asleep when you cry. Let him be offended when you talk about it. If he cares im sure he will start going out of his way. I might add he will eventually enjoy it more himself to see a better reaction from you. He will try harder.

      • Henry July 24, 2016, 5:12 pm

        The guy obviously has a problem either of the angry sort, such as he’s angry with women in general (likely because some strong woman somewhere deeply offended/hurt him and he hasn’t the wisdom to resolve it) or he feels inadequate in a major way (possibly in his work) and therefore is unable to nurture you. He just hasn’t the strength in his spirit, which should be his strongest part, to nurture you.

        A mature man would put his own needs aside to fulfill yours. That’s what Jesus did for us.

        Proverbs 18:14

  • cordale April 16, 2016, 2:21 am

    I fucked for 4 hours just the other night and my girl had around 20 orgasms and I went once it was amazing we were both hurting after like the next day but u either have it or u dont. I’m just saying.

  • Santinhos June 12, 2016, 5:30 am

    This might confuse most people. I found this blog because I had too many questions I needed to find answers for. Ive been married before my current wife, ive had sex before that lasted all different times. Although my size is just average I used to think I was the best in bed. My current wife shared her deepest feelings with me and I loved that. What I never realised was that there is a massive difference between cumming and having an orgasm. I could get her to cum a couple of times after one another. I could never get her to orgasm. I had to see this happen. After about 5 years I convinced her to let me cheat and get someone to help me(can just imagine how this is going to go down from here) we eventually found a gentleman that we were all comfortable with each other. He was blessed down there and a true gentleman . Well I can tell you that she orgasmed in the first five minutes. Now I can honestly say im an average lover. Not only did he go on and on and on (hence my searching for the normal period) she handled it all and thoroughly enjoyed it as did I. I also feel staring at each other for 2 hours and having actual intercourse for 10 minutes doesn’t qualify to having sex for 2 hours and 10 minutes. Im not trying to encourage anyone to do what we did, because believe me it can backfire, but dont think you are the king because we all have so much to learn. I suggest be open and honest about the most crucial things, and you will both be fully satisfied

  • Sarah July 20, 2016, 5:25 am

    Mm, 10 min EVERY time? I think you are just bad in bed. No need to blame the kids.

  • August 10, 2016, 1:40 am

    am so Lacy to see this commen Im straggling with my wife asking me why your spam taken more then 50 mints coz she said am feeling painfull so and I thin am not OK I want like 20 what can I do


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