This Is How Long The Average Couple Has Sex For

Illustration: Anna Sudit
“We be all night, last thing I remember is our beautiful bodies grinding up in that club,” sang Beyoncé in reference to her sex life with Jay Z. Then again, more recently, she reminded us how much the couple enjoys that “sweet love all night long”.
And it’s not just Bey who’s apparently enjoying marathon sex sessions. If you’ve listened to any modern-day pop music, you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s normal for sex to last til the early hours (do these people not sleep?).
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In reality, however, most of us simply don’t have superstar-level endurance. According to new research, the average sex session of British couples lasts just 19 minutes. This is 10 minutes of foreplay followed by nine minutes of penetration.
The survey by online sex retailer Lovehoney, which questioned 4,400 people about their sex lives, didn’t touch on sex between gay couples and doesn’t explicitly mention non-penetrative sex.
Half of those surveyed (52%) said they were satisfied by how long their sex lasts, but 23% of men and 15% of women wished it wasn’t over so soon. Couples also have to make do with a ‘quickie’ a fifth of the time they have sex, due to time pressures.
The ideal length of time for a sex session would be more than half an hour for 24% of couples surveyed, and two-thirds (66%) said they prefer sex to last for at least 15 minutes.
Of course, the length of time sex lasts isn’t a deal-breaker for most people. How satisfying it is, however, is pretty important. Three-quarters of men orgasm almost every time they have sex – compared to just 28% of women.
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What’s more, sex ends in a shared orgasm only a third of the time, the research found. Helpfully, Lovehoney’s Mind The Gap campaign aims to help more couples achieve orgasm simultaneously.
“It is fantastic news that almost 90% of couples have achieved a shared orgasm at some point in their relationship,” said Lovehoney sex expert Jess Wilde, who added that this is “the absolute peak of sexual happiness” for around half of couples.
Is there anything we can do ourselves to boost our chances of sexual satisfaction? “For women, the key to orgasming easily is to have a strong and healthy pelvic floor, and there are simple exercises they can do to strengthen the muscles in this area.”
Screw the gym, it's time to start working out our pelvic floors.
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