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Sexy Time

When it comes to sex, people can become obsessed with duration. Despite the popularity of the ‘quickie’, this is one activity where taking your time has always been encouraged.

How long?

Discussing how long sex should last is a popular but ultimately fruitless topic. As long as everyone has a good time, what’s the big deal? If we’re talking about averages, according to the study ‘Canadian and American Sex Therapists’ Perceptions of Normal and Abnormal Ejaculatory Latencies: How Long Should Intercourse Last?’, anywhere from three to seven minutes. Of course this depends on a multitude of factors, including the amount of foreplay beforehand and how long it has been since the last intimate encounter.

The Big Bang.

There is some conjecture as to what the actual duration of the average orgasm is, but generally studies agree that the female orgasm lasts longer than the male. According to Brown University, men experience an average of four to six physical contractions during sex, whereas women can experience up to ten contractions. Time-wise, this translates into the male orgasm lasting an average of six seconds, while the female orgasm can last for 20 seconds. So what causes these elusice 20-second orgasms? It’s different for everyone, so you may as well test a few moves out – for scientific purposes, of course.

Ready for round two?

While it’s possible for women to have multiple orgasms one after another, unfortunately the fellas don’t always have the same luck. Although it’s different from person to person, the standard refractory period for young men is somewhere between 15 and 30 minutes. However, as men age, this period can be lengthened to several hours, or even a full day. This neurochemical process is pretty much accepted as the norm; however, some have argued that it is actually possible for men to have multiple orgasms, just not multiple ejaculations. A study in 1989 found that some men frequently experienced multiple orgasm contractions, with some previously having had between two and nine orgasms in a row.

That special time of week.

It’s a scientific fact that some days are just made for getting lucky. According to the London School of Economics the magic day is Thursday, because supposedly that’s when our natural cortisol levels are at their highest. However, the Journal of Sexual Medicine argues that the likelihood of the sexiest day is based on whether we’re single or not, concluding that single people were more sexually active on Mondays to Thursdays, whereas people in relationships were more likely to have sex on Friday and Saturday. Which raises the question: what’s even the point of Sundays?

Slow and steady wins the race.

There’s a lot of talk about the emotional value of foreplay–making your sex partner feel valued, prolonging the experience and so on–but it’s important for the overall physical experience, too. Women tend to take longer to get aroused than men, but studies by the Journal of Sex Research has found that both sexes cite the ideal duration of foreplay as 18 minutes. Unfortunately, the same study also reported that, in actuality, foreplay usually only lasted an average of 13 minutes. Seems like not everyone paid enough attention to ‘The Tortoise and the Hare’.