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How long does sex normally last?

How long does sex normally last? That all depends on who you’re having it with. The length of intercourse varies a whole lot from one couple to the next.

You and your partner have sex pretty often, and in general, you’re happy with your sex life. Well, except for one thing. Most of the time, it never quite feels like it goes on long enough. How long is sex supposed to last, you wonder? What’s normal?

This is the very question that Australian researcher Dr Brendan Zietsch talks about in a recent article on The Conversation. But answering it is easier said than done.

What’s more, if you ask people for an estimate, they’re likely to guess that they last longer than they actually do. After all, the best lovers go on all night, don’t they? Well, that’s the stereotype.

5.5 minutes?

All this means that there just isn’t a lot of research out there on how long intercourse normally lasts. But there is one study from 2005 that has helped shed some light on how long people spend having intercourse.

Between 33 seconds and 44 minutes?

The study looked at intravaginal ejaculation latency time. Sounds romantic? It means how long intercourse lasts from when the guy puts his penis in his partner’s vagina to when he ejaculates.

Five hundred couples from Spain, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Turkey took part in the study. With the help of a trusty stopwatch, the couples were told to hit start and stop every time they had intercourse over a period of four weeks.

So how long did sex normally last for these couples?

About 5½ minutes was the median – that means that half the couples lasted longer and half-finished in less time.

But that doesn’t tell you so much, actually.

There’s no normal

The thing is, there was a huge range in how long they had intercourse for. When the researchers took the average of all the times each couple had sex during the four weeks, intercourse lasted between 33 seconds and 44 minutes. So as Dr Zietsch put it, ‘It’s clear there’s no one ‘normal’ amount of time to have sex.’

How long sex lasted didn’t depend on whether the couples were using a condom or the guy was circumcised, the study also found. There didn’t seem to be a difference from one country to the next, with the exception of Turkey, where the median length of sex was the lowest, at 3.7 minutes.

So what’s the take-home message from this study? It’s normal for sex to last as long as it does for you and your partner. And if you’re worried it’s going on for too long – or not long enough – talking about it to him or her is definitely a good idea.


Source: Waldinger, M.D., Quinn, P., Dileen, M., Mundayat, M., Schweitzer, D.H., & Boolell, M. (2005). A Multinational Population Survey of Intravaginal Ejaculation Latency Time. The Journal of Sexual Medicine.

How long do you think sex should last? Talk to us on Facebook (you can find us at Love Matters Kenya and Naija) or drop us a message below. 

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Recent Comments (60)

    1. Thanks for your input Isaac.
      Thanks for your input Isaac.

    2. I have definitely learnt…
      I have definitely learnt something new.I thought I had problems cause I lasted almost one and half hour as a first timer.

      1. Hi Simon, 

        I am glad you’ve…

        Hi Simon, 

        I am glad you’ve learnt something new. More power to you!

    1. Thanks Vicky for your input.
      Thanks Vicky for your input.

      1. Lol, Ngigi! … apana! what…

        Lol, Ngigi! … apana! what we are saying is that people are different. It’s normal for sex to last as long as it does for you and your partner. Also, there are tips that can help people last longer. Here is an example: I want my erections to last longer! 

  1. round one its 10 – 15min(is
    round one its 10 – 15min(is it normal)

    1. Do both you and your partner
      Do both you and your partner get satisfaction from it? That is what is important.

      1. What are the solution to…
        What are the solution to someone that don’t last up to 2mins

        1. Hi Emmanuel, 


          Hi Emmanuel, 

          Several factors can affect how long sex lasts. Some may be medical, psychological, while other’s may be lifestyle-related. It is important to talk to your doctor in case you have concerns. In the meantime, here is an article that can give you tips on how to last longer in bed: I want my erections to stay harder for longer

    1. What depends Nadir?
      What depends Nasir? Kindly clarify.

  2. how does one achieve quicker
    how does one achieve quicker erections after ejaculation

    1. Hi,


      It depends with a few factors like one’s state of mind. One can use foreplay to improve the chances of regaining an erection.

  3. it depend on your…
    it depend on your concentration and how your partner behave on bed that will gain yu morale to do it longer

    1. Hey Mathayo, we appreciate…

      Hey Mathayo, we appreciate your contribution.

  4. About 5_10 min..what makes…
    About 5_10 min..what makes one fail to gain erection even after stimulating state of mind either through oral stimulation

    1. Hello Kip, it is normal for…

      Hello Kip, it is normal for a man not to gain an erection or loose it soon after at one point or the other. If this, however, happens often it maybe a sign of Erectile Dysfunction (ED) which is when a man is unable to gain or sustain an erection. ED can be caused by a number of reasons including a side-effect of drugs and medications, diabetes, high blood pressure, or hormonal imbalances. ED Can be treated and for this reason it is important to seek medical attention when it happens frequently. Check out the following article;-

    1. We appreciate your…

      We appreciate your contribution Julius. 

  5. I think it should last for…
    I think it should last for 30min..

  6. Really I don’t know if am…
    Really I don’t know if am normal I take morer than 30min first round,and the other round I can’t talk

    1. Hey Amos, taking longer than…

      Hey Amos, taking longer than 30 minutes to ejaculate during intercourse means you are experiencing what is known as delayed ejaculation. This is largely caused by psychological issues like fear, stress or anxiety. In some cases it could be causes by underlying physical issues. Fortunately, there is something that can be done to try and address this. Have a look at the following article for more information;-

    1. Mmmhh…interesting. Yeah 30…

      Mmmhh…interesting. Yeah 30 mins is still within the range. 

  7. but am romantic I want to be…
    but am romantic I want to be romantic

    1. Hey, that adds to your…

      Hey, that adds to your relationship.

  8. Am new here please, and I…
    Am new here please, and I just read the article but in my opinion as long as they both are enjoying themselves no problem

    1. We agree Blessing. Thank you…

      We agree Blessing. Thank you for your contribution. 

  9. For me if not 30mins I can’t…
    For me if not 30mins I can’t bother every one with his timing up to ejaculation.

    1. Hey Rodger, thank you for…

      Hey Rodger, thank you for sharing. 

    1. Hey Favoir, you can bookmark…

      Hey Favoir, you can bookmark the page for easy reference. 

    1. Thank you for your feedback…

      Thank you for your feedback Tee! Have a great week ahead and stay safe!

  10. It depends with the state of…
    It depends with the state of the mind.Secondly first time sex does not take long less 3minutes

  11. Hi Dennis, thank you so much…

    Hi Dennis, thank you so much for sharing and we agree with you that it depends on one’s state of mind. Interestingly, sex for first-timers can also potentially last for more than 3 minutes depending on one’s state of mind too!

  12. we’ve never had good sex…
    we’ve never had good sex…ive been on a relationship with her for almost 3 years now… I’ve been patient….but everytime we make love…it doesn’t go past 5 mins….she loses the interest and doesn’t wanna hear of it…i am not happy…but what could possibly be wrong…what can make a lady feel no linger for sex that much…is it me..coz before we met i used to play damn good…help!

    1. Hi j101, thank you for…

      Hi j101, thank you for reaching out to us. We are sorry you are going through such a hard time.
      Communication is an important part of any relationship. Have an open and honest conversation with your partner. Explain how their actions are affecting you and the relationship. Try not to be confrontational because that would put them on the defensive and the resulting conversation would not be productive.  Be ready to listen to their fears and feelings and respond to them as well.
      This article has some pointers that could help you learn how to better communicate.

      Furthermore, click on the link below on how best to talk to your partner about your sex life in a positive way.

      We hope the information above helps and let us know how it goes. Have a wonderful weekend and stay safe!

  13. Time varies, depends on how…
    Time varies, depends on how you feel that game but mostly 5mins

  14. This is very true Emma,…

    This is very true Emma, thank you so much for sharing.


  15. How can someone last longer…
    How can someone last longer with is partner

    1. Hi  Dave, thank you for…

      Hi  Dave, thank you for getting in touch with us and asking a great question. The article above shares a lot of information on how sex normally lasts. Sexual difficulties are very common for men of all ages. Common guy problems include premature ejaculation or delayed ejaculation – either coming much sooner or much later than you’d like. Click here to find out more about what to do and let us know if the information helps.

      Have a wonderful festive season and stay safe!

  16. I think sex’s duration…
    I think sex’s duration depends on how both the 2 partners take charge both to each other once they start having sex..,the faster the friction the faster and more chances of ejaculation

    1. Hello Bita, thank you for…

      Hello Bita, thank you for your input.

    1. Hi Bosire, thank you for…

      Hi Bosire, thank you for your input. Why have you chosen 25?

    1. Hi Robert, thank you for…

      Hi Robert, thank you for your input. Why have you chosen this number?

    1. Hi Anonymous, thank you for…

      Hi Anonymous, thank you for your input. Why have you chosen this number?

  17. Awesome Sam! 20-25 sounds…

    Awesome Sam! 20-25 sounds great! As per the article, it is totally normal for sex to last as long as it does for you and your partner. If that’s your time, more power to you! 

  18. How can I last longer or…
    How can I last longer or prevent premature ejaculation?

    1. Hi Hot Populas, 

      First, let…

      Hi Hot Populas, 

      First, let’s tak about how long you last now. It could be that everything is normal and that your expectations are too ambitious. Or that you have seen or heard some things that have made you insecure about how long you last. So, how long do you last currently?  As I wait for your amswer, here are two articles that can give you important tips:

      I Want My Erections to Stay Stronger For Longer! and 4 Signs You Have Erectile Dysfuction

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