Good sexual intercourse lasts minutes, not hours, therapists say

March 31, 2008

Satisfactory sexual intercourse for couples lasts from 3 to 13 minutes, contrary to popular fantasy about the need for hours of sexual activity, according to a survey of U.S. and Canadian sex therapists.

Penn State Erie researchers Eric Corty and Jenay Guardiani conducted a survey of 50 full members of the Society for Sex Therapy and Research, which include psychologists, physicians, social workers, marriage/family therapists and nurses who have collectively seen thousands of patients over several decades.

Thirty-four, or 68 percent, of the group responded and rated a range of time amounts for sexual intercourse, from penetration of the vagina by the penis until ejaculation, that they considered adequate, desirable, too short and too long.

The average therapists’ responses defined the ranges of intercourse activity times: "adequate," from 3-7 minutes; "desirable," from 7-13 minutes; "too short" from 1-2 minutes; and "too long" from 10-30 minutes.

"A man’s or woman’s interpretation of his or her sexual functioning as well as the partner’s relies on personal beliefs developed in part from society’s messages, formal and informal," the researchers said. “"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. "

Past research has found that a large percentage of men and women, who responded, wanted sex to last 30 minutes or longer.

"This seems a situation ripe for disappointment and dissatisfaction," said lead author Eric Corty, associate professor of psychology. "With this survey, we hope to dispel such fantasies and encourage men and women with realistic data about acceptable sexual intercourse, thus preventing sexual disappointments and dysfunctions."

Corty and Guardiani, then-undergraduate student and now a University graduate, are publishing their findings in the May issue of the Journal of Sexual Medicine, but the article is currently available online.

The survey’s research also has implications for treatment of people with existing sexual problems.

"If a patient is concerned about how long intercourse should last, these data can help shift the patient away from a concern about physical disorders and to be initially treated with counseling, instead of medicine," Corty noted.

Source: Penn State

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3 comments

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Egnite
5 / 5 (1) Apr 08, 2008
Excellent survey, guess that is true for all of mankind? Doubt it! How can you pass this off as news? A bunch of therapists findings about thier patients. So what percentage of the population actually visits a sex therapist? I guess way less than 25% so this report is highly inaccurate imo! I mean, you wouldn't take an eating habbits survey from an eating disorder clinic would you?
bhiestand
5 / 5 (1) Apr 10, 2008
I suppose the sample would be slightly more biased if you repeated the survey at Sex Addicts Anonymous meetings, although I'd be much more interested in those results.
bmcghie
4 / 5 (1) Apr 11, 2008
..."conducted a survey of 50 full members of the Society for Sex Therapy and Research, which include psychologists, physicians, social workers, marriage/family therapists and nurses who have collectively seen thousands of patients over several decades."

Umm, their sample size is only 50? and not made up of the general public, but the people who are therapists to the general public? This is what you call weak science. I think these "researchers" need to consider picking up the phone for a couple hours, and polling some average humans. Might get a bit more RELEVANT data...

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