How long should sex last? It’s a question that will elicit a wide range of answers. Some people favor the quickie, some like marathons, and still others choose something in between. Though there isn’t a right answer to how long sex should last, we finally have an idea of what is “normal.”
According to a recent study reported by the Huffington Post, the average British couple lasts for 19 minutes—10 minutes of foreplay and nine minutes of intercourse. Sex toy retailer Lovehoney conducted the study as a part of its ongoing campaign to help couples achieve shared orgasms. The company surveyed 4,400 people about the typical duration of their sex sessions and if they were left satisfied. About 52 percent of couples said they were happy with their time, while 23 percent of men and 15 percent of women said they wish it lasted longer.
Unsurprisingly, the study also found that “quickies” made up about one-fifth of a couple’s sexual activity, as time pressure becomes an increasing factor in their love lives. About 24 percent of couples believe half an hour is an ideal timeframe for intercourse and 66 percent believed 15 minutes is enough.
It’s important to note that other studies have reported much lower averages than Lovehoney’s. For example a 2008 study found that “adequate” sex lasted between three and seven minutes, while seven to 13 was considered “desirable.” A 2005 survey also discovered that sex lasts about five to six minutes average, not taking foreplay in account. Considering all this different data, it’s clear there isn’t a “normal” sex duration—so don't beat yourself up too bad if you're failing to hit that 19-minute mark.