In sex, is longer really better? And we don't mean inches, says Glamour UK sex editor Gemma Askham
Last week I made the mistake of checking emails over breakfast. Mid stirring yoghurt into granola, the subject, "Men reveal how quickly they ejaculate!" popped up. It didn't make my slightly congealed cereal mix look more appetising, that's for sure. But delving into both (thankfully I'm rarely put off), the email was from men's website AskMen.com. It had teamed up with PornHub to ask 4000 guys about their endurance in the erectile department.
One question stood out. It asked men how their partners reacted if he deliberately came as quickly as possible. "She's normally glad she made me come so quick," one guy replied. "She feels as though it's a confidence boost."
It instantly jarred. What, women like less sex? We want it short? Isn't that the same as saying we actually prefer the Brexit Toblerone that has 50% less chocolate triangles?
But this study wasn't looking at sex as a whole. Rather, as a hole. Take out foreplay, oral and touching, as this study did, and research suggests we're willingly in it for the short haul. When a Dutch study of 500 couples (including Brits) timed penetration to ejaculation, the average was 5.5 minutes - with extremes at a fleeting 33 seconds to a rather sore 44 minutes.
Given that only around 25% of women consistently orgasm from penetration anyway, perhaps we're all secretly hoping he hurries up in there. When it's intimacy, connection and the clitoris that gets us off, is outercourse the new intercourse? I asked women where they stand on the intercourse stamina scale…
"I can do it in the space of a TV ad break and get off. People think, 'Urgh, that's terrible, over so soon', but it's because we know exactly how to get each other off. I know his buttons, he knows mine - why wait?" Georgie, 26
"I like at least 15 minutes of foreplay first. That can go on for longer, but not intercourse or I start to feel dry." Kirsty, 31
"There's no need to draw it out. A boyfriend once tried to see how long he could last in one session. He went at it for over 45 minutes, but it stopped being really pleasurable for me after about 5. I hit a wall where I'd come and nothing was gained by more thrusting." Zara, 31
"I like to finish feeling satisfied - probably because an ex-boyfriend would come after only 3 or 4 thrusts, every time. I remember we had sex 5 times one day, just so it collectively added up to the passionate experience I craved." Fay, 27
"After 20 minutes all I'm thinking about is how sore my vagina's going to be tomorrow. I try to avoid really drunken sex because of how long it can take us to come." Grace, 28
"I aim for at least 30 minutes. I'm lucky in that I can come through intercourse, though. In half an hour I can achieve several orgasms, and they get stronger. My problem is finding a partner who can keep up - literally!" Nikita, 24
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