how long should sex last?

Photo by Elena Koycheva on Unsplash

If there’s one aspect of life where we crave to know what’s “normal”, it’s definitely sex.

Despite how complicated we know it can be, we still wonder how ‘correctly’ we do things compared to everyone else.

Filed away with “Where’s Waldo?” and “Who let the dogs out?”, the question of how long sex should last is one as old as time.

However, like a lot of unanswered questions, the truth is… there is no perfect answer!


There’s a time and place for sex of all lengths, and each come with their own pros and cons.

So, rather than assuming there’s one perfect sex length you should be aiming for, why not weigh all of your options first?



We’ve all been there. That frantic feeling when you just need to bang one out. Which is why there’s never any shame in opting for the classic quickie. It releases sexual tension and shows how hot sultry spontaneity can be. Especially since unlike longer sex sessions, quickies can take place any time, and (almost) anywhere.

Even though a speedy sesh can do the trick to quench one’s frisky thirst, the flip side is that it won’t always lend itself to mutual orgasms.

However, to be fair that doesn’t have to be the goal of every romp anyway. It’s better to be focused on pleasure than an end goal. So as long as you’re both satisfied in the department of feeling super-hot for one another (and you make up for the forgone foreplay later), then you can totally enjoy the impromptu moment that quickies never fail to offer.

There are a few keys to a successful quickie. One is that everyone playing knows in advance that a quickie is the name of the game. The second is using lube to make up for the lack of foreplay time.  Third, sex toys are your best friend when it comes to quickies. For instant powerful vibes, grab your magic wand. For a more gentle (but still mindblowing) toy, try the Womanizer.


If you’re having your quickie outdoors, the Moxie by WeVibe. This wearable Bluetooth clitoral vibrator is so discreet, and delivers sensual hands-free vibrations that tease your sweet spot perfectly.

Remember, quickies can be amazing, but they’re not fun unless everyone is having a good time. 

Exploratory Sex

Next, there’s exploratory sex, which is very open ended as to it’s duration. You might explore for 4 minutes or 4 hours! It’s all about focusing on the art of pleasure itself, instead of racing to the finish.

By taking the time to truly explore each other you can test the waters of different positions, techniques, erogenous zones, and sexual boundaries. Mindful sex practices can be really helpful to help you stay connected and present during exploratory sex.

Communication takes center stage as you pay attention to your partner’s body to explore what they enjoy the most. Then you can alternate intimate focus between one another to share in the sensual satisfaction—as well as the chance to experience as much of the delicious pleasure possible.


Long Sessions

Going one step further finally brings us to the marathon-style session. Although contrary to what some may think, mega long romps aren’t always about penetration exclusively.

Endless thrusting can get tiring, plus no-one wants to work their bits to the bone. So when looking to make the most of an extended sex sesh, foreplay – as usual – is the answer.

A perfect way to take things low and slow, foreplay helps establish the mood and warm everyone up for the peaks of pleasure to come. With the orgasm gap alive and well, long sessions are also especially great for vulva owners, considering it takes them about 18 minutes on average to get in the climactic zone, compared to those with a penis who only need about five.

In addition to a better chance at orgasming in general, longer sex also lends itself to variation in positions, which offers an even wider range of potential sensation.

Just don’t forget the lube!


Delay & Slay

In the good company of longer sessions comes one of the scenario’s trustiest tools: Promescent. Regardless if you experience the plight of premature ejaculation, the perks of lengthened sex still ring true just the same. Opting for a topical delay spray can help improve climax control and allow for longer enjoyment of sexual experiences.

Also, it doesn’t transfer to your partner and only numbs the penis just enough to tack on a few (yet much appreciated) extra minutes. So the next time you find yourself wanting to keep the pleasure party going, you can count on a few sprays of this to do the trick.


Even though it’s easy to get caught up in our own heads, no one should get preoccupied with whether they’re having sex “correctly”. Like most things in the world of intimacy, there isn’t a single way you’re “supposed” to do it. Not only is it an impossible standard you’re putting yourself up against, but a nonexistent one as well!

Touch, feel, embrace, explore, enjoy. Whenever you’re in the moment, in the words of Queen Bey, simply remember to enjoy it.


Alex Anderson is an LA-based lifestyle designer proactively raging against the cultural grain. By day she works in television production, and by night enjoys writing, sewing and seeking guidance from the stars. She also finally has an all black kitty named “Cher.” You can follow her website and on Instagram!
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