How Long Should A Man Last Before He...?

Most men and women have no idea.

Every three months I receive an envelope in the post with advertisements for local restaurants, hair dressing salons, beauty salons etc. and often a little black sealed envelope with ‘Adults Only’ written on it.

One of the flyers inside says:  "Want Longer Lasting Sex? We will give you the confidence you need and the satisfaction she craves!"

Lasting Longer has become a catch phrase which we see on billboards and hear on the radio. These adverts prey on the insecurities of men who may have no sexual dysfunction at all, especially inexperienced young men. It is no surprise then, that for some men, all these expectations can affect their confidence.

I'm supposed to last how long? (Image: Getty)

Sex has become big business. Men can spend thousands of dollars hoping to become great lovers when they're able to last longer. In-your-face messages are sent out to people at large, offering all kinds of quick cures to be the perfect lover!

Unfortunately we are bombarded with society’s ideals of male sexuality in the media, which create unrealistic expectations of what a man should look like and how he should perform in the bedroom. Inexperienced young men who have received most of their sex education by looking at porn are most affected. They see professional actors with porn star bodies perform unrealistic fantasy sex -- with a rock-hard penis -- lasting for a very long time.

Many young men get their sex ed from porn -- where actors last for ages, and have rock-hard... abs. (Image: Getty)

In my practice sometimes very young men contact me because they believe they don’t last long enough and suffer from Premature Ejaculation. This misunderstanding often results in performance anxiety. I remember one young man, James* who was only 19, and he was very awkward and nervous. He had some sexual encounters in the past but was very unhappy with his performance.

He met a girl at university he really liked and did not want to disappoint her. After we talked for a while I asked him the question that I usually ask all men: How many minutes do you think it takes most men to ejaculate? He said, "Oh, at least 20 or 25 minutes, some of my mates go on for at least half an hour!"

I told him that several worldwide surveys concluded that the average time the (IELT) for heterosexual intercourse was 5.4 minutes.  A 2008 survey of Canadian and American sex therapists stated one to two minutes was too short, three to seven minutes was adequate, seven to 13 minutes desirable, while 13 to 30 minutes was too long.

He was very surprised and at the same time relieved, as he realised that there was nothing wrong with him. His main form of sex education came from looking at porn on the internet. The thought of discussing those issues with his mates was abhorrent to him. He later reported to me that he was not anxious anymore when he finally got together with his girlfriend. James is not the only one, I have made a habit of asking most of my clients, men and women what time they think is ‘normal,’ and most of them have no idea.

Most couples have no idea how long a 'normal' session should last. (Image: Getty)

Longer lasting sex carries with it several myths and in my experience it is important to dispel them along with some of the quick fixes that some advertisers promise.

So what DO women want?

In my experience, very few women care much about the length of the sex session. Instead they want more focus on foreplay, connection, pleasure, intimacy and emotional closeness.

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Sometimes intercourse can become painful when it takes too long. Many perfectly normal women don’t produce much vaginal lubrication, so it’s important to always use enough lubricant.

Women need more time to get aroused; they like their men to give good oral sex and importantly know where to find and how to stimulate, the clitoris to give them an orgasm.

So if anything should last longer, it should be foreplay!