Skip to content

    Health & Sex

    Font Size

    Sex Therapists Gauge Ideal Time for Sex

    Heterosexual Intercourse Should Last 3-13 Minutes, Sex Therapists' Survey Shows
    WebMD Health News
    Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

    April 3, 2008 -- A new survey aims to set the record straight about how long heterosexual intercourse should last.

    The verdict: 3 to 13 minutes, with 3-7 minutes deemed "acceptable" and 7 to 13 minutes dubbed "desirable."

    Thirty-four sex therapists in the U.S. and Canada completed the survey. They had 26 years of clinical experience, on average; 45% of them were men.

    One skipped the timing question, 25 mentioned specific amounts of time, and eight said time for intercourse depends on the couple.

    "Many sex therapists consider coitus that lasts as little as 3 minutes to be of adequate length," write the researchers, who included Eric Corty, PhD, of Penn State Erie.

    The survey may correct the public's "unrealistic" expectations for sexual performance to last longer, note Corty and colleagues in May's edition of The Journal of Sexual Medicine.

    (How long would intercourse ideally last for you? Share your thoughts on WebMD's Sexuality: Friends Talking message board.)

    Today on WebMD

    couple not communicating
    How to tell when you're in one.
    couple face to face
    Get your love life back on track.
    couple having an argument
    Turn spats into solutions
    couple in argument
    When to call it quits.
    Life Cycle of a Penis
    HIV Myth Facts
    How Healthy is Your Sex Life
    Couple in bed
    6 Tips For Teens
    Close-up of young man
    screening tests for men
    HPV Vaccine Future