Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

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