Sex is everywhere in popular culture, even kids can’t escape it, so it’s no surprise many couples have increasingly unrealistic expectations of what to expect from their sex lives – especially if they’re inclined to watch porn.
It raises the question of just how long a “normal” session of love making between two adult humans should last. What is “too short” and what is unrealistically – perhaps even uncomfortably – too long?
Luckily several different studies have shown that “more is not necessarily better” and call into question the idea that if you want to satisfy your partner you should be able to “last forever.”
Sex therapists have done the research and the numbers are in. Most people find sex lasting from 7 to 13 minutes enjoyable and desirable. Any shorter, and it may leave one partner feeling frustrated, any longer and it may become tiresome. Having said that, you don’t have to fit some national standard, and if both partners are happy with what you are doing, don’t be bullied into feeling you ‘should do better.”
You don’t need to be intimidated by celebrities who boast about sex sessions lasting all night.
In fact, shows such as Sex and the City and Desperate Housewives have created unrealistic expectations of bedroom performance that can only lead to disappointment, says the experts.
Dr. Irwin Goldstein, editor of the Journal of Sexual Medicine, cites a four-week study of 1,500 couples in 2005 that found the median time for sexual intercourse was 7.3 minutes. (Women were armed with stopwatches.)
It’s difficult for both older men and young men to make sexual intercourse last much longer, says Marianne Brandon, a clinical psychologist and director of Wellminds Wellbodies in Annapolis, Md.
But just remember – that 7 to 13 minutes of loving action didn’t include foreplay, and both men and women said they would like to have more of that.
So what is foreplay, that emotional dance that women in particular can’t get enough of … That’s because women – well most women – need time to get their bodies warmed up and engaged in the sexual act. Apart from raising the emotional temperature, there’s the little matter of stimulating the physical lubrication needed to make the sex act flow unimpeded.
Many women need to feel secure and appreciated before their body responds appropriately to set the scene for successful sex.
For men this means letting the women know you desire her and value her, by whispering sweet nothings, communicating she is special to you, and by caressing and stroking her, not just in the sexually sensitive areas (breast and vagina) but hair, neck, wrists, inner thighs, lower back and ears..
Remember her brain is her major sexual organ. Consider a whole evening of preparation for the later seduction; talk to her, show her with your eyes and smiles that she turns you on, and if you are partners, shower together and soap each other before going to bed.
(Don’t suggest showering together if it’s the first time she’s asked you back to her place.)
Ideally foreplay starts long before you hit the bedroom, so you build anticipation until you can’t wait to make love.
Redbook magazine suggests the trick is to keep sex in the air — by flashing your man on the way to the shower or placing a sexy call at work or planting passionate kisses at unexpected moments. “I’d love it if my wife groped me during the day,” says one husband, “just so I know she’s thinking of me.”
Even husbands appreciate a wife taking longer to explore and enjoy a fore taste before moving in on the act. And as the Redbook article asks, if variety weren’t so crucial to maintaining desire, do you think the Kama Sutra would have lasted all these centuries?
Having a range of positions not only is a perfect antidote to routine, it also lets you decide which style of lovemaking you’re in the mood for — tender, raunchy, spiritual — and to adjust accordingly. You want your husband to do the “cave guy” thing and drag you around by your ponytail? Go for it. You want sweet, soulful lovemaking? It’s yours.
“Our goal,” says one woman, “is never to have sex the same way twice!”
Variety not only helps keep couples engaged fully in their relationship, but it also helps women achieve orgasm more frequently according to an Australian study.
Based on interviews with 19,000 people, it shows relying on straightforward mechanical heterosexual sex without any variations was much less effective for women than for men in reaching orgasm.
The research, part of the Australian Study of Health and Relationships, clearly showed that the more sexual practices a women engages in the more likelihood she has of orgasm.
For example, less than half of women who had standard intercourse on its own had an orgasm.
But those who added two variations to the repertoire had up to 90 per cent “success”.
The huge success of the 1970s classic The Joy of Sex (sold 12 million copies in 14 countries and updated in 2008) just shows how much people want information about the basics of how to do it. Author Alex Comfort said “There are only two guidelines to good sex. Don’t do anything you don’t really enjoy and find out what your partner needs and don’t balk them if you can help it.”
There are 101 romantic things you can do which don’t involve sex… the secret is to know your partner well enough to know the things that are going to mean most to him or her… That means really listening to what they tell you, or watching their reactions to others if they are not good at expressing their feelings…
Closely related to doing romantic things that are not related to sex… if you don’t know your partner’s likes and dislikes, and you aren’t interested enough to find out what they are, it’s unlikely you’ll develop any close intimacy.
True intimacy takes time. Research shows couples who continue to learn new things and experiment with new ways of loving one another enjoy new levels of emotional and sexual satisfaction which are unrelated to age or physical prowess.
There’s new research to show that post Viagra, sex holds new satisfaction for 50 plus couples. It seems men’s and women’s interests in sex “level out” – women become more interested in the physical and men in the emotional aspects, and so they find new balance and resonance.
Another study showed women enjoyed sex best in their 40s.
Whatever your age, taking time to learn what your partner likes will make the difference between a lack lustre relationship and one that sings.
As far as sex is concerned that means being sensitive to your partner’s needs and timing, and being willing to slow down or speed up depending on where they are reaching climax.
Technically, premature ejaculation is defined as a sex act which lasts less than two minutes, but for many men it’s not quite that simple… for some men it’s not so much a matter of time he lasts, but if ejaculation occurs sooner than he wishes, or before he has satisfied his partner.
The issue for him is not so much one of time, but of controlling climax until he is ready.
According to University of Chicago study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association
one-third of men said they had recurring problems with premature ejaculation. Although common, it’s hard for men to discuss the topic.
The good news is that this is a problem that is highly curable, providing the man is willing to get help and invest the time and effort needed. It is believed that 80% to 90% of men are able to learn better control through therapy.
Erectile dysfunction (impotence) is the inability to get and keep an erection firm enough for sex. It is common for men over 50 to occasionally experience erectile failure, for a variety of reasons, including a natural drop in testosterone levels, as a side effect of medication, as a response to emotional stress, or as a possible early warning sign of developing cardio disease or diabetes.
Problems with male sexual performance in later life are increasingly seen by doctors as the “canary in the mine” – giving a warning call of likely cardio disease or diabetes in three to four years if not addressed with some kind of treatment program.
This may be because erectile dysfunction can be caused by lack of circulation in the tiny capillary vessels in the penis – a small change which does not show as a symptom in other ways till several years later.
Occasional episodes are understandable and may not cause any concern, but if it becomes a regular occurrence it can greatly affect relationships and quality of life.
The advent of Viagra in 1998 changed the sexual landscape. No longer did middle aged men have to accept that their sex life as over. Some relationships benefitted, and other foundered when the newly virile male went looking for younger partners. Generally it’s been seen as a power for good, and without doubt brought a new openness to discussion of a common men’s health problem.
Erectile failure or impotence was at last a topic which could be acknowledged and discussed rather than hidden in shame.
In the 12 years since Viagra has been joined by other pharma meds like Cialis and Levitra, but even with their popularity they are not a “magic pill” for every man. None work 100 per cent for everybody, and some bring unpleasant side effects like crippling headaches.
There are other options for men who prefer a more “whole health” approach using herbal products, like Herbal Viagra which take longer to work but support the whole body and allow a man to feel more in control and more spontaneity in love making rather than being dependent on a “little blue pill.”
Herbal Ignite is an herbal supplement to treat erectile dysfunction which has given thousands of men a new lease of life sexually since it was launched in 1997. The herbs selected for the Herbal Ignite formula tackle three possible causes of sexual performance problems – dropping testosterone levels, stress, and lack of blood supply to the penis.
Herbal Ignite is manufactured to Good Manufacturing Practice standards with full product testing during the production process; it is guaranteed to be free of any adulteration and meets regulatory and quality standards for most health jurisdictions, including Australia, the USA and New Zealand.
To find out more check out www.herbalignite.com
For New Zealand: 0800 44 66 39
For Australia: 1 – 800 – 981 – 215
For USA 1866 585 4489
Rest Of World: +64 – 9 – 3615 244