So is there such a thing as “normal”? And are we setting our sights too high (or too low)?
Some of the findings aren’t that surprising.
For example, people between 18 and 29 are having the most sex, with an average of 112 sex sessions per year, or twice a week. Good for them.
Things go slightly downhill from here. Those in the 40 to 49 age group manage to have sex only 69 times per year.
But the declining number tells a wider story; family obligations, daily stresses and worries and an increase in health issues all play their part in impacting our libidos.
Feeling old plays its part too.
“The basic storyline that has emerged from these studies is that, as we get older, our odds of developing chronic health conditions increases and this, in turn, negatively impacts the frequency and quality of sexual activity,” wrote Dr. Justin Lehmiller.
How long should sex last ?
Well, science has weighed in (again) to tell the world exactly how much time they should be spending in the act of physical love: 5.4 minutes.
“If you’re a non-scientist, you might have once asked yourself, propped against the bedhead after disappointingly quick intercourse, how long does sex ‘normally’ last?” Dr Brendan Zietsch from the University of Queensland wrote in The Conversation .
“A scientist, though, would phrase the same question in an almost comically obscure way: What is the mean intravaginal ejaculation latency time?
“I know there’s a lot more to sex than putting the penis into the vagina and ejaculating, but the rest is not always easy to define (kissing? rubbing? grinding?).
“To keep things simple and specific, we’ll just focus on the time to ejaculation.”
Dr Brendan Zietsch recounted a study in which 500 couples were armed with a stopwatch and asked to press the button (of the clock) when the unspeakable act begun and then tap it again when the man experiences his magical moment.
“That is as practically awkward as it sounds: participants pressed ‘start’ at penile penetration and ‘stop’ at ejaculation,” he added.
“You may note this could affect the mood somewhat, and might perhaps not exactly reflect the natural flow of things.
“But science is rarely perfect, and this is the best we’ve got.”
This study found that sexy time lasts anywhere between 33 seconds and 44 minutes, with the median time coming in at 5.4 minutes.
Interestingly, the research also explores “conventional wisdom regarding penile sensitivity and its relationship to staying power in the sack”.
Older men weren’t able to last longer than young ones, while wearing a condom or being circumcised didn’t boost chaps’ performance either.
“Another surprising finding was that the older the couple, the shorter the sex, contrary to the prevailing wisdom (probably peddled by older men),” Zietsch continued.
A study by researchers at Erciyes University in Turkey have found that overweight men last longer in bed.
Titled “Insight on pathogenesis of lifelong premature ejaculation: inverse relationship between lifelong premature ejaculation and obesity,” the study’s findings seem to point at a correlation between being overweight and stamina.
According to the study, the larger men with more stomach fat and a higher BMI could last for an average of 7.3 minutes in bed.