Good sex is three minutes away

Sarah-Belle Murphy
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Image: Getty

We all have expectations when it comes to bedtime performance. Yet if we were to believe everything we saw at the movies, love making in the noughties is a modern-day adaptation of the Karma Sutra, where the passion powers us on for hours.

Well, you may be glad (or disappointed) to hear that according to a recent study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine (May 2008), the time sex has to last to get results (ie, pleasure) is between three and 13 minutes.

Researchers at Behrend College in Pennsylvania surveyed a random sample of members of the Society for Sex Therapy and Research in the United States and Canada to come up with the following sex scale:

  • One to two minutes: too short
  • Three to seven minutes: adequate
  • Seven to 13 minutes: desirable
  • Ten to 30 minutes: too long

Given the overlap in "desirable" and "too long" schools of thought, anyone who has intercourse for between 10 and 13 minutes may require more detailed feedback from their North American sex therapist.

But would Australians agree with this scale? According to sex therapists, men Down Under want it to last considerably longer and according to a survey carried out by Durex, 75 percent of Aussies have had sex on the road.

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