Here's How Long Most People Last During Sex

The age-old question persists: How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? Also: How long should I last in bed? Lucky for you, there's an answer to the second one.

The sex toy retailer Lovehoney (motto: "The Sexual Happiness People") surveyed 4,400 of its customers to find that most heterosexual couples have sex that lasts for an average of 19 minutes. Typically that amounts to about 10 minutes of foreplay and 9 of penetrative intercourse. Of the couples surveyed, 52% said they were happy with that number, while 23% of men and 19% of women said they wanted longer sexy sessions.

Look, we all deserve a round of applause that anyone's having sex in the first place. Bravo! But this number might sound a little high, at least compared to previous studies. One 2008 study that gauged the opinions of sex therapists on a spectrum of "adequate," "desirable," "too short," and "too long," found that "adequate" equated to 3-7 minutes and "desirable" equated to 7-13 minutes. A 2016 study of 500 heterosexual couples clocked the average couple at just 5.4 minutes, not including foreplay. So perhaps surveying a dataset of presumably kinkier, "Sexual Happiness"-seeking customers yielded some skewed results here, but we should arguably all be seeking sexual happiness anyway, so the Lovehoney study isn't entirely without merit.

But the average duration of sex doesn't tell the whole story of course, especially since it measures time between penetration to ejaculation. There's a whole universe of sexuality and relationships out there that has little to nothing to do with penetration. The Lovehoney study points out that 75% of men surveyed climax every time they have sex while just 28% of women do; closing that gap is why the survey was released in the first place as part of Lovehoney's Mind the Gap campaign.

So gentlemen, please, remember that She Comes First and maybe study up a bit before the next time you head into the bedroom.