How long is long enough for satisfying sex is a question that’s impossible to answer.
If you’re about to bed someone you’ve been dreaming about for years, it’s probably going to last about three minutes.
A few months into a relationship – when you’re both still in that can’t-get-enough period but have relaxed into it – you can be at it for hours at a time.
The average long-term couple become super-efficient: each of you knows which buttons to push, when, where and how with sex typically lasting anywhere from five minutes to 20.
Some couples love quickies, others long, languorous sex sessions.
The first is easily accomplished (especially for him), the second not so easy (again, for him).
Most men get aroused more easily and orgasm faster than most women – which is why slow sex is often better sex for women. (This blog is aimed at straight couples for this reason.)
Here’s how to stretch your next session to even the orgasm scales.
BOTH OF YOU
Get into the habit of telling each other exactly where you’re at, arousal wise.
I don’t mean a clinical, doctor-like discussion, more along the ‘This feels fantastic – maybe a little too fantastic’ lines. If you don’t think it will interfere with the mood, use a number system. One is low arousal, ten is take-off.
Groaning out a ‘Nine!’ or delivering a curt ‘Still two’ might seem odd to start, but it’s a quick and effective way to communicate in bed.
Let your arousal levels dictate what to do next
He’s nearly at the finish line but you’ve barely started?
Stop his stimulation entirely and get him to switch his focus to concentrating entirely on you.
Switch stimulation regularly.
Not only will it keep you both hovering rather than climbing steadily toward a climax, it stops sex becoming too orgasm focused, making it last longer.
Change positions. Change rooms. Change the way you’re facing on the bed. Do anything to change the mood, keeping it sexy but maintaining a measure of control.
TIPS FOR HER
If you’re the boss of penetration and on top, you can keep a close eye on how aroused he’s becoming, slowing things down or speeding up accordingly.
Don’t worry if he has an orgasm, he’ll last longer the next time. Get him to stimulate you while he recovers, then continue.
Develop strong orgasm triggers
If you’re focused on slowing him down, you’re focusing less on your own pleasure.
This is great for him, not so great for you since most women need to concentrate to orgasm.
The more signposts of impending orgasm your brain can recognize, the easier it is to trigger the orgasmic response. This means if your excitement level drops while helping him keep a lid on his more excitable arousal levels, you can kick start it again by using this method.
The more your brain travels a certain path neurologically, the more effortless it becomes.
Focus on what you naturally do on approach to orgasm, then exaggerate it.
If you breathe heavier and faster, breathe even heavier the next time you’re about to climax. If you notice you tense your toes and throw your head back, do that.
Get to the point where your brain thinks ‘Aha! Deep heavy breathing combined with toe flexing means she’s about to orgasm. Better get cracking then and make it happen!’.
If you think he’s too close to climaxing and you’re not ready yet, pull down on his testicles gently to decrease his chances of orgasm.
The squeeze technique is the old, traditional method of dealing with men who orgasm faster than you’d like.
When he’s highly aroused, firmly squeeze the head of the penis for 15-20 seconds, putting your thumb on the frenulum (the stringy piece of skin where the head connects to the shaft) and first and second fingers on top of the head.
TIPS FOR HIM
Know the facts to relax
Premature ejaculation is when someone orgasms too quickly for their, or their partner’s, satisfaction.
As you can appreciate, this might mean anything from five thrusts to 15 minutes depending on the people involved.
Around 30% of men experience PE at some point with lots of you ejaculating within two minutes of penetration.
Feeling like you should last hours instead of minutes simply adds to performance anxiety, meaning you have even less control.
Stop trying to live up to what you see in porn: intercourse lasts minutes not hours.
Choose anything BUT your favourite position.
Certain positions turn us on more or stimulate us more effectively.
If you want the sex to last longer, you’re better off choosing something that isn’t as visually erotic or where you feel less simulated.
Slow down for better sex
Men are no different to women when it comes to orgasm intensity: the longer the action, the stronger the reaction. There’s good evidence the strength of your orgasm, like hers, depends on the length of foreplay and other erotic stimulation involved.
It feels much more satisfying when you’ve hovered at the ‘plateau’ stage (the stage after arousal and before orgasm) for longer.
Slowing sex down isn’t just for her benefit – it’s for yours as well.
It’s well worth making the effort!
Have a solo orgasm first
Make the ‘together’ orgasm the second one.
Most men find they have much better control second time around.
Know your orgasm inside out
The better you know your orgasm, the more you’ll know exactly what’s going to send you over the edge.
The easiest way to do this is to get into the habit of ‘scoring’ your arousal level.
Think about your last great orgasm moment and give that a 10.
Zero is when you’re at your in-laws making small talk in between passing the roast potatoes.
As you move from no arousal to lift-off, you’ll move through the spectrum from 1-10. Practise rating yourself and you’ll have much more control over when you orgasm.
Lots of men find it easier to practice assessing their arousal levels during masturbation so they can focus exclusively on the task.
Try the stop-start technique
There are several versions of this (and many in-depth guides online) but it basically breaks down into the following steps.
Step one: During a solo sex session, bring yourself to the brink then stop four times before finally allowing yourself to orgasm. Continue this ‘training’ for several weeks until you feel you know the point you can bring yourself to without letting go.
Step two: this time she joins you and uses her hand, with you telling her when to start and stop.
Step three: You repeat the initial exercise but inside her.
The secret to getting the ‘stop-start’ right is to focus on pleasure and sensation, rather than trying to distract yourself.