You don’t have to be a scientist to ask the question. Leaning your head on your bed after intercourse that is too short for you to want, you may be wondering: how long is “normal” intercourse?
It is known that scientists ask themselves the same question. They are content to make it different, in an ambiguous and almost ridiculous way: what is the average latency duration for intravaginal ejaculation?
Of course, having sex is not about inserting the penis into the vagina and ejaculating. But it can be hard to determine what is, or isn’t, about it – whether or not foreplay counts and if so, which one? For simplicity and accuracy, we will therefore focus on the period from penetration to ejaculation.
Measuring its average duration is not an easy task. Why not directly ask people how long they have been? Well, this approach has two major problems. First of all, the estimates given can be at risk of being overestimated. It would be tempting for society, in fact, to claim that your follies go on into the night.
500 couples timed each other
Then, we can never say how long it will take. Sex is not, in principle, an activity where our eyes are focused on the alarm clock placed on the bedside table. However, giving an estimate without any help can be difficult if the action is more enjoyable.
The best study, among those seeking to estimate the average length of time that leads to ejaculation in the general population, was conducted on 500 couples from different parts of the planet. They had to measure, using a stopwatch, the duration of their sexual relationship for four weeks.
Yes, you read that right: Even if it’s weird, participants have to press the button dash during penile penetration, then in acne pause during ejaculation. You may object that such action is likely to influence the participants ’situation, and that it never fits into the natural order of things. But science rarely achieves perfection, and this approach is the best we’ve found.
From 33 seconds to … 44 minutes!
But then, for what results? The main lesson is that it varies from one couple to another. The average per couple (calculated from all their intercourse over four weeks) ranged from 33 seconds for the shortest duration to 44 minutes (80 times longer!)
So obviously there is no “normal” duration of intercourse. The average duration (median actually, technically), measured from all pairs, was 5.4 minutes. Which means that, if we rank all the participating couples, from the shortest to the highest intercourse, the middle would reach an average of 5.4 minutes over this four -week period.
The study also revealed some secondary lessons. For example, condom use seemed to have no effect on the duration of the report, more so than possible male circumcision. These results have merit in challenging some traditional beliefs about the relationship between penile sensitivity and bed rest.
Geographical origin also did not have much influence – with the exception of Turkish couples, whose reports seemed to be much shorter (3.7 minutes) than in other countries concerned (the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States). The age of the participants, on the other hand, was not neutral: the older the couple, the shorter the sexual relationship, contrary to popular belief (certainly sold to men of a certain age).
Why does it take so long?
As a researcher interested in the subject of evolution, all these debates about the duration of intercourse lead me to a question: why does it take so long? The only thing that justifies intercourse is, it seems, the delivery of sperm to the vagina. Why, then, all these actions over and over again? Why, instead of inserting his penis and pulling it hundreds of times every time you have sex, not just insert it once, ejaculate, then drink lemonade and so on?
Before you answer me “Because it’s fun!”, Keep in mind that evolution doesn’t give any importance to entertainment like that. It just “designs” things for them to enjoy, which is the standard that will be met if they encourage our ancestors to pass on their genes to the next generations. For example, even though we enjoyed eating, we didn’t spend five minutes chewing each bite just to make it last longer. This can be ineffective. So we’re changing in a way that it’s disgusting for us now.
While it is impossible to give a definite explanation for the duration of our intercourse, the onset of a response can be given by the shape of the penis. In 2003, researchers showed – using artificial vaginas and penises, as well as corn syrup to act as sperm – that the ridge surrounding the head of the penis removes the syrup that is already in the vagina.
This experiment shows that repetitive male movements may be aimed at expelling sperm left behind by other males, and thus to ensure, during ejaculation, that his young swimmers have the best. chance of reaching the egg first. This phenomenon may also explain why the man will feel pain if he continues these movements after ejaculation: he may be at risk of ejaculating his own sperm.
What can we learn, in the end, from all these results? If I can advise you, don’t think too much in the middle of your romance.
The original version of this article was published in The Conversation.
See also The HuffPost: