Are you a fan of the quickie, or do you want to take your time over it? You might be surprised by the length of the average shag…
Colour me shocked: I found out this week that the average shag lasts just six minutes. Not, I hasten to add, by my own research. If you asked me to hold a stopwatch and time it I’d get distracted by the shagging and end up dropping the stopwatch, making a haphazard guess at the time as somewhere between a minute and an hour.
An article in NYMag explored our perceptions of sex, and our aspirations for length, and discovered that the average shag lasts for only six minutes – that’s almost quick enough to get done in an ad break, especially these days when the ads are getting as long as the programmes themselves. Not that that’s necessarily a bad thing. Personally, I’m a fan of the quickie – it implies passion and desperation, and I enjoy that. As if the guy I’m with has been given a whole bowl of ice cream for dessert, and he wants to wolf it all down as quickly as possible. Yum. But it’s not for everyone, and it’s not for all the time: sometimes it’s nice to take your time over things and savour every moment.
There’s also the problem of averages. In my extensive experience of averages (mostly based on guys emailing me pictures of their penises and asking me if they’re ‘too large’ or ‘too small’), most people take the ‘average’ of anything and assume that’s what they should aim for. Mean averages in this case could give the (false) impression that everyone’s having the same kind of sex. Realistically, a six minute average means there’ll be some people who are done in a minute, and others who take much longer: neither of these is the wrong or right way to have sex, they just work better for different people.
When it comes to your own … umm … performance, what matters is whether you and the person you’re with are happy with your time. There’s no reason to spend ages on it just because you think you’re supposed to: it’s meant to be fun, not a tedious marathon of sweating and exercise where you’re challenging yourself to hold out for as long as possible. But if one or both of you are hankering for a bit longer, there are ways you can slow things down a bit, and make sure you make the most of it…
These are condoms that contain a lubricant on the inside that’s aimed at delaying orgasm. The idea is that it slightly numbs the wearer (only very slightly, and it’s only temporary so don’t worry!) so that it takes them just a bit longer to reach the finish line. This can be great if it’s penetrative sex you’re worried about, and if you’re looking to spend longer on the train-in-tunnel stuff. If you don’t normally wear condoms, and use another form of birth control/STI prevention, then simply using a regular condom may give you a boost in staying power.
There are lots of creams and gels on the market that are designed to hold you back from orgasm. You rub them (or spray them, depending on the type) onto your penis before sex, and they should give you a few extra minutes to play with. There are plenty of different kinds, so try a couple and work out which one’s right for you.
OK, time for some real talk: most people don’t want to keep pounding away all night just for the sake of it. Usually the reason someone wants to last longer is that they want to make sure their partner has a good time. No matter how much I try to persuade my partner that it’s fine for me to run around the bed afterwards singing ‘We are the Champions’, apparently sex is not a race. If you’re worried that you’re not lasting long enough to give your partner an orgasm, then you can always give them an orgasm before you get down to the sex. Vibrators (I thoroughly recommend wand vibrators for powerful vibrations), tingling or sensual lubricants, cock rings: all these things can enhance your partner’s pleasure. It’s not so much slowing yourself down as giving them a boost that might help them get where they want to be.
If you fancy grabbing any of the products mentioned above, get in quickly – SexToys.co.uk is currently offering 20% off everything across the site. Just use the code HAPPY20 before the end of September. Hurry!