The five minute figure comes a study reported in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, in which total of 500 couples were recruited from five countries around the world and timed themselves with a stopwatch from the moment they started penetrative sex to the moment it ended. This sounds like a bit of a passion killer to be honest, but no one said science is easy.
The median time for each couple (that is, across all the times they had sex) ranged from 33 seconds to 44 minutes, which is a whopping difference, but the average time came out at 5.4 minutes.
But this might not be long enough for the lady in your life to ‘catch up’ – so how can you keep yourself going for longer and make lovemaking a special occasion for both of you?
Although it’s less common, women also find they reach the moment of pleasure too soon during lovemaking, or find that their orgasms don’t last as long as they would like, so as well as advice on how to slow your man down we’ve included some tips on how ladies can themselves keep going longer too.
A recent study by researchers at Erciyes University in Turkey found that obese men last longer in bed.
The study seemed to point at a correlation between being overweight and stamina.
According to the research, the larger men with more stomach fat and a higher BMI could last for an average of 7.3 minutes in bed.
But this is probably not ample compensation for a lifetime of possible health problems, so put those doughnuts down and read our top tips instead.
What is premature ejaculation?
Premature ejaculation is a common problem that affects many men at some point during their life. Many factors can come into play, including physical and psychological ones.
According to Lloyds Pharmacy there are two main types of premature ejaculation. Primary premature ejaculation is often psychological and mainly starts when a man first becomes sexually active. It can remain a lifelong issue unless you get treatment.
Secondary premature ejaculation occurs later in life and can be triggered by factors such as stress, anxiety and depression. It can also be caused by prostate problems.
But even if you don’t suffer from premature ejaculation many men want to last longer in bed, so how can you?
How to prolong sex as a man
Reduce your anxiety
If you’re anxious you are more likely to come sooner – and anxiety is rarely sexy, unless you have a thing for Ross in Friends.
Writer Nat Eliason explains: “So what does your body do when you’re anxious during sex? It reduces the amount of time you’re in a vulnerable state by subjecting you to either premature ejaculation, or erectile dysfunction.”
He adds: “The only cure is to approach sex with a confident, positive outlook on how you’re going to perform.”
Nat explains that the easiest way to do this is to talk to your partner about your worries. Although this might seem difficult for many men, often your partner can be really receptive to this kind of openness.
Take the heat off the penetrative aspect of sex by taking her to the edge of heaven before you take the plunge.
There are many forms of foreplay, starting from the most simple, and often overlooked, kissing! As John Cleese said in a scene from Monty Python ‘s the meaning of Life: “You don’t have to go leaping straight at the clitoris like a bull in a gate. Give her a kiss, boy.”
Basically anything that turns you both on and doesn’t involve penetration can be counted as foreplay, so have some fun and experiment together.
Practise building control
Practise this during masturbation by squeezing the head of the penis for 10-20 seconds just before ejaculation. Also use the stop/start method, by stopping sex just before ejaculation and taking a deep breath before starting again.
The faster a man has sex the quicker you are going to ejaculate, so take a slow and measured pace so that your penis is less stimulated and you have more control. If you find that lose control of your pace when you’re on top, swap positions so she can can take over and pace you.
Do this an hour or two before you plan to have sex. This can help you to build up your stamina and you can practise all of your ejaculation control tricks. But to masturbate in a way that will help you stay the course longer.
And don’t just go for the quick win when you’re having a solo sex session, use it as practise for the real thing – try the stop/start technique and breathing exercise to try and prolong your masturbation.
Nat Eliason has written a fairly long and detailed explanation of how kegel exercises work, and he’s even got a special training app for it called stamena – but here’s a potted version: Basically you are training your pelvic floor muscles to help you keep your erection for longer.
Your pelvic floor is what you use if you want to stop yourself peeing mid flow, so try that and learn how your pelvic floor muscle, or pubococcygeus muscle, feels when it kicks in. Then try and replicate that feeling without the peeing.
Use a condom
Apart from being very sensible for your sexual health, some men find wearing a condom gives them a few more moments before ejaculation. Although the aforementioned study on the timings of sex dismisses this, many believe this reduces sensitivity in the penis and can help delay ejaculation.
Even wearing thicker condoms may, however, only delay ejaculation for a few moments, so you could try condoms that contain a lubricant such as benzocaine, a local anesthetic.
This will numb your penis a little so should help you last longer, but If you are going to use one, ensure you put it on about a minute before penetration because the numbing does not work immediately. But be aware that some men find benzocaine can reduce pleasure during sex and you may get an itching or tingling sensation.
Think unsexy thoughts
Distract yourself by thinking of mundane things during sex, like what you want for dinner, or doing sums in your head.
How to prolong sex and orgasm longer as a woman
If you find your climaxes are too short and sweet, you should have a go at edging. This involves nearing orgasm, but pulling yourself back at the last moment. Apparently, repeating this two or three times builds a stronger, longer orgasm in 65% of women. Build yourself up until you’re close to orgasm, and try one of these ‘edging’ techniques to delay.
Move your hand (or your partner’s hand or penis) away when you feel as if you are about to climax. Cool down for a few minutes, then start again. This may also help him delay his ejaculation, giving you both a longer and more pleasurable experience. But do warn him if you’re about to do this, otherwise he might feel rejected and that would be a bit of a passion killer.
Create sudden sensations away from your clitoris just before orgasm – try tapping or squeezing your inner thigh. This can help take your focus away from your clitoris and give you a moment to gather yourself before going again.