A normal sex session lasts a mere three to 13 minutes, according to a study published in the Journal of Sex Medicine—that’s a surprisingly short amount of time to bond with your mate, let alone make an attempt at reaching the big O. “It’s important to make sex last for two reasons,” says sex researcher Elisabeth Lloyd, Ph.D., a professor of history and philosophy of science at Indiana University. “Women often take longer to orgasm than men, and the longer you spend time physically touching, the stronger your bond.”
Want to lengthen your lovemaking? Try these seven ways to stretch your time in the sack:
Foreplay, foreplay, foreplay. Quickies come in handy when you’re pressed for time, but when you want to make sex last longer, devote some time to pre-play. According to a study published in the Journal of Sex Research, couples who spend time kissing and performing oral sex and manual stimulation on each other spend more time in bed (29.5 minutes) than those who head straight for the main event (8.5 minutes). “Sex isn’t just about penetration,” says Wendy Walsh, Ph.D., a Los Angeles-based clinical psychologist. “It begins at the moment a couple touches fingertips. Expanding your notion of sex will expand the time it lasts.”
Grab your pleasure early. Aiming to hit your peaks during foreplay is a double-win: You’ll be more likely to have multiple orgasms (if that’s a goal) and sex will last longer. “Men and women experience the aftermath of orgasm differently,” says Lloyd. “Men experience a refractory period during which their bodies return to their pre-aroused state. Women’s bodies return to the excitement phase due to lingering blood in the pelvic region.” This is why, after sex, you may feel like climaxing again, while he’s wiped out. But if he is up for round two, he’ll likely last longer because he won’t be as raring to go.
Choose your position wisely. You may love woman-on-top for its direct clitoral contact, but the position boasts another benefit: longer sex. Because you control the pace and speed of movement, you can avoid the steady, rhythmic motions that build orgasm, and since he won’t be able to thrust, his penis will be less sensitized. “Even if your guy climaxes first, he’ll remain erect for a few minutes after orgasm, allowing you to enjoy sex, even after it’s technically over,” explains Ian Kerner, Ph.D., New York City-based sex therapist and author of She Comes First.