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You Asked It: Sex Too Short?

I thought that the more sex I had the longer I’d last, but I can still only last 15-20 minutes before I come. Is that normal? If it matters, I’m a guy.

Great question! It sounds like you think 15-20 minutes isn’t very long, but that’s actually way longer than average—and completely normal. Though it’s a tricky thing to measure in studies, penis-in-vagina (PIV) sex generally lasts an average of just over 5 minutes.

However, it’s not a surprise that you’re concerned about how long you can have sex before you ejaculate (or come). Media glorifies hours-long sex and makes it seem like the shorter sex is, the less satisfied your partner will be. But the truth is more complicated than that.

How much you and your partner enjoy sex probably has to do with a lot more than how long it is. Instead of concentrating on how long you last, focus on being in the moment with your partner. Do you both feel safe and comfortable? Are you both excited about what’s going on? Are you both communicating openly about what feels good, what you want, and what your boundaries are? Do you both care about the other’s pleasure?

If you’re still worried about how long sex lasts, talk to your partner. Are they happy with the sex you’re having? Do they wish it lasted longer?

Of course, sex is way more than penetrative sex. Being sexual can include kissing, oral sex (going down on, eating out, blow job), manual sex (fingering, hand jobs), toys and way more. When you expand how you think about it, sex doesn’t have to end when you ejaculate.

No matter what kind of sex you’re having, make sure you and your partner are taking care of your sexual health. Use condoms, get regularly tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and (if you’re having PIV sex) use birth control. Make sure you both understand and respect consent and boundaries.

If you’re 10-22 years old in NYC, you can make an appointment at the Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center for free, confidential, comprehensive healthcare including STI testing and treatment, birth control, free condoms and more.


You’ve got questions.  We’ve got answers. At the Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center, we answer a lot of questions. Topics range from nutrition to pregnancy prevention, and everything in between. Now, we’re bringing these questions back to you with our weekly advice column, You Asked It. Got a question? Holler at us in the comments, send us a message on FacebookTwitter or Instagram, or email us at teenhealthcareorg@gmail.com.

This column is not intended to provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion, treatment or services to you or to any other individual, only general information for education purposes only.

Missed a “You Asked It” post? Click on “You Asked it” under Topics.

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