How long should an intimate encounter last? Science has the answer

Aspiring to last seven hours?

Singer Sting famously told TV host James Lipton, “If we had seven hours, I would demonstrate” how he endured a session that long with his wife. However, experts from Penn State University have contradicted that possibility.

The Penn State University surveyThe Penn State University survey

Penn State researchers Eric Corty and Jenay Guardiani surveyed 50 sexual therapists, psychologists, doctors, social workers, nurses, and professionals who had treated thousands of patients during their careers.

How long should a relationship last?How long should a relationship last?

The survey’s goal was to determine the average length of a satisfactory intimate relationship. The result has dispelled several myths.

The evaluation of the professionals interviewedThe evaluation of the professionals interviewed

68% of the group defined intercourse of three to seven minutes as adequate. They described relations of seven to thirteen minutes as desirable and ten to thirty minutes as too long. They said less than two minutes was too short.

Let’s dispel a mythLet's dispel a myth

So, unlike many popular fantasies, it doesn’t take hours to find satisfaction or pleasure, but an average of 3 to 13 minutes should be enough.

From 3 to 13 minutes!From 3 to 13 minutes!

The researchers highlighted how culture and personal beliefs influence how a person interprets their performance in certain circumstances.

“We hope to encourage men and women with realistic data”Is sex out of style?

“With this survey, we hope to dispel just fantasies and encourage men and women with realistic data,” lead author Eric Corty told Scientific America, “thus preventing disappointments and dysfunctions.”

A guide for industry specialistsA guide for industry specialists

Furthermore, this type of survey can be beneficial to guide doctors and psychologists in providing counseling as an alternative to drugs for people suffering from dysfunctions, Corty explained.

Treatment with counseling, rather than medicationsTreatment with counseling, rather than medications

“If a patient is concerned about how long intercourse should last, these data can help shift the patient away from a concern about physical disorders and to be initially treated with counseling instead of medicine,” Corty told Science Daily.

Back to StingBack to Sting

Even Sting admitted that his comment was out of place. “I don’t know any purer and better way of expressing love,” he told Inside the Actors Studio. “I would stand by it—not seven hours, but the idea.”

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