How long does the average man last in bed?

A couple weeks ago, I ran across a research paper that inadvertently answered one of those awkward questions that so few people get the chance to talk about: How long does the average man last in bed? I was particularly interested in this study because men’s prowess in the bedroom is often exaggerated, and this study provided an opportunity to shed some light on the truth. The study is (sadly) locked behind a paywall, so I’ll do my best to reproduce the results here.

You see, these researchers were actually studying premature ejaculation. To do so, they recruited about 500 random heterosexual couples from The Netherlands, Spain, Turkey, the UK, and the US and asked them to track the duration of their sexual encounters using a timer and diary. The researchers asked the couples to start the timer as soon as vaginal penetration occurred, and stop the timer as soon as the man ejaculated. Quite romantic, as you might imagine.

After 4 weeks of stop watches and sex diaries, the researchers followed up with the couples to collect the diaries and ask them various demographic questions. Below, I’ve plotted the distribution of how long each man lasted before orgasming (averaged over all his encounters).

average-ielt-distribution

To provide a more succinct view of the data, I also created a box plot to summarize the distribution:

average-ielt-boxplot

The average (median) time before orgasm was about 6 minutes, and ranged from a blissful 6 seconds to a marathon-paced 53 minutes. The majority of men lasted between 4 to 11 minutes, with anyone lasting longer than 21 minutes being considered an outlier.

What I found particularly interesting about this study was the men’s tendency to overestimate the duration of their sexual encounters: According to the authors, the men’s estimates averaged about 1.9 minutes longer than they really were—about a 31% overestimation over the 6-minute average—which really highlights our tendency to overestimate our performance in the bedroom.

So, there we have it. Our collective fascination with hours-long romps in the bedroom doesn’t really hold up in the data, and most couples are probably quite happy for it. Hopefully studies like this one will help us ground our expectations in reality, rather than trying to live up to fantasy.

If you’re interested in reading more about the study and don’t have institutional access, I hear that a certain science hub might have a copy laying around.

Dr. Randy Olson is the Lead Data Scientist at Life Epigenetics, Inc., where he is bringing advanced data science and machine learning technology to the life insurance industry.

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86 comments on “How long does the average man last in bed?
  1. Robert Pierce says:

    Was there any difference between circumcised and uncircumsised men?

  2. HeathereC says:

    Hi Randy, Question about your comment “most couples are probably quite happy for it”… Did the survey measure satisfaction as well?

    • Randy Olson says:

      Only whether they were “discontent with their latency,” but not whether they were content with their sex life as a whole. They found that those who were “discontent with their latency” had a shorter ejaculation latency on average.

  3. Fred_Evil says:

    I’m FINALLY an outlier!

    • Lewis Niven says:

      Me too man, 6-second club high five!

      • André says:

        6-seconds is almost as impressive as the 53 minutes on the other side of the spectrum. I mean under 2 minutes is easy, under a minute sure can be done if you’re super turned on and never hit the brakes but 6 seconds? Regardless of what you’re partner might think that is a truly impressive performance, you couldn’t do that 3 times in a row.

        • Lara says:

          6-seconds are impressive? LOL. You’re obviously a dude.

          • André says:

            Well no I didn’t mean as a lover he was impressive, I meant the pure mechanics is impressive. If you have a 6 second fuse it’s impressive that you ever got laid, 90% of the time it had to go off in his pants, right?

          • Luke Brunswick says:

            You completely misunderstood what he just said… “Regardless of what your partner might think that is a truly impressive performance.” Regardless what your partner thinks, as in obviously 6 seconds isn’t the goal. Switch it around and have a woman orgasm in 6 seconds and that’d be impressive too.

          • asdfds says:

            What a stereotype-confirming comment.

            I’d say comments sections dwelled by people less intelligent than the average user here may prove less hard to interpret.

            • Lara says:

              The fact that you think a comment section can “dwell” is proof that you are certainly much less intelligent than your average middle schooler.

        • I’m on the far end of the spectrum (not a brag – I don’t claim to be any good in bed but duration has never been an issue).
          My Ex once decided to see how fast she could get me off and did everything in her power to push every button I’ve got. I think she managed to finish me in about 20 seconds and was so proud of herself.
          When “aren’t you done yet?” has come up more than once in one’s life, being able to get off that quickly is actually a relief and a joy.

        • Tom610 says:

          lol how is being under 2 minutes easy….?

          *awkward*

      • Fred_Evil says:

        Dude, I wish. The wife is always turning me down, because I take too long. It’s a curse…?

    • DesiLurker says:

      which direction?

  4. Zara says:

    This data has no use without preliminar data.

  5. Cal Gravatt says:

    “So there we have it,” as if it’s the last word. Not very Scientific sir!

  6. Alexander Rideout says:

    I always knew I was above average in something.

  7. Nick says:

    There’s so many variables that come into play here. how long was foreplay, what did it involve? how long have the couple known each other? have they had sex before? is the man currently taking any medications? is there a condom being used? Cool research question, although more research needs to be done and I suggest you use me as a subject of research!

    • Geoff Matthews says:

      Yeah, the question shouldn’t be “how long in bed?”, but “how long during intercourse?”

    • Pedro U. D. I. C. S. I. P. says:

      We need more variables! What did they have for dinner? Spicy foods? How many times did they do it, in the last 12 months? Is this the honeymoon phase? Is he trying to impress her? Is she trying to impress him? Is the television on? If so, what channel? What about penis size and vagina girth? Does he resemble Jeremy Clarkson? MORE VARIABLES, PLEASE!

  8. ZioFascist says:

    #muhDick

  9. Slippery_slope says:

    The biggest factor in sex is the state of the mind. If your goal is just to dive into the pond; then you won’t enjoy the swim for too long. But if your goal is putting your partner first and making sure she is happy i bet you you would know how time flew. Don’t fuck , make love only then would you be a God on the mattress.

    • Pat MaCrotch says:

      It also matters how much xanax and alcohol you ingested too. Xanax and alcohol are like instant go-hard. You last like a pimp. Problem is you wake up the next day and neither of you remembers what the fuck happened.

  10. axe says:

    for most guys, is it really about how long you ‘last’? do you have such little control over your body? if you’re getting too close and you don’t want to come yet, then slow down. not rocket science.

    also, being less than 2 minutes off in your time estimate is probably actually pretty good, considering you spent that time having sex, as opposed to counting in your head. worry about the people who have sex and can tell you exactly how long it took.

    • Pat MaCrotch says:

      Yeah I didn’t get that part. Most people cannot estimate time in general. Guessing time in any scenario and be within 1 minute is impressive.

    • sp12345 says:

      Ummm… it’s not that easy to just “slow down” and have more control. Sometimes you just really can’t help it, no matter what. You can’t help how much sensitivity you have, it’s just what you are born with basically. I’m lucky if I last a minute… it FUCKING SUCKS!!!!!!

  11. Vincent Mellor says:

    It’s not the majority of data between 4 and 11 minutes as that is the inter quartile range which is the middle 50% of the data.

  12. Adi says:

    6 minutes is too much of time for master-bation…

  13. Josh Bar says:

    “Gone in 6 seconds” Lol

  14. Mike Tamillow says:

    Nick has a point. There exists a bias in the lack of domain knowledge out of the data collectors. Notice they said ‘Heterosexual couples’ which means they are probably a bunch of married people who don’t really have the time or energy for sex, nor do they have to impress anyone. They should have recruited bachelors who need to perform under pressure. Or just measured gangbang times.

  15. Mark says:

    definitely need to put age of man to time lenght.

  16. San Rock says:

    I last around 1 hour but gets fuckin tired better sex if we gets cum within 30 minutes

  17. Would be interesting to cross-examine this against age, ethnicity, and penis size.

  18. Mountaineer says:

    I would think 6 minutes is pretty average for me. When I’m extremely horny, I’ve cum in under 30 seconds. However, once I get hard the second time, I can stay hard for as long as the woman and I want. After the third orgasm, I have no cum left, and have dry orgasms. The longest a session has ever stretched out was around two hours. By the end of that time, both of us were fucked raw, and it was too painful to continue until the next morning.

  19. Ian Levinson says:

    Interesting… I would have to say it depends on the type of sex & how long it has been. My average “quickie” would be 6-8 min. My average “regular” is 12-15, with the long sessions 20 ish. is that to much info.. 🙂

  20. JGioia says:

    Hi there, I know the thread is old but I figure this might be of interest to other men (and perhaps their partners) who experience rapid ejaculation. I’ve always been quick in bed. I’ve done my kegels, practised slow masturbation and all the other techniques suggested with zero effect really. So out of desperation I procured some Dapoxetine and it’s been a very interesting experience for me. I’ve been experimenting with doses between 30mg – 60mg and find the latter more effective. It works best on an empty stomach – which can present a few issues if one considers that most married couples probably have sex in the evening. So timing one’s dosage of dapoxetine in relation to dinner and then aiming for sex within the 1-3 hour window it allows for can be a little tricky. It took a couple of doses for me to dial in the timing and for me, 60mg taken around 2 hours before sex seems optimal. I last longer on it without a doubt – note that it does not anaesthetise one’s penis or deaden sensation, but it just gives you ‘breathing space’ – for a life long rapid ejaculator to be able to experience penetration for longer periods without constantly trying to hold back is pretty amazing.
    You may or may not already know How to get in online fast and easy. If you dont, the easiest thing to do is just search in Google for the keyword “GETDAP4PE”. Hope this helps!

  21. Anthony Martino says:

    I can beat 53 minutes and I’m willing to prove it

  22. Neal Volden says:

    I see it like a race. If you hear the starting gun go off and you slip and fall and i win the race it’s not my fault you don’t practice more often. It pays to be a winner.

  23. Tom610 says:

    Something has got to be wrong with that data. Either that or straight men are pathetic. lol My husband and I last way longer than 6 minutes. lol….

  24. Jose Rodriguez says:

    One can havecsex that lasts 5 minutes. Another time it may last anywhere from a half hour to an hour. So many varying factors. Are you and your partner familiar with one another? Doesnt matter if you’re married or not. One may have a partner that they feel more comfortable with who they’re not married too. How much ease does the couple interact with one another? Does the couple have time? How about plain sexual old sparks? How about stopping and starting again or going for a couple of extra rounds if the couple is up to it? So many different variables….Also, should be researched with regard to specific age groups, as well.

  25. Tom Sheridan says:

    It’s completely dependent on the relationship. I was in a bad marriage for a long time and my ex had her three orgasms within the first 10 minutes and I was left hanging. My current relationship is one that we have such a strong attraction and lust that between the two of us we have 6-10 orgasms every time. It’s roughly three hours of two people focused on the others pleasure and the rest of the world disappeares. When you find something like that it’s like winning the lottery.

  26. Joseph Mason says:

    A healthy penis is required for a strong sexual performance… we all know that. And know that there are penis health cremes available that deliver vitamins and proteins directly to the penis… Man1 Man Oil is the one I use. It is easy to use, safe and will improve your confidence and sexual health bigtime. It is good stuff.