How Long Do Women Need To Orgasm?
Have you ever wondered how long it takes the average woman to reach orgasm? Researchers might have an answer, or at least a partial one.
A new study suggests that women reach orgasm in about 13 minutes, on average, during penis-in-vagina intercourse. The findings are based on stopwatch data from 645 heterosexual, monogamous female participants, the researchers said.
In a new Journal of Sexual Medicine study, researchers report that for women in heterosexual, monogamous relationships, the average time between sexual arousal and orgasm is 13.41 minutes.
The figure applies to penis-in-vagina intercourse only.
How Long Is Normal?
According to Jessica O’Reilly, PhD, host of the @SexWithDrJess Podcast, worrying about how long it takes you to orgasm can take you further out of the moment, and really isn’t necessary.
“When it comes to sex, averages are mostly useless, because individual variation and experience are highly varied,” O’Reilly says. “Just as the average time it takes to run a mile varies from person to person, the average time to orgasm also varies greatly.”
Though it can be hard in the moment to not be self conscious about the time it takes to orgasm, remembering that there is no “right” length of time is key. The more you relax into the moment, the more likely you are to have an orgasm. Also, it’s important to remember that orgasming doesn’t always have to be the goal. Sex can still be pleasurable, even without orgasming.
“Sex isn’t a race,” O’Reilly says. “You don’t get a prize (or extra pleasure) for reaching orgasm faster than your partner or your friends. And the length of time it takes to reach orgasm can vary with your mood, sleep patterns, health, menstrual cycle, level of arousal and what you’re doing physically to produce orgasm. For example, for many of us, if your partner is thrusting a penis or strap-on in and out of our vaginas, it will take longer to orgasm than if we’re rubbing or vibrating against the clitoris on the outside.”
New Research on the Female Orgasm
In the study, 645 women (average age 31) from 20 countries used stopwatches to measure their time to orgasm over an eight-week period. None of the women had medical conditions that could affect their sexual function, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or mental health issues.
During the study period, the women had intercourse an average of 9 times. Seventeen percent of the women said they didn’t reach orgasm at all.
Of the remaining group, about 31% said they reach orgasm just through penile-vagina intercourse. But 69% said they needed more stimulation in addition to intercourse (like kissing or oral sex) to climax. Some said that different sexual positions affected their ability to reach orgasm.
It’s important to note that the study did not include non-heterosexual women or activities outside of penile-vaginal intercourse that can still lead to orgasm.
Of course, all women are different. If it takes you or your partner longer than 13 minutes to reach orgasm, don’t worry. If you are satisfied with your sexual relationship, that is what matters.
However, if you are unsatisfied with sex, talk to your partner about changes you might make. Your doctor may also be able to help.
Being kind to yourself and communicating your body’s needs to your partner can really be helpful if the end goal is to have an orgasm. Let them know what you need to get there, and they’ll take the time you need to make it happen.
“One study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, found that the average time to orgasm for women was 14 minutes for partnered sex and 8 minutes during masturbation,” O’Reilly says. “It’s our partners (or what we’re going with our partners) that slows us down. And of course, slowing down isn’t a bad thing. Some people find that when they slow down and take their time, they enjoy higher arousal and more powerful orgasms once they do arrive.”
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