Q&A: Should You Take a Break Before Having a Second Round of Sex?

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QUESTION: How long a break should be taken in between sex? Like, if my partner and I want to have sex again, can we do it immediately or should we take a break? I want to make sure I don’t hurt or bruise my partner.

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Couple in Bed

Photo: Francesco Rachello

Sex can be enormously fun and it can be exciting to have sex more than once in a short period of time. Some couples feel as though they cannot get enough of each other and the chance to re-connect physically can feel very pleasurable.

As long as two people are feeling comfortable and ready to have a second round of sex, there is no need for them to wait any certain length of time before they have sex again. If your partner’s body feels tender, sore or irritated then you may want to delay having sex until another day when she or he is feeling more comfortable, ready and interested in having sex again.

That said, if your partner wants to jump back into a second round of sex only moments after the first time that you two had sex, that’s okay too.

Erections Can Stay Firm

When men are younger, such as in their teens and twenties, they are often able to get an erection that is firm enough for intercourse even minutes after they have sex. On occasion, they may not even become soft again after they first ejaculate – they may maintain some level of hardness for several minutes or longer and continue having sex.

Again, if you and your partner are able to have sex a second or third time in a short period of time, and you both want to, then there is no reason that you have to wait.

Tools of the Trade

If you use condoms to reduce your risk of pregnancy or infection, make sure to have multiple condoms on hand in case you decide to have sex more than once. If sex lasts for a long time or you anticipate having sex more than once, you may want to keep a bottle of lubricant on hand to help make sex more comfortable and pleasurable for your and your partner.

Find Out More

Sex can be enormously fun and it can be exciting to have sex more than once in a short period of time. Some couples feel as though they cannot get enough of each other and the chance to re-connect physically can feel very pleasurable.

To learn more about sexual pleasure, choosing lubricants and sex techniques, check out Because It Feels Good: A Woman’s Guide to Sexual Pleasure and Satisfaction.

Dr. Debby Herbenick (M.P.H., Ph.D.)

is a sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute, Associate Director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University and author of several books including Sex Made Easy and Because It Feels Good: A Woman's Guide to Sexual Pleasure and Satisfaction.
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