Q&A: My Stamina Bothers My Sexual Partners

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QUESTION: With my last girlfriend, sex was very long and pleasurable for both of us. She had multiple orgasms when we had sex. Now that I'm having sex with other women, my stamina continues to last very long and it’s bothering them. What is the percentage or ratio of woman that need one orgasm to have a happy sex life in contrast to those who enjoy multiple?

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Photo: Mirnanda (Flickr)

Many women are quite satisfied with five or ten minutes of vaginal intercourse, in spite of what is often portrayed in Hollywood movies and mainstream porn moves.

Thank you for your question.

Don’t Believe Everything You See On TV

Although men vary in terms of how long they enjoy spending having sex, I would venture to guess – although I have seen no data on the topic – that while women vary, they probably vary a little bit less than men do, at least in terms of how long they would like to spend having vaginal intercourse.

This is because vaginal intercourse can be a more painful experience for women than men, in large part because by definition vaginal penetration involves women’s bodies being penetrated and often thrust into over and over again.

For many women, vaginal penetration is highly pleasurable. Many women enjoy long sessions of vaginal intercourse.

However, many are quite satisfied with five or ten minutes of vaginal intercourse, in spite of what is often portrayed in Hollywood movies and mainstream porn moves.

In one recent study that I conducted with my team at the Center for Sexual Health Promotion, we found that about thirty percent of women experienced pain during the most recent time they had sex. This compared to about five percent of men experiencing pain during their most recent sex act.

Certainly longer periods of sex may bring about more chances for discomfort or pain, especially if lubrication runs low at any point.

Speaking of which, in this same study we found that about one-third of women – even young women in their early twenties – experienced difficulties with vaginal lubrication during their most recent sex act.

We don’t know the ratio of women who want or need one orgasm to feel satisfied with sex compared to those who enjoy multiple orgasms, or even no orgasms.

Making It Fun For Both Of You

And while I understand your curiosity, I’d also like to suggest that the more important issue is what do you enjoy and what do the women you are having sex with enjoy?

If you typically have sex that lasts for a long time, try keeping water-based lubricant nearby so that you can help make penetration for comfortable and pleasurable.

Also, pay attention to your partner’s experience. If she looks uncomfortable or bored, check in with her. Make sure that you are engaging in sex in ways that she finds pleasurable rather than going forth with sex on auto-pilot, without attention to what she likes.

New Techniques

Also, does sex last a long time because you want it to or because you are unable to ejaculate more quickly, even when you want to?

Some men experience delayed or inhibited ejaculation and may find it difficult, if not impossible, to ejaculate even after 45 minutes or longer of thrusting. For some men, this occurs only during vaginal intercourse or oral sex.

For others, this occurs during masturbation as well. If you would like to learn to ejaculate more quickly, try varying your masturbation routine so that you masturbate with lubricant or lotion sometimes but not others, using different hand positions, rhythms and so on.

Wearing a vibrating condom ring may also be helpful as might using a more intense vibrating sex toy together with your partner or meeting with a sex therapist to discuss any concerns you may have in this area. I hope this is helpful.

Next Question: Dealing With A Small Vagina

Going into my relationship with my boyfriend, I was a virgin and he was not. After waiting until we were both ready, we talked about it and decided that it was time. I had been told in the past by my gynecologist that I have a very small vagina. It has never been easy inserting tampons or even my boyfriend’s finger. Every time we’ve tried to have sex, he can get in me at all. What can we do besides try lube? Are some positions better than others?

Read Dr. Debby Herbenick’s response.

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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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