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For Most Couples, Sex Doesn't Last All That Long

Let's put it this way: no one's doing it for hours.

09/19/2017 11:31 EDT | Updated 09/20/2017 11:33 EDT

There comes a time in a relationship when you inevitably compare yourself to other couples.

Are they having better sex? Are they trying new positions? How many times a week do they have sex? Are they having sex for longer?

Trust us, everyone is asking these questions. But before you get your knickers in a twist, we're here with the hard facts: people aren't having sex for as long as you think.

Lovely, a sex toy and tracking app for couples, collected data from 432 couples and more than 2,000 sexual encounters and found that sex lasted about 12 minutes for the average couple. However, Men's Health notes that the study just looked at sex positions and length of sex, without mentioning whether foreplay was included in the times.

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The company also organized their data by U.S. state and found some interesting numbers. People in Maine, for example, had sex for an average of 19 minutes, while people in Michigan reportedly had sex for an average of nine minutes.

Basically, it seems as if most people aren't having tantric sex à la Sting and Trudie Styler.

In a study released earlier this year, it was found that sex for most British couples lasts 19 minutes — 10 minutes of foreplay followed by nine minutes of intercourse — but many of the couples who participated in the study wished it would last longer.

According to that study, 24 per cent of couples wanted intercourse to last for more than 30 minutes, while 66 per cent said they wanted it to last at least 15 minutes.

24 per cent of couples wanted intercourse to last for more than 30 minutes, while 66 per cent said they wanted it to last at least 15 minutes.

A landmark study published in Journal of Sexual Medicine in 2005 found that the median length of intercourse was 5.4 minutes, although GQ notes that other research has found the median to be up to 7.5 minutes. However, these stats ignore the activities that can lead up to the main event.

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"Sex is more than just intercourse, and the time you allot to it should include the time to generate arousal both mentally and physically," sex therapist and licensed marriage and family therapist Ian Kerner told Self magazine. "That can mean lots of touching and foreplay, sharing a fantasy, reading erotica, watching porn together, or role-playing some sort of kinky scene."

Sex is more than just intercourse, and the time you allot to it should include the time to generate arousal both mentally and physically.

And while the length of time spent having intercourse is important, it's not everything.

Quality, such as sex positions, types and length of foreplay, and kissing and cuddling, are also an integral part of sex, and shouldn't be ignored.

And sure, as you age, desire for sex can wane, but there are still many ways to have a more-than-satisfactory sex life no matter how old you are.

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