Friday, July 10, 2009

How long it takes.

I just saw a TV show that kept saying "men take two minutes to orgasm, women take twenty." Like it was some established thing. I've also heard three and thirty.

On average, maybe? I've never done a survey. One of my friends has never had an orgasm, so factoring her into the average, women take infinity minutes to come. Myself, I don't think I could possibly hold out for twenty minutes unless you're measuring from the first kiss or something.

Actually, that makes me wonder when you measure from. Are we talking from the start of sexual activity (whatever that means), or from the start of genital stimulation, or from the start of short-strokes intense genital stimulation? Because really, having an orgasm takes me about three hours if you count dinner and drinks.

That's facetious. But it's not facetious to say that when you get to the short-strokes, I'm going to come a lot faster and more reliably if I know you better--so dinner and drinks really were part of reaching orgasm. Fuck, if you count everything that contributes, sometimes it's taken me two years to reach orgasm with a guy. And slutty as I am, it's never taken so little as twenty minutes. If I've never laid eyes on you before and you just walk up and start the G-spot stimulation--well, that's more a thought experiment than a sexual experience, but I'm guessing it would be just a bit harder to relax. I don't think most guys could do it in two minutes like that either.

It seems like the "ten times as long" platitude gets around less because of validity than because it reinforces stereotypes. Men are simple and slutty, women are unfathomable and frigid. Making a man come is merely a matter of consenting, making a woman come is a painstaking skill. Men give it up easy, women make you work for it. Woman, she is a meeestery. (Or if you want to be sort of feminist about it, "female sexuality is very complex.") A woman who gets off pretty fast just from plain old fuckin' doesn't fit that paradigm. And a guy who doesn't come from a couple minutes of straight-up cock-stroking every time--shit, maybe he's gay or something.

Anyway, all this is like saying "men weigh 180 pounds, women weigh 120"--maybe it's just an obnoxiously narrow social expectation or maybe it really is valid statistically, but either way I wouldn't take it shopping.


  1. I don't think I've ever counted. It takes about the right amount of time, or a little less, depending on which one of us you ask (she's generally fine, I could often stand to keep going a bit longer). Except when I was on Paxil, when it was infinity again.

  2. Mine are SUPER VARIABLE. Lessee:

    -it used to take me 45 minutes to get myself off, but these days, with the stars in the right alignment, we're talking about 3
    -in terms of direct stimulation, when I'm with someone else, it takes a very very long time with genital contact (20-30 mins if I'm lucky, sometimes it just doesn't work at all), but if someone plays with my tits right? 10 minutes or so, and every 1-5 minutes thereafter for as long as the person's fingers hold out. God bless the multiple orgasm.

    But if I'm not into the person, I usually can't come at all, they toil away for 20 mins or so, I fake it and they leave happy.

    With the right stimuli and the right person, though, it's practically instantaneous.

    On average? 5 or 10 maybe.

  3. I'm a guy, and I never really counted exactly, but it takes a lot longer than 3 minutes. Probably more like 10-15 minutes. And that's with my hand. With another guy, it takes more like twice that. Of course that's probably because I'm more into women and have a bit of trouble getting off with a man as a result, but I don't have time for anything other than a rare one-night stand and haven't ever been able to find any women who were interested. (Well, there's always craigslist, but the few times I got as far as arranging a time and place with a woman they never showed up, and only one apologized afterwards.)

  4. Of course, the orgasm itself is always a bit of a letdown, since it means I have to stop.

  5. Ah yes, the old "Women need a reason to have sex, men just need a place" meme.

    I happen to be a believer in there being a difference between "having sex" and "fucking."

    The first requires a close relationship, is usually more satisfying for BOTH parties and generally involves more intimacy than just a little "friendly friction," whereas the second is primarily the "friendly friction" variety.

    That being said, "fucking" tends to require more efforts and takes longer to reach orgasm than "having sex" (IMHO) because the barriers of relaxation and being comfortable with the your partner are down (unless you've done something to upset them). Beyond that, I'm not sure how you measure when sex starts unless you measure from some arbitrary point in the process. By some measures, sex takes an entire evening, by others, maybe 10 minutes.

    The real questions should be "Was it satisfying or not?" and "If not, why not?" Addressing those two questions will do more to help peoples' sex lives than any measure of "How long did it last?" ever can (unless your sole measure of satisfaction was how long it lasted).

  6. Am I allowed to use a vibrator? Because then I'm solidly in the 2-minutes-or-less camp.

    (I also channel-surf and leave my underwear on the floor, so according to the Internet I am a man.)

  7. "Actually, that makes me wonder when you measure from."

    That's the perfect question isn't it?

    When I was young I was *very* quick to come when intercourse began. So, since I had what people nowadays would call maybe a fetish or kink for "simultaneous orgasms" I just became *very* good at eating my partner till she was riiiighht on the verge before beginning intercourse. So. Did it take her 20 seconds to have an orgasm?

    For that matter did it take *me?* Because, yeah, it's not like the couple of hours of talking, kissing, undressing, and generally "foreplaying" did nothing for me. (In retrospect I sort of wonder if I might have lasted longer, lots longer, if I hadn't wound myself up so much winding my partners up.)

    Nowadays my answer is you start measuring from the moment you start anticipating being some kind of sexual.

    Cool post, Holly,