It will take you longer to read this article than it takes nearly half of all men to finish having sex. And this is a fairly short article. But consider this: If a man and a woman start having sex right now, the man will either be asleep or smoking a cigarette by the time you read the last word I’ve written here.
Two minutes, ladies. That’s all you’re going to get from a lot of guys. Two minutes.
I imagine a few women just exclaimed, “No s—t, TJ!” The fact that many men don’t last long during intercourse isn’t necessarily worth a breaking-news alert. But new analysis is shedding more light on the situation and on men’s sexual shortcomings (pun intended).
According to sexual-health expert Dr. Harry Fisch, 45 percent of men have an orgasm within the first two minutes of intercourse. He calls that percentage “astonishing.” It’s also devastating for women.
Fisch writes: “That’s pretty speedy. Way too speedy for the average woman to be able to have an orgasm. At least five minutes, or more like seven, is usually what’s needed for a woman to be able to achieve orgasm.”
Fisch lays out his findings and advice in his book The New Naked: The Ultimate Sex Education for Grown-Ups. In it he explains that the No. 1 question he gets from all adult couples (married and unmarried) is actually the wrong question on which they should focus.
They want to know how much sex is normal. (Fisch puts the average frequency of sexual activity at two or three times per week for most couples, with younger couples having sex more often than older couples.) But rather than fixate on frequency, Fisch argues, couples should focus on quality. He contends that if you are having an incredibly satisfying sexual experience once a week, it’s possible that you’re more fulfilled than someone having sex four times a week, if those four times are just so-so. Ultimately, it’s not about how much sex you’re having but how good the sex is that you’re having.
And undoubtedly, duration is a major factor. Even if a man performs admirably for those two glorious minutes, it’s still not going to get the job done for the majority of women. Sixty-seven percent of women in one study reported faking orgasms. The number was as high as 80 percent in other studies. There were varying reasons that women faked orgasms, but the main one was that they didn’t want to hurt the man’s feelings.
Of course, there are also legitimate health issues that can cause a man to reach climax quickly, but many men just get overly excited and can’t control themselves. I don’t care who you are—every man has wanted to take a sexual mulligan at some point in his life for one reason or another. If the first encounter with a woman doesn’t go smashingly, we can’t wait for the do-over. The last thing we want is for a woman to think we don’t know what we’re doing and then, God forbid, she tells her girlfriends. As men, we often and unnecessarily define ourselves by our sexual prowess. It’s crucial to our identity and our confidence.
Of course, as men get older, more experienced and generally more confident, this becomes less of an issue, and we don’t feel that we have so much to prove. As the late Bernie Mac once brilliantly explained about sex as a 42-year-old man: “Three minutes! That’s all I’m giving you! That’s all the f—k I got! … And I don’t care about you talking about me!”
Still, it’s ingrained early on and reinforced throughout our lives that our manhood is measured in part by what we do in the bedroom. Women know this and find themselves in the unenviable position of sacrificing their own satisfaction for the sake of salvaging men’s egos. That can eventually lead to frustration and unhappiness both in and out of bed.
The simple fix: Talk. We’re all adults here, and there’s 23 hours and 58 minutes’ worth of opportunity every single day to broach this sensitive subject with your lover.