A normal sex session lasts a mere three to 13 minutes, according to a study published in the Journal of Sex Medicine — that’s a surprisingly short amount of time to bond with your mate, let alone make an attempt at reaching the big O. “It’s important to make sex last for two reasons,” says sex researcher Elisabeth Lloyd, Ph.D., a professor of history and philosophy of science at Indiana University. “Women often take longer to orgasm than men, and the longer you spend time physically touching, the stronger your bond.”
Want to lengthen your lovemaking? Try these seven ways to stretch your time in the sack:
Foreplay, foreplay, foreplay. Quickies come in handy when you’re pressed for time, but when you want to make sex last longer, devote some time to pre-play. According to a study published in the Journal of Sex Research, couples who spend time kissing and performing oral sex and manual stimulation on each other spend more time in bed (29.5 minutes) than those who head straight for the main event (8.5 minutes). “Sex isn’t just about penetration,” says Wendy Walsh, Ph.D., a Los Angeles-based clinical psychologist. “It begins at the moment a couple touches fingertips. Expanding your notion of sex will expand the time it lasts.”
Grab your pleasure early. Aiming to hit your peaks during foreplay is a double-win: You’ll be more likely to have multiple orgasms (if that’s a goal) and sex will last longer. “Men and women experience the aftermath of orgasm differently,” says Lloyd. “Men experience a refractory period during which their bodies return to their pre-aroused state. Women’s bodies return to the excitement phase due to lingering blood in the pelvic region.” This is why, after sex, you may feel like climaxing again, while he’s wiped out. But if he is up for round two, he’ll likely last longer because he won’t be as raring to go.
Choose your position wisely. You may love woman-on-top for its direct clitoral contact, but the position boasts another benefit: longer sex. Because you control the pace and speed of movement, you can avoid the steady, rhythmic motions that build orgasm, and since he won’t be able to thrust, his penis will be less sensitized. “Even if your guy climaxes first, he’ll remain erect for a few minutes after orgasm, allowing you to enjoy sex, even after it’s technically over,” explains Ian Kerner, Ph.D., New York City-based sex therapist and author of She Comes First.
Drink a glass of wine. “Alcohol depresses the central nervous system, which dulls physical sensation and helps delay ejaculation,” says Kerner. Plus, wine contains resveratrol, a chemical that helps boost sex hormones, according to research conducted by Northwestern University Medical School. Just limit yourselves to one drink each, otherwise you may conk out during the action.
Try the squeeze method. This one takes a bit of patience and practice, but done right, your guy will be able to rein it in when he’s overly excited. Right before he’s about to climax, have him withdraw and then you should try lightly squeezing the head of his penis for several seconds. “This will prevent him from achieving orgasm, but it won’t put a damper on his arousal,” says Lloyd.
Help him relax. Relaxation techniques, such as massage, are often recommended as a part of foreplay because reducing stress can help your man gain greater control over his body. “A man who is more ‘in tune’ with his body is going to be better able to do things like control his ejaculation than a guy who is stressed,” notes Yvonne Fulbright, Ph.D., author of “The Better Sex Guide to Extraordinary Lovemaking.” She recommends having your partner try this deep breathing/massage technique, which is similar to how one would breathe during meditation or yoga class: Have your man lie on his back, knees bent with his feet flat on the floor. Then, have him slowly breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth, while he rubs his hands together until they’re warm. Next, he should place his hands on top of his stomach and slowly massage the area, while inhaling and exhaling. “If he tries this exercise two times a week, slowly building up to once daily, he’ll be better able to manage anxiety and slow down the pace of sex,” says Fulbright.
Numb your pleasure. Condoms get a bad rap for desensitizing sex, but if you want to make every minute count, that’s exactly the point. Just be sure to avoid buying packages boasting terms such as “thin,” “sensitive” and “bare,” which aren’t thick enough to create a desensitizing barrier. If you’re not into condoms, try a numbing agent—just make sure it’s FDA-approved. Kerner suggests Promescent, an over-the-counter desensitizing spray commonly used to treat premature erectile disorder. “Spray it on the head of the penis and rub it in, and it immediately absorbs into the skin, helping guys last longer,” he says.
See our YouTalk discussion on how to make your man last longer in bed to read more tips from women just like you.