Thursday, July 30, 2015

Some open survey links - I would love your input

With Facebook's new sharing policy, it has become increasingly difficult for me to collect survey responses from my Facebook followers, which is where most of my respondents used to come from.

So I am listing here on my Blog, which averages around a thousand hits a month, all my recent surveys that are still open because I do not yet have enough respondents and data to publish meaningful findings for them.

A lot of the findings and comments to date are interesting, so I just need to get enough additional respondents to be comfortable that the published findings are statistically relevant.

If you have a couple of minutes please fill out a couple of them, they are all very short.

Lights on or lights off? -

Wives, when in the your monthly cycle is sex best for you? -

Hubbies love breasts but we know very little about your intimate relationship with your breasts and what you experience, like and don't like when it comes to the role of your breasts in intimacy. Wives, please help educate us! -

Kissing after oral sex - do you or don't you?

As soon as I have enough respondents, usually over 100 but ideally 200, I promise to write blog posts to publish and share the findings.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Horrible Sex!

So last night C and I had horrible sex. We should have given up about 3 times through the process, but we are too stubborn and were both determined to soldier on and not give up - neither one of us wanted to admit it was horrible and not working!

The point is, sex is not going to be wonderful every time for anyone, no matter what the movies want us to believe. I read once that for every 10 times a long-term couple make love, 6 times will be 'nice' and satisfying, 2 times will be blow your mind fantastic sex that leaves you gripping the sheets and gasping for breath afterwards while your world slowly stops spinning and as you start to focus again you look at each other in amazement and simultaneously go 'Wow!', and the other 2 times will be horrible. For us last night was one of those 2 times!

To start with, C was in the mood and I was stressed and grumpy, so she gave me some time to chill. By the time I had relaxed and was ready to go, C was tired and battled to get back into the mood. But we have had an unusually long break for us - almost 2 weeks - since C had thrush from antibiotics following a spider bite and then was on straight after that, and we felt like we were long overdue and had to break our drought, so instead of just calling it quits, we persevered. But we just weren't in sync and everything was off - our kissing, touching, everything just wasn't working like it usually does for us. Then I wanted C to be on top, and she wanted me to be on top - another sign we were both too tired and should just have called it quits - but by that time I was aroused and after a two week break stopping at that point would just have been painful (literally), so we settled for missionary and eventually managed to grind out our respective and rather resentful orgasms before rolling to our opposite sides of the bed and falling asleep.

Why am I (over)sharing this? Because some readers think that those of us who blog about sex in marriage have easy and amazing sex lives and that we are somehow special and different and thus not relevant because we don't have the same struggles with intimacy that they do. But that is not true. Even though we are sex positive in our relationship, and have lots of sex, most of it pretty good most of the time, we also go through our ups and downs. We are selfish, we fight, we take out our stress on each other, we go through high and lows and sexual dry spells and amazing spells and long ordinary spells of quiet intimacy in between.

But we persevere, and we forgive and we move on, and most of all we never give up on our sex life or on each other. We aim for 'near daily' sex and although we don't generally get there, or manage to keep it up for very long when we do, it is always our goal, and we both work hard to get back to it.

This morning when we woke up, we both smiled sheepishly and said 'sorry about last night', and we both know that tonight, or tomorrow night, or the next, we will have one of those blow your mind fantastic sessions that leaves us gripping the sheets and gasping for breath afterwards while our world slowly stops spinning, and that as we start to focus again we will look at each other in amazement and simultaneously go 'Wow!'

Monday, January 5, 2015

Results of Survey - Sexual boundaries before and in marriage

Results of Survey - Sexual boundaries before and in marriage

This post presents the results of a survey that ran some months ago. The survey sought to analyse a couple of things – the average age at which respondents first tried different sexual experiences, the number of partners with whom respondents have engaged in different sexual practices, whether different things were tried before marriage or kept for the marriage bed, and the prevalence of cheating through engaging in different sexual experiences with others post marriage.
I must point out that this survey was poorly answered in relation to other surveys that I have authored. I only had 75 respondents, of which 30% (23) were female and 70% (52) were male. I usually like 200 or more responses, and a better spread of male and female respondents, to share the results of a survey, but have decided to present the findings anyway as they illustrate some interesting patterns. The spread of respondents across age groups was fairly even, from 18-64 year olds. Most respondents (63%) were married between the ages of 18-24 and 33% between 25-29. Only 4% were married after the age of 30, which in itself is interesting.

Summary and key take-aways
If nothing else, the statistics below on the age of first sexual experiences should have parents of pre-teens, tweens and young teens rushing off to have a frank and open discussion about intimacy and sex with their children. I think as parents we think we can delay ‘the talk’ until the mid-teens, but this is far too late as the data below illustrates. You need to be starting to have age-appropriate discussions with your children from an early age, and you need to include a discussion on orgasms, masturbation and the dangers of pornography in particular with your children from under the age of 10 (gasp!).

I remember experiencing my first orgasm at the age of 11 and thereafter discovering masturbation long before my parents thought to leave a rather basic teen guide to sex (‘where babies come from’) on my bedside table, that did not address at all masturbation, orgasm or any of the other physical or emotional aspects of puberty, sex or relationships that I was grappling with at the time. I muddled through a rather perplexing year until I managed to track down a more comprehensive text at our public library that shed light on my experiences and reassured me I was not abnormal after all!
Pornography is rampant, and for many tweens will be their first exposure to sex, together with all the negative implications that this brings – including a focus purely on the physical and not the emotional and spiritual aspects of sex and intimacy, the degradation of women and a lack of consideration for the woman’s pleasure, and violent and extreme forms of sex, or at best the ‘Hollywood myth’ of simultaneous orgasms from intercourse, being presented as the norm.

Couples are engaging in sexual activity before marriage as a norm rather than an exception. Only 40% of respondents waited until after marriage to engage in intercourse, while many more engaged in oral sex (70%), genital stimulation (85%) and breast play (87%) before marriage. As church leaders and counsellors, and especially in pre-marriage counselling, we need to acknowledge this fact and we need address it with dating and engaged couples, rather than assuming purity to be the norm.
The number of sexual partners in the responses to this survey were lower than the statistics I have seen quoted in other wider surveys. Again, the small population size, and the fact that most respondents are likely to be practicing Christians, may well have skewed the data in this regard.

My final take-away was the prevalence of infidelity, with roughly 20% of respondents admitting to having engaged in various forms of sexual activity with someone other than their spouse since their marriage.
Age of first sexual experience:

First Orgasm
10% of male respondents had their first orgasm before the age of 10, 27% between the ages of 11-12, 35% between the ages of 13-14 and the balance of 28% between 15-16 years old.
17% of female participants experienced their first orgasm before the age of 10! 12% between the ages of 11-14, and then a big jump to 30% between the ages of 15-16. 19% between 17-21 and the remaining 12% as adults over the age of 21.

First Masturbation
15% of male respondents started masturbating before the age of 10, 31% between 11-12, 30% between 13-14 and the remaining 24% between 15-16.

The female respondents were more widely spread. 13% of female respondents started masturbating before the age of 10, 17% between the ages of 11-12, 17% between 13-14, 26% between 15-16, 7% between 17-21, and the remaining 12% only started masturbating as adults. 4% of female respondents indicated that they do not masturbate.
Interestingly, the percentages for the ages of starting to masturbate and the age of first orgasm do not correlate for the female participants, indicating that for a portion of the women, they started experimenting with masturbation for a while before first achieving orgasm.

First exposure to pornography
20% of male respondents were exposed to porn before their 10th birthday! A further 23% between 11-12, 17% between 13-14, 23% between 15-16 and the rest between 17-18. No male participants have had no exposure to porn or were only first exposed to porn as adults.
There was a big gender differential here, with 21% of female respondents indicating that they have never had exposure to porn. 9% of the women first saw porn as 11-12 year olds, 13% as 13-14 year olds, 8% as 15-16 year olds and 22% as 17-18 year olds. The remaining 25% were 18 or older.

Again, as parents this is a sobering statistic, and we need to consider whether we want our childrens’ first ideas about sex to come from porn or from us.

Age of first sexual experiences with a partner, number of partners, stage of relationship, and cheating:

For these, to avoid too much detail, I have not differentiated the male and female statistics, and I have not provided the percentages for each age group, but just the median age and any numbers that really stand out for me.

French kissing
20% of respondents first tried this at 12-13 years of age and a further 20% at 14-15 and 27% at 16-17. The median age was 16.
The median number of partners that respondents have done this with was 3-5. 22% have only French kissed one person, and 26% have kissed more than 10 partners.

32% of respondents did this with their husband/wife for the first time before dating exclusively and 58% while dating exclusively. 4% waited until they were engaged, and 5% until they were married.
21% of participants admit to having kissed someone other than their spouse since they have been married.

Breast play
19% of respondents first engaged in breast play at 14-15 years, 27% at 16-17 years and 19% at 18-19. The median age was 16.
The median number of partners was 3-5. 28% have only done this with one person, and 13% with more than 10 partners.

18% of married spouses engaged in breast play before dating exclusively, and 53% while dating exclusively. 17% waited until they were engaged, and the remaining 13% until after marriage.
18% of respondents admit to having engaged in breast play with someone other than their spouse since they have been married.

Genital stimulation (3rd base)
12% of respondents first engaged in genital stimulation at 14-15 years, 31% at 16-17, 21% at 18-19 and 11% at 20-21. The median age is 16-17 with 54% of respondents having engaged in genital stimulation with a partner before turning 18.
The median number of partners is 3-5. 31% have only done this with one person, and 14% with more than 10 partners.

13% of married spouses engaged in genital stimulation before dating exclusively, 50% while dating exclusively, and 22% while engaged. Only 15% waited until after marriage.
22% of respondents admit to having engaged in genital stimulation with someone other than their spouse since they have been married.

Mutual masturbation
30% of participants have never masturbated together with, or in the presence of, a partner. The percentage of teens engaging in this practice is also low based on the responses, with only 14% doing this before the age of 18. 26% tried this for the first time at 18-19, which is also the median age amongst those that have engaged in this practice.
The median number of partners for mutual masturbation is 1. 30% have only ever done this with one partner. 10% of respondents have done this with more than 10 partners.

6% of married spouses engaged in mutual masturbation before dating exclusively, 37% while dating exclusively, and 9% while engaged. 21% waited until after marriage.
16% of respondents admit to having engaged in mutual masturbation with someone other than their spouse since they have been married.

Oral Sex
15% of respondents have never received oral sex, and 7% have never given oral sex. I think this mismatch is down to having twice as many male as female respondents, with more men than women willing to give oral sex. This is evident from the male respondents, with 6% saying they have never given oral sex, but 18% never having received it.
Amongst the sample, oral sex amongst teens is quite low, with only 20% having received oral sex and 11% have given it before the age of 18. The most common age for first experience with oral sex is 18-19, with 30% receiving it and 34% giving it for the first time at this age.

I then had a look at any gender differences with first time oral sex.  For the women respondents, 18% received oral sex for the first time before the age of 18, and 30% between 18-19. For the men, 20% received oral sex for the first time before the age of 18, and 30% between 18-19. 13% of the women respondents gave oral sex before the age of 18 and 30% gave oral sex for the first time between 18-19; while for the men, 10% gave oral sex for the first time before the age of 18, and 35% between 18-19.
These statistics are roughly equal and thus quite different to what I have read from other studies, where the prevalence of oral sex amongst teens is much higher, and where it seems that there is more pressure on young women than men to provide oral sex. Again, the limited size of the population for this survey, and probably also the Christian base of respondents, has possibly impacted the data here.

The median number of partners for giving oral sex to is 2. 43% of respondents have only ever given oral sex to 1 person. 12% of respondents have done this with more than 10 partners.
6% of married spouses engaged in oral sex before dating exclusively, 45% while dating exclusively, and 16% while engaged. 30% waited until after marriage.

20% of respondents admit to having engaged in oral sex with someone other than their spouse since they have been married.
First intercourse
No respondents in the sample had intercourse before the age of 14. 4% were 14-15, 10% 16-17 and 35% 18-19, which is also the median age. 12% were 20-21, 19% 22-24 and 15% 25-29.

The median number of partners for intercourse is 1. 50% of respondents have only ever had intercourse with 1 person. Only 3% of respondents have had intercourse with more than 10 partners.
7% of married spouses engaged in intercourse before dating exclusively, 46% while dating exclusively, and 7% while engaged. Only 40% waited until after marriage.

19% of respondents admit to having engaged in intercourse with someone other than their spouse since they have been married. Of this 18%, 7% have had one other partner since marriage, 6% have had 2 other partners, 3% have had 3 other partners, and 3% have had 5 or more other partners.
Anal sex
57% of respondents have never tried anal sex. Amongst those who have, 22% were 18-19 the first time they tried it, 22% were 20-21 and 26% were 22-24. The remaining 30% were evenly spread over the older age groups surveyed.

The median number of partners for anal sex to is zero. Of those who have had anal sex, over 70% have had only one partner. 5% of respondents have done this with more than 10 partners.
No married spouses engaged in anal sex before dating exclusively, 16% did it while dating exclusively, and 6% while engaged. The other 20% only tried this after marriage.

6% of respondents admit to having engaged in anal sex with someone other than their spouse since they have been married.
S&M and Group Sex
Just under 80% of respondents have not engaged in these practices. Of those that have, all were 18 years or older when they first tried it. The median age for those that have tried it is 22-24.

Of the 21% who have engaged in S&M, the median number of partners is one. Of those who have engaged in Group sex, the median number of partners is 2.
5% of married spouses engaged in S&M while dating exclusively, 3% while engaged and the other 15% after marriage.

Of the married couples who have engaged in group sex, 2% tried it while engaged and 5% after marriage.
No respondents who have engaged in S&M have done so with someone other than their spouse since they have been married.

It does not make sense to present this metric of infidelity for those engaging in group sex – the question also did not differentiate as to whether or not the spouse was included in the group or was aware of the activity.
Bi-curious and gay sex
84% (62 of the 74 respondents) of respondents have not experimented with gay sex. Of those that have, there was a pretty even spread from the 12-13 years old category through to the 30-39 years old category for first time experience. Of the 12 respondents who have experienced gay sex, 11 were men and one was a woman.

Of the 21% who have engaged in gay sex, the median number of partners is more than 10.
5% of married respondents admit to having had gay sex since their marriage to their current spouse.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Sexual boundaries pre and post marriage

Speaking to young married Christian couples, it is apparent to me that even among Christian youth, sexual mores before marriage are different now to what they were when I was a teenager and a twenty-something. Which got me to thinking about how sexual experiences have changed over the past 40 or 50 years.

The 60's and 70's were a generation of 'free-love' and currently the 'hook-up' culture seems prevalent among the youth. I'm not sure how to classify the 80's and early 90's when I was growing up and discovering my sexuality, and the limits of what I as a Christian was comfortable doing sexually before marriage, but I suspect that this time period was somewhat more conservative than the periods before and after it (though I'm not sure why this was).

The particular items that come to mind for me when I compare the current environment to what I grew up with include:

- ease of access to pornography. I was first exposed to pornography around 17 years' old, on grainy videotape, but with the internet, smart phones and cable, children are now generally exposed to porn in their pre-teens or even earlier. This has a profound effect on their early sexuality and often a profound negative impact on their understanding of and expectations for a normal and healthy intimate relationship with their spouse.

- views on oral sex. In my day, oral sex was viewed almost on a par with intercourse. Pre Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky, sexual relations included intercourse and oral sex! Nowadays, it seems that oral sex is regarded as more akin to kissing. In fact, I have even heard it said that teenage girls regard giving oral sex as less intimate an act than kissing!

- hook-up culture. I kissed my fair share of girls in my youth, not all of whom I was seriously dating at the time, but that was generally as far as it went. These days it seems that our society is far more permissive in its view of what is acceptable within a casual hook-up or fling. As a result, young married couples, including many Christian couples, come into marriage more sexually experienced, but also with more sexual baggage and potentially sexual hurts that they need to deal with.

Alongside preaching to our teens and to young dating couples the value of waiting for marriage to explore intimacy together, we also need to be aware of the reality for many of them, and to be able to deal with the sexual issues that they bring into marriage. I suspect that it also means that we need to start speaking to our pre-teens much earlier than we think about issues like pornography, mutual masturbation and oral sex.

To gather some data to see whether my perceptions above are valid, and whether other trends are also  evident, I have designed a short 5 question survey. Once I have sufficient data, I will blog the results and an analysis of the changing trends across recent generations. To be able to do so, however, I need a good spread of respondents of various ages, from late teens and newly weds to those that grew up in the 60's. And ideally also a good spread of men and women.

Please take 5 minutes to complete the survey using the link below:


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Results of survey - how long sex lasts (2/2)

This is the second part of feedback from the survey looking at how long sex lasts. The first part looked at how long couples typically spend making love, while this blog examines the findings relating to how long husbands and wives respectively take to orgasm from different types of stimulation.

The premise of the survey, and the original blog post that introduced it, is that there is a wide range of experiences and no 'normal'. Although there are trends evident from the data below, it is important to look at the wide range of responses on either side of the most common response. Almost all the categories show a normal distribution on either side of the mean. So, for example, where the largest group of wife respondents who can orgasm that way indicated that it usually takes them 5-10 minutes to orgasm from intercourse, there is also a significant percentage that take 10-15 minutes and 15-20 minutes, and on the other side a significant percentage that take 3-5 minutes and 2-3 minutes. Each couples experience will be unique.

163 husbands and 97 wives responded to the survey at the cut-off date, giving 260 respondents in total. But each respondent answered for them and their spouse, so effectively we have responses for 260 husbands and for 260 wives.

Orgasm from intercourse

A significant number of wife respondents (70 of the 260) are unable to orgasm from intercourse, and require other forms of stimulation to reach climax.

If we look at just those able to orgasm from intercourse, then a clear trend becomes evident, that on average, husbands orgasm from intercourse quicker than wives. The largest group of husbands indicated that it takes them 3-5 minutes to orgasm from intercourse, and almost as large a group orgasm within 2-3 minutes. A significant number of husbands orgasm within 1-2 minutes.

The largest group of wife respondents on the other hand indicate that it takes them 5-10 minutes to orgasm from intercourse. Almost as significant a group take 15-20 minutes.

I do wonder whether the large number of wife respondents who cannot orgasm from intercourse maybe have husbands who orgasm too quickly for them, thus denying them the extent of stimulation that they require to reach orgasm in this way.

A potential technique to manage this mismatch for those couples who do experience it, is to stimulate the wife in other ways first until she is close to orgasm or until she has orgasmed already, before commencing intercourse. Once a women has orgasmed, she reverts to an 'orgasmic plateau' just below the threshold of orgasm, from where it is possible for her to reach orgasm again more quickly and easily.

The graph above just converts the bar graph to a line graph, which makes the trend and the differential more obvious.

Orgasm from a vibrator

Fewer respondents than I expected use a vibrator. Of the 260 respondents, 144 of the wives and 220 husbands do not orgasm using a vibrator. For wives who battle to orgasm from intercourse or other forms of stimulation, a vibrator can provide a useful and fairly easy path to orgasm. Some wives can only orgasm with the help of a vibrator. When used together by couples, they can be an integral part of a loving and intimate sexual relationship.

The graph above looks only at those respondents that do use sex toys. The one below shows the same thing, but as a line graph. These graphs show that it takes husbands and wives very similar lengths of time to orgasm using a vibrator, ie 3-5 minutes. Many wives orgasm from clitoral stimulation rather than vaginal or G-Spot stimulation, and thus a vibrator which provides more direct clitoral stimulation gives these wives a quicker route to orgasm than intercourse. If we compare intercourse above to the vibrator responses here, the time for the largest group of wives to orgasm goes from 5-10 minutes to 3-5 minutes.

For those men that have never tried it, and are wondering how a husband can orgasm with a vibrator, the easiest way is just to hold the tip of the vibrator against the underside of the head of the erect penis. It take a bit of patience, as the sensation can start off seeming like not much, but it then kicks up in intensity pretty quickly, and can give a very different orgasm. Men's orgasms are pretty much all about friction, and an orgasm that does not result from friction can be a novel experience.

Orgasm from manual stimulation

If we exclude those that do not orgasm from manual stimulation, in the graph below, then it is interesting to see that the largest group of male and female respondents take the same time to reach orgasm, namely 5-10 minutes. Again, as noted in the introduction to this blog post, the distribution of responses is normal around this mean, and shows a wide distribution of responses, from 1-2 minutes through to over 20 minutes, for both husbands and wives.

The same graph converted to a line graph, shows this correlation even more clearly. Husbands are distributed slightly towards the faster end of the scale, and wives slightly towards the longer end.

Orgasm from masturbating

A large number of the wife respondents (124/260) and a surprising number of the husbands (58/260) do not masturbate, or do not orgasm from masturbating.

For those that do orgasm from masturbating, the husbands on average orgasm faster than the wives. The largest group of husband respondents orgasm in 2-3 minutes, while the bulk of the wives are spread pretty evenly over the 2-3 minute, 3-5 minute and 5-10 minute categories.

Orgasm from oral sex

Again, a fairly large percentage of the husbands and wives that responded to the survey do not orgasm from oral sex. This does not mean that they do not have oral sex, for example as foreplay but not to the point of orgasm, but just that they do not orgasm from this. This is the way that the question was asked.

Interestingly, when it comes to oral sex, the experience of husbands and wives is very similar. In both cases, the largest group of respondents indicated that they orgasm within 5-10 minutes and the second largest group within 3-5 minutes. The line graph below shows this clearly. Again, on average, the husbands are marginally faster than the wives, but not significantly.

Number of orgasms in a typical lovemaking session

Unsurprisingly, the vast majority of husbands orgasm only once in a typical session. But husbands do typically orgasm. 10% of wives do not typically orgasm. The majority of wives orgasm once, while a fairly significant percentage (34%) typically orgasm 2 or more times. The survey did not explore how the orgasms are achieved.

Simultaneous orgasms

There was a wide spread of responses to this question, with the responses being almost evenly distributed amongst the various options. Simultaneous orgasms are, however, clearly not the norm, whatever Hollywood would like to have us believe.


Again, the responses here showed a wide variation. I would encourage everyone to use lube, every time, even if you think you do not need it. It adds markedly to the experience, in terms of comfort and sensation, and provides protection against chafing for both partners' sensitive bits, especially if your lovemaking is physically intense or goes on for a while. Also, a silicone based lube is great for making love in the shower, pool or hot-tub, where the water would otherwise dissolve and wash away the natural feminine lubrication.


While the above statistics are interesting, I must stress again that everyone is different, and that there are a wide range of responses on either side of the averages above.

Also, I have not yet analysed in any detail, the differences between individual married spouses - ie in the 260 couples comprising the respondents there will be couples that are perfectly matched and couples that are widely mismatched in terms of the time that it takes them to orgasm with different forms of stimulation.

This most often causes challenges when it comes to intercourse. A number of husbands orgasm within 3 minutes or less of commencing intercourse, which can be a challenge if their wives require 10-15 minutes of penetration to orgasm in this way. This can be managed, however, and many couples learn how to do this effectively, either by bringing the wife to orgasm first through other forms of stimulation, or through engaging in sufficient foreplay to have the wife close to orgasm before they commence intercourse, so that she does not require much additional stimulation to reach orgasm, or by adding additional stimulation during intercourse, such as applying a small vibrator to the clitoris, or through engaging in additional other forms of stimulation after the husband has had his orgasm, in order to ensure that his wife is also satisfied.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Results of survey - How Long Sex Lasts (1/2)

First of all, apologies that the results of this survey have been so long coming. The way I set-up the survey made it difficult for me to separate the husband and wife responses for some of the questions, and it took me a while to figure out how best to resolve this. I have done that now, but have in the end decided to split the results into two separate posts anyway, this first one for the more generic questions, and then a second and separate post for the bits comparing the relative times that it takes husbands and wives to orgasm from different forms of stimulation.

The survey was very well supported with 264 respondents at the cutoff date. Of these, 166 (63%) were husbands and 96 (37%) were wives, so we have good representation from each gender. The age of respondents, and the length of time for which they have been married also showed a good spread, as can be seen from the graphs below, and means that we can draw reliable conclusions from the data presented.

The first questions in the survey explored how many times per week couples typically make love, and how many times per week this typically leads to having full intercourse. The average in both cases is 2 times per week, which was also the most selected category.

Over 20% of respondents make love less than once per week, and in retrospect I should have provided more options to explore this further, ie how many are less than once per month, etc.

Very few of the respondents (<5% in total) make love more than 4 times per week, and those that do fall into this category are strongly correlated with the newlyweds in the sample.

The two graphs above also show that the overwhelming majority of lovemaking episodes culminate in full intercourse. I have plotted the 2 series above on the same graph below to illustrate this further - the correlation is very evident.

The next series of questions explored the length of time that couples typically spend making love. First up, how long a typical lovemaking session lasts, start to finish. There was a wide and fairly even distribution of responses to this question, with the 11 - 30 minutes range accounting for over 65% of the responses.

When it comes to foreplay, there was again a wide range of responses, but 3-15 minutes accounts for 67% of the responses. 6-10 minutes was the most common response and the mathematical average comes in just over that at 11 minutes.

The length of time spent on intercourse also shows a wide distribution. My rationale behind this survey was to show that there is no normal, but rather a wide distribution, and that what many couples think is the normal, based on conditioning they have grown up with from the media and porn, is actually well outside the range of most couples' actual reality. I think that the data bears that out.

The average time spent in penetrative intercourse is 7mins. 79% of couples fall into the ten minutes or less categories, with 29% of couples in the less than 4 minutes range and 50% of couples in the 4 to 10 minute range. Not many men can tolerate more than 10 minutes of uninterrupted stimulation from penetration without climaxing, and many women would become chaffed and uncomfortable were they to try! The idea that couples can go for half an hour or more is another myth fostered by porn (and clever editing splicing a number of takes together to make it look like one uninterrupted scene).

The majority of couples use 1 to 2 positions in a typical lovemaking session, and a fair percentage use 3. Interestingly for me, 2 positions came out slightly ahead of one as the most common, at over 40% of respondents.

The last batch of questions explored how couples would classify the nature and spread of their lovemaking, in terms of the percentage of sessions that they would classify as (1) a quicky for just one of them, (2) a quicky for both of them, (3) a 'normal' session, and (4) a long, romantic, 'moonlight and roses' session.

The data shows that many couples (over 50%) never, or very rarely, have a quicky to pleasure just one of them, or even for both of them. Between 20-30% of couples never have quickies at all, and a further 30-40% have then less than 20% of the time. I think I will have to devote a future blog post to the joy and benefit of quickies!

Interestingly, for those that do have quickies, it is more common to have them for the benefit of both couples, than as an opportunity for the one to quickly pleasure the other. I would have expected this to be the other way around, for example as in the case of a wife orally or manually pleasuring her husband when she is on her period or otherwise not in the mood for a full session of intercourse.

Also worth noting, is that 10% of respondents have a quicky for just one of them 60% of the time or more. This suggests couples with markedly different sex drives where the lower drive spouse offers a quicky to bring relief to their higher drive partner.

As expected, a 'normal' session is just that, with 64% having a normal session more than 60% of the time.

The hectic pace of modern life is very evident though in the exceptionally low percentage of time devoted to long, romantic, 'candlelight, wine and roses' lovemaking sessions. 30% of couples never do this, a further 50% do it less than 20% of the time, and only 4% do it 40% of the time or more. Just as there is a role in a healthy sexual relationship for quickies, I think we should make more effort to devote an extended period to at least one lovemaking session per week, or even per month. Taking the time to plan by stocking up on candles and massage oil, to connect over a bubble bath or glass of wine, to indulge in extended foreplay or a massage and then to take time pleasuring each other and cuddling afterwards expresses in a profound way the importance that we attach to our spouse and our intimate relationship, and is a worthwhile investment from time to time.

The other questions in the survey explored the relative time that it takes husbands and wives to reach orgasm from different forms of stimulation, and I am working on a separate blog post to cover those issues.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

How long sex lasts

For most couples today, especially Christian couples who have not been promiscuous before marriage, the 'ideal' against which they judge themselves sexually is unfortunately built around a combination of their exposure to sexual scenes in a combination of Hollywood blockbusters and Porn. The reality is that neither provides a realistic basis for comparison and unfortunately leaves many couples feeling that they are abnormal or inadequate and that they (of worse, their spouse) are failing to live up to what they mistakenly believe to be 'normal'.

In reality, loving sex in a longstanding, monogamous marriage is not beautifully choreographed and does not result in simultaneous orgasms after mere moments like in a Hollywood romance, nor does it require the husband to be able to thrust away mercilessly for 20 minutes or more in a wide variety of exotic positions like in Porn.

While there is no 'normal' or 'abnormal', but rather just what works for you as a couple, I think that many couples will benefit from an understanding of what many Christian couples similar to themselves regard as their 'typical' sexual encounter.

The reality is that the 'average' man climaxes within 3 minutes of commencing intercourse, and the 'average' wife can quite normally require 15-20 minutes or more of stimulation to reach her climax. Within that average, there is a wide standard deviation, with some wives able to orgasm within a minute or two of penetration if sufficiently aroused beforehand, and others unable to orgasm at all from penetration alone no matter how aroused they are or how long their husband is able to continue thrusting.

While many men conditioned by exposure to porn believe that they are not 'manly' enough if they cannot delay their climax and sustain an erection long enough to be able to continue intercourse for 20 minutes or more, in our experience C would be chafed dry and raw and be very unimpressed if it took me that long to climax, no matter how much lube we employed!

So, in an effort to debunk the Hollywood and Porn myths, and to provide comfort to couples that they  do indeed fall into the very wide band that is 'normal' when it comes to marital intimacy, I have designed a survey to gather data on how long foreplay and intercourse 'typically' lasts.

I would love to get 200 or more responses to the 20 questions in my survey, to provide some statistical validity for the findings, which I will share and analyse in a follow-on blog post, so please help me out and complete the attached survey, which is designed to be suitable for both husbands and wives: