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.