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How long sex lasts around the world

A new survey has discovered women would like intimacy to last for 25 minutes 51 seconds.

According to the findings men also want around the same – their reported ideal was 25 minutes 43 seconds.

However the gap between expectations and reality is rather wide.

The research, by which asked 3,836 people, found that love-making around the globe is not lasting anywhere near that amount of time.

Those questioned in the US and Canada reported having sex for the longest – around 17 minutes. In third place were the British, whose steamy sessions last an average of 16 minutes and 58 seconds.

The Aussies came in fourth, with a performance of 16 minutes 34 seconds. And lastly, Indian participants proved to have the least stamina with an average of 15 minutes 15 seconds. 

New research reveals that men and women want sex to last over 25 minutes – but the reality is rather different (stock image)


Joint first and second: US and Canada – around 17 minutes

Third: Britain – 16 minutes and 58 seconds

Fourth: Australia – 16 minutes 34 seconds. 

Fifth: India – 15 minutes 15 seconds

But what happens if loss of libido results in a sex life that is non-existent? 

It is a common problem that affects many men – and women – at some point in their life. 

Houston sex therapist Mary Jo Rapini explains the eight reasons why this could happen and what to do, to Women’s Health. 

1. You feel resentful

If you are feeling angry at your partner or are holding a grudge, it’s very difficult to feel in the mood for sex.

‘A woman needs to feel readily loved and connected to their partner,’ said Ms Rapini.

‘Resentment prevents you from feeling free to escape during sex, which is key to wanting and enjoying it.

She suggests spending some quality time together, such as going to the cinema, and then talking about the issues afterwards.

2. You don’t feel good about your body 

Our body image – how satisfied you are with your weight and shape – plays a huge role in how sexy we feel. Research suggests women – perhaps because they’re bombarded by media images of female perfection – suffer most with this.

The Journal of Sex Research declared that how a woman feels about her body has a stronger impact on sexual functioning than even the menopause.

And the Daily Mail’s carried out a national survey showing that 52 percent of women have avoided or postponed sex, even when they were in the mood, because they were too self-conscious about their looks.

Practicing self-acceptance is helpful, says Ms Rapini. However, this comes easier when you make healthy choices, such as eating well, exercising, and managing your stress levels, she points out.

3. You’re a serial dater

Having more sexual partners doesn’t make you a better lover, argues Ms Rapini.

She warns that if you are jumping from one relationship to another, you may have an underlying fear of intimacy – and sex is never going to be that good and fulfilling. 

She says there is nothing wrong with enjoying casual relationships and having fun, but asks people to be aware of why they are doing it.

4. Your birth control pill

According to NHS Choices, hormonal contraception can negatively impact your libido.

This includes  the combined hormonal contraception (pill, patch or ring), the progestogen-only pill, the contraceptive implant and the contraceptive injection

However, Ms Rapini says that it’s easy to blame hormones when you lose your sex drive when it may be psychological issues.  

Indeed, a 2016 study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine reported that hormonal birth control wasn’t a strong factor in libido in long-term couples – and that relationship factors have more of an influence.

5. You feel jealous

If you feel your partner is looking at other women it’s unlikely to make you want to get intimate with them.

‘You should definitely tell your partner you don’t like when they do things like check out other women or Google women right in front of you,’ said Ms Rapini.

She says it’s important to clearly express what you expect from the relationship and not feel like you’re being too demanding or controlling.  

6. You have a medical issue

There may be underlying medical causes of a low sex drive, and that includes the side effects of certain medications.

Everyone’s sex drive is different – there’s no such thing as a ‘normal’ libido. But if you find your lack of desire for sex distressing or it’s affecting your relationship, it’s a good idea to get help.

If you’re sure there are no relationship issues shattering your sex drive, it may be worth going to your GP to ask for tests. 


Any long-term medical condition can affect your sex drive. This may be a result of the physical and emotional strain these conditions can cause, or it may be a side effect of treatment.

For example, a low libido can be associated with:

  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • An underactive thyroid – where the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough hormones
  • Cancer
  • Major surgery – for example, surgery to remove the ovaries and womb in women

Speak to your GP or specialist if you think your low libido may be the result of an underlying medical condition or treatment.

Medication and contraception

Certain medicines can sometimes reduce libido, including:

  • Medication for high blood pressure
  • Many types of antidepressant medication
  • Medications for fits (seizures), such as topiramate
  • Medications called antipsychotics, such as haloperidol
  • Medication for an enlarged prostate, such as finasteride
  • Medication for prostate cancer, such as cyproterone
  • Hormonal contraception, such as the combined hormonal contraception (pill, patch or ring), the progestogen-only pill, the contraceptive implant and the contraceptive injection

Check the leaflet that comes with your medicine to see if low libido is listed as a possible side effect.

See your GP if you think a medicine is affecting your sex drive. They may be able to switch you to something else.

Source: NHS Choices 

7. Your lover is not satisfying you

Ms Rapini says she sees many women in their mid-thirties who tell her that their partner is a great husband and father, but they’re not good in bed.

if this is important to them, she advises them to speak up. But of course you need to be sensitive.  

Sex makes us feel vulnerable: we’re sensitive to criticism and quick to get performance paranoid if we’re told we aren’t doing something properly in a non-too-subtle way. 

There are ways you can communicate what you want in bed from your partner – clearly – without hurting their feelings or making them feel inadequate. 

8. You’ve been together for a long time

Everyone knows it can be difficult to keep the spark alive in a long-term relationship.

Indeed, recent research suggests that it’s women who go off the boil first, losing interest in having sex with their partner after just a year together.

They are four times more likely to not care about having a steamy night of passion than those in shorter relationships, found Southampton University.

But the same trend does not exist for men. Their sexual interest does not fade over time, it was found. 

Ms Rapini stresses how important it is to be open to exploring new things, such as going on a date to a sex toy store or searching together online for new ways to spice things up in the bedroom.