Sex and (S)ex-pectations

Sexual performance.

There, I said it. Of all the things men hate to talk about in any realistic detail, this is it, with the possible exception of colonoscopies. Oh, young men in the cloistered confines of a locker room will talk about their prodigious sexual performance; occasionally, those self-proclaimed exploits even bear some resemblance to the truth. But, too often, the male of the species wants his male acquaintances to believe that he is some sort of super-hero, capable of great feats of stamina, if not strength, that are well-beyond his actual capacity.

In reality, the fact that the sexual organ of the man can be observed by his partner contributes to the performance anxiety of many men. Even those males who are relatively secure might wonder how they compare to other men.

My purpose here is to provide a bit of grounding, just a little bit of the truth, so that you or your lover do not need to feel inadequate. To wit:

1. It is infrequent for any couple to be able to sustain intercourse for more than 12 to 15 minutes.

2. More typically, the intercourse lasts from two to seven minutes.

3. The entire sexual encounter typically takes from 15 to 45 minutes.

4. Even among sexually content and well-matched couples, less than 50% of the sexual encounters are optimal.

5. There is a great deal of variability here, and things like timing, affection for one another, alcohol or drug abuse, age, time of day, stress, and physical problems all play their part and influence what happens.

There. I hope you don’t feel so bad.

If you’d like to know more, you might want to consult various of the publications of Metz and McCarthy including Coping with Premature Ejaculation and Coping with Erectile Dysfunction.

The image comes from the Dancehouse Theatre’s “Kiss Bike Kiss” at the Manchester Bike Culture Festival of 2008.The author is Echomrg and it is sourced from Wikimedia Commons.

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