How long can you have sex?

     Seminal ejaculation is a physiological process, which has two sequential processes – emission and expulsion. During intercourse or masturbation when we have an orgasm, ejaculation occurs. The mechanism of ejaculation has been traditionally viewed as a single event comprising emission, ejection, and orgasm. However, these do represent distinct components with separate nervous pathways. Following arousal and the now well-characterized erection process, a rapid sequence of coordinated events ensue.

    The first emission phase of ejaculation begins with the closure of the bladder neck. It is followed by the deposition of semen in the posterior urethra.

The vas deferens (the tubes that store and transport sperm from the testes) contract to squeeze the sperm toward the base of the penis. The prostate gland and seminal vesicles release secretions to make semen. Simultaneous contractions of the vas deferens, seminal vesicles and the smooth muscle of the prostate cause semen to be deposited in the posterior urethra. At this stage, the ejaculation is unstoppable, that is a sense of ejaculatory inevitability.

     Then occurs the second phase; the true ejaculation – Antegrade Ejaculation. With the relaxation of the external sphincter, followed by the familiar rhythmic bulbocavernosus and pelvic muscle contractions, the seminal fluid from the posterior urethra is expulsed with force through the penile meatus.

    Orgasm is a separate sensual sensory event that has significant subjective variation. Orgasm can occur independently from emission ejection and even erection. Finally, following ejaculation, detumescence occurs with a subsequent refractory period. This refractory period lengthens with advancing age and repeated ejaculations.

    There is no set time when a man should ejaculate during sex.

But if one ejaculates and loses his erection very soon, both the man and his partner will feel there’s not enough time to enjoy intercourse.

According to the Society for Sex Therapy and Research survey 2008 regarding the duration of heterosexual intercourse (coitus), the following were observed.

    According to a survey by the National Health and Social Life Survey, the average ejaculation time in

    A study by UK sexologists, from 5 different countries found the average time taken to ejaculate during intercourse was around 5 min 30 seconds. However, it’s up to each couple to decide if they’re happy with the time is taken – there’s no definition of how long sex should last.

     IELT refers to the time it takes a person with a penis to ejaculate during vaginal penetration. That is the stroking time taken by a man from inserting the penis into the vagina till ejaculation. Most researches about intercourse duration are based on intra-vaginal ejaculatory latency time. IELT varies not only from man to man but from one time to the next for the same man and tends to decrease with age.

    In short, ejaculating within 90 seconds.

If you ejaculate in less than 1 minute 30 seconds ( IELT is less than 90 seconds ), then it is premature ejaculation. That is, PME is when you have an orgasm and ejaculation before intercourse or less than one and half minute after inserting penis into vagina.

According to the current DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) ejaculation occurring within 1 minute after inserting penis into vagina  and before the individual wishes is called as PME. Premature ejaculation will be a frustrating sexual experience for both the sexual partners. PME makes the sex life less enjoyable. However, the good news about PME is that it’s treatable.

    Premature ejaculation is a highly prevalent sexual problem. It is the most common sexual disorder in men younger than 40 years. More than 30% of men are affected to some degree at one time or another. Only less than 10% of men with PME consult doctors for the condition.

More than 70% of men affected with PME are aware of this problem.

More than 50% of men affected with PME try the following to manage their PME:

    It depends on how many times this happens. As long as it happens infrequently, it does not cause for concern. If one has sexual intercourse after a very long gap, then he may ejaculate quickly. These situations are normal. In such cases they need not see a doctor.

    One might be diagnosed with premature ejaculation if they have the following criteria:

Always ejaculate within one minute of penetration

Almost every time ejaculate quickly when they have sex with partner

Unable to delay ejaculation during intercourse all or nearly all of the time

Feel distressed and frustrated

Tend to avoid sexual intimacy due to PME

In such conditions, consulting a sexologist will be helpful

     Dr. Vijayakumar did his MBBS in Kilpauk Medical College and later went on to Madras Medical College for his Master courses in Clinical Pathology. He underwent masters in Psychology and Yoga. Underwent Fellowship training in Andrology and Clinical Embryology by Prof Ariff Bongso. Did his PhD in Hormones, Yoga and Sexual problems. He has been trained by the Council of Sex Education & Parenthood International (India). He was the first medical professional to start an exclusive clinic for the management of sexual problems in Salem,Tamil Nadu in the year 1988. He has put up more than thirty years experience. He has offered professional help to thousands of persons especially newly married. Besides treating sexual dysfunctions, he is also an expert in treating pre-marital counselling.

Trekking and offroad jeeping are his other passions.