Let's talk about sex, baby! (Because, really, what else did you come to Cosmo to talk about? Besides physics and the answer to world peace.)
Over at GQ they're trying to answer the question: How long should sex last? Especially for a woman's enjoyment? (They're doing the Lord's work.)
They point to a 2015 Journal of Sexual Medicine study that found the median length of intercourse was 5.4 minutes. So I guess that's that? Wrong! There's other research that found medians of up to 7.5 minutes according to Rachel Hills, author of The Sex Myth. (Unfortunately, both studies only looked at heterosexual couples, and so they're far from complete.)
It should be noted that the stats don't include foreplay, which as many (all?) people will tell you, is as crucial, if not more crucial, to sexual enjoyment. A 2004 study published in the Journal of Sex Research found that study participants enjoyed 11-13 minutes of foreplay followed by 7-8 minutes of intercourse. That's pretty good, but not as good as what the participants wanted: double the time for the sex! So, maybe it's that women want a good amount of foreplay and then an additional 14-16 minutes of doing the deed. Does that sound doable, people having sex with ladies? I think it does!
"I always encourage couples to engage in as much outercourse as possible before intercourse," he told SELF magazine. "The more outercourse you engage in, hopefully the higher your level of arousal and the closer you get to orgasm" before you move on to the main event, whatever your main event may be.
The article/common sense notes that the best way to have sex that lasts longer— and sex that's more enjoyable! Which is probably the most important thing! — is to get out of your head and just get into the moment with your partner.