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What is the “normal” length of a sexual relationship?

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How long do sexual intercourse “usually” last? Of course, sex isn’t just about inserting a penis into a vagina and ejaculating. But it can be difficult to determine what is and isn’t part of it: whether or not to count the preliminaries, and if so, which ones? For the sake of simplicity and accuracy, we will focus on the period from penetration to ejaculation.

500 couples timed themselves

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So we can’t necessarily say how long it lasted. Sex is not, in principle, an activity during which our eyes are fixed on the alarm clock placed on the nightstand. However, providing a quote without help can be difficult if the event was particularly stimulating.

He best study, among those seeking to estimate the average length of the period leading to ejaculation in the general population, was conducted among 500 couples from various parts of the planet. They had to time, using a stopwatch, the duration of their sexual intercourse over a period of four weeks.

Yes, you read that right: Oddly enough, participants had to press the start button when penetrating, then the stop button when ejaculating. You will probably object that such an action can influence the mood of the participants, and that it really does not fit into the natural order of things. But science is rarely perfect, and this method is the best we’ve found.

From 33 seconds to… 44 minutes!

But then, for what results? The main lesson is that these vary considerably from one couple to another. The average for each couple (calculated from all their sexual encounters over the four-week period) ranges from 33 seconds for the shortest duration to 44 minutes (80 times longer!) for the longest. duration of sexual intercourse. The average duration (median in fact, technically), measured from those of all couples, amounts to 5.4 minutes. Which means that, if we rank all the participating couples, from the shortest to the longest sexual intercourse, the middle one reaches an average of 5.4 minutes in this four-week period.

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The study also revealed some secondary lessons. For example, the use of condoms does not seem to have an effect on the duration of the report, more than the possible circumcision in the man. These results have the merit of questioning some traditional beliefs regarding the relationship between the sensitivity of the penis and its effectiveness in bed.

Geographical origin also does not have much influence, except for Turkish couples, whose reports appear to be significantly shorter (3.7 minutes) than those from the other countries involved (Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom, and United States). The age of the participants, on the other hand, is not neutral: the older the couple, the shorter the sexual relations, contrary to popular belief (certainly promoted by men of a certain age).

Why it takes so long?

As a researcher interested in the topic of evolution, all these debates about the duration of sexual intercourse lead me to one question: why does it take so long? The only thing that justifies intercourse is, it seems, the delivery of sperm into the vagina. Why, then, all these movements back and forth? Why, instead of sliding your penis in and out several hundred times with each intercourse, not just insert it once, ejaculate, then go get a lemonade and move on?

Before answering “Because it’s fun! remember that evolution does not value fun as such. It just “designs” things to be likable, and that criteria is met if they encourage our ancestors to pass down their genes to later generations. For example, even though we enjoy food, we don’t spend five minutes chewing each bite just to enjoy it longer. It would be ineffective. So we have evolved in such a way that today we find it disgusting.

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While it’s impossible to provide a definitive explanation for the duration of our sexual intercourse, the shape of the penis may provide the beginning of an answer. In 2003, researchers have shown – using artificial vaginas and penises, as well as corn syrup to act as semen – that the ridge around the head of the penis carried away the pre-existing syrup in the vagina.

This experiment shows that the man’s repeated movements could be aimed at pushing away sperm left behind by other men, thus ensuring, at the moment of ejaculation, that his little swimmers have the best chance of reaching the egg first. This phenomenon could also explain why the man feels pain when he continues these movements after ejaculation: then he would run the risk of evacuating his own sperm.

What can we finally deduce from all these results? If I can give you any advice, try not to think about it too much while you’re making love.

An article published in The Conversation by Brendan ZietschAwarded by the Australian Research Council.

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Family / Couple

Separation: the signs that can predict the breakup three months in advance

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A study published in February 2021, in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, made it possible to identify certain elements of idiom what would allow predict a breakup three months before it happens. To achieve this, researchers from the University of Texas analyzed more than a million posts on romantic relationships on the Reddit site. They discovered that the vocabulary used by users changed three months before the split and didn’t return to normal until about six months later. “It would seem that even before the people involved are aware of the breakup, it starts to affect their lives,” said Sarah Seraj, one of the study’s author psychologists.

Different “language markers”

According to the researchers, we do not pay a particular attention the expressions, pronouns and prepositions that we use daily. Now, these function words say a lot about our life situation, so they change perceptibly when our the psychological and emotional state deteriorates. “Whether the person leaves their partner or vice versa, the language markers changed up to three months before the breakup,” adds the psychologist.

The language used becomes more personal and informal, indicating a decline in analytical thinking. According to the expert, these people use pronouns like “I” Where “to meto the detriment of “we” or “we”, more attached to the notion of a couple. This indicator would be a signal of a heavy mental load, illustrating going through an intense period of internal reflection and rumination, making us more centered in ourselves Furthermore, the frequent use of the pronoun “I” would be associated with sadness and depressiondetails Sarah Seraj. When we are depressed, we focus more on ourselves and are less and less able to relate to others.

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Those significant changes they reached their climax at the time of the breakup and lasted up to six months later, even though those concerned discussed topics other than their separation or love life.

Our language, responsible for our traumas?

Scientists have also discovered that it is our idiom which would be largely responsible our ability or not to heal and overcome the trauma of a breakup. The people who kept the same way of speaking until a year later separation, by continually evoking and remembering this painful episode, took the longest to recover and move on. And this, regardless of the trauma experienced: divorce, loss of a loved one or other emotional upset, according to the researchers. “Thanks to this study, we can better understand the different challenges of life, being more attentive to our way of speaking,” concludes Kate Blackburn, psychologist.

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Family / Couple

Separation: the signs that can predict the breakup three months in advance

Published

on

A study published in February 2021, in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, made it possible to identify certain elements of idiom what would allow predict a breakup three months before it happens. To achieve this, researchers from the University of Texas analyzed more than a million posts on romantic relationships on the Reddit site. They discovered that the vocabulary used by users changed three months before the split and didn’t return to normal until about six months later. “It would seem that even before the people involved are aware of the breakup, it starts to affect their lives,” said Sarah Seraj, one of the study’s author psychologists.

Different “language markers”

According to the researchers, we do not pay a particular attention the expressions, pronouns and prepositions that we use daily. Now, these function words say a lot about our life situation, so they change perceptibly when our the psychological and emotional state deteriorates. “Whether the person leaves their partner or vice versa, the language markers changed up to three months before the breakup,” adds the psychologist.

The language used becomes more personal and informal, indicating a decline in analytical thinking. According to the expert, these people use pronouns like “I” Where “to meto the detriment of “we” or “we”, more attached to the notion of a couple. This indicator would be a signal of a heavy mental load, illustrating going through an intense period of internal reflection and rumination, making us more centered in ourselves Furthermore, the frequent use of the pronoun “I” would be associated with sadness and depressiondetails Sarah Seraj. When we are depressed, we focus more on ourselves and are less and less able to relate to others.

You may also like :   Separation: the signs that can predict the breakup three months in advance

Those significant changes they reached their climax at the time of the breakup and lasted up to six months later, even though those concerned discussed topics other than their separation or love life.

Our language, responsible for our traumas?

Scientists have also discovered that it is our idiom which would be largely responsible our ability or not to heal and overcome the trauma of a breakup. The people who kept the same way of speaking until a year later separation, by continually evoking and remembering this painful episode, took the longest to recover and move on. And this, regardless of the trauma experienced: divorce, loss of a loved one or other emotional upset, according to the researchers. “Thanks to this study, we can better understand the different challenges of life, being more attentive to our way of speaking,” concludes Kate Blackburn, psychologist.

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Family / Couple

‘Sex Debt’: Why Women Sometimes Feel Pressured to Have Unwanted Sex

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The conversation

Faced with such attention, many of them have sometimes agreed to engage in sexual experiences (kissing, caressing, oral sex, sexual relations) with men without necessarily wanting to, but out of a feeling of responsibility. This sense of responsibility was also expressed by some young men in same-sex relationships.

In this article, however, we choose to focus on heterosexual relationships, where this logic has emerged most markedly.

Les jeunes femmes rencontrées explicant que, si elles ont acepté, ce n’est pas parce qu’elles n’arrivent pas à dire non, mais parce qu’elles auraient dû se douter qu’en acceptant ces faveurs, elles créeraient des attentes sexualles in his house.

Always willing men and always sexually available women?

Sexuality, like other social practices, can be understood as a space where sexual relations materialize.

If the young women interviewed feel more indebted to sex than the young men, it is because they are subject to behavioral expectations linked to a system of binary representations of sexuality called “heteronormativity”.

In this system, sex corresponds to gender and heterosexuality is the norm.

In this logic, the sexual roles of men and women are understood as different and complementary: male sexuality is characterized by assertiveness, sexual performance, virility, and sexual desire associated with physiological needs. Female sexuality, of a relational nature, is linked to affectivity and conjugality.

Various studies show that these representations are still the majority in our societies today.

according to one French survey, 73% of French women and 59% of men adhere to the belief that “by nature, men have more sexual needs than women”. Also according to this survey, this belief has an impact on the sexual practices of women who recognize that they are more willing to have sex without wanting to.

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An investigation carried out in Switzerland among young people aged 26 on average reveals that 53% of the women surveyed have agreed to have sexual relations. without desire.

Sex “debts”

The results of our study point in the same direction and highlight that the heteronormative order engenders what can be called “sex debts”. We are interested in sexual transactions, that is, sexual experiences associated with an economic, material and/or symbolic exchange.

As for young women, our analyzes show that if they are found more often than young men accepting unwanted sexual transactionsit is due to the fact that in the “gender order”, female sexuality is posed as a “sexual debt” that leads them to feel indebted to the sexual expectations of men.

However, by consenting to sexual transactions without necessarily wanting it, women confirm their own “sexual debt” to men, which is to ensure an assertive, determined and desiring sexuality, and which sometimes leads them to show (apparent) detachment from women. demands.

Thus, women and men come together in the complementarity of their “sexual debts”, but in a hierarchical relationship: women think that they have no choice but to offer their sexuality in response to the supposed expectations of men, to whom they affirm that they do not they have no choice but to be willing, sexually available, and successful.

Consequently, they reproduce, without necessarily wanting it, “gender order”.

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Consent: A Negotiation Process

Sexual experiences are part of a reciprocal bargaining relationship where, depending on the situation, not everything is arranged in advance. In the case we are analyzing, the young people retain a certain freedom, which allows them to negotiate the rest of the transaction, despite the feeling of responsibility that may arise.

In particular, some young women have stated that they find some advantages in these unwanted sexual relations, which can be material (housing, food, etc.) and/or symbolic (feeling of recognition, protection, etc.). Other young women refuse to conform to the expectations linked to their gender and adopt behaviors more associated with the masculine gender, for example being assertive both verbally and in attitude or clearly expressing their limits and leaving little room for what is implicit and misunderstandings.

However, these strategies often have a limited effect, since they consist of changing the behavior of women, without questioning the heterosexual order within which these behaviors occur.

These results show that sexual consent is a complex process that cannot be reduced to saying “yes” or “no” and that “accepting” does not necessarily mean “wanting”.

Thus, the feeling of responsibility reveals the logic associated with a “gender order” based on heteronormativity. However, sexual consent is not the sole responsibility of individuals, especially women, to assert their rights. Our conclusions invite us to understand sexual consent as a negotiation process, between conformity to gender norms and the bargaining power of individuals.

An article published in The conversation through Mirian CarbajalProfessor, University of Social Work, Western Swiss University of Applied Sciences (HES-SO) and Anamaria ColomboProfessor, Friborg University of Social Work, Western Swiss University of Applied Sciences (HES-SO).

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