How Long Should Sex Last in Your 30s? Here’s What 9 Women Told Us

It depends. But in hearing the answers, you learn a few things.

by Fatherly
Originally Published: 
Couple in their 30s in bed cuddling and laughing

Sex takes time. But how long should good sex last in your 30s? And what about when you’re busy parents? Well, it depends. Not a fun answer, huh? Fine. But in hearing the responses to the question, some important information is learned.

Here’s the real answer to the question of how long should sex last in your 30s: There is no one answer. Everyone is different. But there are factors to note. Sexuality journalist and counselor Michael Castleman says that men and women want sex to last certain lengths for their own reasons. “Men want to demonstrate bombproof control, because they usually define ‘sex’ as intercourse,” he explains. “Women are more likely to define sex as an extended erotic dance, filled with kissing, hugging. Hands all over everywhere, not just there.”

Castleman knows a thing or two about juggling the responsibilities of parenting and maintaining a healthy sex life. “My wife and I raised two children,” he says. “When they were young, we traded sleep-overs with other parents to create space for sex. We also went to hotels. We didn’t sleep at the hotels. After the babysitter arrived, we went out for dinner, then to the hotel around 8:30, where we made love, and got home by 11.”

The point, according to Castleman, is that sex in your 30s can — and should — be a win/win for both of you. His recommended round number is roughly 20 minutes, which he says will allow time for quality foreplay, can help increase your ejaculatory control, and eventually lead to a satisfying, mutual orgasm. (Which, he clarifies, is only reliably achieved through intercourse for 25 percent of women, while the remaining 75 require oral or manual stimulation.)

But how long should good sex last, according to other women in their 30s? We spoke to nine women, all within the age range, and all of whom suggested different ideal times for sexual satisfaction. So, yeah, it depends.

1. About 15 Minutes

“For some reason I’ve always thought of ‘15 minutes’ as a block of time that’s like right on the cusp of being not too short, and not too long. Not just with sex — with everything. It feels short enough to be spontaneous, and doesn’t require scheduling, but it’s long enough to connect and satisfy us both. Plus or minus a few minutes is fine, but I think 15 is the sweet spot.” Jenn, 36, Ohio

2. A Half an Hour Is Usually Enough

“I like to get lost in the foreplay. Orgasms are great, don’t get me wrong, but I think the foreplay is the most exciting and enjoyable part. I’m in it for the whole story, not just the climax, so to speak. I know it’s good when I fall asleep right after, even during the day. Good sex means we’ve both expended a lot of energy – mental and physical. So 30 minutes is enough to get me nice and exhausted.” – Courtney, 35, New Jersey

3. It Should Last For Days

“Obviously, not the physical act of intercourse. But, for my husband and I, it’s not unusual to have to schedule sex. What it lacks in spontaneity, it can make up for in anticipation. We’ll send each other texts a day or two beforehand, saying stuff like ‘I can’t wait for Friday night.’ That’s a tame example. My point is that, while sex itself is usually about 10-15 minutes, the buildup and excitement makes it so much better.” – Lyn, 37, Ohio

4. Frequency Is More Important than Duration

“Duration can last anywhere between 15-30 minutes for me, but I think the satisfaction comes more from the frequency. Having sex about once a week is important for me because I feel physically wanted and desired by my husband. It’s not like we have a shared calendar invite for the sex, so fitting it in (no pun intended) once a week, or so, makes me feel like he still can’t keep his hands off me.” – Michelle, 34, Connecticut

5. Sometimes, Five-Minutes Does The Trick

“I define sex as reaching orgasm, and I can orgasm pretty quickly. I don’t know why. I just can. Five minutes might not be a steadfast rule, but it really doesn’t take me long to get there. The great thing about it is that we can do it quick and dirty, in a lot of places. We’ve had sex in the car in a parking garage, while the kids are watching TV, we’ve even snuck away at parties to sneak in a quickie.” – Vanessa, 33, Michigan

6. It Doesn’t Matter

I would say that the majority of our sex lasts about 20 minutes. That’s the average time. But, I can remember great, mind-blowing sex that lasted less than five minutes, and I can remember a time we were on vacation and had sex in the hotel room for like an hour and a half. So, I guess I’m all over the board. The good thing about that is that it’s rarely the same sex twice.” – Natalia, 39, California

7. Until We’re Both Satisfied

“That’s really what good sex is about, right? Mutual satisfaction, and needs being met? We do a lot of asking in the bedroom. ‘What do you want me to do to you?’ ‘Does that feel good?’ ‘Do you like that?’ Something that works one night might not necessarily work the next, ya know? The key is to take the time to figure out what you need, communicate it, and then go from there. Sometimes that’ll hit right out of the gate. Other times, it’s like a treasure hunt. Both can be fun.” – Allison, 38, Texas

8. It Varies by Act

“I need at least 45-60 minutes of foreplay. The sex — the actual intercourse — takes about five minutes. And then the cuddling and pillow talk can last for hours. That’s in an ideal world, of course. Sometimes all of that just isn’t in the cards, and that’s okay. For me, the foreplay is just as enjoyable as the intercourse, if not more so. So I love it when we devote as much time as possible to that.” – Holly, 37, North Carolina

9. It Depends on the Time of Day

“For me, morning sex and nighttime sex are quick. Maybe 10 minutes, or so, from beginning to end. Either we’ve gotta get up for work, or we’re tired and almost ready for bed. But, if we find time during the late afternoon or early evening – like that 4:00 – 6:00 time slot – a good 30-40 minutes is ideal. We’re both still running on the energy from the day, we’re not too tired, and we don’t have to rush.” – Cassie, 35, New York

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