How long does the average guy last for, how long does the average male take to “recharge”, and what can I do to improve these times? It seems so hard (pun not intended) to get accurate tips online. 

The average duration of a man’s performance depends on the study and on the era in which it was conducted. For example, the hallmark Kinsey survey of thousands of men and women in the 1950s estimated that the average duration of a male partner was about two minutes.

Conversely, more recent research estimates that the average duration is around seven minutes, which makes two minutes, seem premature by comparison. I would argue that better metric isn’t minutes, but whether you and your partner are both satisfied with the timeframe and activities that are taking place.

Most men don’t realize that they have unknowingly conditioned themselves to ejaculate quickly. Men masturbate regularly, and frequently the goal of masturbation is to achieve an orgasm as fast as possible so that you don’t get caught in the act.

Unfortunately, this repeated pattern sensitizes your body to any sexual touching, meaning that this learned “quick orgasm” pattern repeats itself when you’re with a partner. If you’re familiar with Pavlov’s dogs, this is your version of drooling at the bell.

The good news is that if you can condition yourself to achieve an orgasm quickly, you can also help condition yourself to last longer. I’d suggest that the next time you masturbate, instead of going for the gold in one fell swoop, take time figuring out your different levels of arousal (say on a one to five scale with one being slightly turned on and five being the point of no return).

One way to do this is to masturbate until you’re at a level four, and then stop and allow yourself to calm down a bit before repeating. This will help retrain your body to stay at higher levels of arousal without automatically having an orgasm.

You can also have a similar interaction with a partner; have sex until you feel yourself be at level four then either decrease the activity or use it as an excuse to engage in some other activity (oral sex for your partner is always an appreciated go-to) in order to let yourself calm down for a while.

Don’t use this as a torture technique – 15-30 minutes is more than enough. Please also note that some of the antiquated information on the “squeeze technique” (applying pressure to the base of the penis to supposedly stop the orgasm) isn’t sound advice. Not only does research suggest that it doesn’t work, but you can injure yourself in the process.

Overall though, your best bet is to try to practice understanding your level of arousal and maintaining it at higher levels for longer while being patient with your learning curve. After all, it’s going to take a while to undo the years of ‘hurry up’ training your body has likely become used to.

Why do vaginas smell like fish?

For the most part, they don’t. In fact, a woman’s genitals are a self-cleaning system and are actually more sanitary than anywhere else on the human body, including the mouth (really).

A vagina has its own ecosystem and is a balance between the healthy bacteria that helps ward off infection (different strains of lactobacilli – the same type found in yogurt) and the “bad” anaerobic bacteria. The lactobacilli produces hydrogen peroxide that kills off any intruding bacteria, and the lactic acid helps maintain the proper acidic pH level.

If there is an imbalance in the bacterial levels (from sex, soap, ill-fitting thongs, jeans that are too tight etc.) then the anaerobic bacteria can take over. When that happens, the “bad” bacteria can result in a bacterial vaginosis infection and produce trimethylamine; the same compound that gives less-than-fresh fish its scent.

For women who want to ensure that their bacterial defenses thrive, do away with the soap and douches and make sure to use a pH balanced cleanser to maintain the vagina’s acidity levels. There are specialized ones such as Summer’s Eve or more generic, less expensive ones such as Sebamed that can be found easily at your local drugstore.

Finally, keep in mind that bacterial vaginosis shouldn’t be confused with a woman’s own scent. Just like men, women vary in type and intensity of scent, and the same woman can even vary as a function of changes in her diet, stress, vitamins, time in her cycle, etc.

This natural perfume that both men and women have has evolved as one mechanism through which partners are attracted to each other and is thought to signal genetic advantages such as increased immunity for offspring.

Although vaginas shouldn’t have an offensive odor, they also shouldn’t smell like rose gardens. Ironically, by mistakenly believing in the rose garden fallacy, many women that decide to ‘deodorize’ often end up causing the pH imbalances that lead to odor problems in the first place.


Estrada is a visiting assistant professor in the Department of  Clinical & Social Psychology.

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