We all have that friend who claims she's able to orgasm practically the second she starts having sex—and odds are, that’s not your reality. But what’s considered a “normal” range when it comes to how long it should take to orgasm?
As with most things, the answer is “it depends.” According to New York City sex therapist Ian Kerner, Ph.D., author of She Comes First, there’s a big difference between how long it takes to orgasm during sex and how long it takes during masturbation. If you’re engaging in a little self-love, it typically takes anywhere from five to 10 minutes to get off, “particularly if you’re relaxed and aroused,” he says.
But sex with a partner is a whole different thing. In that case, "research suggests that it takes an average of 10 to 20 minutes for women to reach orgasm,” says Jessica O'Reilly, Ph.D., Astroglide's resident sexologist. That number doesn’t include foreplay, so it’s really even longer, she says.(sex advice)
Why the big range? O’Reilly says it’s because every woman is different, but ultimately a few factors come into play, including how quickly you try to orgasm (some women like to get there quickly, while others prefer to take their time, she says). Our orgasms also aren’t just physiological: They’re impacted by mood, stress levels, energy levels, relationship quality, and a ton of other factors, O’Reilly says, which is why you may find that you orgasm quickly one day and it takes forever (or doesn’t happen at all) the next.
And, of course, the sex you’re having matters, too. “If a woman is having partnered sex, it may or may not take longer depending on the extent to which there is consistent clitoral stimulation,” says Kerner. Basically, if your partner is paying attention to your clitoris, you’re probably going to orgasm sooner than if it wasn’t getting any love at all.