Addressing the 2-minute man theory

There have been a whole host of blogs that have been re-posting an excerpt from Harry Fisch’s new book, The New Naked: The Ultimate Sex Education for Grown-Ups.  Fisch published an excerpt on Nerve talking about the frequency and quality of sex in long term relationships, which you can read here: How Often do Most Couples Have Sex?

What has gotten everyone so titillated?  Oh wait, it’s the following passages:

“An astonishing 45 percent of men finish the sex act too quickly, which is to say, within Kinsey’s conflicted two minutes. That’s pretty speedy. Way too speedy for the average woman to be able to have an orgasm through vaginal penetration alone. At least five minutes, and more like seven, is usually what’s needed for a woman to be able to achieve orgasm (Personally, that statement alone demonstrates how little this dude knows bout sex.  A woman climaxes in 5-7 minutes?).

And even though the average length of the average inter-vaginal sex session is about 7.3 minutes, that’s still not particularly long, especially for women who usually take much longer than men to become aroused enough to have an orgasm (But you just said it takes 5-7 minutes for a woman to orgasm). 

So if your man is done within two minutes of things getting hot and heavy—or still not done 40 minutes later—you may want to gently broach the idea of getting a medical checkup to make sure everything’s functioning correctly. And don’t worry: As I discuss in The New Naked, if 7.3 minutes doesn’t seem like enough time for you to get the satisfaction you need, you and your partner can learn to express what you do need or want, so you both can be happy in bed and out.”  (Nerve, Fisch)

Now, as a barrel-chested, bearded, beer-swilling, manly-man, passages like that get my beard in a knot.  That’s like a shot across the bow of every man in the world.  “You only last 7.3 minutes and half of you can’t even make 2 minutes in bed!”

What?  The honor of my cock-swinging abilities has just been challenged!  Prepare to be boarded!  I’ll make you walk the cock… er, plank!

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(Famous photo of Blacky-Brown Beard the lumberjack-pirate, arguably the manliest man in history and my ancestor)

Not only that, I think Fisch’s numbers are wrong.  And did you notice him pimping his book at the end?  Something strange is going on here.

Let’s use me as an example, on average I last at least 15-20 minutes (I’m being very conservative here, ask Ann).  Those are the lowest numbers for me because it typically takes a woman about 15-20 minutes to reach orgasm (that comes from the books I’ve read and personal experience, not Fisch’s 5-7 minute BS).  At the very least, I make sure she has hers before I have mine.  That way we’re even, right?  Most of the time I don’t orgasm that quickly and she gets a couple of hers first, but we’re going to go with the lower numbers here and say I average 20 minutes.  I’m not superman, I don’t claim super human powers, and I don’t think I’m necessarily anything special in the bedroom.

On to the math.

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Here’s how I came up with the numbers for the rest of the post:  2 minutes (for the 45%) + 12.6 minutes (for the 55%) = 14.6.  Divide that by two to get the average of 7.3.  That’s the average of the 45% added to the average of the 55%, divided by the two samples, and you get the 7.3 minutes.  I could have broken this down further to get more specific, but we don’t really need to.  Basically we’re looking at half the men finishing in 2 minutes and half the men finishing in 12 minutes to get that overall average of 7 (Yes, I’m rounding a bit for simplicity).

The study keeps mentioning that 7.3 minute average but that’s misleading. If 45% are finishing in two minutes that means the remaining 55% are averaging around 12 minutes.  Now, 12 minutes might not sound like a lot (and I’m sure the ladies are already thinking that) but combined with a few minutes of foreplay and you’re hitting pretty close to the magic time required for a woman to orgasm, around 15 minutes.  Or, you’re well over the 5-7 minutes for female orgasm according to Fisch’s study.

Now, if that is true, 45% of men are premature ejaculators and the other 55% are consistently hitting the mark.

The reason this is so misleading is because he’s saying “don’t worry if your guy only hits 7.3, we can fix that.”  But that’s not really true, half the guys are way, way short of the mark, and the other half of the guys are well over the mark.  So, who is shooting around a 7.3?  A few outliers basically.

Then, how do guys like me affect the numbers?  I’m nothing special and I’m easily hitting 15-20 minutes, well over the average of the numbers listed here.  According to this dude Fisch, I’m a fucking super-star in the bedroom, I’m in the top percentages of male performers.  Where’s my mother-fucking porn contract?

No, I don’t think I’m in any way special for lasting 20 minutes (rounded down, don’t forget).  To reference the Myth-busters I call that implausible.  I may be on the high side of average (depending on the study) but I’m no Ron Jeremy or Peter North (especially if we’re considering penis size).  And if I’m nothing special, why am I in the top tiers according to this guy’s study?

I know there are guys out there that have problems with premature ejaculation, or just don’t care and cum quickly, but I can’t believe the statistics are as bad as Fisch is claiming.  Especially when you start throwing in some guys with better performance.

If you break down the numbers, four guys finishing in 2 minutes (45%), five guys finishing in 12 (average for 55%), and one guy finishing in 20 minutes, the overall average shifts up to 8.4 minutes.  A full minute higher overall if one in ten guys goes 20 minutes.  The only way to balance that out is for the 20-minute man to be far less common than one in ten, or to significantly lower the average of the 55% to compensate for the increase.  Say, four men in under two minutes, five men at nine minutes (down from 12) and one guy at 20 minutes.  That might be slightly closer to expected numbers, but then what about the guys in the article listed at 40 minutes?  Or an hour?  How exceedingly rare do those encounters have to be to maintain a 7.3 minute average?

Ladies, is it really that bad?  One in every twenty encounters goes 20 minutes?  Half of the time the guy is done in under 2?  Maybe one in 60 guys goes an hour?

If sex was really that god-awful for women, the human race would have died out ages ago.

The only conclusion I can come up with is that his numbers are wrong, the sampling wasn’t wide enough, or at minimum the statistics are tweaked to be misleading.

I’m pretty sure what they did was they went to clinics that do guidance and study sex, and used the participant pool to gather their data.  I remember reading that  Kinsey got a lot of his numbers this way, which were used as the basis for Fisch’s study.  Who goes to sex clinics?  People that have issues with sex.

Why would the study want to use data from people that have sexual issues?  Why would they want a misleading study to publish?  Why would they emphasize the negative implications of the data?  Why would they tailor the data to make for titillating gossip?

To drive up sales of his book.

That’s right.  He’s selling a book about how to make sex in your relationships better.  What better way to drive up sales than claiming most (if not all) men are failing to satisfying their women?  Whether or not the claims are true they have certainly caught the eyes of more than a few bloggers and trollers who re-posted his story, which I’m sure significantly bumps up publicity and his book sales.

Yes, I’m sure that’s exactly what’s going on here, these statistics were hand picked and edited to drive up interest and sales.  So much for the myth.


Feel free to leave your snarky comments about my sexual performance, poke fun at my math, and/or your own sexual statistics interpretations/stories below.

20 thoughts on “Addressing the 2-minute man theory

    • They definitely exist, my question is whether 45% of men are that quick. As a guy, I can only speak to personal experience but 45% sounds comically high.

      • If you count virgins, men who haven’t had sex in a long time, and those with actual medical problems, I could see maybe 25%. I will agree that 45% is pretty crazy. I don’t think 45% of the men I’ve slept with have been that quick! Or I blocked it out.

  1. And I may put a spanner in the works here but a lot of men might *say* 40 minutes but its closer to 15, so did they go off actual timing from start to finish or is it from guessing?

    I love that you went to the effort to work this out, that’s dedication!

    Yeah there’s a fair few guys that are quick (I like to call them a ‘poke poke spooge’) but I wouldn’t say half of all men. I think men vary the longevity, sometimes they’re in for the long haul, sometimes it’s just a quickie. I would have thought the average would be more like 15 mins.

    I think the real issue is that, I dare say, a rough guess is that close to half of the time, men get to orgasm and women don’t. Yes, I can obviously help myself mid sex and I do this a lot, but I just don’t think the *time* is an issue (well as long as its above that alleged 5-7 min timeframe), more of the quality when its actually happening. If men don’t want to please us, then we wonder why we’re letting ourselves be used as a pleasure toy. I literally can’t remember a single time where I’ve received oral and it not be followed up with sex. But I can think of plenty of times where I’ve given oral either on its own or given oral and had sex or just had sex – and not orgasmed.

    Anyway just some food for thought. There’s plenty of men who I’ve had great sex with (for both sides), but either I’ve slept with a whole lot of selfish men as well (pretty likely) or we’ve got an epidemic in the making (or has this always been around?!). Forget the time, focus on the pleasure!

    • Lots of excellent points. Timing isn’t something I would normally worry about, as long as she’s pleased than I’m happy, but I kept seeing these stats get reposted. I couldn’t help it, the numbers kept bugging me and I had to write about it. I just couldn’t see how any of it added up and yet they were being quoted all over the place.

      • Well on the flip side, sometimes (usually the 2am ones when I have to work in the morning) I just want it to hurry up and end haha so in those instances, quick is good! I’ve fallen asleep mid sex before :O And I guess that’s another example of when I didn’t receive pleasure – if I was pleased I’d be wide awake!

        I think you’re probably right on the use of these stats to sell the book. If the book focused on what an amazing thing the female form is and the pleasure you can gain from giving it pleasure, then maybe that’s the secret to let it go for longer than 2 mins! 😉

  2. It is really that bad. There are a lot of two minute men. There are even more, in my experience, that my last longer than two minutes in terms of actual intercourse but lack so severely in the foreplay department that you’re barely getting warmed up when he is getting finished. A lot of men, sadly, have no idea what to do to bring a woman to orgasm… They kiss you, feel your right boob, fumble around with their fingers and then basic sex until they get off. That being said, Thursday night….my “naked Thursday”….I had the absolute best sex of my entire life. We’ve always had amazing sex but this took the cake. This session would have blown his averages right out of the water. It was over an hour of actual intercourse and I came so many times I lost count. I have never come so hard in my whole life. Holy freaking moly. My legs still feel like jello.

  3. I think the focus needs to be shift on quality and equality, it seems to always be about how long until a guy spooges – what about how many times the girl does?

    I used to keep tallies of when I’ll be pleasured vs when the guy is, and I came to me 20% of the time and the guy 100% of the time!

    Now I think those statistics are more of a worry than the minute men!

    • Absolutely! And yet talking about timing gets the headlines. Rather than focusing on potential (debatably accurate) timing, the focus should always be on communication and mutual satisfaction. But the 2-minute stats get all the headlines.

      • Precisely. And it’s a bit demoralising for the guys who go for 2 minutes and can’t help it – I mean, if they did enough prep work on their girl and then finished her off with a 2 minute bang then it’s not necessarily a bad thing! (Yep that’s happened to me before so it can work!)

    • That was awesome, Woman! I can’t wait to read your results.
      I would actually like to see the results of a test similar to this one with single guys vs. married ones. I think about 45% of men stop trying to please their woman once they have married them.

      • That is a fascinating question since the original study was about sex in long term relationships. There might be a correlation between the length of the relationship and the length of the sex. Even still, the numbers there boggle me. When I was married the sex was more efficient than passionate, but I always made sure she got off. Though I have to admit, the efficiency probably shortened the length of the sex. We were better at it, so it didn’t take as long.

      • Unfortunately it seems the married ones are quite good at pleasing other woman though….oooopppppssss…..let’s just say partners need to be equally present in providing pleasure on a consistent basis.

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