How Long Do Orgasms Last (For Men & Women)

This article provides a meta-study on the duration of male and female orgasms, synthesizing the results of numerous research studies. By examining multiple studies, we offer a detailed overview of how long orgasms typically last for both men and women, enriching our understanding of this aspect of human sexuality.

Key Findings

  • The average female orgasm has been measured to last an average of 26 seconds (ranging from 17 seconds in the low estimate and up to 35 seconds in the high estimate).
  • The average male orgasm duration is 25.8 seconds (ranging from 6.4 seconds in the low estimate and up to 56.1 seconds in the high estimate).
  • The longest female orgasm measured in a clinical study lasted 50.6 seconds.
  • Transgender people experience significantly longer orgasm duration after hormone therapy.

Women experience more long orgasms (20-120 seconds) rather than short orgasms (3-15 seconds)

The following study is based on two independent online surveys using the questions battery SGZ. It is an open-ended question battery that concerns the duration of the respondent’s orgasm.

The first survey of 200 women showed the following results:

  • 37% of respondents reported experiencing long orgasms, lasting 20 seconds up to 2 minutes.
  • 36% of respondents reported experiencing short orgasms, lasting 3 seconds to 15 seconds.
  • The remaining 26% did not answer the questions.

Those results were derived from an online survey of 200 women, who were treated for neurosis.

The study also sampled 100 female health professionals and counselors. In this sample, they found that 48% experienced predominantly long orgasms and 44% short ones (8% did not answer).

Overall the data finds that women for the most part experience longer orgasms lasting 20 seconds up to 2 minutes, rather than short 3-15 second orgasms.

Reference: Kratochvíl S. (1993). Trvání zenského orgasmu [The duration of female orgasm]. Ceskoslovenska psychiatrie, 89(5), 296–299.

The average female orgasm is 35.6 seconds long

This study by Bohlen, Held, Sanderson, et al. aimed to investigate the female orgasm, with a focus on pelvic contractions.

The study involved 11 women between the ages of 24 and 33, with an average age of 28.2 years.

The main findings revealed that the average duration of orgasm for all participants was 35.6 seconds.

The longest recorded orgasm lasted 50.6 seconds, while the shortest orgasm was 13.1 seconds.

Orgasm duration was recorded through a probe that measured vaginal contractions. The time started with the first contraction and ended with the last.

Reference: Bohlen, J.G., Held, J.P., Sanderson, M.O. et al. The female orgasm: Pelvic contractions. Archive of Sexual Behavior 11, 367–386 (1982).

A 1966 study found 3 different types of orgasms with varying lengths

In the study by Masters and Johnson from 1966 they looked at the differing types of orgasms reported by women in their study.

They found that female orgasms could be categorized into three different categories.

  • Mild orgasms that on average lasted 2.4 to 4 seconds, and consisted of 3-5 vaginal contractions.
  • Normal orgasms that on average lasted 4 to 6.4 seconds, and consisted of 5-8 vaginal contractions.
  • Intense orgasms that on average lasted 4 seconds to 9.6 seconds, and consisted of 8-12 vaginal contractions.

Reference: Masters, W. H., & Johnson, V. (1966). Human sexual response. Boston: Little, Brown.

Women tend to underestimate the duration of their orgasm

Levin and Wagner (1985) conducted some of the most well-cited research on orgasm duration, through laboratory studies on 28 women.

In the study, the authors conducted quantitative research on various aspects of female orgasms in a laboratory setting. Their focus was on duration, intensity, latency, and vaginal blood flow.

The study involved 28 sexually active women, aged 27 years on average, who were able to self-induce orgasm under laboratory conditions.

The main findings related to orgasm duration were as follows:

  1. The measured duration of orgasm was obtained for 14 subjects, with a mean duration of 26.0 seconds (± 14.6 seconds).
  2. The estimated duration of orgasm, as reported by the women themselves, was 12.2 seconds (± 9.8 seconds).
  3. The difference between measured and estimated orgasm duration was statistically significant at 13.8 seconds ( ± 15.2 seconds; P < 0.05), with women tending to underestimate the duration of their orgasms.

The study also found no significant correlation between the duration and intensity, latency, or oxygen consumption of orgasms.

Levin and Wagner’s research contributed valuable insights into female orgasms, particularly by highlighting the discrepancy between measured and self-reported durations.

In layman’s terms, the study found that the average female orgasm lasts 26 seconds, with women reporting it lasting 12 seconds.

Reference: Levin, R. J., & Wagner, G. (1985). Orgasm in women in the laboratory—quantitative studies on duration, intensity, latency, and vaginal blood flow. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 14, 439-449.

Female orgasms lasts 17 seconds, ranging from 7.5 to 25 seconds

This study was conducted on 7 female study participants who in a laboratory setting masturbated to orgasm. The women were aged 19-35 years old.

How did the study determine orgasm duration:

The duration of orgasm is less precisely determined since subjects did not verbally indicate its termination. Physiological indices were used to mark orgasm’s termination. The termination of orgasm was defined as that point where the blood volume response began to inflect toward increased volume and recording artifacts associated with orgasm had terminated. Using those criteria, the mean duration of orgasm was 16.7 sec, with a range from 7.5 to 25 sec. Unfortunately, it is not known how closely this reflects the subjective experience of orgasm termination.

In comparison, the mean duration of masturbation was 2 min 8 sec, with a range of from 1 min 22 sec to 4 min 15 sec.

Reference: Geer, J. H., & Quartaaro, J. D. (1976). Vaginal blood Vol. responses during masturbation. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 5(5), 403–413.

Orgasm duration does not differ significantly between men and women

The study examined the physiological responses during orgasm in 13 women and 10 men.

The subjects were in good physical, sexual, and mental health, and without major negative attitudes towards masturbation.

The study found that systolic blood pressure (SBP), anal photoplethysmography (APG), and electromyographic activity (EMG) increased during testing, reaching maximum values during orgasm and declining thereafter.

The duration of self-stimulation and orgasm, and the number of contractions during orgasm did not differ significantly between men and women or between mono-orgasmic and multiorgasmic women.

orgasm duration on men and women

The study found that among 9 mono-orgasmic men and 9 mono-orgasmic women:

  • Women on average orgasmed for 21.9 seconds (± 6.4 seconds), during which they had 13.7 contractions (±2.64)
  • Men on average orgasmed for 21.8 seconds (±3.46 seconds), during which they had 15.8 contractions (±1.73)

They also found, that the four multi-orgasmic women on average had orgasms of 25.8 seconds (±0.25) on their first orgasm and 26 seconds (±2.31) on their second orgasm. For the one multi-orgasmic man in the study, they found that his first orgasm lasted 20.5 seconds with 25 contractions, and each subsequent orgasm until ejaculation was longer.

Reference: Carmichael, M. S., Warburton, V. L., Dixen, J., & Davidson, J. M. (1994). Relationship among cardiovascular, muscular, and oxytocin responses during human sexual activity. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 23, 59-79.

Trans people experience significantly longer orgasms after hormone therapy

The study was conducted through an online questionnaire on 130 transgender women (MTF) and 33 transgender men (FTM).

Transgender Women (MTF)

After commencing GAHT, TW reported experiencing a significantly longer orgasm duration (8.5 [8.1] seconds, vs 34.0 [57.4] seconds, P < .0001).

In layman’s terms, the study found that former men, who have transitioned to females through hormone therapy went from orgasming for an average of 8.5 seconds to orgasming for 34 seconds.

This therefore also tells us, that the study found that men orgasm for an average of 8.5 seconds. And, that going through transgender hormone treatment made them orgasm on average 25.5 seconds longer.

Transgender Men (FTM)

After commencing GAHT, TM patients experienced a significantly longer orgasm duration (15.2 [15.5] seconds, vs 25.9 [26.6] seconds, P = .0285).

The study found that former women, who have transitioned to males through hormone therapy went from orgasming for an average of 15.2 seconds to orgasming for 25.9 seconds.

This therefore also tells us, that the study found that women orgasm for an average of 15.9 seconds. And, that going through transgender hormone treatment made them orgasm on average 10.7 seconds longer.

Reference: Zaliznyak, M., Lauzon, M., Stelmar, J., Yuan, N., Smith, S. M., & Garcia, M. M. (2022). A Proposed Inventory to Assess Changes in Orgasm Function of Transgender Patients Following Gender Affirming Treatments: Pilot Study. Sexual Medicine, 10(3).

Orgasm duration does depend on self- or partner stimulation

14 women started the study and were supposed to achieve orgasms both by themselves and with a partner, however, four could not get to orgasm with a partner after self-stimulation and the study therefore excluded those, as well as only using the results from the first round of stimulation. The sample therefore contained five self-stimulation–induced and five partner-stimulation–induced orgasms.

The duration of orgasm ranged from 10 to 59 seconds.

Seven women had orgasms longer than 20 seconds.

Three women had orgasms 10 to 14 seconds in duration.

All 10 participants described themselves as being “highly” orgasmic.

The duration of stimulation ranged from 87 to 829 seconds.

The results showed no significant difference in the orgasm duration between the partner-induced orgasms and the self-induced orgasms.

Reference: Wise, N. J., Frangos, E., & Komisaruk, B. R. (2017). Brain activity unique to orgasm in women: An fMRI analysis. The journal of sexual medicine, 14(11), 1380-1391.

Male multiple orgasms

The study analyzed data on multiple orgasm sessions from a sample of participants. The duration of these sessions varied widely, with a mean of 44 minutes and a standard deviation of 25.64. The shortest session lasted only one minute, while the longest session lasted over 90 minutes.

The researchers also recorded the time it took for participants to achieve their first and last orgasm during the session. They found that on average, the first orgasm was reached after 17 minutes (with a standard deviation of 14.11) and the last orgasm was achieved at around 39 minutes (with a standard deviation of 24.49).

Interestingly, the study did not find a statistically significant correlation between the duration of the multiple orgasm session and the number of orgasms experienced (correlation coefficient r = 0.058, R-squared = 0.003, p > .05).

The study also found that less than half of the participants (45.9%) took a break after their first orgasm, and for most of those who did, the break lasted 5 minutes or less.

Finally, the study found that the most common reasons for ending sexual activity during multiple orgasm sessions were loss of erection (reported by 39.3% of participants), tiredness (reported by 40.2% of participants), and sexual satisfaction (reported by 65.6% of participants).

Reference: Griffin-Mathieu, G., Berry, M., Shtarkshall, R. A., Amsel, R., Binik, Y. M., & Gérard, M. (2021). Exploring Male Multiple Orgasm in a Large Online Sample: Refining Our Understanding. The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 18(9), 1652-1661.

Male Orgasm on average lasts 25.8 seconds

Number of male subjects: 11

Average orgasm duration 25.8 seconds (SD 17.2)

The average orgasm duration ranged from 6.4 seconds to 56.1 seconds. The number of contractions the subject in the study experienced during an orgasm ranged from 8 contractions to 33 contractions.

Reference: Bohlen, J. G., Held, J. P., & Sanderson, M. O. (1980). The male orgasm: pelvic contractions measured by anal probe. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 9(6), 503-521.

Interested in more statistics about orgasm?

Then take a look at theses reports: