‘Sexual stamina’ can mean many different things. It’s often used to describe the length of time that it takes a man to reach orgasm.
But sexual stamina can also refer to physical fitness, or the amount of time that you can spend having sex before you get tired.
Some people also use the phrase ‘sexual stamina’ to talk about their ability to perform in bed, or their ability to satisfy their partner.
How long should sex last?
Studies show that the average time taken for ejaculation to occur during intercourse is 5 and a half minutes, but every couple is different. Some people prefer to take their time, while others prefer it when sex is fast.
Your personal circumstances can also affect the duration of a sexual episode. For example, busy parents may have sex when they have time while a new couple may spend more time in bed together.
If you're wondering how to increase your sexual stamina, there are things you can try.
How can I improve my sexual stamina?
Recent studies show that regular exercise can protect against a number of sexual problems, and improve erectile function. Regular exercise can also improve your cardiovascular health, improving your overall stamina.
There is also some (limited) evidence to suggest that regular cardiovascular exercise can improve sexual function in both men and women.
The American Heart Association and the UK’s National Health Service both recommend that you try to get at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise every week, or 75 minutes of vigorous activity, but it’s up to you how you break this up.
You don’t have to go to the gym either. Walking, running, cycling or dancing are all good forms of exercise. Less traditional ways of exercising, like pushing a lawnmower or hiking, also count.
But it’s important to do a little bit of strength training every week, which means you’ll need to do something like yoga, pilates or weightlifting to keep your muscles healthy.
Try some pelvic floor exercises
Pelvic floor exercises are designed to strengthen the muscles that surround your bladder, bottom, vagina or penis. Experts think that pelvic floor exercises can improve sexual function and lead to more satisfying sex.
To exercise your pelvic floor, imagine that you’re desperate to pass urine, and contract the muscles that you would use to stop yourself. Hold for as many seconds as you can up to a maximum of 10 seconds, then release and let your muscles relax for 5 seconds.
You can repeat this movement as many times as you like, but it might be best to stick with 10-15 squeezes a day if you are just getting started. You can always add more as your stamina increases. Make sure you don’t overdo it and rest between squeezes.
Eat a healthy diet
While there’s no real evidence to support the idea that certain foods can make you last longer in bed, some studies do suggest that a balanced and healthy diet could improve your sexual function by helping you reduce your weight, or maintain a healthy weight.
A better-quality diet can also improve cardiovascular health, which may again help to improve your stamina.
Organisations like the American Heart Association recommend a diet that contains a lot of nutrient-rich foods, including a variety of fruits and vegetables, wholegrain products, low-fat dairy produce, nuts and legumes.
You should also try to avoid foods that contain a lot of sugar, salt or saturated fat.
Masturbating may help you to improve your sexual stamina by teaching you how to control your orgasms, if you experience premature ejaculation. Some women also find that masturbation helps them to work out how to bring themselves to orgasm, which may lead to more enjoyable sex.
Can I take a herbal supplement to increase my stamina?
You may have heard that certain herbal extracts will help you to improve your sexual stamina or last longer in bed.
There are studies which have looked into the idea that some herbal extracts could help to improve sexual function, but there isn’t enough research to justify their use. It's worth noting that some herbal extracts could have potentially dangerous side effects.
Try to focus on the safe and healthy methods of increasing your sexual stamina outlined above, and remember that you can talk to a doctor or pharmacist about any concerns or if your symptoms persist.