Sunday, March 9, 2008

Take Your Time

According to a new study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, researchers have come up with (no pun intended) the ideal time frame that intercourse should last. I don't know why they felt that they could quantify such a thing. I'd always thought that if you were having sex, that was good enough. It didn't matter how long because when you were done, you'd had sex. That was what mattered. As long as you had done it, that was good enough for you. Problem solved! Not so fast. Oh, wait. I take that back. Fast. Really fast.

The Journal of Sexual Medicine asked qualified Canadian and U.S. sex therapists what they thought was the ideal duration for intercourse. Based upon their responses, the researchers calculated the medians for several variables. (What they failed to do was explain what "sexual medicine" consists of, exactly. That was my first question. Everything else could wait, if you were asking me. "Sexual medicine"? Whatever it is, it sure doesn't sound like something you'd want.)

The results:
Too short: 1.25 minutes

Adequate: 4.91 minutes

Desirable: 8 minutes

Too long: 19.96 minutes

OK. And now it's time for the "WTF" questions, the first of which is, in fact, "WTF?" 1.25 minutes?!?! You think I needed a study to figure out that 1.25 MINUTES is too short?! Yeah, I think we already knew THAT. It takes me at least 1.25 minutes just to put my beer on the nightstand. And believe me when I say that if it's going to END after 1.25 minutes, I'm not even going to bother putting down my beer at all.

Next, please notice the difference in the gaps between "too short" and "adequate" and between "desirable" and "too long". The difference between "It's over?" and "Good enough" is 3.66 minutes. The difference between "All you want is 8 minutes? Well, good, because that's all I've got!" and "If it's taking this long it must be broken" is 11.96 minutes. So it takes 3.2 times longer to go from "Yes! Yes! Now!" to "Are you done yet?" than it does to go from "WTF?" to "I'll just finish up when they're gone." Interesting. So when our experiences just suck (pun probably intended), it doesn't take much for us to consider it improved. But when things aren't sucking (definitely an ironic oxymoron if there ever was one), we sure do have a much larger boffer, er, buffer zone before we figure we're getting too much of a good thing. Interesting.

But before you go breaking out the stop watch (which, ladies...gents....NEVER a good idea under ANY circumstances, barring the Olympics. Even in which case, you would likely BE barred FROM the Olympics.), I should probably mention the number of esteemed "correct length of time to do it" experts that were consulted for this ridiculous time table of coital pleasure. That's right. There were 33. Thirty three?? From the US AND Canada, America's Hat?!?! They could only come up with thirty three?? That has to be wrong. Oh, look, it kind of IS wrong! That's because only 25 of them would even answer the "how long ya got?" question. WTF?!

Since when does twenty five of anything qualify as enough to make a conclusion about something that could, theoretically, affect anyone who participates in the something. (The something in this case being "all the sex.") Especially when said participants equal right around a gazillion. That's like less than one researcher per every two states trying to tell people the optimal length of time to have sex! Do you know how many people they've got over at the Department of Transportation trying to set all of those metering lights for the correct amount of time to let cars onto the freeways? It's hell of a lot more than "less than two"! And what's more important? Metered traffic or doing it? Correct. We'd all be willing to sit in traffic if we knew that when we got home we could do it for as long as we wanted without worrying that it was too long or too short (again, pun probably intended).

Can just anyone publish a journal of whatever? I'm pretty sure they can. It doesn't seem like there are any rules for this sort of stuff. That's why you end up reading so much crap like this that is made out to be gospel because it was published "in a journal". I think I'll publish "The Journal of Irrefutable Time Tables". Optimal length of time to sleep each night: 9 hours. Optimal length of a full-time workday: 4 hours. Optimal length of movies that are too damned long: 45 minutes. Optimal length of time to do it: All the live long day!

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