There's ALWAYS time for sex.
Have you ever glanced over at the alarm clock on your night-stand during sex and calculated exactly how many hours are left until it rings? An extended 69 or a slow and sensual love-making session is suddenly much less appealing when every minute of pleasure is a minute less of shut-eye. In fact, sometimes just the thought of sex can make you feel exhausted.
And you’re not alone: One study found that 8 in 10 people would choose a good night’s sleep over sex.
But what if you didn’t have to choose, what if you could have both sleep and sex? Enter the quickie.
Many women in long-term relationships tell us that if sex didn’t last so long — 10 minutes, say, instead of 45 — they’d be up for it more often. In fact, a survey of sex therapists in the U.S. and Canada found that the most satisfactory intercourse for couples lasts anywhere from 3 to 13 minutes (no matter what Sting might say to the contrary). And it’s no secret that most men are amenable to a speedy climax — they just don’t often request one because it’s not considered particularly gentlemanly.
Quickies get a bad rap as sub-par sex — especially for women — but really, what’s not to love? It doesn’t eat into your beauty rest, it won’t make you late for work, and it’ll be over by the time your 5-year-old knocks on the door to tell you he ate a crayon.
The Foreplay Myth
Conventional wisdom would have us believe that all women need extended foreplay — at least 20 minutes worth — to get anywhere near an orgasm, which may be one reason why quickies aren’t embraced more. The thinking goes that women, on average, take a lot longer to get in the mood and a lot longer to reach orgasm than men.
While we’re big proponents of foreplay, ask any woman who masturbates on a regular basis and she’ll probably tell you that she can climax in mere minutes on her own. In fact, studies have found that during masturbation, men take an average of two to three minutes to reach orgasm, and women are right behind them at just under four minutes.
Nicci Talbot, a British journalist and author of Fast Sex, once told us that the evolutionary theory behind fast sex “is that our natural primal instinct is to get aroused quickly — as fast as men do — in order to respond to the ‘stranger’ who rode into town to procreate and reproduce.”
And in their 1997 book, Are We Having Fun Yet: The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to Sex (a secret classic of feminist sex guides), co-authors Marcia and Lisa Douglass, both PhDs, wrote, “Women do not take longer to get aroused and come than men; they simply get too little and the wrong kind of stimulation.”
So we women have the ability to thoroughly enjoy quickies — we just need to employ the right techniques.
Jumping in Feet First
Waiting until you feel sexual desire to initiate a quickie is probably not one of those techniques.
One study of working moms found that while half of them are not usually “in the mood” when they have sex, almost all of them end up enjoying it when they do. (Please note: This is not encouragement to have sex when you really don’t want to, but rather, encouragement to be open to the idea of sex when you consider its myriad benefits.)
With a quickie, you don’t have the luxury of lying back and waiting for your body to warm up to the idea — you’ve simply got to jump in at the deep end and have faith that the desire will kick in. It’s like going to the gym: You’re never in the mood to go, but once you get there you’re glad you went, and you feel great afterwards, too!
Sometimes just charging in and acting like you can’t wait to get naked with your partner is all it takes for your body to catch up and think, “Hey, I can’t wait to get naked with my main squeeze!” In fact, you might even find that it’s a relief to not sit around wondering when you might next feel in the mood. And having a sense of urgency can take you back to those early days of sex with your partner, when sex with them was exciting and new.
“Quickies remind you of the type of sex you had when younger – frantic, urgent, passionate – when you couldn’t wait to jump into bed with each other,” Talbot told us. “It’s good to recapture that spontaneity.”
Guaranteeing Yourself a “Quick Release”
You’ve got to take responsibility for your own orgasm during a quickie. Channel your inner alpha male: expect it, demand it.
Although a lot of quickies just happen without any planning, that doesn’t mean that you can’t occasionally prime the pump, as it were. Your mind is a powerful sexual organ, which means that you can mentally prep yourself at any point during the day — read a few minutes of erotic fiction on your lunch-break, re-watch the bathroom quickie scene in Unfaithful, reminisce about the last time you couldn’t keep your eyes off your partner, exchange a few dirty texts with them, leave them a suggestive voicemail … anything to get your brain to help your body expect an orgasm later.
Once you get to the actual quickie, being demanding doesn’t necessarily mean pushing your partner against the wall the moment they walk through the door (after all, standing-up sex may not necessarily be the fastest route to your happy place). Being demanding means doing whatever works for you — and if you’re with a man, that may not be intercourse.
“Quickie sex can be oral sex or manual sex, too,” Nicci Talbot told us. “It can help change your perspective on what sex is and what it means to you.”
Of course, knowing what works for you means knowing your body, in the Biblical sense. Regular masturbation will enable you to better communicate to your partner what kinds of techniques get you off quickly. And don’t hesitate to insist that your partner replicate your favorite moves (a certain hand technique, a mini vibrator, etc) — again, it still counts as sex.
You could also just get things started on your own first: bring yourself to the brink and then call your partner in from the other room to see if they’re game. Or maybe you don’t even have to touch each other at all: If you’re feeling tired but could use some happy hormones, masturbate side by side: you can enjoy the sight of each other getting off without exchanging flu germs or having to shower!
The Other Benefits of Quickies
That all said, you shouldn’t get hung up on the idea that a quickie has to include an orgasm. You can still get a lot out of speedy sex, even if you don’t get an O out of it. Either way, you’ll no doubt find yourself energized by a quickie, making it ideal to sneak in before work or a night out. Every woman we spoke to said that she felt different after a quickie — they used terms like “energized”, “exhilarated”, “empowered”, “invigorated”, “cheeky”, and “ready to take on the world”.
And if feeling invigorated and ready to take on the world isn’t reward enough for you, remember that any kind of sex, whether it lasts two minutes or two hours, is good for you. Some sex is better than no sex at all.
“Even a 20-second hug raises oxytocin levels,” says Ian Kerner, sex and relationships counselor and co-author of Sex Recharge: A Rejuvenation Plan for Couples and Singles. “It’s the physical contact, no matter how brief, that matters. A quickie a day keeps the sex therapist away!”
Quickies can also be a sort of pressure release valve — as in, this will tide us over for now. They can take off a lot of the pressure for sexual perfection that you might put on yourselves if you had all the time in the world.
It’s not just about bonding, either; regular sex also reduces stress, improves sleep, and boosts your immune system — in fact, one study even found that people who have sex every other day looked 7 to 12 years younger than the less, er, active. So think of the quickie as your short-cut to overall health and well-being. (And it’s cheaper than Botox!)
All of which should be enough to assuage any unnecessary guilt about what good sex is “supposed ” to be like: it’s not about quantity (at least in terms of session length), it’s about quality.
And just think — if you have a quickie on the sofa in between episodes of Fleabag you’re binging on Amazon TV, you can get into bed later that night, cuddle up to your partner, and drift off to an improved night of sleep without so much as a glance at that pesky alarm clock.
This article was originally published at Em & Lo. Reprinted with permission from the author.