Sex: How long to wait before the next round?

Dear Alice,

After you have sex, how long should you wait till you do it again?

Dear Reader,

In sports like basketball and soccer, timeouts are stringently clocked down to the second. However, when it comes to sex, there are no rules for how long a timeout should last. And even better, there isn’t a health risk to having back-to-back sex! It all depends on what you and your partner want to do. Some partners may prefer to be “one and done” while others are up for an orgasmic marathon!

So, what’s the best way to find out the best break length for you? You might start by checking in with yourself and with your partner. Do you need to catch your breath for a moment? Are you still aroused? Would you like to towel off, rehydrate, or possibly stretch a cramped hamstring? Is there any soreness or chafing? If neither of you are significantly winded, hungry or thirsty, and if you are still aroused, than batter up for another inning! If you have some other needs to attend to (such as using the bathroom, stretching, taking a power nap to recharge, or going to school or work) then you might want to take care of those needs before having another go. Sometimes sex can lead to soreness, tenderness, or dryness — if that’s the case, it may be a good time to add some lubricant (as the saying goes, you are more “slippery when wet”!) or take a slightly longer break to recover.

You may find that your “ideal” break time changes: with different partners, at different points in your life, or even depending on how much sleep you’ve gotten the night before. Part of the fun of sex is that it will most likely continually surprise you — knowing your needs and desires and sharing those with your partner is not only exciting, but it can open new doors to sexual fulfillment and pleasure. You might experiment with the length of your pauses between rounds and learn something new about what you like!

As long as you have a willing, enthusiastic, and consenting partner, you can shake it all night long if you so choose! If you are using a barrier method (e.g., a dental dam or condom) just remember to use a new one before each round. Beyond that, take your break times as you please.

Here’s to getting back into the ring for another round of fun!

Originally published Aug 22, 2014

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