There are many discussions on the internet, and some discussions by scientists and sexologists, about how long sex should last. (This is especially related to the constant worry among some men — stoked by a great deal of self-interested blather from those who offer “cures” for it — about premature ejaculation.) One study, widely quoted on the web, concluded that 1-2 minutes of “penis in vagina” activity is too short, 3-7 is satisfactory, 7-13 is desirable, and 10-30 is too long.
But who were they asking? Was their “sample” (of only 500) a good one (including, for example, young, middle-aged, and old people; people with low, middle, and high libidos)? Note, too, that they were using stopwatches to time themselves — how’s that for a guaranteed representative sample!
More importantly, is the “ideal” length of time a man spends inside a woman related to the time he has spent in foreplay, and, in particular, whether she has reached orgasm before he enters her? I think the answer to that is yes — what has gone on before entry into the women is pretty key. If you have spent five minutes of time on foreplay and she hasn’t come yet, that’s one thing; if you have spent 30 minutes on foreplay, and she has come one or two times, that’s a very different thing.
It’s also important to realize that some women just don’t want more after a certain point (or at least sometimes don’t want more). A wife might orgasm strongly from cunnilingus, and then climax during penetration, and that might be just as much as she wants. For her husband to make herculean efforts to hold off his ejaculation and keep going could be counter-productive: not pleasing her, but bothering her. (Admittedly, this is complicated a bit by the fact that women, as they orgasm, can sometimes have facial expressions that look as much like pain as pleasure.)
So, if you are wondering how long you should be inside your wife after the initial penetration, a really good starting point would be: ask her! There are ways to slow down and to speed up, but, to some extent, it’s determined by our personal characteristics, frequency of sex, age, and so forth. The key thing is: is your wife pleased with your sexual relations? And the general rule is that, if you love your wife and show it, and get to know what she likes in lovemaking and try to do it, give a lot of time to foreplay (even to the point of orgasm for her), you’ll probably end up doing pretty well, without any worrying about how long you are engaged in sexual union itself.