The average Ghanaian man desires to last for approximately 19 minutes during sex. This was part of findings in a study titled “Perceptions of normal and abnormal ejaculatory latency times: an observational study in Ghanaian males and females”, which was published in the European Journal of Medical Research and was conducted by a group of Ghanaian scientists headed by Prof. Nafiu Amidu, an Associate Professor of Chemical Pathology at the Department of Biomedical Laboratory Science, School of Allied Health Sciences of the University for Development Studies, Tamale, Ghana.
The cross-sectional study which involved five hundred and sixty-eight (568) heterosexual adult Ghanaian male and female subjects, was carried out using a standardised questionnaire which sought subjects’ opinions on what duration of sex they considered “too short” “too long” “adequate” and “desirable”. Respondents were also asked to give an estimation of their duration of sex from penile penetration of vagina to ejaculation i.e. the intravaginal ejaculatory latency time (IETL).
The 568 subjects in the study whose ages averaged about 29 years were made up of a fair distribution of both married and single individuals with male subjects being more than 3 times the number of female subjects. In all, subjects reported a self-estimated sex duration of about 9 minutes, i.e. from penetration to ejaculation. When asked about their opinion of the length of time they considered as adequate, desirable, too short or too long, the subjects’ average responses were 15 minutes, 19 minutes, 5 minutes and 38 minutes respectively. This means that subjects desired a sex duration 19 minutes whiles they thought that 5 minutes was too short. In the breakdown however, Ghanaian women reported slightly higher figures than the male counterparts, hence their expectations of how long sex should last was higher than men.
The researchers see this as a worry since the subjects’ desire of 19 minutes is more than twice the 3-7 minutes several experts deem as adequate. This may have consequences for men who are not satisfied with their ejaculation time and may erroneously be classified as having Premature Ejaculation (PE). The current study underlines the existence of the PE subtype, premature-like ejaculatory dysfunction as recently proposed by some scientists, where both men and women in the general population who have normal or even long IELT duration are not satisfied with IELT values which are normal in the general population.
With both men and women desiring that intercourse lasts about twice as long as the self-reported length, it is conceivable that this may lead to distress, displeasure and ultimately the purchase of sex enhancing medication as observed currently among Ghanaians. However, one should be cautious not to diagnose these men as having PE. It is therefore, suggested that various counselling methods, and not drug treatment, should be used in treating individuals who present with premature-like ejaculatory disorders. Even though a person’s understanding of sexual functioning is related to inherent standards and beliefs, it can greatly be modified by the type of formal and informal education received from the society, including pornographic movies which heightens the expectations of individuals.
The results from the present study provides a realistic as well as a baseline model of Ghanaian sexuality and would be useful both in treating people with sexual concerns and dysfunctions, and with wider applications in preventing the onset of Sexual Dysfunction. By dissociating expectations from fantasy to a realistic replica of sexuality, the present results may help prevent sexual disappointments.
Peter Paul M. Dapare (Department of Biomedical Laboratory Science, School of Allied Health Sciences of the University for Development Studies, Tamale, Ghana), is a co-author of the research article “Perceptions of Normal and Abnormal Ejaculatory Latency Times: An Observational Study in Ghanaian Males and Females.” (email: [email protected])