You Need Help: She Is Going Down For 15+ Minutes

Welcome to You Need Help! Where you’ve got a problem and yo, we solve it. Or we at least try.

Q: I’ve been with girlfriend for over 4 years now and i care about her A LOT and we are pretty normal lesbians i guess. When we do the dirty, it always takes me at least 15 minutes to climax with oral and I always end up saying sorry because it takes so long. Hers is very fast and I feel like crap for taking so long :/ what do I do?

A: Listen up, Dirty Girl: making love means never having to say you’re sorry. If I apologized every time it took me at least 15 minutes to climax with a partner I could publish an epic poem consisting only of the word “sorry” over and over again for 15 pages. If that sold well, I’d then release a prequel entitled “Sorry about that, boys,” which’d be a 45-page tome of apologies to my first three boyfriends about not being able to climax at all, ever.

But enough about me! Let’s talk about how although it’s fun and also relatively common for a girl to come super-fast, it’s also fun and relatively common for a girl not to come super fast. Men’s Health Magazine says that “studies show that it takes 15 to 40 minutes for the average woman to reach orgasm.” An informal survey of the only four people I talk to all day confirms that 15+ minutes is perfectly “normal,” or even “on the low end of normal.” Also, anecdotal evidence suggests that the universe often matches people who get off really quick with people who don’t. Maybe.

I’m unsure how your girlfriend reacts to your apologies, but I hope it’s something along the lines of, “you have nothing to be sorry about because I love you and would eat you out all damn day if we had the time.” Like a significant majority of “pretty normal lesbians,” she’s probably pretty happy to have her head between your thighs to begin with, you know what I mean? If she’s been clam-diving in your ocean for four years she’s probably enjoying herself quite a bit.

The one and only potential downside to an extensive canyon-yodeling session is jaw pain or cramping — by “extensive,” however, I mean a lot longer than 15 minutes — but that can usually be avoided by mixing up techniques and just paying attention to avoid keeping one’s jaw in the same position for too long. Or she can give her mouth a rest by employing her fingers, YOUR fingers or sex toys OR by devoting attention to other erogenous zones. I don’t think you need to try and hurry it up, but if you truly feel that you must, those other erogenous zones can do wonders to get you very “warmed up” pre-lunch-boxing without feeling the psychological pressure to orgasm just yet. Some people find it easier to come with some surprise g-spot action near the end (or throughout, whatever floats your boat!) (or floods your canoe!), or by combining oral sex with finger-blasting or anal stimulation.

Also, I hope you don’t feel like you have to have an orgasm every time you have sex! Sex is fun with or without getting off. I mean think about it, if you weren’t stressed about how long it takes you to climax, it’d probs be dandy to have your lady playing in your sandbox, kissing your mouth or touching your naked body with her naked body more or less constantly.

Ultimately, sex isn’t two people taking turns making each other feel good; sex is an experience that makes both partners feel good. Going down on someone is a turn-on for the giver and the receiver. I’m sure the readers will also have plenty of advice for you as I’m not exactly a professional sexologist, but whatever happens — stop apologizing for showing your lady such a good time!

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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3178 articles for us.


  1. “Also, anecdotal evidence suggests that the universe often matches people who get off really quick with people who don’t. Maybe.”

    Just here to offer additional supporting anecdotal evidence.

  2. Well I just don’t know if I’m comfortable taking advice from someone who is not an accredited Professional Sexologist.

  3. 15 minutes is a long time? What? I’m pretty sure I can’t count how many times I’ve pleasured a partner orally for 40+ minutes or received for 40+ minutes. Not to mention there have been multiple times that my partner or I have stopped ourselves from orgasming because it felt so good and didn’t want the feeling to end just yet. This also doesn’t include orgasming and either party offering a try for a second orgasm.

    I’ve found, though, if I feel like I’m self-conscious about the length of time I’m taking (we have to go somewhere or do something else) getting a vibrator involved helps a lot!

  4. I hope that someday you publish a compendium of every single sexual euphemism employed or invented over the course of Autostraddle’s existence. It would make me happy as a clamdiver.

  5. This is THE Best advice! Yay! I’m just getting to a point where I’m comfy taking as much time as I need to climax, or not, with a partner. My ex-wife was kinda impatient in that department and even yelled at me once out of frustration (hence the ex part).
    I’m so glad people talk about this and just yay!

  6. I’d just like to add one more person’s anecdotal evidence to the list. I used to fake it because I felt bad for taking so long…BAD idea. It leaves you frustrated, betrays their trust, and deprives you both of the chance to build up your comfort level because your partner doesn’t know there’s a problem.

  7. Hmm..well..and this just my personal opinion..after 4 years I would hope that both of you have built up to a comfort level where you can talk about this openly. Also, never apologize. And dont fake. We always seem to mention the word communication in posts like this. I think it works.

    Making love is an act of making someone else feel so good that you wont even think about your own climax. I think sometimes the thought of just making someone reach that is enough to make yourself be more turned on.

    THE DIVING IN YOUR OCEAN FOR 4 YEARS. HAHAHA. Jeez Riese, such good internet.

    • I was just going to say the same thing — I’ve certainly noticed “whoa that was fast,” and I’ve noticed lengthy marathon sessions in general, but if you asked me to even give a ballpark figure on literal time duration? I couldn’t even begin to guess. I wouldn’t know if 15 minutes is long or fast.

      • That was actually my biggest challenge in answering this question! I have no concept of time passing during sex and didn’t really know where to begin figuring it out

        • I was thinking the same thing. I’m never sure how long it takes, but it’s usually longer rather than shorter. If I think about time absolutely nothing is going to happen.

  8. This is a great post Riese! I especially love this:

    Also, I hope you don’t feel like you have to have an orgasm every time you have sex! Sex is fun with or without getting off. I mean think about it, if you weren’t stressed about how long it takes you to climax, it’d probs be dandy to have your lady playing in your sandbox, kissing your mouth or touching your naked body with her naked body more or less constantly.

    I think it’s sad that people (self included) end up getting hung up on “performance”, the grand finale, etc., when they could just be enjoying each other thoroughly.

    • Yes. I used to sleep with a woman who would pressure me orgasm every time we hooked up. I mean when it happened it was great, but my body doesn’t work on command and I had to keep telling her that it was still fun and I enjoyed myself. But yeah, obvious to say this relationship did not work out.

  9. I once was down there so long my ex made me a badge that said ‘I went down on (x) for over an hour and all I got was this lousy badge’.

    A high point certainly.

  10. Also oral sex isn’t the be-all-end-all of sexy funtimes. You can do other stuff too if you prefer!

  11. Well my main problem has always been that I don’t last too long before my tongue getting totally exhausted (prolly only like 30mins). I would guess that the only solution would be to get in more practice, morning noon and night, until such a time as my tongue endurance improves. Possibly requiring a variety of partners… multiple positions… additional performance tests…

    Diligently working away… for the good of my own health… and the cause of lesbianism in general. O the things we must do for love!

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