According to a survey published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, most people (or at least, those surveyed) only want sex for between 7 and 13 minutes. The Telegraph reports that “one and two minutes was too short, three to seven minutes was acceptable, and anything over 13 minutes was too long.”

I suppose what I’m most curious about here is how they define sex. Because if they’re talking start to finish — as in, from sitting on the couch watching SYTYCD till orgasm — 7 minutes is hardly long enough for me to realize what’s happening. But if they’re talking about penetration…well, yes. That should probably do it.

So therein lies the problem in quantifying sex. Terms used by mainstream media are so vague that it’s impossible to know how relevant the research is. This article, for instance, might leave some women feeling like if their engines need to be warmed up at all, they’re abnormal. Or that if they love a 3-minute quickie, they’re doing something wrong. See, in our quest to know the unknowable — like, to establish some sort of “norm” when it comes to sex — we inevitably alienate, and often inadvertently shame people. I’m looking forward to the day that I read a headline saying “Researchers discover that everyone is different when it comes to sex.” And then I will believe them.