Of all the aspects of sex that one could worry about, duration is one factor that concerns a lot of people. This is unsurprising, what with all the media depictions that exist of a person (usually a man) coming "too" quickly during sex, then rolling over and falling asleep, leaving their partner (usually a woman) unsatisfied and unimpressed.
It's certainly true that sometimes partners will have mismatched expectations about how long sex "should" last, or will have issues putting their various favorite sexual activities into the order that makes the most sense. For example, the progression of events may work better if the person who has a shorter refractory period (i.e. recovery time) after an orgasm – often a woman, though not always – comes first, so that the person whose refractory period is longer won't derail the entire sex session by coming before their partner is satisfied.
Another workaround for this is for the person with the longer refractory period to only stimulate their partner, and not be stimulated themselves, until both people are ready for sex to end with that person's orgasm. And regardless of the length of your refractory period, you can always continue stimulating your partner even after you've just come, using your hands, mouth, and/or sex toys.
But even setting aside the issue of partnered sex, some people also wonder about duration when it comes to solo sex. Are they taking "too long," or "not long enough"? Could masturbating "too fast" or "too slow" be affecting them sexually in ways they might not be aware of? Let's discuss masturbation duration.
The pros and cons of masturbating quickly
Many people learn to get themselves off in a hurry because of experiences they had as a child or teen, when private time may have been harder to come by and the surveillance of parents or guardians may have been difficult to avoid. If, for example, the bathroom was the only place you could really guarantee you'd be left alone, you may have learned to "rub one out" in under five minutes, quietly, so your self-love time would go unnoticed by anyone you lived with.
While this speedy approach was adaptive at the time, it may not be serving you so well now. People who are used to getting off quickly may have a more difficult time lengthening that process for the benefit of a partner, hence some of the premature ejaculation struggles outlined above.
Worth noting, too, is that you may be denying yourself pleasure by rushing through the masturbation process. Jerking off isn't just about the quick tension relief that an orgasm can provide; for many people, it's also about the journey – the peaks and valleys of pleasure you experience along the road to orgasm. Not only is that stretch of time enjoyable in and of itself, but it can also contribute to a more intense climax once you get there.
If you tend to wank fast, you could issue yourself an "edging" challenge – i.e. get close to orgasm, then back off, and repeat as many times as you want. Choosing a specific duration in advance is often a fun way to do this, whether you do that by picking a number of minutes you plan to last, or putting on a porn clip (or a playlist of porn clips) that has the duration you're hoping to last for. Notice how going more slowly affects your arousal, your overall pleasure, and your eventual orgasm. If you enjoy edging – or if you just want to get better at postponing your climax – then you may want to make this a regular part of your masturbation routine.
The pros and cons of taking your time
Masturbating more slowly can make solo sex feel like more of a luxuriant, relaxing endeavor and less like a frantic, rushed task on your to-do list. It's an especially nice thing to do when you're going through a period of feeling sexually rejected (such as after a painful breakup) or of feeling too focused on stressful things and not focused enough on enjoyment (such as during a particularly arduous month at work).
However, as you might expect, it's not always convenient to take a long time to masturbate. Having solo "quickies" becomes much harder if you're not used to getting off that fast, so you might not be able to squeeze in a wank between Zoom calls during your work day, for instance, and might need to wait until you've got more time available to you. For this reason, if you like to jerk off but are a very busy person, maybe you want to learn to masturbate more quickly, so you can fit it into your schedule more often!
As mentioned above, the amount of time it takes you to get off while alone is often comparable to how long it'll take you with a partner. So, if it's ever been a problem for your partner(s) that you take longer to get off than they would prefer, practicing coming faster during masturbation could help you make that change in your partnered sex life as well. However, your pleasure matters too, and if you like taking your time and don't want to deny yourself those extra minutes of pleasure, you don't have to! And if friction and/or pain is the reason your partner doesn't want sex to go on as long, you can try using lube and see if that helps.
Quickening your masturbation may be harder than lengthening it, because some people just take longer to come and can't do much to change that. But if you do want to start coming faster, introducing sex toys into your solo-sex routine can be helpful, if you're not already using them. Toys are, by their very nature, more stimulating than any human body part (like your hand) can typically be, and so the addition of a stroker, vibrator, dildo, or butt plug might be exactly what you need to push you over the edge sooner.
Some people get themselves off in less than a minute; some take upwards of an hour; most people are somewhere in between. But as with literally any other aspect of sex, it actually doesn't matter if you fit into what's "normal," so long as you're enjoying yourself and everything that's happening is safe and consensual.
As discussed above, there are reasons both practical and frivolous that you may want to alter the typical length of your masturbation sessions. But keep in mind that pleasure is generally the point of solo sex, along with other related goals, such as getting to know your own body better and relieving tension. As the old saying goes, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" – that is to say, if you're enjoying your masturbation the way it is, you don't have to change anything about it. Just savor the moment, no matter how long (or short) it may be.