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It’s hard to imagine a couple waiting very long to hop in the sack for the first time in this day and age. But according to a new survey, it happens a lot more than you’d expect.

In a study published on UK health website DrEd.com, 1,000 straight American and 1,000 straight European couples were interviewed and close to 50 percent said they waited one week to a month before finally doing the deed. Even harder to believe is that 21 percent said they waited up to two months and 10 percent said they held out for 6 months.

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Meanwhile, the length of time that would likely win the popular vote came in dead last. Just 18 percent of those couples surveyed admitted to waiting less than one week.

The reasons, according to relationship expert Paul Hokemeyer, Ph.D., are pretty deep.

“This is because people bring the whole of their past sexual and romantic relationships into their present ones,” Hokemeyer said.

On the flip side, jumping right into bed can be a bad omen for couples if things don’t go so smoothly.

“You could be inebriated, stressed, anxious, or overly stimulated. And while its certainly possible to make up for a bad first impression, it could be embarrassing and take a while to get over,” Hokemeyer continued, adding that taking things slowly and letting them develop organically can give couples a better appreciation for each other.

“I know plenty of couples that did a bit of a courtship dance around sex and took the slow road. They learned to appreciate each other, and they learned to enjoy kissing, touch, oral sex, and all of those activities that don’t get consumed by intercourse.”

This won’t be good news for the overeager twenty-something who thinks that putting off sex for more than a day or two is strictly for the frigid. If you’re serious about a girl, though, it may be worth the wait.

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