From a critical review of the literature on mating speed in Drosophila, the importance of fast mating in male fitness is questioned. The genetic architecture of male mating speed (MMS) has been evaluated in D. melanogaster through a populational analysis and a full 5 x 5 diallel cross between inbred lines. The results emphasize the fundamental role of the female genotype in both the absolute and the relative MMS performances. Somewhat different genetic architectures for MMS are revealed according to the female used in the tests. It is suggested that different parts of the complex genetic system involved in the male's "behavioral sexual phenotype" are relevant depending on the female's characteristics, thus causing the heterogeneity in the MMS genetic architecture. An overall picture reveals a genetic system characterized by additivity, dominance for fast mating, and no influence of the X chromosome. There results do not support strong natural selection favoring fast mating in Drosophila males.