According to what David Ludden, PhD, wrote in Psychology Today, those who are predisposed to enjoy morning sex, for example, tend to be more introverted and prefer long-term, monogamous relationships. Alternatively, those who prefer nighttime sex tend to be more extraverted and open to casual sex. But the way Searah Deysach, sex educator and owner of feminist sex shop Early to Bed, looks at it, it's really just about what turns you on.
- Searah Deysach, sex educator and owner of Early to Bed
"For many folks, morning energy, the cool air and warm light of the morning can be very sexy, but for others it can be hard to let go and enjoy sex when there is the work of the day facing them," says Deysach. "For others, the dark coziness of night gets them in the mood and having the stressors of the day over and done with can allow them to tap into their sensuality. And then for others, afternoon delight is the only way to go as the day is winding down and darkness starts to settle in, that sweet afternoon light can be just perfect."
Hey, whatever lights your fire, amirite? Of course, the morning-versus-night-sex debate gets a little complicated when your partner has a different preference. This definitely could be a snag for heterosexual couples; one 2018 study in Frontiers in Psychology noticed that when it comes to libido, women tend to be hornier in the morning while men are more aroused in the evening. No matter how you identify, Deysach recommends communicating and compromising if you have mismatched preferences.
"It can also be helpful to examine what it is about the 'other' time of day that is not doing it for you. Is morning sex more appealing if you have time to shower and eat breakfast first," Deysach says. "Is nighttime sex better for you if you head to bed before watching TV so you are still alert? If you can figure out why some times are less appealing, you may find a way to work around the issues."
All that being said, it's really just about personal preference. So let's have a little fun, shall we? Here's what we think your preferred sex time says about you.
Have a preference for morning sex, afternoon, or night? Here's what that says about you:
Early morning (like, really early)
If you love super early morning sex, you are presumably someone who likes to stay on top of their to-do list. And if you stick to the habit even on the weekends, you also probably have great sleep hygiene. (It takes serious willpower to wake up early on those days when you could sleep in, even if it's not great for your circadian health, after all.)
Similarly to the folks who love super early morning sex, those who like to get it on before lunchtime are organized, sure of themselves, and methodical. Perhaps you're a detail-oriented Virgo who's the kind of person who drafts text messages in the Notes app before sending them. That is to say, you think about what you want before you take action. And, to be sure, you do take action. Some research even suggests that folks in heterosexual relationships who identify as women even found greater relationship satisfaction when they engaged in morning sex.
You might have a flexible working schedule, or perhaps you're just someone who actually takes an hour for lunch (though you don't use it for, well, lunch). There's something about the thrill of having sex at a time when many others are toiling away in Zoom meetings and presentations that makes you feel alive.
You are incredibly practical, and I respect that. Considering all the libido-compromising factors that can happen post dinnertime (loss of interest, sleepiness, preference to literally just Netflix and chill, etc.), you embrace the current moment as a welcome opportunity to snag some pleasure.
You're likely someone who thrives on routine, and, hey, there's nothing wrong with that—especially when it comes to engaging in health-boosting consensual sex on a regular basis. Perhaps you even schedule sex to make sure your pleasure routine is on regular rotation in life. More power to you.
Middle of the night
Whether you struggle with insomnia (and have a partner who also does or a pleasure toy that lets you engage in solo play during your sleepless nights), have a nontraditional work schedule, or you don't mind sacrificing sleep for sex, you are ready whenever the urge strikes. You like to live in the moment, and that also might mean you rarely hang up your clothes or have a cell phone charged beyond 10 percent.
Originally published September 13, 2019. Updated May 17, 2021, with additional reporting from Mary Grace Garis.
- Jocz, Paulina et al. “Similarity in Chronotype and Preferred Time for Sex and Its Role in Relationship Quality and Sexual Satisfaction.” Frontiers in psychology vol. 9 443. 4 Apr. 2018, doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00443
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