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What’s the Best Time of Day for Sex?

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Laurie J. Watson, LMFT - Blogs
By Laurie J. Watson, LMFTCertified sex therapistApril 16, 2018

Morning sex vs. evening sex – it’s an age-old conflict, usually with men on one side and women on the other. Men wake up aroused, so morning is prime time. But women often prefer evenings when things have relaxed a bit – after work and chores are done and children are put to bed.  Why does this happen and how can you resolve the issue?

Testosterone difference – Men do have a spike in testosterone between six and nine o’clock in the morning. They naturally like to capitalize on a good morning erection. Unfortunately, women have their lowest amount of daily testosterone in the morning and a minimal increase by evening.

Difference in hormone cycles – Men can experience a daily 25-50% differential in testosterone in the morning, translating to a huge appetite for early sex. For women however, significant changes in testosterone don’t happen daily, but monthly, with the largest increase happening mid-month during ovulation (and that increase is not nearly as dramatic as what men experience).

Cleanliness – Most women have a thing about being clean before sex. So, for her, the thought of morning breath and a night’s worth of sweat and genital odor can squash any desire for wake-up sex. Since men’s sense of smell is typically not as sensitive, these issues may be the last thing on his mind as he feels the warm closeness of his partner’s relaxed body.

To encourage morning sex:

1. Focus on the benefits. Both genders actually perform better at work after morning sex. And after sex, the hormone vasopressin rises, prompting men to feel more emotional attachment.

2. Start slower. Spend time cuddling and lay on the compliments. British gynecologist and researcher Gabrielle Downey says that the single biggest interference with female desire is her body image. So, tell her you love her tousled look and naked face (and body) first thing in the morning.

3. Go to bed earlier. Sleep deprivation lowers testosterone levels in both genders. Getting enough sleep is essential for maintaining maximum hormonal balance and for limiting the stress hormone cortisol, which interferes with desire in both genders.

To encourage evening sex:

1. Watch competitive sports. Research indicates it increases his feelings of aggression and boosts his testosterone. It’s a great deal if she’s a sports fan, too.

2. Build anticipation about being together throughout the day to capitalize on the small increases of testosterone in her body. Sending loving, appreciative texts builds the emotional connection that might be an even more powerful trigger for her a woman than testosterone.

3. Workout together at the end of day. Thirty to forty minutes of intense resistance or endurance exercise increases testosterone levels. Arousal remains easier for thirty minutes after exercise.

Be aware that sometimes the decision about when to have sex can be more about an emotional power struggle than personal preferences. In this case, it’s important to have an honest conversation to get to the root of the problem (and you may want to include a counselor if the problem is ongoing).

Each of you may have a favorite time of day, but pleasing your partner occasionally during their best moment brings fairness and fun. And when that happens, you both win.

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About the Author
Laurie J. Watson, LMFT

Laurie J. Watson, LMFT, is a certified sex therapist and author of Wanting Sex Again – How to Rekindle Desire and Heal a Sexless Marriage. Laurie helps couples “keep it hot” with her weekly podcast FOREPLAY – Radio Sex Therapy, weekend intensives, and telehealth consultations. A compelling and enthusiastic presenter, Laurie is regularly invited to speak at medical schools, conferences and retreats.

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