In addition to the “where,” “with who” and “what do I do,” there’s another important question to ask about sex: when to have it. Sex enthusiasts may immediately weigh in that anytime is a good time, and they might not be wrong. But those who find the answer isn’t so simple might want to take a look at some interesting research about sex, and the best time to have it.
It’ll come as no surprise that the mood tends to strike different people at different times. Recent research points to a gender difference in when arousal happens. According to Kinsey Institute, most men reach their peak testosterone levels in the early morning, which helps explain the experience of “morning wood,” or waking up with an erection.
For women, arousal tends to kick in a little later in the morning. Endorphin levels reach their peak between 8am and 10am. Because high endorphin levels can help us feel less pain and mediate the negative effects of stress, they are often associated with more pleasurable sex.
There are other cycles to consider, too. Some experts suggest the best day to experience an orgasm is actually the day before you get your period. Sex therapist and couples counselor Laure Watson told Woman’s Day, “When blood accumulation makes your uterus heavy, contractions are more perceptible during orgasm.” She explains that the orgasmic tissue tends to be more sensitive when the body retains fluids.
Of course, it’s not always so precise. While data points can seem compelling, not everyone is slated to fall in sync with that science. Hormone expert Alisa Vitti argues the best time of day to have sex is around 3pm. And by “best time” she means the most opportune time to provide both parties with a pleasurable experience. The procreative bit runs on a different clock.
According to Vitti, 3pm is when women experience a spike in cortisol levels. More cortisol means more energy, so if you want your lady amped and ready to go, 3 is a good time to catch her. During the same time, men experience elevated levels of estrogen, which Vitti says help make them more “emotionally present” during sex. She says this collision of conditions creates an environment where men and women can be most in tune with each other’s desires. She calls it the “perfect compromise” between the sexes in the way of heterosexual sex.
“You can see why ‘afternoon delight’ is a thing,” she told the Daily Mail.
Then again, there are other factors to consider. If Vitti’s 3pm theory is correct, a lot of people will be missing out. The typical American work schedule doesn’t exactly permit mid-afternoon sex breaks. Though it might prove opportune for the adulterers out there. An extended lunch break or early-afternoon departure from the office tend to provide convenient cover for infidelities.
If you live with the person you’re having sex with (my grandmother keeps mentioning this thing called “marriage,” though my polyamorous friends tell me it’s something else), having sex in the evening or before bed might make more sense. A lot of people appreciate the somnolent effects sex can have on the body, and there’s no better place to enjoy that rush than in your own bed.
If you’re active in the hookup culture, you might find your sex schedule depends on other things, like what time the bars close.
There’s also age to consider. As people grow older, they may find themselves getting more tired at night, which makes scheduling a sexual rendezvous for earlier in the day all the more appealing.
In short, morning, noon or night all have their benefits.
Women are awake but not ready for sex, due to high melatonin levels and low body temperature. Men, on the other hand, reach their peak of sexual excitement during these hours.
Conclusion: Great for men, not ideal for women.
By now, women are fully awake and ready for sex. During these hours, women reach their peak levels of endorphins, and are easily excitable. Men’s testosterone levels, which were at their peak in the early morning, are now back to normal.
Conclusion: Women are ready, but men…well, who are we kidding, men can probably be convinced.
12:00 PM-2:00 PM
Women are at their busiest during these early afternoon hours–not getting busy, mind you, but actually busy with work, errands, and life. Also, lunch. Men, however, are more amenable to the idea of an early afternoon frolic.
Conclusion: Women can’t really be bothered right now, usually. Men can definitely be bothered, but also distracted/satisfied by lunch.
A woman’s reproductive system is at its best during these hours. Semen produced around 4 pm is of the best quality.
Conclusion: Maybe try to avoid having sex in the mid afternoon, unless you want a baby, in which case, enjoy it!
Both men and women could probably take it or leave it in the earlier hours, and in the later hours probably leave it. It’s dinner time, after all.
Conclusion: Sexual appetite is conquered by actual appetite.
Women are totally energized and ready to initiate sex at this time. Men try to act all casual and are like “yeah, sure, ok, we could do that.”
Conclusion: Men and women are on the same page here: this is the best time of day to have sex.
Women’s melatonin levels go way up during this time, even if they usually stay up late. They’ll be susceptible to romantic feelings, but not so energetic. Men also may want to engage in relaxing (read: not frenetic or exciting) sex at this time, too. Fact: This is the best time of day to have sex if you suffer from Restless Leg Syndrome. It’s true, look it up.