If you're in a hetero relationship and you and your partner are having less sex than you'd like, it may be because you're out of sync—literally. According to a survey done by sex-toy company Lovehoney, the clock may be to blame for all your missed connections: Men are horny most often in the morning, while women are horny more often at night.
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When Women Are Horny vs. Men
The survey polled 2,300 adults and found that nearly 70 percent of women say they've been with a partner whose sex drive was a major mismatch with their own and that one big factor was the timing of their turn-ons. Men reported that they prefer to start their day off right with a little sex between 6 and 9 a.m. while women preferred to wind down with some lovemaking between 11 p.m. and 2 a.m. Specifically, men were horniest at 7:54 in the morning while women are at 11:21 at night.
What This Means for Your Sex Life
While we're a little dubious about their data—most people aren't so focused on when the clock strikes sexytime—the truth is, we've all experienced a moment when our partner wanted to get busy and we were too busy to bother (or vice versa). You can partially blame differing hormone cycles—men's testosterone levels are highest in the morning, while women's will increase slightly throughout the day. (Women's testosterone levels vary less during the day and more based on your menstrual cycle, specifically surging the highest during ovulation.)
Thankfully, differing schedules and preferences don't have to be a death knell for your sex life, says Allison Hill, M.D., an ob-gyn at Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles. Women, she adds, are particularly good at being flexible. Whereas men's desire is more direct, women's sex drive can be influenced by a lot of different factors.
"The current thought is that female libido is very complicated, but most of it is psychological. And, usually, it doesn't have much to do with the woman's partner," Hill says. "Instead, it's more about how the woman feels about herself and her sexuality." So if you feel confident and sexy in yourself, you'll be more open to sex and likely have a better chance of climaxing, regardless of what the clock says. (More on that here: Have an Amazing Orgasm By Building Confidence.)
Ditching the guilt about how much you want (or don't want) sex is another key component to having a great sex life, says Stephanie Buehler, Ph.D., author of What Every Mental Health Professional Needs to Know about Sex. "A woman's desire can be psychological, relational, or physical (or a combination of all three), and can change depending on what's going on in her life at the time," she says, adding that it's okay to say no thanks if you're just not feeling it.
But Buehler adds that many women want that closeness with their partner and simply want to want more sex. In this case, instead of waiting to be in the perfect mood to get busy, you may have to take matters into your own hands.
"Women often don't feel desire until after they start foreplay with their partner," she says. "If that's the case, don't worry about it, just enjoy the way you feel." Even if that's at precisely 7:54 in the morning!
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This article originally appeared on Shape.com