Monday mornings or afternoon sex

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Kelly Gonsalves is a sex educator, relationship coach, and journalist. She received her journalism degree from Northwestern University, and her writings on sex, relationships, identity, and wellness have appeared at The Cut, Vice, Teen Vogue, Cosmopolitan, and elsewhere.

Many people tend to imagine their best sex happening late at night in a dark and romantic environment.

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But there are some scientific reasons morning sex might be better than night sex—at least for some people. There's no one best time of day to have sex that applies to everyone. Compared to night sex, morning sex is better for some people and worse for others. But physiologically speaking, it might be generally better to have sex in the morning because many people's bodies have higher levels of testosterone and estrogen, two hormones that influence sexual Monday mornings or afternoon sexat the start of the day. That means you may be more in the mood and potentially able to have more satisfying sex in the morning.

Testosterone levels in men replenish overnight and thus tend to be at their highest in the morning and at their lowest at night. The combination is very motivating for activities of the physical nature, whether that be sex or a workout. Testosterone plays a key role in sexual functioning for men, helping with Monday mornings or afternoon sex getting erections and feeling motivated to have sex. For those with penises, Zimmerman says the elevated testosterone levels in the morning can thus give you an increased libido, improved arousal, and a better erection.

Similarly, estrogen is associated with female sexual desireand those hormones also tend to be higher in the morning, according to Zimmerman. Furthermore, morning wood isn't just for penises—people with vulvas also experience increases in blood flow to the vagina during REM sleepas well as vaginal swelling and lubrication. That means they may be as likely to wake up with their bodies already primed for sex.

And more blood flow to the clitoris and lubrication around the vagina can mean more sensitivity and pleasure. Women with menstrual cycles don't follow the circadian rhythm, Vitti points out—their bodies and hormonal patterns follow a roughly monthly infradian rhythmaka their menstrual cycle. This infradian rhythm "impacts their sex drive, their resting cortisol levels, and mood—all of which play a role in sexual readiness and interest," she explains.

That means time of day matters less for these women—it's more about what time of the month it is. People with menstrual cycles will be more interested in sex in the first half of their cycle the follicular and ovulatory phasesVitti explains, when resting levels of cortisol and metabolism are lower offering more stable mood and levels of estrogen and testosterone are increasing boosting sexual desire.

During this time, "you'll be interested in this any time of the day, as this hormonal pattern is consistent for many days and is not on a hour timer," Vitti points out. In the second half of the cycle the luteal and menstrual phasesthe body has higher resting levels of cortisol and decreasing levels of estrogen and testosterone, according to Vitti. This can increase anxiety and lower sexual desire.

Another reason morning sex can potentially be better than sex at night? You're right at the start of your day and at the start of your energy tank, meaning you might be more alert and able to engage in sex.

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Many people get to the end of the day feeling exhausted and perhaps touched out, meaning they're not wanting any more touch or stimulation. It may take more effort to get back into the right mindset to engage in sex. Having sex in the morning allows you to tap into a fresh fuel tank. Fogel Mersy also notes that end-of-day sex may be less conducive to creativity, compared to morning sex: "Having a bit more energy or feeling more rested might also lead to trying different things together versus maybe falling into habits or routine when we feel more tired.

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There are also many other reasons some people might prefer to have sex at night instead of having sex in the morning. Mornings can feel like a hectic time for many people, when your mind gets flooded thinking about all the things that need to get done that day and when there tends to be a lot of rushing to get out the door. Stress can make it harder to get arousedso if your mornings tend to be stressful, they may not be the best time to be trying to squeeze in a romp in the sack. Evenings, on the other hand, may be when you've completed all your tasks for the day and feel more able to relax, which might make it easier to enjoy sex.

Some people may also be more self-conscious having sex in the morning because there's more light, less makeup, and potentially bad breath and body odors. Poor body image can actually hurt sexual functioningincluding making it harder to get aroused, get wet, and have orgasms. So if you tend to get really in your head about how your partner perceives you during sex, and having sex in the morning exacerbates that, morning sex may not necessarily be as beneficial.

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The best time of day to have sex will vary from person to person and from couple to couple. While elevated hormones might make sex better in the morning for many particularly menpeople with menstrual cycles are much more influenced by time of month than time of day.

Moreover, psychological factors like stress and self-consciousness can also come into play and offset some of the benefits of morning sex. Morning sex is definitely worth exploring if it suits you—the boost of chemicals like oxytocin and dopamine released during sex can help you start your day feeling good, and it can help if you're looking for an extra kick in your erections. But otherwise, you're not missing too much if you prefer to bonk it out after the sun goes back down. Want your passion for wellness to change the world?

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She received her M. May 8, Is it better to have sex in the morning? Your sex hormones are higher in the morning. But mornings may not affect women's sexual desire as much. You may have more energy in the morning. Psychological factors can make sex in the morning more stressful. The bottom line. Kelly Gonsalves is a multi-certified sex educator and relationship coach based in Brooklyn, as well as the sex and relationships editor at mindbodygreen.

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The Reason You Should Be Having Afternoon Sex