Are you a lark or an owl? Larks are morning persons while evening persons are owls. This morningness or eveningness is referred to as chronotype. Whether you’re an owl or a lark will depend on your biological clock as well as your psychological circadian rhythm. It all varies depending on the individual, and it may change, over time, too.
What’s interesting about chronotypes is that it also applies to one’s preference for when to have sex. If you think back, do you really prefer having sex at night, or is it just because that’s the way your partner wants it? A recent study looked at whether chronotype similarities between partners influenced sexual and relationship satisfaction. Here are the key takeaways from the study.
Preferred Time For Sex
3 AM – 6 AM.
The researchers used 3-hour intervals to measure the participants’ preferred time for sex, from 3 AM – 6 AM, 6 M – 9 AM, 9 AM – 12 PM, and so on. It was interesting that of the 91 couples (91 males and their female partners), none of the participants in the study chose 3 AM – 6 AM either as their preferred time for having sex or the actual time for having sex.
6 AM – 9 AM vs. 9 PM – 12 AM.
For male morning persons, the preferred time for having sex was between 6 and 9 in the morning, as reported by half of those who had high scores on morningness. For those who scored high on eveningness, on the other hand, more than 70% reported they preferred having sex between 9 PM and midnight. This shows that there is an actual significant difference in the preferred time for having sex between men who are morning persons and men who are owls.
For the female participants, however, their chronotype did not appear to influence their preferred time for sex.
The only trend the researchers found was that women who were morning persons were likely to prefer having sex before 9 PM, whereas female evening persons preferred having sex after 9 PM.
Female preference influenced actual time of sex.
The researchers found that it was the female partner’s preferred time for having sex that heavily influenced the actual time for sexual activity. Thus, for most of the couples, sex usually happened at night at around 9 PM.
Lower satisfaction in morning men.
In couples wherein the male had morning chronotypes, there was a huge gap between preferred and actual time for having sex. The researchers observed that men who were morning-types were less likely to be satisfied, both with the relationship and sexually. This is because of the huge gap in the preferred time for sex between partners. As one might imagine, a morning-type man desiring sex early in the morning will have to wait for more than half a day just to be able to have sex at around 9 PM when his partner is more receptive to sexual intercourse.
Chronotype similarity works for the women.
When it comes to similarities in chronotypes, the researchers found that when the couples are both morning persons or both of them are evening persons, the female partner was more likely to be express relationship satisfaction. However, chronotype similarity did not appear to influence the men’s relationship satisfaction.
Sexual satisfaction depended on lower discrepancies between preferred and actual time for having sex.
The researchers noted that if the preferred and actual time for having sex was almost similar, the participant was more likely to report sexual satisfaction. The opposite of this is the trend observed among men who were morning persons. Since their partners preferred having sex at night, there was a huge discrepancy between the men’s preferred time and the actual time when they engaged in sex. Thus, these morning men reported lower sexual satisfaction, as compared to evening-type men who were more in sync with their partners.
Other Observations Regarding Preferred Time For Sex
Women looking for long-term relationships prefer men who have the same chronotypes as they do.
Comparing the results of the study with previous studies, the researchers noted that for women, chronotype similarity was important if they were focused on having a long-term relationship. However, if it’s only a short-term relationship, chronotype similarities did not matter as much to women. Hence, for short-term relationships, women preferred men who were evening persons. This is also related to another study’s findings that evening-type men had more mating success, meaning they had more female sexual partners than morning-type men did.
Women are more influenced by culturally approved norms for sexual activities.
Citing a previous study, the researchers observed that the female participants preferred having sex at night regardless of whether they were evening-type or not because nighttime is the “culturally approved” time for having sexual intercourse. Men, on the other hand, were less likely to be influenced by culture or social variables when it comes to their preference for when to have sex.
Men’s sexual desires are stronger and more frequent.
Because of this, men are more likely to adjust to their partner’s preferred time for having sex and are willing to wait for the time when their female partners indicated they were willing to have sex. Moreover, the researchers considered that women reported having a lesser interest in sexual activities when they were in a bad mood. Men’s sexual desires, on the other hand, were less likely to be affected by whether they were in a bad mood or not. In short, even if a man is having a bad mood, his desire for sex is not necessarily diminished.
The Bottom Line
Although this study may not necessarily reflect time preference for having sex in different countries or cultures, it still offers valuable insights. Once you know whether your partner is a morning-type or an evening-type person, you can make adjustments to your actual time for having sex to improve your relationship and sexual satisfaction.
Of course, communication between partners is very important in any relationship. Talking with your partner about your chronotype and preferred time for having sex may help you both gain a better understanding of your sexual desires, and hopefully, increase your sexual satisfaction. Moreover, improved communication between partners also contributes to better relationship satisfaction. Feel free to share the results of this study with your partner.
Jocz P, Stolarski M, Jankowski KS. Similarity in Chronotype and Preferred Time for Sex and Its Role in Relationship Quality and Sexual Satisfaction. Frontiers in Psychology. 2018;9:443. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00443.