6 reasons to have sex with the lights on, at least some of the time
If having sex with the lights on isn’t your idea of a good time, you're most definitely not on your own.
Adam & Eve conducted a survey to gauge people’s preferences. Of 1000 Americans over 18, 41% prefer the lights off, 48% like switching their romp-time lighting up, while just 10% prefer keeping the lights on. Unsurprisingly, many people are not comfortable being naked under bright lights. Let’s face it, the dark can be a welcomed break from being conscious about how you look.
At the same time, avoiding full exposure can mean avoiding a whole other dimension of sex. If it really does seem like a terrifying prospect, try turning on the lights after you’re turned on. Your inhibitions are lower when you’re aroused, after all.
Not convinced? Here are 6 fantastic reasons to step into the light:
1. You can do it anytime
Only shagging under the cover of darkness is pretty limiting. And hey, there is something to be said for the freedom to be spontaneous if the urge arises. Morning sex, for instance, is oh-so-good for ya. Leaving the lights on or doing it in the light of day (indoors? outdoors, anyone?) opens up a whole new world, friends.
2. You can see what you’re doing
Visual coaching is sometimes one’s friend in the delicate yet animalistic act of makin’ love. Some people (maybe you) require precise touches in specific places in order to up their pleasure factor. Then there's straight-up safety: darkness can increase the likelihood of accidental anal (I’ve heard this may actually be a thing) as well as condom mistakes, such as overlooking nicks or air bubbles—which can cause bursting.
3. It fosters intimacy
Being able to see your lover’s facial expressions is everything: feedback, for one thing, plus it's hot AF. Seeing their face makes it much clearer what they’re feeling. This is a great way to see if they’re diggin’ that new position or not, or if it’s time to take a little breather instead. On top of this, eye contact facilitates direct connectedness and bonding.
4. It can boost body confidence
When you essentially (paradoxically, perhaps) take control by letting yourself be revealed, it can be empowering, and deeply arousing. Sometimes letting go of thoughts about what you look like also facilitates your ability to let go and orgasm. Want lights but not bright lights? Try a candle first, maybe a lamp—there is nothing wrong with using light to set a mood and ease into things. Maybe at some point, you’ll suddenly graduate into full sun-through window pre-breakfast sexing. Till then.
5. You’re both erotic, visual creatures
"It's a myth that only men are visually oriented during sex," says New York City sex therapist Ian Kerner, Ph.D., author of She Comes First. But I didn’t need him to tell me that, personally. If you can't see your partner, you're missing out on some hot eye candy. What does your lover’s face look like when they come? Maybe he's a squinter. Maybe she’s a jaw-dropper. Either way, you've got to admit it’s beautiful to behold. And it’s pretty likely they’re fond of seeing your grand ascent too. Mmmm.
6. It can keep you awake
Many of us tend to have sex right before bed—after a long day. Sex educator Alix Fox points out that lights, in such cases, can keep you awake. “Switch the light out, and you’re more likely to pass out, without having gotten round to sharing a close moment together – and if this happens repeatedly over time, it can lead to resentment, dissatisfaction or sexual stagnation. Keeping the lights on can give you that extra burst of energy you need. And then afterward, you’ll sleep deeper than an all-bass choir transported to the bottom of the ocean in a submarine whilst discussing philosophy. Deep.”
Most (if not all) of us have some kind of body issue or insecurity, unfortunately. Personally, I was terrified of letting my man see my cellulite for the first time, even though my intellectual mind knows that 90% of women have it and that the stigma around it is therefore deeply gendered and therefore deeply misplaced. It’s worth acknowledging that while many men experience self-consciousness over their physical appearance as well, women do often bear the brunt of society’s scrutiny, although I do believe this is changing.
So if you do find yourself ashamed of your body, don’t beat yourself up over it. Be gentle and patient with yourself. Sometimes unlearning that self-doubt is better done in the light of day, when you can see yourself most clearly.