On the flip side, at about 3:00 each afternoon I could be most accurately compared to a bitch in heat. Unfortunately for me, during this time, my husband is always relentlessly focused on something else: he is at work and not up for a romp in his office; he is watching college football and cannot be wrenched away from the TV and his beloved Ohio State Buckeyes; he is tinkering with the leaf guards on the gutters for the tenth time this week to ensure maximum autumn leaf-fall protection. I could gallivant around naked carrying a huge picket sign reading “DO ME NOW” and the man would be completely oblivious to my advances.
Synching up with your partner sexually is a challenge many couples face. When a relationship is fresh and new most couples are raring to go regardless of the time on the clock. Over time, however, the honeymoon stage ends, one’s hormones return to normal and before you know it, you are dressed up in a Slutty Stewardess outfit gyrating in front of the flatscreen while your husband informs you that you make a better door than a window. What gives?
Sexologists agree that this scenario is quite common among couples and further, it can be backed by science. Just as we all have circadian rhythms that cue up our sleep and wake cycles, people also have rhythms that trigger the times we are most likely to want and enjoy sex. Unfortunately, these cycles do not always match up among the sexes and even within a sex, these cycles can vary from person to person.
Generally speaking, a man’s testosterone peaks in the morning between 6 and 8:00. A woman’s sexual desire also tends to peak between 6 and 8:00—in the evening. He wants it at this time, she wants it at that time…how can a couple sync up their biological clocks so they both want it at the same time?
Because of the demands of fulltime work, raising families and home responsibilities, studies have found that most couples end up having sex late at night when, biologically, neither of them are hard-wired to want it. Of course this does not mean that they don’t want to have sex, but the chances of drawing maximum enjoyment is likely compromised.
Rather than have sex when they have to, with a little creativity and planning, couples can have sex when they want to. While there is little that can be done to alter Mother Nature and the different times the sexes’ hormones peak, people are very capable of changing their attitudes and making small alterations to their schedules. The key word here is compromise. Sexpert Michelle Weiner-Davis, founder of divorcebusters.com advises that if a couple is doin’ it a few times a week, the partners should strive to divide the encounters equally between the times each partner wants it. She claims that with some planning this is very doable (no pun intended!) and that each partner will grow more receptive to having sex at the time of day that isn’t “his” or “hers”.
Following Weiner-Davis’ advice, I set my alarm clock for 5:45 this morning to give myself time to wake up. I brushed my teeth and demanded my husband follow suit because nothing turns me off faster than morning breath. By 6:00 I was fairly awake, or as awake as I was going to be without my morning Starbucks run. Much to my surprise (and enjoyment, ecstasy and satisfaction…) the AM wakeup call went very well and put an extra spring in my step. I have found that I am even more motivated to do my work today. What’s more, I’m anticipating this evening when my hubby plans to willingly part from his sports programming to indulge me—the first time in recent memory that I haven’t been forced to compete for his affections with the likes of Kirk Herbstreet and Stuart Scott.
The bottom line: you can’t change your sexual circadian rhythm. However, just because people’s urges vary at different intervals during the day, it doesn’t mean that any couple has to settle for an unsatisfying sex life. With a little compromise, creativity and planning, both partners’ needs can be met and desires fulfilled.