Some men are early risers in more ways than one, this much we know, with morning proven to be peak time for the male libido – and the genitals.
Men often want sex first thing, especially if they wake up aroused, and say their optimum booty time is 7.30am, according to a survey by IllicitEncounters.com.
Meanwhile, women most desire sex just before they go to sleep, pinpointing peak time for female passion as 10pm, as they prepare for bed,
This 14-and-a-half-hour time difference might not throw up scheduling difficulties for same-sex couples, but it can create serious tensions for heterosexual partners, with 64% of women and 38% of men saying they sometimes have sex with their partner when they don’t feel like it.
The survey of 2,000 people, split evenly between the sexes, found that more than half of women (53%) and a similar number of men (51%) said their sex drive was different to their partner’s.
Two thirds of men (64%) said they want more sex than their partner – that’s twice as many as the percentage of women (32%) who said the same.
What’s more, these mismatched sex drives have created relationship issues for 38% of men and 34% of women. That’s more than a third of us then.
But Jessica Leoni, sex and relationship expert says there is a way around sexual body clock issues.
“Your partner wakes up aroused and is always up for it first thing whereas you are not a ‘morning person’ and are worried about being late for work. It’s a common scenario but not an insurmountable one and, like most sex issues, it can be overcome with good communication and a little compromise,” Leoni tells HuffPost UK.
Change your bedtime or routine
Try going to bed earlier and maybe giving yourselves more time for intimacy in the mornings, Leoni suggests, or perhaps having a date night when you stay up.
“Talk to your partner and schedule sex when you do feel in the mood. Lots of couples are horrified by the idea of scheduling sex but what you are doing is prioritising your relationship and making sure you have enough time to enjoy it to the full,” says Leoni.
“If you both schedule sex, you are both bound to make more an effort – maybe by cooking a meal together beforehand or getting some chilled Prosecco to set the mood. What’s not to like about that?”
Communicate and compromise
“Compromise is always important, so why not take turns to initiate sex? Set a time frame, too, maybe at least once a week,” Leoni suggests.
“If your schedules are completely different and that is impacting on your sex life then work out ways to match them up better. Talk things through and make sure there are several windows in a week when, if you both feel like it, there is an opportunity to enjoy sex. Remove barriers to sex like the aversions to early mornings by slightly adjusting your routines.”
Get intimate in different ways
Leoni also suggests looking into the causes of why your libidos might not match at certain times – is it purely a timing thing, a more fundamental issue about a lack of desire for your partner, or is the morning / evening thing just an excuse for avoiding intimacy?
“Quality intimacy takes effort,” she says. “Not just through scheduling sex but working on enjoy intimacy outside the bedroom. Things like kissing that does not lead to sex and hugging, caressing and touching that has no expectation attached it. If you are genuinely tactile as a couple, the sex will take care of itself and mismatched timings won’t be an issue.”
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.