Is Light-On Sex Better Than Sex In the Dark? – maude Skip to content

A case for having sex with the lights on.

A case for having sex with the lights on.

Why Do We Famously “Do It In The Dark”?

Doing it in the dark is hardly a niche approach to sex. And while some of us are more viscerally sensitive to the effects of, say, fluorescent light bulbs than others, it can quickly become routine to lapse into lights-off fornication as the default. Which begs the question: Why? 

Naturally, there’s the most obvious answer: A shroud of darkness provides an immediate antidote to any form of self-consciousness, be it a question of body image or the occasional awkwardness embedded in the act of sex, itself. With regard to pleasure, the, umm, boning improves as both parties’ precariousness or personal insecurity melts away –– all of which is simplified under the cover of darkness. 

Beyond that, its been posited that lights-off sex makes it easier for both partners to reach completion because there are fewer available distractions. No matter where you’re getting down, it’s likely that any number of details in the space around you might catch your attention: Book titles on an array of spines, a mess in need of tidying, laundry that ought to be folded, etcetera. In the dark, while enduring some form of mild sensory deprivation, it can be far easier to focus on the task at hand: Orgasm. 

Moreover, there’s a case to be made for the sultry, romantic appeal of low light. While perhaps pitch dark is excessive, mood light can, in fact, have a real impact on your sex drive––so blown out grocery store bulbs can, in fact, operate as a “boner killer.”

And last but not least there’s the element of practicality: For plenty of folks engaging with partners for the first time, it follows that preliminary sex will often be nighttime sex. Post-standardized evening date or after-dark meet up, the lights are, well, already off. And if you and your partner of the moment intend to spend the night together, it means your transition into actual bedtime is that much smoother. 

On the contrary, though, there are plenty of reasons to subvert the ‘ol stab in the dark adage. In fact, lights-on sex, for plenty of people, is a non-negotiable. For starters, there’s an added intimacy to truly seeing your partner in full. Then, there’s the practical, mechanical benefit to seeing––with clarity––what you’re doing. Which is to say, odds are, your ability to pleasure your partner sufficiently will only increase (along with your ability to keep track of, say, a condom).  And on that note, reading facial cues is immeasurably easier when you can actually...see your partner’s face. 

Then, last but not least, while sex in the light can feel vulnerable at first, with time, it promotes a comfort in your own body––and with your partner’s body––while you explore new modes of pleasure. And in the long run, that one is sufficiently invaluable. 

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