Humans are creatures of habit. Most of us don’t even blink about it when it comes to whether or not to keep the lights on during sex and intimate time. Each of us has a go-to behavior and a way of doing it, and most people never even question breaking the routine.
Most surveys and polls do suggest that “lights off” is a common preference not just among Americans, but in the Old Continent as well*. But I find these surveys very limited; they are definitely not representative enough to make much of them.
I am gonna go right to the point: Why is keeping the lights on crucially important for better sex and a more fulfilling sex life?
- Self confidence and loving your own body. Seeing our partner value and cherish our body during love-making can help you accept and embrace your beauty. Radical self-love is something we should all practice more often.
- Appreciating and knowing your partner’s body. Same goes for your partner: if you’re not used to seeing them in their full true self, how are you going to fully appreciate them? Maybe their calves look really hot is some particular sex position. Maybe their face is so gorgeous while experiencing pleasure. Get to really know them and learn new things about their body.
- Receiving feedback. Maintaining full visual contact and not being in the dark will allow you to read the signals and messages their body conveys. Listen to what they have to say, not just to their words. Pay attention to their fingers, their toes, their skin, their gaze. All that can give you a lot of feedback on how you’re doing, whether they like what you’re doing, what feels less enjoyable.
- Building intimacy. Nudity is a special form of being vulnerable. Being naked and really looking at each others’ bodies might be intense, even overwhelming at first; it might make you feel too emotional, or too “exposed”. Being together and embracing this kind of awkwardness will bring you and your partner closer and will allow you to develop something deeper.
- It’s sexy. Watching yourselves have sex could be really, really hot. Get frisky! You can try doing it in front of a mirror. You can even imagine that the people you’re seeing are complete strangers and you’re sneaking a peek at their sex life. Unleash your voyeuristic self. C’mon. Everybody has a voyeur inside of them!
- Makes sleep time and sexy time two different things. You’re going to enjoy sex so much more if you own it. Learn to ask for it, and to know what’s what. Sexy time isn’t sleep time. Have sex because you want to, not because you happen to share the same bed and do it half-assedly before going to sleep. Even if that’s not your intention, keeping sex in the dark could make it come off that way: as if having sex was some kind of compromise, instead of a full-hearted enthusiastic decision. That honors your partner more, but also honors your own needs and desires.
- Unshames sex. For most of us, since we were kids, explicitly or implicitly we were taught that sex is shameful and dirty. You do it behind closed doors, you don’t speak of it with others; keep it quiet and keep it in the dark — literally and metaphorically. Repeating these bad habits further consolidates the belief that sex is dirty. Rewire yourself and unlearn these bad associations.
You can try it slowly at first. Use romantic or sensual dimmed lights, candles or anything you and your partner enjoy. Find the lighting that works best for you and fits the kind of sex you are having. Don’t be afraid to ask for “lights on”! Open up the conversation or even share this article with your lover.
* Some surveys on sexual behaviors:
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