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Lights on During Sex, Yay or Nay?

Just like sex itself, everyone has their own preferences and reasons when it comes down to getting jiggy with it. We’ve all heard of setting the tone and mood lighting, but what about leaving the lights on? This seems to be a polarizing topic between people when it comes to intimacy.

Picture by Ella Byworth.

I took to asking a few of my friends how they felt about it.

“I do not want to see myself so I can hold on to the fantasy that I am extremely sexy.” Morgan Chavez, 24, says, adding on that “she prefers to use darkness as a filter.” She mentions having done it before but indicates that she will not be doing it in the foreseeable future.

Morgan, it's not a fantasy, you ARE sexy.

“I would prefer them [lights] to be on, so that #1 I can see what I’m doing and #2 that beautiful body” says Patrick Kelley, 24, (he’s my boyfriend, he has to say that) “Most guys I know want the lights on so they can look at titties and ass.”

How romantic.

“Personally I don’t like to have sex with the light on because it’s too bright and kills the mood a little.” Kerrianne Miller, 23, says, but adds, “I can get turned on with the light on, and then my morals (turning the lights off) go out the window. My sex morals, that is.”

Fair enough, I see you Kerrianne.

“I’ve never cared about whether the lights were on or not. There’s usually not enough blood left in my brain at that point to think about the lights." Anonymous male, 24, said, “Lights on? Dope. I get to see everything, that’s hot. Lights off? Dope, this is going to be more intimate and I know she’s comfortable. That’s hot. I’ll do whatever they want.”

Simple. Love to hear it.

“I feel like hooking up in general, if the light is on they can see every single flaw I have and I’d rather avoid that at all costs.” Sarah Iandoli, 23 claimed.

This is a lie because you simply have no flaws.

(Image by Prima)

From a few other friends, I gathered that my male counterparts had either no preference or wanted the lights on, claiming that they were visual people and liked being able to see everything.

From my female friends, it was mostly lights off, because they did not like the idea of another person seeing them in such a vulnerable state.

When I first started having sex I was doing it in the dark, isn’t that what most newbies do? Doing it any other way seemed awkward, intimidating, and significantly less appealing. Being in a dark room created somewhat of a safe space, kind of like a security blanket?

I always had bigger boobs growing up and at 16, I was very accustomed to having them secured in a bra and covered up. And then all of a sudden I’m supposed to let another person see them???? HUH??? That took some getting used to for sure. Now I’m out here bouncing around without a care in the world.


But anyways, that journey from me holding myself to certain standards that didn’t align with what felt good, to loving myself and not caring so much about what my partner thinks I look like did not happen overnight.

Body image issues are an incredibly difficult thing to deal with and can be extremely detrimental to intimacy. It causes people to obsess over flaws in themselves, whether they’re real or perceived.

For those of us who are hyper fixated on our “flaws”, it’s hard to push those thoughts out of your head while you’re trying to have enjoyable sex. You always think that the other person is going to get there, (there being your naked body) and then be like “ew, nevermind” as soon as they see you. AS IF that would ever happen.

Becoming comfortable with your body is a very intimate and personal process, and engaging in sex can be especially intimidating because sex creates an environment in which your body is seen in an entirely new and different light.

Everyone deserves an incredible sexual experience and no one is any less deserving simply because of personal issues or personal preference. Always make sure your partner is comfortable and open up a dialogue about what either of you like! Happy fucking.


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