Do more people have sex with the lights on or off? The illuminating answer is here

Sex with the lights on or off? The long-debated topic has been revisited

Woman in bed reaching to turn off bedside lamp, sex with the lights on or off
(Image credit: Getty)

"Alexa, turn off the lights. But wait..."

Sex with the lights on or off—a long-debated conundrum—has been revisited by the experts at Adam & Eve, a virtual home for adult toys and different types of vibrators. Given that we've also pondered the best time of the day to have sex, there should be no surprise that the right bedroom environment is of the utmost importance as well.

But you might be surprised by the findings. While some are overly concerned with the ambiance, others are hyper-focused on orgasms, (blended orgasms if they're lucky). Before reaching for the lamp, learn a little bit more about Adam & Eve's (opens in new tab) survey results.



Sex with the lights on or off?

Back in 2011, Adam & Eve posed the question about lights on or off to its audience. The results are as follows: 

  • 48% like to switch it up (on and off)
  • 41% like the lights off
  • 10% like the lights on
  • 1% do not have a preference

The sexperts decided to take another look at the question a decade later, and it seems responders aren't really terribly invested in the mood of the room. However, the percentage of those who like a little light (sunset lamps, anyone?) remained consistent. Here's what people thought in 2021: 

  • 32% like to switch it up (on and off) 
  • 28% like the lights off
  • 11% like the lights on
  • 29% do not have a preference

All in all, the pros were not terribly shocked with what they uncovered. 

"For most couples, having the lights on or off depends on the situation, mood and time of day," said Dr. Jenni Skyler, a resident sexologist at Adam & Eve. "I'm pleased to see the number of people who prefer lovemaking with the lights off has gone down. While making love in the dark can be a sensory heightening experience, I encourage all couples to feel comfortable and uninhibited with the lights on as well."

What's with all the sex questions?

How long should sex last? How often should you have sex? We're so busy looking for answers and attempting to be led in the "right" direction that it's relatively easy to become stressed about sex. So many logistics can take the fun and emotion out of the equation entirely. 

All in all, it's important to remember that there's no magic number, appropriate amount of light or ideal setting to make things perfect, or whatever you perceive to be perfect. It should be all about what works well for you and your partner. 

When discussing sexual frequency, one sexpert's opinion will shut down that nagging voice inside your head for good, no matter what you're debating.

"The pressure stems from wanting to 'keep up with the Jones' or wanting to feel 'normal' or have a 'normal' sex life," says sexologist Marla Renee Stewart, MA, a sexpert for Lovers (opens in new tab). "However, you really don't know what is going on in people's relationships, so it's best not to compare yours to anyone else's."

Bottom line? Do whatever you want—lights or no lights!

Danielle is a writer for woman&home and My Imperfect Life, covering all-things news, lifestyle and entertainment. 


The heart of her time at Future has been devoted to My Imperfect Life, where she's been attuned to the cosmos and honed in on astrology coverage within the Life vertical. She's partial to writing pieces about the next big TV obsession—anyone else impatiently waiting for "Conversations with Friends"—and keeping you up to date on new trends like the latest must-have from Zara. 


Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids and a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, amNewYork and Newsday, among other outlets. 


When Danielle is not working, you can usually find her reading a new book, coffee at hand, or attempting a new recipe. (Recommendations always welcome!)