kissI came across this recent study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine that examined the patterns of sexual activity across the menstrual cycle for women who are single and those who are in long-term (longer than 6 months) monogamous relationships.

And the results are not only interesting–they really serve as a good reminder about the best way to use your cycle to get the most out of your sex life.

In the study, 1,180 women between 18 and 40 were asked to keep a diary of their intimate activities over the course of one whole menstrual cycle.

And what did the researchers discover from these daily logs?

Women with long-term partners engage in sexual activities–intercourse and masturbation–more often on the weekend. 

Single women, on the other hand, are intimate throughout the week, not favoring any specific days.

Additionally, single women get physical more frequently during ovulation–at the end of their Week 2–and are less likely to do so during menstruation than women with a partner.

So, what are the takeaways here?

First off, let me remind you that your very best days for intimate fun are during your Week 2 (which starts 8 days from the onset of your period and ends with ovulation).

On these days, your high estrogen and a brief spike in testosterone rev your desire, give you more all-over tingles and thrills, increase lubrication and make it easier for you to orgasm.

Of course, these aren’t the only days you’ll enjoy getting physical–alone or with a partner. During your period and on the days right before your period your desire tends to spike, too–likely as a side effect of nerve endings getting stimulated by all the goings-on down below.

However, it really is Week 2–and during ovulation specifically–that every cycling woman worth her salt should be aiming for if she wants to enjoy the most intense pleasure she’ll experience during her entire cycle.

So with these facts in mind, let’s break down what’s happening with women and sex across the menstrual cycle according to this study:

Clearly, hitched ladies are prioritizing their work calendar over their menstrual cycle calendar–scheduling intimacy for the weekends, presumably, when they have more time and energy rather than on the days they’ll enjoy passionate fun the most.

Women with long-term partners are also more comfortable engaging in adult play during menstruation–probably because they have a higher comfort level with someone they’ve been with for awhile.

Meanwhile, single ladies are more likely to pay heed to their biological drives and rein in a partner–or go it solo–during their Week 2 when high estrogen and testosterone are intensifying desire and intimate pleasure.

However, singletons are less comfortable with play during their period–probably because of a lower comfort level with a short-term partner.

This means that we can all really learn something from one another here:

Women in long-term pair-ups: If you’re a weekend warrior, then try to break out of your end-of-the-week rut and fit in at least a quickie mid-week during your Week 2. The extra thrills and total satisfaction you experience will remind you why scheduling intimacy around your hormone cycle is way more fulfilling than doing it around your work schedule.

Women who are single: If you’re one of those who avoids playtime during your period, shake off your self-consciousness. If the mood strikes and you’re menstruating, simply do it in the shower. Or lay down a towel. Or use an Instead Softcup, which is a diaphragm-shaped menstrual cup that fits inside you and neatly collects fluid without your partner even feeling it. (I don’t get paid to endorse this product–I just love it and have used it myself.) You’ll be happier. Your partner will be happier. Everyone will have a good time. And, you’ll reduce your squeamishness about these days, opening up a whole additional week for fun.

Never miss a single Hormonology tip:
Click here to subscribe to the free Hormonology newsletter today!