Morning Breath Meets Morning Wood: Radical Intimacy the Morning After.

Via Zoë Kors
on Mar 10, 2014
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morning filter

“I met my old lover on the street last night. She seemed so glad to see me, I just smiled. Then we talked about some old times and we drank ourselves some beers, still crazy after all these years.”

~ Paul Simon

I had dinner with an ex-lover last weekend. He waited until we ordered and then looked directly at me across the table and said, “I read your article, 6 Ways to Have Radically Intimate Sex, and you forgot the biggest one.”

I looked back at him trying to detect if he was serious or just playfully sparring. He was serious.

“Yes? Which one did I miss?” I said with tentative curiosity. Without hesitation, he said, “Morning Sex.” It came out of his mouth like the moderator at a spelling bee, each syllable deliberately and matter-of-factly articulated.


I felt my chest and throat tighten. My resistance tells me I am at my edge. He’s right. Morning sex is radically intimate.

“Oh right, I forgot that about you,” I replied.

I love middle-of-the-night sex—the kind when it’s pitch black and you’re half asleep, when a good naked spoon slowly becomes a fork—but when the sun streams through the windows, I usually want to sneak out undetected. As a boyfriend of mine once said upon waking, “You look like you’ve been dragged through a hedge backwards.” Even his charming London accent didn’t soften the blow. I am not a morning person by nature. Having post-coital company exacerbates this condition.

In the days after our dinner, the conversation stayed with me. I asked my ex-lover to tell me what he loves about morning sex. This is what he said:

“I love watching the woman I have been intimate with stirring in the morning light. It’s like that Leonard Cohen lyric, “I loved you in the morning, our kisses deep and warm, your hair upon the pillow like a sleepy golden storm…”’

Morning is

A time of true heartfelt exchange

And then…without the liquid intoxication

It’s like first steps again

Freshness of the skin sensations

Eye to eye acknowledgement and smiles

A playful scene

Kissing past the bad breath and leftover scents

A reconvening

I love the force of sobriety

If you can fuck in the morning, you can win the world

Maybe it’s like blowing off the ash of the fire burned the night before and then feeding it again.

His words moved me. This is a man who is not afraid to feel. I know well the benefits of radical intimacy; the deep connection that is made through mutual vulnerability—the healing that comes from being seen and from the witnessing of another. I want to feel about morning sex the way he does.

“What would have to happen for that to happen?” I asked myself. It’s not easy—but it’s simple.

I would embrace my imperfections. I would be naked in broad daylight. I would love my scars that grace my body after 17 surgeries. I would rock my bed head like it was the mane of the goddess mother herself.

I would see my pale cheeks and bare lips as an expression of natural beauty.

The great researcher and author, Brené Brown, says that people who live “wholeheartedly” believe that what makes them vulnerable makes them beautiful. I imagine a space where physical imperfections actually make me more beautiful—because I embrace them with courage and the kind of self-love and compassion that it takes to dance naked in the sunlight with a lover, without shame. I want to live there.

And as far as the morning breath goes, I have found that a single sip of bubbly water from a bottle—strategically placed on the nightstand the night before—has a way of freshening a morning mouth.


Editor: Jenna Penielle Lyons

Photo: elephant archives


Relephant Reads:

6 Ways to Have Radically Intimate Sex

4 Things to Stop Worrying about When it Comes to Sex

I’d Never Marry You, But Can We Still be Friends? 


Walk the Talk with Waylon Lewis:

Love elephant and want to go steady?

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About Zoë Kors

Zoë Kors is a writer, speaker, coach, and founder of The Big Libido, and other programs for women. She is committed to shifting the way we hold our sexuality, both individually and culturally, and to cultivating a sisterhood of wildly-expressed women. She lives in Los Angeles with her daughter, son, and dog. She can be found at, on Facebook and Twitter


14 Responses to “Morning Breath Meets Morning Wood: Radical Intimacy the Morning After.”

  1. kristine says:

    I love morning sex. There is something so intimate about it. You said it all. After 3 sections my body is no beauty either.

  2. Zoe Kors says:

    Kristine, good on you!

  3. Maryrose says:

    This is wonderfully written. I never thought about radical intimacy and yes, totally agree! In fact, I would go to say it's very rare but when you find that one who is able to "go there" with you or take you there with him/her, then appreciate it! Thanks for this!

  4. ajs says:

    it's always my favorite, even if i'm a girl and have self esteem issues just like the rest of ya'll. i dream about it frequently being single for so long, and wake up most mornings thinking about it, then attempt my morning meditation distracted 😉 i often wonder about someone who will want me in the morning too… it's the best way to wake up i think 🙂 makes me a morning person for sure, even if i wouldn't want to see anyone else for hours 🙂

  5. jfl01111 says:

    "…the deep connection that is made through mutual vulnerability…"
    Perfect combination of words…hit me like a ton o' bricks. I'm not a morning person, myself, but I do love morning sex.

  6. jannerobinson says:


    Such a big YES and laugh and smile it will reach you all the way in LA. Thank you Zoe, this freaking rocked.

    "I would embrace my imperfections. I would be naked in broad daylight. I would love my scars that grace my body after 17 surgeries. I would rock my bed head like it was the mane of the goddess mother herself.

    I would see my pale cheeks and bare lips as an expression of natural beauty."

    I look like I've been to an alice cooper concert with drool cracked on my face most mornings- white pillow covers are jesus. I feel you sister.

    with love,


  7. colleen says:

    "If you can fuck in the morning, you can win the world"….Brilliant! This piece was so perfectly written, beautiful word combinations and then the occasional explosive sentences like the above. Really enjoyed this….keep writing!

  8. Zoe Kors says:

    Thanks for your kind words, everyone. Very sweet.

  9. lynn says:

    I never used to like it, but until recently I wait for it!! I wake with such a pure smile and a great hug goodbye for the day, just makes me feel whole

  10. Kris says:

    I’ve never been a morning person either, and lord knows I have a long list of insecurities! I have been single for awhile, but recently I went out with an old flame and let’s just say that the fire is still burning bright. We spent a few days together and every morning he woke me up by snuggling closer to me and then slowly leaving a trail of kisses on my neck, cheek, and lips, that ended with him rolling on top of me and… it was a GOOD morning. At first, I was hesitant. I hate morning breath, and as he kept trying to kiss me I would turn my head and giggle and tell him that I hadn’t brushed my teeth yet. Finally he just looked at me and said that it didn’t matter, we both had morning breath and then he kissed me full on. I realized he was totally right, so I relaxed and just let it happen. Bright daylight, morning breath, crazy hair, smeared make-up that I hadn’t had the chance to take off from the night before, I was a hot mess! To him though, I was just hot, and he wanted me, and he made sure to tell me (and show me) so. That made me feel powerful, and glorious, and so FEMININE! It was wonderful. So, I’ve made peace with the good ol’ morning romp. I will, however, keep some sparkling water on my nightstand from now on. 😉

  11. Zoe Kors says:

    Ahhh, Kris…I love to hear this. Thank you for sharing it. There is something irresistible about a man who love to just dive in (so to speak). 🙂

  12. Danielle says:

    so awesome to put feelings into words….ps. <3 Brene Brown.

  13. Emma says:

    This is so great!!!

    And also, citrus (i.e an orange/ grapefruit/ lemon) iS AMAZING for morning breath, OR a little swig of whiskey used as mouth wash 🙂
    That's a lot of scars! MPS dolphin neurostim and myofascial release can be SO helpful! <3 <3 <3

  14. Barbara says:

    Love the line “if you can fuck in the morning you can win the world” yes!