Q. On a staycation this summer, my husband and I ended up making love on a remote beach, and it was fantastic. It has given us a taste for sex outdoors. We know this won't be practical at home in the city, but is there a way we can continue it 'in spirit'?
A. I'd love to know where you were. People stayed home during lockdown, but the minute restrictions were lifted it seemed that just about every beach was flooded with people. And I imagine the sun was shining too.
As we slide inexorably into autumn, the prospect of a frolic in the dank grass does not sound quite so appealing.
You and your partner may never be able to recreate the languid intimacy of sun-drenched sex on a remote beach, but if you can isolate what it is that makes holiday sex so special, you can take a little of the magic home with you.
Although there are no academic papers on the subject of "sexual frequency on holiday", lots of travel companies have done surveys on the subject. In 2009, for example, Sunshine Holidays suggested after a survey that couples had four times more sex on holiday than they did at home. That's probably a stretch, but when you are completely relaxed, and listless afternoons are punctuated by nothing more taxing than an ice-cold beer, you do become more receptive to the idea of sex. In the vacuum created by the absence of distractions, you notice bodily sensations that might otherwise be missed. Instead of ignoring that little pelvic tingle, you attend to it, and before you know it you are getting it on before your evening sharpener.
Giving yourselves lots of time is, therefore, of primary importance if you want to hold on to some of the exquisite intimacy of your holiday lovemaking.
The other thing you need to do is crank up the heating and get your clothes off. Being naked in the house puts us in touch with our bodies in a way that doesn't happen when we are clothed, and it invariably increases the likelihood of sex. It also increases body confidence, which is hugely important. Research by the clinical psychologist Cindy Meston and a number of other academics has shown that people who are content with their bodies report fewer sexual difficulties, more sexual satisfaction, more frequent sex and more reliable orgasms. Now that's what I call a great holiday souvenir.
If you are seriously dedicated to the idea of sex outside, why not do it privately in your garden, after dark, under the stars? I am assuming here that your garden is not overlooked or that you have neighbours committed to being nosy. Have you heard of a bubble tent? They're large, inflatable, transparent dome tents - it could be quite romantic and prevent the wrong sort of goosebumps.
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