My husband and I have such great sex when we’re on holiday — but as soon as we’re home it becomes quite boring and monotonous again. How can I keep the holiday spirit alive at home?
There are no serious academic studies on the impact that holidays have on sexual frequency, but according to one survey 74% of British couples have sex every other day on holiday and more than 50% report having sex 10 times during a seven-night holiday.
While you may not be at that frequency, there are lots of obvious reasons why holidays are more conducive to good sex.
Not only are you likely to be more relaxed, you are probably spending more quality time with your partner than usual.
If you are in a hot climate you are probably wearing fewer clothes. Rubbing sun cream into each other’s skin, or messing around together in the sea, leads to the kind of playful, physical contact that encourages arousal. Throw in a few glasses of wine with lunch and your siesta is the perfect time for intimacy.
Bringing that kind of feelgood factor back in your suitcase isn’t easy. In an ideal world we would all preserve the weekends for languid love-making, but reality rarely co-operates.
We may fit in some sex with a little rigorous, if unromantic, scheduling, but putting things in a diary is no guarantee that they will happen.
We don’t set out to ignore our sexual relationships, but we do allow them to get buried under a multitude of commitments. And yet, when we take a holiday and peel ourselves away from the stuff that crowds out our lives, desire re-emerges almost instantly. Put simply, when you put a man and a woman who like each other together, and there is very little else to do, they will almost certainly have sex.
However, when you put a man and a woman who like each other together, and they both have mobile phones, they will often ignore each other and spend much of their time looking at screens.
As human beings we are creatures of habit, and we find it difficult to change our behaviour without a trigger or catalyst. No one is likely to put a gun to your head and tell you that you need to prioritise sex. You must make that decision for yourselves.
Putting some boundaries around your relationship in general, and your sexual relationship in particular, would really help. If you recognise that holiday sex is more exciting because there are no distractions and it is easier to focus on each other, make an effort to switch off some of the distractions at home.
Digital technology makes it harder to separate work and home, but keeping phones, iPads, laptops and TVs out of the bedroom defines it as a place for sex, snuggling and sleeping, not last-minute emails. Going to bed at the same time is also enormously important; in fact, separate bedtimes is something of a red flag because it often indicates sexual avoidance.
Taking a bath or a shower at night is also a great idea. Besides increasing the likelihood of oral sex, several studies have shown that warming your body by bathing and then taking 20 minutes to half an hour to let your skin temperature cool down while you have sex, creates the perfect conditions for restful sleep.
Environment is important too. If hotel rooms with crisp white sheets and hospital corners do it for you on holiday, recreate those clean lines in your bedroom at home.
Dump the junk. Buy new bed linen and add touches such as freshly cut flowers and scented candles.
You should also try to take more weekends away together. Whether you choose a five-star hotel or to sleep under the stars in a field by a brook, take yourselves away from the environment where sex feels like a chore that you have to fit in to a set time slot and you will automatically inject a little magic into the experience.
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