There are little things that make me feel less sexy than feeling my sweat-drenched thighs peeling off a chair.
Apart from, perhaps, the film of sweat on my upper lip and chin. Or my swollen feet. Or the sun burn on my shoulders.
Let’s clarify this first: It’s tricky to say for certain whether people actually do have more sex in the summer than they do in the winter.
Research suggests that in southern and tropical climates, fewer babies are conceived in the hotter months, but it’s not clear whether this is because people don’t try for a baby as often when it’s hot, or if the decrease is down to a dip in the quality of sperm thanks to the heat.
In cooler climates, however, peak birth rates tend to hit in the spring, nine months after summertime… so perhaps it’s not necessarily the heat itself that makes us fancy sex, but the shake up of our usual routine: If you live in a place where the heat is oppressive and overwhelming in the summer, you might not feel particularly sexy, while Brits will get excited over even a hint of a heatwave.
There hasn’t yet been any research asking people to track the frequency of their sex depending on the temperature, sadly, so we don’t have any data to go off that isn’t to do with baby-making – which rules out all the potential summer sex that’s happening with contraception.
What we do know, though, is that our interest in sex increases in the summer.
Research has revealed that sex-related Google searches – such as searches for porn or access to sex workers – occur most frequently in the summer.
And Adam Lewis, Hot Octopuss Co-Founder, tells Metro.UK: ‘We notice an increase in sales of our toys every summer – both those intended for solo use and those aimed at couples. Maybe it’s all the flesh on display, maybe it’s a seasonal effect on libido, but it certainly seems that when the sun shines, people feel sexier.
The reasons behind us all becoming hornier in the summer months are a mixture of socialisation, psychological factors, and the physical stuff.
Let’s start with the social side of things.
Thanks to summer breaks from school and sunny holidays, we’re conditioned to think of summer as a time to cut loose, ditch work and responsibility, and embrace our hedonistic desires. We eat mounds of ice cream, we down cocktails, and we spend our days lazing in the pub or sunning in our gardens rather than getting our hustle on.
It’s reasonable that being in that frame of mind makes us want to get more sexual, too, especially as we’re likely to be more relaxed and free of the niggling stresses that throw a bucket of cold water over our sexual desire.
Then there’s the increase in visual stimulation: When it’s hot, there’s more skin on show. Seeing potential mates stroll around in bikinis, sundresses, or jorts (sexy, sexy jorts) is bound to get us going.
Thanks to the conversation around cuffing season and summer romances, we’re also encouraged to have all the casual sex we fancy in the summer, while in colder months there’s a looming sense that any snuggly boning means you’re going to get locked into a relationship.
But there’s more going on than the joy of ice cream and skimpy clothing.
‘Summer sunshine promotes extra release of serotonin and dopamine,’ psychologist Dr Cliff Arnall tells Metro Uk. ‘These are two of the most energising and positive neurochemicals in the human brain.
‘For a healthy sex drive both of these chemicals need to be present in decent amounts, together with some giggles and being relaxed.’
The additional vitamin D production we experience thanks to exposing ourselves to the sun can help things along, too, as some people will experience an increase in production of oestrogen and tesosterone as a result, upping their sex drive.
Exposure to the sun can also drop melatonin levels – handy, as melatonin can block sex hormones.
Your sweat might play a role, also, as it helps us to spread our unique, seductive scent, getting potential mates aroused and attracted.
The only tricky thing is that while your sex drive may increase on a hormonal and subconscious level, the idea of having sex when it’s 30 degrees can feel nausea-inducing, meaning you’re all fired up with nowhere to go (or nowhere to come, rather). That can lead to frustration, which only gets worse when the summer’s hot and we’re all more irritable.
Our advice: Embrace your newfound horniness, do away with any insecurities about your sweat or chub rub or your salt water soaked hair (your partner’s just as susceptible to the summer sex drive boost, so they really won’t be bothered), and keep things chilled.
Don’t overexert yourself, – not even an orgasm is worth heat stroke and dehydration – make the adjustments you need to keep things cool, and don’t let your horny summer brain make you do stupid things like attempting sex in a field (think of the bug bites) or in someone’s pool.
Read more at Metro