Stress and food and alcohol overconsumption make people feel less amorous, and researchers found that
You’re not alone if you feel less amorous at Christmas. A study shows that interest in sex decreases in the run-up to Christmas, whether it is the tension of last-minute gift shopping or overconsumption of food and alcohol. At different times of the year, researchers have long observed differences in birth rates, but it was unclear if this was the result of seasonal changes in fertility or sexual activity. Laura Symul of Stanford University in California and her colleagues used data from the Clue women’s health app, which included confidential sexual activity logs from over 500,000 women in the United Kingdom, France, Brazil, and the United States, to investigate. “It’s self-reported, but it’s still the largest dataset of real-time reports of women’s sexual activity,” Symul said. Research has shown that holidays have always been correlated with an increase in sexual activity, including public holidays and Valentine’s Day. Micaela Martinez of Columbia University in New York, who was also interested in the study, said, ‘There was also a very clear disparity between weekends and weekdays – people have more sex on weekends.’ “This suggests that free time with an intimate partner facilitates sex. “The records revealed, however, that for many women, the three days before Christmas are a no-go zone.
For younger or childless women, this could be because they spend Christmas with their parents rather than their husband, Symul said. Other factors could be at play for mothers, especially working ones, said Dr. Kate Boyer, a lecturer at Cardiff University in human geography, who was not involved in the research. “Christmas brings with it a lot of work and expectations, from organizing and wrapping presents to getting the home ready to preparing special meals and perhaps making Christmas cards,” she said. There is no one at home in most households who can make this “holiday work” a priority, so it ends up stretched between work and childcare.
That’s not a sexy-feeling formula. Once Christmas was upon us, things changed, with Clue users showing a gradual rise in sexual activity that lasted from Boxing Day through the New Year. The largest increase was seen on New Year’s Day, but any sexual activity after midnight on December 31 will also count as sex on New Year’s Day due to the way the app operates. Does Covid mean that you spent your first Christmas alone? Let me
But, according to statistical research, it could be explained in conjunction with seasonal fluctuations in human fertility, peaking in the fall and early winter. We assume that these two things combine to form the real world’s seasonal birth rate, said Martinez. If the seasonal fertility pattern they found is actual, compared to true seasonal breeders such as sheep or hamsters, it appears to be relatively small, said David Ray, an Oxford University professor of endocrinology. “It’s probably more of an interesting thing than it is medically important,” he said. “However, the findings also fit with recent research suggesting that there are seasonal variations in the human immune response,” he said. “Although humans may have evolved in equatorial countries where seasonal reproduction was not as important as in temperate mammals, there may be rudimentary seasonal circuitry in us that can be detected if you study large enough numbers of humans,” Ray said.