Why sex is more important during the holidays than ever

Dec 3, 2015 at 8:30 a.m. ET
Image: Jessica Peterson/Getty Images

Holiday soirees, baking, shopping, Santa and lost sanity! Something’s gotta give right? Unfortunately, for many people that something is snogging. But there are very viable reasons why sex shouldn’t be sacrificed this season.

“Partner sex, masturbation or any kind of erotic play is an antidote to the hustle, bustle, shopping frenzy, and familial obligations that often come with the winter holidays,” says Carol Queen, Ph.D., Good Vibrations Staff Sexologist.Sure, you could meditate… but this way, you have a shot at an orgasm!”

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With that in mind, check out these reasons for keeping ho, ho, ho from limiting your oh, oh, oh.

1. It’s a one-way ticket to feel good hormones that works every time

When you feel you’re about to lose it and break down, grab your sig-o immediately and release that emotional stress into a physical expression of love and pleasure. “You may think that’s a ridiculous suggestion, but endorphins and oxytocin are released during sex, and these feel-good hormones trigger the brain to create feelings of intimacy and relaxation, which can help reduce anxiety, sadness and depression,” says Dana B. Myers, sexpert and founder of The Booty Parlor. “Yes, the emotions about the fight you just had with [insert family member here] will still be there, but after an orgasm, you’ll feel more relaxed and supported, and in a better place to sort out your feelings.” As for what to do with the kids while you're getting busy? Let them watch A Christmas Story for the 1000th time.

2. It’s a great way to remind yourself you’re an adult

Taking a time out just for each other is a vital reconnection and reminder of why you’re together… and that you’re not 7 years old and can make your own decisions. Family time can sometimes feel a little infantilizing; you drop into old patterns with siblings, parents, grandparents,” says Dr. Queen. “Sex re-establishes you as an adult on your own terms.”

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It can also help soothe stress within a couple, especially those who are trying to juggle multiple holiday celebrations. “The holidays can be decidedly stressful — how do you split your time between families? Do you part ways and each go to your respective family of origin, or try to do it all? This can be an even bigger challenge if you’re not married and your families may not take your relationship as seriously as they would if you were hitched and busy making grandkids, and it may be way worse for queer partners, whose families may not acknowledge or respect their partnership at all,” says Dr. Queen. “In the midst of all this, a little sexual healing can definitely help.” 

3. It counts as a workout, which also reduces stress

No time to hit the gym during the holidays? Hit the sheets instead! In the fantastic news category, it seems that sex counts as cardio and can burn anywhere from 85 to 250 calories depending on the session (in other words, make it a little longer if you had three pieces of pie). What’s more? A study appearing in the American Journal of Cardiology showed that having sex at least twice a week can stave of cardiovascular disease. Plus, it’s definitely more energizing than a cup of eggnog.

4. Sex embodies the magical feeling that we crave during the holidays

When did the holidays get so serious? What happened to the sense of wonder and magic that used to embody this time of year? Well, sex is your chance to bring a little playtime back! “Surprising your guy with a sexy elf costume can instantly infuse your holiday love life with newness, excitement and variety — which is crucial to keeping a long-term relationship fresh, and especially good to do during busy, hectic times,” says Myers. “Tying yourself up in a red bow and a jingle bell thong says, ‘Let’s pause and have some fun! I love you, I’m thinking of you, and of us.’ Making this kind of fun, sexy, cheeky effort towards your sig-o is a big show of love that won’t soon be forgotten.” Plus, you’ll have a giggle and a good romp because of it.

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Can’t imagine dressing yourself up? Then consider gifting him a Santa thong or snowman g-string. “Your man will probably laugh, but he may also surprise you with a sexy Magic Mike-style performance!” says Myers. This kind of exchange will help you both drop the stress, connect with one another and embrace the sexiness of the season.

5. It’s prime time to explore solos and quickies that make your sex life better year-round

Busy, busy, busy. The holiday season can get so busy that sometimes you think there is no time to get busy! But there is always time for sex… it’s just about getting a little creative and working on your time management skills.

“Quickies and holiday season are synonymous, really — with so many people around and places to be, time is limited — so in advance, think about the various places you might like to try: in the shower, the closet, in the toolshed out in Grandma’s backyard, and invite your partner to think about his quickie wishes as well,” says Myers. “Make a game of it and then see how many you can bring to life over the course of the season.” You’ll feel as though you’ve got a secret thing happening, and it’ll both excite you and bring you closer.

Also, don’t forget the art of going solo! “Those who aren’t coupled up may really feel left out in the cold, even if they're happily single and mainly are just feeling the ‘only couples count’ vibe from their family or partnered friends,” says Dr. Queen. “Some solo erotic time can take the edge off and leave a quirky-alone feeling pleasured and independent.”

It’s also a good time to treat yourself to some new “toys” (who said kids are the only ones who should get them during the holidays?). “A quick O with yourself in between present wrapping and stocking stuffing can make all the difference in how relaxed and cheery you feel,” says Myers. “Indulge in a new rechargeable sex toy to travel with — that way, you’ll never find yourself stealing batteries from your Grandma Rose’s remote control.” 

In other words, go ahead and have a holly jolly OMG holiday — no one has to know your sexy little secret.