The nights are closing in, the heating’s going on and we’re getting cosy beneath the sheets. But is libido really seasonal? This is everything you need to know about your sex drive.
BY THE ROAM TEAM 3 MIN READ
is someone's overall desire for anything sexual, and it can be affected by biological, psychological and social factors.
It’s not new news that how in the mood we are is affected by the heat. When there's a heatwave like last summer, our desire to get frisky depletes massively. In fact, studies have shown that when the temperature rises above 27 degrees Celsius, sweat doesn’t only dampen your armpits…your sex drive takes a hit too. On the flip side, when the temperature drops below 5 degrees Celsius, the same thing happens and we’re too chilly to do anything sexy. But is there really a deeper reason for a lack of sex drive in winter, or is it just a sex myth?
Whilst the thought of getting up close and personal with your partner gets pretty nasty when you’re both dripping with sweat, it has actually been scientifically proven that the hormones that are in charge of your sex drive are stimulated by sunlight and warmth. Melanocyte Stimulating Hormone (MSH) is responsible for triggering high libido in women. The ‘feel-good’ hormone, serotonin, is also produced more in both during the spring and summer. So whilst having sex in 32 degree Celsius is pretty exhausting, it explains why you get the flutters watching your poolside crush take a leap off the diving board…
In the same way as serotonin rises in summer, it falls again in winter, which is also why some people are prone to seasonal depression. Due to a lack of sunlight and less serotonin, lots of people may experience a drop in their sex drive over the colder months. Serotonin also gets replaced by melatonin, which can impede your sex drive. Lower sunlight exposure and shorter days also result in lower mood and more tiredness for most people.
Some research has also suggested that the hormones testosterone and oestrogen are strongly linked to libido and the weather. Testosterone tends to be highest in the autumn and lowest during the summer, meaning December beckons in the time when it starts to fall from its autumn peak. So when it’s extra cold, you might feel that little bit less inclined to have sex. Oestrogen, meanwhile, tends to peak in the summer and is lowest in the winter, leading to a similar affect.
However, none of this is absolute.
Hormonally, we’re each very unique. Some of us have naturally higher or lower levels of testesterone and oestrogen than others, whilst if you’re on a hormonal contraceptive, you’re likely to have less seasonal fluctuation throughout the year. Studies have also found that men find women’s bodies more attractive during winter, perhaps just because seeing less skin means you’re more inclined to wonder what’s underneath. It also can’t be a coincidence that statistically more babies are conceived on December the 11th than any other day of the year, so there must be something in the air leading up to Christmas that means you’re irresistible…
Whilst there certainly isn’t a golden rule about whether you’re going to be less in the mood this winter, there are certain aspects of the colder months that might make you fancy a fool-around less. If you’re having a dip in your enthusiasm this winter, there are a few tips and tricks that will help. Pick a good time of the day for you: the end of the day is likely to be coldest and darkest. Instead, having a mid-morning make-out on a Sunday can easily build up to something more. Make sure you’re cosy and warm, watch a romantic Christmas film and have hot chocolate waiting for after.