Girl Boner Perks for Jollier Holidays

If you find yourself stressed, anxious or exhausted this holiday season, you may want to prioritize playtime in the bedroom…

…or anywhere you see fit.

I saw The Sessions last week, a film starring Helen Hunt and John Hawkes about a 38-year-old man with an iron lung who seeks therapy from a sex surrogate in hopes of losing his virginity. It depicts sexuality in a way American films seldom do: tantalizing, soulful, physically and emotionally mind-blowing, deeply gratifying and life-changing. It was also pretty technical, which I didn’t mind. It made me eager to relax into sexual pleasure and do away with the barriers set by society and ourselves. (Dear Santa: That magic wand I’ve mentioned? I still want it.) I left teary eyed, inspired and pondering the role sex plays in our personal lives and entertainment.

I also couldn’t help but draw parallels between sexuality and the holidays. Think of how many terms encompass what we’d ideally like from both: warmth, togetherness, love, spirituality, gratitude, excitement, giving and receiving… And yet, they don’t pair as often we might like.

The holidays are a funky time when it comes to sex. While some people spend more time between the sheets, a larger percentage have less sex. Holiday-linked stress, travel, hectic schedules and limited privacy can hinder our sexual appetites and experiences. And don’t forget lutefisk. Put that slithery fish within yards of me and sex is the last thing on my mind. *quivers* Just saying.

Research shows that women tend to experience more stress during the holidays than men, and that sex works as a powerful stress minimizer. Hmm… Am I right in concluding that adding more sexual pleasure to the holiday wish list is particularly important for us gals?Consider the following benefits and let me know if you agree.

6 Sex Benefits for Jollier Holidays

1. Reduced stress. Indeed, the very thing that keeps some of us from desiring sex can be remedied by sex. A study conducted in Scotland showed that people who’d had intercourse before engaging in stressful situations, such as doing math problems out loud and speaking in public, had lower blood pressure and responded to stress better overall compared to those who hadn’t. Satisfying sex also eases anger and may prevent us from Grinch-i-fying in the first place.

2. Improved physical fitness. Speaking of stress, those holiday pounds many fear? Routine sex can help. Thirty minutes of sex burns about 85 to 200 calories. Have sex 42 times between November and January and you’ll burn at least 3,570 calories—more than enough to lose one pound, the average amount Americans gain during the holidays. Having sex twice per week is linked with improved cardiovascular health and a lowered risk for heart attack.

“Sex is a great mode of exercise,” says Los Angeles sexologist, Patti Britton, PhD. It takes physical and mental effort to do it well, allowing us to tone our minds and bodies.

3. Improved warmth and relaxation. Gratifying sex makes holiday-like sensations stronger and more likely. Orgasm increase levels of the brain chemical oxytocin, says sex educator and relationship expert Dr. Yvonne K. Fulbright, which allows for warm fuzzy feelings.

4. Improved immune function. Sexual play may keep doctor visits at bay. Sex, including masturbation, circulates blood flow to the genital region, says Megan Andelloux, a board certified sexologist in Rhode Island, keeping our tissues and veins healthy and active. The result? A reduced risk for colds and the sniffles.

5. Better sleep. Sleep problems are epidemic, particularly among women. Holiday stress and schedule shifts can worsen matters, making restful sleep a whimsical wish. Why count sheep or stare at the ceiling when there are better ways to spend your time? Sex, including masturbation, helps ease insomnia. (Feel free to dance or cheer here. I did!) A lack of sleep can also nuke libido, so having sex for improved sleep can lead to more frequent and pleasurable sex, leading to even more restful Zs. That’s my kind of snowball. 😉

6. Enhanced self-esteem and intimacy. While low self-esteem keeps some women from having sex, research shows that masturbation can have the opposite effect. Consistent, mutually pleasurable sex in couples can increase bonding, says Fulbright, because the surge in oxytocin at orgasm stimulates feelings of affection and intimacy. From a spiritual standpoint, sex can lead stronger quality of life and relationships. Pleasurable sex makes us feel better about our relationships, ourselves and life in general.

In a particularly lovely scene in The Sessions, the main character, Mark, asks his priest whether God would smile upon his having marriage-less sex. Father Brendan shoots a torn look at the cross hanging behind him then turns and says with confidence, “In my heart, I feel He’ll give you a free pass on this one. Go for it!”

Sexual pleasure is a gift we give ourselves then share with others.I hope that if you haven’t, you’ll allow yourself to GO FOR IT—safely and responsibly—this holiday season, in whatever ways you feel inclined. Whether we engage solo or with a partner, a healthy sex life allows us to share happier, healthier, more empowered versions of ourselves with others. I don’t know about you, but in this age of materialism, it makes me happy knowing that one of life’s most spectacular gifts is free.

What do you think? Should women prioritize sexual pleasure during the holidays? Does your sex life cool down in the heat of the hustle-bustle? Or are you the first to leap for the mistletoe? Stay tuned for more on sexually satisfying holidays in the coming weeks. To catch up on the first three Girl Boner Monday posts, click here.

Leave a comment

32 Comments

  1. Dear August, hehehe I’m in my sixties and at my age I find the characters I write about are havine better sex than I am. sigh. What can I do? Please help.
    signed, lost between the sheets of paper.

    Yes dear, I fully agree and orgasm or more a day keeps the stress away. Great Post!

    Reply
    • Sounds like you’re got the fantasizing down, Prudence! I hope you’re reaping some benefits vicariously. 😉

      Awareness, experimentation and communication seem key for anyone struggling with reduced sex drive or experiences, along with determining if there’s an underlying issue that needs addressing. Numerous folks have inquired about similar issues, so I’ll be sure to address specifics soon. Good luck in the meantime!

      Reply
  2. Yes, yes, yes on better sleep with those oxytocin levels riding high. And, stress. And, warm and fuzzy feelings.

    My circle of family and friends spoke little about sensuality and sexual pleasure. So, as far as I knew, I was the only one with a “play through ’cause it’s not happening for me” relationship with sex. Repeat that often enough and you’re at risk of believing you’re inadequate.

    Couple that with a co-dependent people-pleaser personality, and I might have tried out for a certain scene in When Harry Met Sally. I didn’t want to hurt the guys feelings by saying, “Um. Slow down, and — in case you’re interested — that is not one of my zones.”

    I love that you’re bringing this topic out of the verboten corner. Getting to know myself and my body was one of the most freeing gifts I’ve given myself. I know what I like and need. How self-defeating is it that I couldn’t bring myself to communicate that to a partner? We’re naked in bed with parts engaged and I still found it embarrassing to communicate? Duh!

    I’m thankful I’m finally learning to shut down those brain games and focus on the pleasure.

    Side note (since this is already a Novella masquerading as a comment): I fret, and hope your late response to my email was time constraint driven rather than “Gaaah! This woman is a whacko!”

    Reply
    • “I’m thankful I’m finally learning to shut down those brain games and focus on the pleasure.” I love that, Gloria! Many of us come into our own sexually ON our own and highly uninformed, which shouldn’t be the case. Your self-awareness and exploration are tremendous, admirable strengths.

      Oh no, you emailed me? I don’t see it… I’ll drop you a note and we’ll try again. It’s highly unlikely I’ll deem you or your note whacko. 😉

      Reply
  3. More sex = less colds? Awesome! I think my husband has told me every one of these reasons to have more sex and I just thought he was being creative in getting me between the sheets. Who knew?! Well, now we all do, thanks to you!

    Like Gloria, I had a hard time telling partners what I wanted and then one day I spoke up and it’s been magical ever since. Funny, but the one guy I finally decided to trust enough not to laugh at me is the same guy I’ve been married to for sixteen years. Trust is a huge thing for me and it’s really been the key to unlocking my inner sexy. Thank god I figured it out before my daughter hit puberty, so was able to tell her all the cool stuff I was never taught.

    We’re going to start calling you, Dr. August, sexpert extraordinaire!

    Reply
    • You are the sweetest, Tameri! I’m so grateful for your personal growth and all you’re able to share with your daughter.

      It seems that trust will need to be addressed here soon. I really appreciate the fabulous insight. 🙂

      Reply
  4. “Sexual pleasure is a gift we give ourselves then share with others.”
    Why did this particular sentence conjure up an image of me sitting on a single chair on stage, spotlight raining down on my naked form while I masturbate for an auditorium full of men as my audience? LMAO. August, you’re killing me! I’m living alone in a hotel for a couple more weeks. Now I’m going to need to go shopping for some toys. Although wands sound interesting, I’ve been dying to try glass. In the meantime, manual stimulation will just have to do. 😉

    Reply
  5. Hey, I never got anything like that under my Christmas tree! Oh wait, I never had a Christmas tree… 🙂

    Reply
  6. Regarding number one of the six sex benefits for jollier holidays, I’ve always been told to practice before giving a speech, but now I see I was practicing the wrong thing.

    Reply
  7. mgmillerbooks

     /  November 26, 2012

    I’ll just say that, for 2/3 of the year, I’m happy, healthy and quite unrufflable. However, January through April is killing time at work, and at the end of the day, I’m usually too exhaused to even date my hand. That’s when I really must get those priorities in order.

    Reply
  8. I didn’t see a reply capability on your comment, August. Perhaps my emails went to *gasp!* spam. If you email me at gloria(dot)r6254(at)yahoo(dot)com. Gloria(at)GloriaRichardWrites(dot)com also maps to that primary email addy.

    Reply
  9. Fascinating topic August! I like the way you holiday! 😉

    Reply
  10. I have heard that line about sex being great exercise a million times. I have never found this to be true. I have enough partners to know that most guys conk out after about 10 minutes. That said, I’m lucky to have a guy who is usually up for a two-fer. IYKWIM. But the intimacy thing. Yes. For women, yes.

    Please write about sex toys. I know nothing, but I am curious. Plus it would be hysterical. 😉

    Reply
    • Indeed, those benefits require friskier, longer lasting sex. It’s definitely possible for ladies, assuming we and/or our partners are game. 🙂

      Sex toys are coming up soon!

      Reply
  11. I am definitely one of those ladies that the busier I get, the less sex I usually go for. Stress and a full schedule normally leaves me feeling worn out and exhausted. That being said, I have found that the times I make the effort, I always feel soooo much better. It’s never something I turn to hubby and say “I wish I’d hadn’t done that…” LOL!

    I think when I am tired, it does require a more conscious effort and one that I think making it well worth it. Just need to remind myself of that. LOL!

    GREAT post darlin’! Thanks for the reminder….hubby will thank you as well. 😉

    Reply
  12. intereting post, August. I know when i was married sex died in early December and re-awakened christmas night. we were both so glad it was over and we could relax. LOL

    Reply
  13. Raani York

     /  November 28, 2012

    Okay, here we go…. Yes, I’m stressed as well, as everyone else is… as “Joker” keeps saying: “So much to do – so little time”…
    I do agree in 99.9% of what you wrote in your blog post, August. You wrote as true, as valuable and as sensitive as you always do.

    I as well do agree that women SHOULD prioritize sexual activity during the stressful holidays! What confuses me is: if I decide to go for it – what in all the world am I supposed to do with a mistletoe? *frown*

    Reply
  14. It’s not the holidays but the cold — I’ve learned to love hot showers *teeheehee*

    Reply
  15. mgedwards

     /  November 29, 2012

    Wouldn’t you know it, I got really busy while you were posting one of the most riveting blog series I’ve read in a long time. Great job, my friend. I’m here for my quickie. 😉

    Reply
  16. EllieAnn

     /  December 1, 2012

    A blog telling me to have more sex? Heck yes! I LOVE your blog.

    Reply
  17. I think I probably should have been born a guy because I can’t think of any time of year when I don’t want sex. 🙂

    Reply
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