Wondering why you feel a little hotter in the summer—in more ways than one? Yes, the heat might cause your body temperature to rise, but that’s not the only thing that’s likely to skyrocket. According to experts, our sex drive increases during the summer for various reasons.
For starters, people wear less clothing in summer, so they’re showing more skin. “This simple fact spikes sexual interest,” says relationship and etiquette expert April Masini. “When you see someone bundled up in down puffers and knee-high Ugg boots, you’re less likely to think about sex with them than when they’re wearing a bikini, a pair of shorts with a halter, or a skimpy summer dress. Sandals are way sexier than most boots, and it’s a lot more interesting to contemplate partnering with people showing off their summer bodies than bundled up winter snow bunnies.”
Also, people are more in touch with their skin in summer. “This is a sensual fact and it peaks interest in sex,” says Masini. “Slathering on sunscreen and swimming in pools, lakes, and oceans, are all body-conscious activities. Feeling the sun baking your skin, or a cool breeze chilling it, can boost your sex drive. Even lying on sand or a grassy field after a dip is a sensual act that increases interest in sex.”
Another natural libido-booster in summer is down-time. “Stress is often reduced due to vacation time,” says clinical psychologist Carla Marie Manly, PhD. “As such, when stress is decreased, the body’s production of stress-related neurochemicals such as cortisol and adrenaline are decreased. The body’s feel-good neurochemicals such as serotonin are increased due to more time in the sun, increased activity, etc. These factors contribute to an increased sex drive.”
Another advantage of sunlight is an energy boost, because when the sun is blazing, our body produces less melatonin. It’s believed that melatonin can block sex hormones, which in turn can cause sex drive to plummet. (FYI, here’s what you need to know before taking over-the-counter melatonin.)
“As the spring and then summer light increases, the pineal gland reduces its production of melatonin and begins to orchestrate the breeding/mating season in many species,” explains Match’s Chief Scientific Advisor, Dr. Helen Fisher, in a press release. “It has a direct connection with the retina to pick up changes in the light, and also connects with the pituitary (to trigger gonadal/sexual development in many species) and the genitals. We humans don’t have a mating season; we breed all year long. But increasing light does give us a sunny personality and more energy and optimism—all of which could increase our sexuality.”