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Holiday Sex, Romance, and Gratitude Enhance Intimacy

Despite holiday stress, it's a peak time for sex and conception.

Holidays are about family, friends, shopping, stress, and sex that sometimes overshadow the basic religious celebrations. What creates the stress is something we have come to see as expectations, which takes a toll on women. Single women in a relationship may be hoping for that diamond. Mothers are hoping to find the perfect gifts and create perfect family rituals. Yet, somehow for both single women and married ones, sex plays an important role. And statistics show – based on the number of births in August and September – that holidays are a time for loving and conception. (1)

Romance and Orgasm Research:

There is still time to bring romance into the season after children are dreaming of sugar plums and adults disconnect from the cyber world. Set aside moments between now and the New Year to rekindle simple loving with movies and music. Make some popcorn and watch one of these top romantic holiday movies:

  • “While You Were Sleeping,” 1995, with Bill Pullman as the romantic lead and Sandra Bullock playing with loneliness and love.
  • “Serendipity,” 2001, with Kate Beckinsale and John Cusack in a department store romance in which a couple trusts fate to reunite them.
  • “Love Actually, 2003, with Hugh Grant. The theme of this romantic comedy is simple, “love is everywhere.”

Music always sets a mood. For those following the escapades of Jane the Virgin, her fiancé said “I’m sorry” by putting their favorite song on his iPhone and surprising her. (Since I haven't had a TV in nearly 20 years, now that I've accepted one as a gift, I'm realizing how little there is to watch other than crime shows.)

To set a holiday mood these are still the top holiday songs: “Winter Wonderland,” and “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” along with “Baby It’s Cold Outside.”

For lovers only Spotify, the streaming music service, identified the following as songs for making love: “Time of My Life” from “Dirty Dancing” and also “Bolero,” along with “Bohemian Rhapsody.” However, some identified “Bohemian Rhapsody” as being even better than sex.

Singles and Sex: If we look at enjoyment – judged by orgasm – a recent analysis of single women and men ages 21 – 65 restricted to "1,497 men, 1,353 women who had experienced sexual activity in the past 12 months” the results were as follows:

Mean occurrence rate for experiencing orgasm during sexual activity with a familiar partner was 62.9% among single women and 85.1% among single men for which there was little variation in the mean rate based on sexual orientation. “For women, however, mean occurrence rate of orgasm varied significantly by sexual orientation: heterosexual women 61.6%, lesbian women 74.7%, bisexual women 58.0%.” (2)

The researchers concluded there is a need for more studies on sex and sexual health. With many singles heading to those hot climate vacations, there are expectations and lists on exciting sex – from balconies to beaches.

Set a romantic mood with gratitude lists

With the rates of sexual activity increasing during the holiday, gratitude might really heighten a loving experience.

In the world of holiday gift lists, create the ultimate one of love notes and gratitude. Fill a mug or glass jar with Baci candies, these each come wrapped in foil with a love note. Sit them on a table next to a scroll in which you write out the reasons you are grateful for the special someone in your life.

In a study by Dr. Amie Gordon and colleagues, published in "The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology," it was reported that couples who expressed appreciation were more committed, more responsive, and more likely to stay together. The authors noted “These findings provide evidence that gratitude is important for the successful maintenance of intimate bonds.” (3)

Additionally in “Gratitude Sparks Oxytocin and Love: Study Points to CD38” we see how gratitude triggers what is often called the bonding hormone.

Copyright 2014 Rita Watson/ All Rights Reserved


1. Beth Skwarecki, Is there a season for births?, DoubleX Science: site powered by an IDEA grant from the National Association of Science Writers. February 2013

2. Justin R. Garcia et al., “Variation in Orgasm Occurrence by Sexual Orientation in a Sample of U.S. Singles,” The Journal of Sexual Medicine, Volume 11, Issue 11, pages 2645–2652, November 2014

3. Amie M. Gordon et al., “To have and to hold: Gratitude promotes relationship maintenance in intimate bonds,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol 103(2), Aug 2012, 257-274

4. Bridging the Love, Sex, and Gratitude Gap , Watson, Psychology Today

Photo courtesy of Thomas Kaufman for Les Cardes de Belville

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