Elegant gifts, glasses of champagne, lounging by the fireside…sounds sexy, right? The holiday season sounds romantic from afar, but in reality, we spend December waiting in line at the mall and fussing over gift wrap, not get frisky in the boudoir. But Dr. Carol Queen, PhD, has some different ideas about how we should get through the holidays: The author and sexologist urges us not to let our sex lives wither. Instead of letting holiday stress and visiting relatives send your libido into remission, she suggests putting a sex toy under the tree (and making sure you have time to use it).
To find out how to keep the holidays hot, check out Dr. Carol Queen’s sex toy gift guide and our short Q&A about how to make the most of the holiday season:
We often romanticize the holiday season, but in reality it can be quite stressful and busy. How can couples maintain a healthy sex life while they juggle shopping, travel, parties, relatives, and trying to get enough sleep to make it through the next day?
While you may have to subsist on quickies and sleepy-time sex while the relatives are piled up in the next room, the one thing you always have time for is the loving sensuality that for many couples is the natural precursor to satisfying sex. Even if you don’t get a full-course meal until January 2 (it is a Sunday, and hopefully you can take advantage!), make sure to pull each other under the mistletoe when you can, exchange sexy texts (unless your boss owns your phone… if so, you must switch to email), and generally keep the love-light in each others’ eyes even if you’re booked up like crazy. And make a New Year’s promise to each other that you will re-prioritize sex when the relatives leave.
We’re also in the thick of holiday parties and dinners this time of year, which don’t exactly leave us feeling sexy. When we’re heavy, bloated, full, and sluggish, we don’t feel like anything but sleep in bed. Help!
Two things: If you’re eating enough at those parties to make you feel lousy, take a smaller plate at the buffet! You really will be giving your New Year’s resolutions a workout if you overindulge too much. The other option: Eat all you want, but set the alarm a half-hour earlier the next morning so you can roll into each others’ arms — or get to the party after an early-evening happy hour (in the bed, not the bar).
Another big road block to sex during this time of year is all the family, friends, and guests around. How are you supposed to maintain a sex life when you’re staying in your parents’ guest room (or your parents are staying in yours)?
Reawaken to how awesome it was to sneak kisses (and more) right under your parents’ nose when you were living in their house for real. Before they arrive, make sure your bed doesn’t squeak, and get ready to have very stealthy, quiet sex. (No yelling!) The fear that you might be discovered or overheard is actually a kind of exhibitionism that many people find quite erotic, so give it a chance. And if you can afford it, make one of mom and dad’s holiday gifts a nice night out in a romantic boutique hotel so they can get it on too — they may be just as nervous as you are about being overheard!
One last problem we run into this time of year is that we’re actually just really cold. Not to get graphic, but it makes it kind of hard to get things going down there. How do you get warmed up in the winter without wearing a parka?
Haven’t you ever fantasized whether two people will fit into a Snuggie? And you don’t really have to get completely naked to have fun— early Americans called it “bundling” when they got it on with most of their clothes on, though that’s more of a Thanksgiving fantasy. Pilgrim hats — so sexy! Spending a little time canoodling under the comforter will raise the temperature, as will having a glass of holiday cheer (but not too many glasses) before you get going.
Why should we worry about having sex in December at all? It just feels like one more thing to add to our already-long December to-do list. Can’t we just jump-start our sex lives in January, like everything else?
Well, sure. But beware the tendency to make the most personal, pleasurable things in your life be the things you jettison so you can have a happy holiday. That’s what seasonal stress is made of! If you can prioritize your life to get to a party, you can schedule yourself to get a little lovin’ before you hail the cab to get there. Even if you subsist only on quickies, mistletoe and mash notes, don’t let eroticism go. (This is also a perfect reason to get your honey a frisky gift that you can’t open in front of the parents — even if you’re saving the sex toy for New Year’s, it reminds you both that the erotic life you share is important, bonding — and hot.)
An award-winning author, activist and sex educator with a PhD in sexology, Dr. Carol Queen has been a part of Good Vibrations since 1990. She currently serves as both Staff Sexologist and Chief Cultural Officer. As a presenter for “Ask the Doctors,” one of our free educational programs, Queen engages customers with humor and information at in-store question and answer events. She also represents Good Vibes to the public and the press. Honored for her body of work and her immeasurable contributions to sexual wellness and awareness, she received the inaugural AVN “O” Award for Outstanding Achievement in 2009. She has over a dozen books to her credit, including her newest, the revised second edition of Exhibitionism for the Shy; she speaks regularly to college and community audiences; and she is also the founding director of the Center for Sex & Culture in San Francisco. More info: goodvibes.com; sexandculture.org; carolqueen.com.
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