Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, we're fully in the holiday season swing. The parties, the drinks, the stressful, joyless shopping. It feels totally different then the whole rest of the year. And for some of us, sex is a perfect distraction from all that. We get to reconnect with our partner, get some endorphins, bust some stress — check, check, check. But for others, the whole season has the reverse effect on our sex drive — we feel way too stressed and our sex life suffers. That's also totally natural.
So you need to pay more attention to how you're feeling and how it's affecting your relationship at this time of the year than ever. "Your sexual attraction is often fueled by your emotional connection to your partner. If you haven’t nurtured that connection, and if stress leaves you feeling irritable and upset, you won’t feel much passion or sexual attraction for the other person," Rhonda Milrad, a licensed social worker and founder and chief relationship adviser for the app, Relationup, which connects users to relationship experts and counselors, tells Bustle.
If you're feeling that way, take the time to figure out what's bothering you and see if you can work on it. I know there are a lot of different culprits during the holiday season, but here are a few ways the holidays are bad for your sex life:
1. Family Fun Times
There's a good chance you don't even get to see your partner very much over the holidays if you're home with your respective families. But even if you are doing holidays together, that probably means your family is still around. And nothing sets the mood less than hearing your parents chatting in the hall or your brother and his friends laughing downstairs as you're trying to get it on. It's basically the opposite of roses and candlelight.
2. All The Food
I ate four cinnamon buns before 10 a.m. last Christmas. I could have been propositioned by Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt for a threesome to save their marriage and I still would have been too sugar-coma-ed out to make it happen. "Feeling... bloated and self-conscious does not lend itself to a night of sexual inhibition and reckless abandon," Milrad tells Bustle. And, though food and sex may be my two favorite things in this world, I have to agree.
3. Too Much Socializing
Even before you get to the actual holidays, this whole season can be difficult for your relationship — and your sex life. A lot of people have work parties, family parties, friend group parties, and there's a good chance you won't always be able to bring your partner along. They have their own stuff to go too. And if you can't even find a night to just see each other properly, it can be very difficult to keep your sex life going.
4. The Wine Is Flowing
You're probably over-indulging this season and let's be real, booze and sex are not friends. Either you drank too much and don't want to have sex — or just straight up start snoring as soon as you get home — too much booze may mean you just want to roll into a ball and hide. "Alcohol, while often thought of the great inhibition buster, actually works to decrease sex drive," Kelly Connell, sexuality educator and counselor and sex educator at NaughtyNorth.ca, tells Bustle. "The notion that people get drunk and have great sex is biologically, just not true."
5. Stress, Stress, Stress
Stress and anxiety can be sex drive killers — you just can't relax enough to be feel present or want to have sex. But in the holidays, all of that is exponentially increase. It's a totally normal reaction — both the being stressed and finding it difficult to feel very sexy because of it— so don't get down on yourself. Instead, focus on taking some time to take care of you and relax. Then start thinking about sex, only if you feel up to it.
Yeah, the holidays can be hard on your sex life. We are out socializing too much and stress is everywhere. But don't panic, because it's just a season. Even if you are feeling less sexy than usual, just focus on keeping you, your partner, and your relationship above water and the rest will come back in January.
Images: Andrew Zaeh for Bustle; Giphy (5)