The “most wonderful time of the year” may not be the best for our sex lives, experts have found.
We all know that the days and weeks leading up to Christmas Day can seem somewhat of a blur – whether it’s a series of parties and festive dinners (like in previous years), or a mad scramble to rearrange your yuletide plans to follow Covid-19 regulations, circa 2020.
But new research has come to light that suggests the madness surrounding the pre-Christmas period doesn’t lend itself to having lots of sex, sadly.
Women have been found to have significantly less sex during this time, specifically in the three days before Christmas Day. This dry spell is then reversed, though, with a peak in sexual activity after Christmas, with there being a worldwide high on New Year’s Eve. Talk about starting your new year with a bang.
“One pattern consistent among countries was decreased sexual activity in the three days before Christmas, which was followed by elevated sexual activity on Christmas and the three days after,” the study adds.
Researchers have suggested that this dip is due to spending more leisure time with family members as well as – or instead of – your partner, not to mention the all-consuming nature of holiday chores.
“Christmas is a time when women are prioritising other people even more than usual – from arranging presents, to meal-planning, to managing family expectations,” Nichi Hodgson, dating expert and author of The Curious History of Dating: From Jane Austen to Tinder, tells Stylist.
“Most women are spread even more thinly than usual, taken up by physical and emotional festive labour, so the idea that there would be time for sex amidst all the chaos is pretty novel.
“There’s no time to prioritise their own needs, but as the responsibilities peter out then there is more time once again to think about pleasure.”
The findings of the study were collected from health app Clue, which was created to try and understand our sexual habits better, and contained self-reported logs of when women were and weren’t having sex.
Researchers from Stanford University in California used information from more than 500,000 women in the UK, France, Brazil and the US.