WITH parties, mistletoe and risqué Santa outfits, the festive period is often thought of as the sexiest time of the year.
Researchers at California’s Stanford University found that sex dropped off almost completely for millions in the run-up to December 25, with stress, exhaustion and family obligations to blame.
But the good news is our love lives boom in the New Year, with sexual activity peaking in early January — higher even than on Valentine’s Day.
So if you want to join the surge, follow sex expert Kate Taylor’s tips to turn your love life around.
EAT, DRINK AND MAKE MERRY
If Christmas excess has left your sex drive sluggish, a January detox will do wonders for your libido.
When choosing healthy foods, opt for those that promise to perk up your passion too, such as oats, bananas, oily fish, nuts, blueberries and watermelon.
If you are doing dry January, stock up the fridge with drinks proven to pack a punch in the passion department, too.
Orange juice has been found to boost female desire and pomegranate juice has been dubbed “liquid Viagra” for its ability to combat erectile dysfunction.
FRISK UP YOUR ROUTINE
Women are less likely than men to just want sex out of the blue.
Only 15 per cent report having a “spontaneous desire” for sex. Most experience “responsive desire” where they become aroused first and then want sex.
So surround yourself with things that turn you on.
Watch steamy shows and films (goodbye Downton Abbey, hello Bridgerton).
Bookmark the lustiest passages in your erotic fiction so you can read them just before bed.
Use your morning shower to relive your hottest memories. And ditch your greyed-out underwear for exciting lingerie that makes you feel sexy.
TWEAK YOUR POSITIONS
Novelty is essential for arousal, as it causes your brain to release the feel-good hormone dopamine.
One way to keep things fresh is to try new positions. But an easier way is to just tweak your existing favourites.
Try these upgrades…
Girl On Top: Get into position, then both lie back on the bed. This puts you into the Golden Arch, giving easy access for your hands to massage each other as you move.
Missionary: Upgrade to Upside-Down Missionary, where the man’s head faces the woman’s feet.
Stop thinking of lubricant as something for the over-50s.
The moisture market offers lotions and potions that turn so-so sex into so-hot sex.
There are three main types, so choose the right one for your activity.
Oil-Based: Great for sex and toys, but do not use with latex condoms. (Try WooWoo pleasure enhancing bliss oil, £9.99, feelunique.com.)
Silicone: Long-lasting glide that is great for water-based sex but can damage silicone sex toys. (Try Bondara silicone luxury lubricant, £9.99, bondara.co.uk.)
Water-based: Safe to use with condoms, but can evaporate quickly when exposed to the air. (Try Tingle lube, £3.99, Superdrug.)
Being “present and focused” in bed was the top reason couples gave for great sex, according to a famous study in the Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality.
If you are overwhelmed by distractions, try clearing your mind of all your whirling thoughts before the big night.
Write down EVERYTHING that’s in your head, and promise to deal with them afterwards.
If your orgasm suffers because you lose focus, use this simple mindfulness technique.
Deliberately focus on five things you can feel, four you can hear, three you can see, two you can smell and one you can taste.
Do this every time your mind wanders and you will find it easier to stay in the moment.
ADJUST THE FREQUENCY
The happiest couples are those who have sex frequently, according to a 2015 study.
But for maximum bliss, you do not need to have it once a night, just once a week.
That gives you a target of 52 bonks in 2021.
Make a plan with your partner of all the different types of sex you could have.
Include all the different locations, positions, foreplay tricks and techniques you could do together.
Use this chat as a way to be open about the things that really work for you and to get an insight into your partner’s deepest desires.
When you have dreamed up 52 racy romps, schedule them in your diary and see it as a challenge to complete them.
OOOH, ME BACK
Skipping straight to the boobs, bum or bits is so 2020.
In 2021, embrace the forgotten erogenous zones such as the back, inner thighs, wrists, neck and feet.
All these areas are full of tingly nerve endings that respond to stimulation and offer hot new sensations and results.
Try kissing the inner wrist on the pulse point, licking the back of your partner’s neck or giving them an oily foot massage, paying particular attention to their big toe.
During sex, tickle, scratch or massage up and down their spine. After sex, treat your partner to a long, luxurious head massage — it will help you feel more connected.
SWAP QUICKIES FOR SLOWIES
Fast, furious sex looks thrilling in films but in reality it often leaves us unsatisfied. This year, embrace the idea of the long, slow session.
A study in The Journal Of Sexual Research showed women require 19 minutes of foreplay to be fully aroused before sex.
Don’t know how to fill the time?
Try five minutes of snogging (the best way to boost arousal), five minutes of caressing each other through your clothes before you undress, five minutes of sensate massage (touching everywhere except the genitals), then four minutes of traditional foreplay.
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