The 12 days of holiday sex

Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, what unites us all is the perennial challenge of getting it on when family’s around.

Between kids on vacation, visiting grandparents, family board games and holiday cooking, it can be tough to squeeze in a quicky, let alone find time to really connect.

And so in the run up to holiday travel, here's a handy checklist for doing it over the holidays.

Because naughty and nice aren’t mutually exclusive, let the real merriment begin.

  1. Get creative. If you’re staying at someone else’s house and relegated to separate bedrooms (or sharing with grandma Edith) the message is loud and clear: the family is putting literal walls up between you and your partner’s pleasure. On the other hand, if you’re hosting this season and are busy entertaining, it can be just as tough to spend time with your partner. Either way, sneaking around with your partner is excellent foreplay, and what’s hotter than getting it on in the bathroom, laundry room or closet?
  2. Make the most of the twin. If you’re staying in your childhood bedroom, or you’ve given up your bedroom for family visiting from out of town, there’s a good chance that you and your partner are sleeping in a twin bed. Take advantage of the close quarters by discovering which of the 18 positions that we list in the app are possible in a smaller space. Cozy!
  3. Hide weird childhood relics. If you’re home for the holidays and you or your partner’s childhood bedroom is a shrine to a younger self, we recommend doing a quick sweep for anything that might seem creepy in the heat of the moment. Framed school photos? Turn those face-down before getting busy. Mountain of stuffed animals? Kick them out of bed. Research shows that distractions impact both men’s sexual functioning and women’s orgasm.1,2
  4. Put out on the pull-out. If you and your partner are sleeping on a pull-out couch this holiday season, don’t worry, there’s still plenty of fun to be had in the living room. When all through the house not a creature is stirring, get into some spooning sex, mutual masturbation, manual pleasure or anything that can be hidden by blankets from the neck-down. (Trust us, it’s a lot easier to feign innocence that way.) By going incognito, you're introducing a level of novelty (which has been linked to sexual desire) that you may not have felt since high school, so don’t be surprised if your holiday sex drive starts to surge.3
  5. Do your chores. Here’s the deal: after a silent sesh, you may think you’ve gotten away with secret holiday sex, but your dirty sheets will tell a different story. If you’re staying with family, offer to do the laundry for the whole family and earn major brownie points with the parents.
  6. Take it where you can get it. The risk of getting caught already adds spice to sex at the folks,’ but if that’s not enough of a thrill, a clandestine holiday quickie necessitates thinking outside of the box. Squeaky bed springs? Try sex on the floor. In-laws won’t leave you in a room alone together? Lock yourselves in the bathroom. (No one’s gonna bust down that door.)
  7. Hide the evidence. Unless you want the in-laws (or your own parents!) to discover your secret while separating the recycling, wrap that condom and wrapper up in tissue paper before you throw them out. (You could also stash them in a zip-lock bag in your luggage if you’re visiting an area with bears or raccoons, and yes, we have thought of everything.) Obsessed with lube? (Who isn’t?) That’s what bedside table drawers were made for!
  8. Go ahead and use the vibrator. We see no reason why your sex life should go analog just because your parents still use a flip phone. If anyone asks what all the buzz is about, just blame it on a high powered electric toothbrush.
  9. Wait until after the family’s bedtime. Between the tryptophan in the turkey and an exhausting game of charades, it won’t be long until the household is sleeping and you can start sneaking.
  10. Indulge in some afternoon delight. Blame it on the jet lag or a winter cold, but an afternoon “nap” is the perfect opportunity for holiday action (or even a quick cuddle). Although cuddling is pretty PG, research indicates that it actually registers as an erotic experience and increases a women’s hormonal response. In fact, both cuddling and intercourse were shown to increase testosterone levels in women at rates greater than a brisk 15 minute walk, so you can skip the family constitutional and hunker down instead.4
  11. Taste the rainbow. While your usual sex script might look like kissing > oral > intercourse, a squeaky bed and light sleepers in the house might be all the reason you need to expand into alternative sex acts. Why not try an extended oral pleasure sesh or scrotum play? There’s a whole range of guided exercises in our Play section if you need some pointers. (Just keep your partner from moaning too loudly.)
  12. Remember, you’re not the only ones. Haven’t heard a peep from behind other closed doors? With multiple couples in the house (try not to think about it!) you’re surely not the only ones horny for holiday sex. Joy to the world, indeed. 

  1. M. Cuntim, P. Nobre. The role of cognitive distraction on female orgasm. Sexologies. Volume 20, Issue 4. 2011.
  2. Abrahamson, Barlow, Sakheim, Beck, Athanasiou. Effects of distraction on sexual responding in functional and dysfunctional men. Behavior Therapy. Volume 16, Issue 5, 1985.
  3. Morton, Heather & Gorzalka, Boris. (2014). The Role of Partner Novelty in Sexual Functioning: A Review. Journal of sex & marital therapy. 41. 10.1080/0092623X.2014.958788.
  4. van Anders, Hamilton, Schmidt, Watson. Associations between testosterone secretion and sexual activity in women. Hormones and Behavior. Volume 51, Issue 4. 2007.

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