With the long Memorial Day weekend right around the corner, our thoughts are turning to sultry weather, beach reads, and cute guys in board shorts. In that spirit, we chatted with Patricia Barnes-Svarney, author of the new book Why Do Women Crave More Sex in the Summer?: 112 Questions That Women Keep Asking — and That Keep Everyone Else Guessing, to get a few hot-weather facts about summer‘s effect on our sex drive. Read on!
(Part one of two)
1. So why do women crave more sex in the summer?
It’s a combination of factors, including the female nose, chemicals, and clothes. Overall, females have a better sense of smell, making them more aware of scents of the summer (and humid summer air carries the smells even more). Depending on the woman, there are usually smells that bring on amorous feelings. Think lavender (calming), roses (arousing), mints (invigorating) — and don’t forget men’s sweat! Yes, researchers have found that if a man is attracted to a woman he will secrete chemicals through his sweat glands—a signal that he is sexually interested. And although you may not consciously know it, as a woman, with your heightened sense of smell, your brain picks up his eau de attraction.
There are other “scientific” reasons for being in a playful summer mood. As the days become longer and nights shorter, the body releases some natural chemicals. There’s serotonin, the “feel good” natural chemical the body releases into the bloodstream in response to sunlight — and mood-boosting dopamine, along with a hormone called MHS — all of which can increase a woman’s libido.
And finally, lighter and sheerer clothes make a woman feel that much freer — as opposed to the snow-suited look. Lighter clothes made of materials like linen and silk make you feel less encumbered; and many summer outfits reveal more curves, cleavage, and skin. All this adds up to a woman feeling better about herself — and being more amorous.
2. Does summer weather (or natural disasters, for that matter) affect other parts of women’s relationships and sex lives?
Although I’d like to blame everything on weather and gravity, the jury is still out when it comes to whether weather can greatly affect a woman’s (and man’s) mood — which in turn, can affect relationships and sex life.
Just look at these two studies to see what I mean:
In one 2008 study, researchers found that a person’s mood was affected by certain physical factors of weather — for instance, temperature, wind and sunlight were found to have an effect on negative moods — but wind, precipitation, and air pressure had no significant effect. In a more recent study, researchers found that there were four types of people when it comes to weather: unaffected (half the people in the study who said weather didn’t matter); summer lovers (their moods improved with higher temperatures, sunshine, and less rain); summer haters (wanted lower temperatures and more rain); and rain haters (they didn’t mind any other weather, they just hated rain). With all these differences in weather-likes and dislikes, it’s tough to know how much weather affects on our moods — and libido.
Natural disasters are another story — one that hasn’t had many studies in terms of relationships and sex life… Of course, there is always the “natural disaster” of a middle-of-the-winter Nor’easter socking the East Coast and you and your significant other inside near the woodstove. I don’t think there’s a study of the number of births nine months after major snowstorms…
Visit Sexcerpts tomorrow to see the second part of our interview with Patricia. If you already know you want to pre-order Why Do Women Crave More Sex in the Summer? (out June 5), do it here!
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