By Katie Parsons for GalTime.com
June 21st marked the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, which is commonly associated with kicking off the harvest season. But did you know that it also has a history of instigating some frisky behavior?
The summer months are a time of fertility and follow the holiday season when it comes to conception rates and condom sales, according to a study published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine.
So what is it about summer that really gets us hot in the bedroom? Much of the cause is mental, says sexual researcher Alex Allman, author of the e-book Revolutionary Sex.
"The summer is associated with time off, vacations, relaxation; even if we have no down time or trips scheduled, we still associate those good feelings with the warmer months," says Allman.
That positive mentality makes a difference in our openness to sexual advances and escapades.
"The biggest inhibitor that I see when it comes to happy sex lives is just the normal pressures and anxieties of life," he says. "It doesn't bode well for good sex tonight if tomorrow is stressful."
Research backs up Allman's theory. A study out of the University of Lugano in Switzerland found that men and women dealing with job insecurity are 53 and 47 percent more likely, respectively, to have lower sexual desire than their stable peers. An Indiana University study found that Sunday is the least popular day for sex; the carefree weekend nights of Friday and Saturday are the most popular.
So how can you create an eternal, relaxed sexy summer feelingwith your partner all year long? Allman suggests these three ways:
1. Seek sunlight.
Lack of sunlight, more than a drop in temperature, can affect moods (including sexual ones) negatively. An estimated 4 to 6 percent of Americans suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a form of depression linked to less sunlight. Another 10 to 20 percent struggle with less severe SAD symptoms. In both cases, the dip in energy and mood can cause the bottom to drop out of sexual desire. Allman recommends investing in a light therapy box designed especially to combat SAD.
2. Wear less clothing.
Cold weather simply requires more clothing. Pair that extra apparel with the fact that the indulgences of the holiday season can leave us feeling a little self-conscious about our bodies, and sex can easily be overlooked. You may not be able to get by in a skimpy outfit outdoors, but peel off the layers in the warmth of your home and show a little skin.
3. Prioritize sex.
Contrary to popular belief, sex is not something that just "happens" on its own -- at least not all of the time. Healthy sex lives take commitment and effort.
"This idea we have that sex should always be spontaneous, or that if our desire has dipped we should just accept that, is flawed," explains Allman. "We wouldn't just wait for money to show up in our bank accounts or let it dwindle away without doing something about it. People need to view their sex lives in the same way."
When you're distracted by other things going on in your life, it's easy to neglect sexual desire. That's why scheduling time for intimacy is so important. "You don't need to schedule time to have sex, per se, but carve out time to cuddle, to be together in a romantic way," he suggests. "Open yourself up for the possibility of sex, rather than waiting for it."
Whatever the reason you may feel a spike in sexual energy this summer, enjoy the heat. Just remember to carry those positive vibes into the fall and winter, too.
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