I wish I was going to have sex this weekend. All the conditions will be ripe for it. I’ll be in Florida. I’ll be out on the town toasting a friend’s 40th birthday. I’ll be basking in the sun, with a couple of my closest gorgeous girlfriends, all of us sipping our favorite girlie drinks. And I’m 99.9 percent sure we’ll talk about sex.
But that will be the extent of it — the sex, that is. We’re not the “Girls Gone Wild” type. So, thanks to our “no men” rule, we’re in for a sexless weekend, which kind of stinks, because vacation sex can work wonders for the heart, mind, and soul – at least if you’re going about it as a couple.
Few terms can rev up and relax the body at the same time as easily as “vacation sex.” It’s many a lover’s favorite passion pastime. One’s libido and sex life come alive at the mere thought of being in an Eros-inducing elsewhere. Vacation sex makes for some of the best sex because ...
You get away from the daily grind.
In cutting off your “lifelines” (for example, cell phones and e-mail access), you escape the temptation to work. This allows you to get away from pressures, distractions, worries and responsibilities — basically, any of those libido-killers that affect your love life most days of the year.
While on vacation, you can totally devote yourself to nurturing your sexual needs and desires — and to attending to those of your lover. This is one of the reasons the vast majority of American marriage counselors recommend a regular weekend away as the one thing that can help a marriage, especially a struggling one.
Novelty makes for more nookie.
People love having sex in new places. This is in large part because of the neurotransmitter dopamine. When people have new experiences, dopamine spikes in the brain, triggering lust. And with that, many are willing to try something new and exciting. What better place to get “sexperimental” than on vacation?
Romance gets reconstructed.
In a new, romantic, or exotic place, lovers can rediscover one another. In trying different restaurants or embarking on a variety of nightlife activities, every evening that you’re away feels like a date night, each with its own distinct backdrop. All of this enhances lovers’ moods, helping them to feel better about one another and more connected.
You “get lucky” a lot.
When you make the time for nothing but lovin’, that’s hopefully what you’re going to get – and lots of it. Sex will breed the desire for more sex, making both partners feel better about their sex life and the relationship. This is both for couples already content with their sex life and those hoping their vacation will make for some romance repair.
Obviously, most of the aforementioned benefits of vacation sex are realized by monogamous couples. That’s not to say that singles can’t get randy and have rebel-rousing vacation sex as well. Many of them go on vacation hoping for sexual adventure, with single women letting their hair down even more.
Studies have shown that when single women are on vacation, they are more willing to lower their standards for sex than when they are in their home environment. Vacations are the times when women are most likely to have one-night stands or hook-ups and feel good about it.
At the same time, however, men shouldn’t assume that a gal they fancy is going to be easy prey. In general, women have a harder time than men lowering their standards for sex, because women are more complex when it comes to the pre-conditions for desire. This bump in the road is probably a good thing, given the increased risk of getting infected with a sexually transmitted disease or conceiving while on vacation.
Research published in the British-based medical journal Sexually Transmitted Infections reveals that a substantial number of people visiting international nightlife resorts have sex with people they meet while abroad. For example, more than half of travelers visiting Ibiza, Spain — an international dance resort — had sex with at least one person, with more than 26 percent of males and almost 15 percent of females having sex with more than one individual.
Factors that influence one’s decision to shag while on vacation include: Alcohol and/or drug use, fearlessness in anonymity, peer pressure, loss of inhibition in a foreign place, and the perception that sex is accessible. The end result: Increased STDs and pregnancy rates.
So if you’re single or the sort to be unfaithful, make sure you’re looking out for yourself in planning for even the potential of vacation sex. Before going anywhere, do a risk assessment of your destination and sexual intentions. Geographic distribution maps provided by the World Health Organization can help you assess how widespread HIV/AIDS and hepatitis are in your travel destination.
Regardless, common sense would be to assume risk everywhere, which means always practice safe sex if you’re not planning to abstain. Furthermore, consider well and honestly who you may sleep with. Commercial sex workers, for example, pose an increased risk of infection due to their own greater opportunities for exposure. If you can, get immunized against hepatitis B and pack condoms before you travel.
Dr. Yvonne Kristín Fulbright is a sex educator, relationship expert, columnist and founder of Sexuality Source Inc. She is the author of several books including, "Touch Me There! A Hands-On Guide to Your Orgasmic Hot Spots."