Summer heat is grueling. Sweaty, sticky and tangled limbs under the searing sun is a lot better in theory than reality. Even indoors, humidity and heat sneak through windows and permeate the room until your skin feels slippier than an eel.
Yet according to Dr. Justin Lehmiller, a sex researcher at Ball State University, summertime is “peak sex.”
So I reached out to some brave souls and asked them to tell me their seasonal preferences for gettin’ it on.
Air conditioning is a must. Of the people I spoke to, there was a near universal agreement that AC is necessary for summer sex.
Gertrude, 24, says “summer sex is only an option if there’s adequate AC. I definitely don’t think summer is sexier because I’m always sweaty and too hot to move. Or be touched. BUT [her emphasis] I do feel like I would have sex with someone just because they had AC, if I didn’t.”
Some feel more strongly about it, like Sebastian, 25. Sebastian frequently has one night (or day) stands and when it’s sweltering out, he only goes to their place if “those bitches have air conditioning.”
When asked if he has ever been to a man’s place sans AC, he said “dear god, no. I think most people aren’t psychotic enough to expect anyone to have sex in a room without air conditioning in the summer.”
Sebastian is ardently opposed to sleeping in the same bed as someone. I asked him if someone has ever pulled what Gertrude says she would do, and attempt to stay over to take advantage of his AC. “I don’t know,” he laughs. “That’s awful. Though there was that one time I chased that guy out by setting my air conditioning really cold.”
The man in question fell asleep “accidentally on purpose,” says Sebastian. “At like 11 p.m. And he was definitely going to try to and sleep at my apartment, IN MY TWIN SIZE BED [his emphasis] with me. He used the excuse of the trains no longer running after midnight. [Sebastian had told the guy beforehand that he couldn’t sleep over, so he didn’t feel guilty for kicking him out] So I turned the AC to like 60 degrees and waited for him to wake up. He was like ‘oh, it’s kinda cold.’ And I was like ‘yeah I have to wake up early tomorrow, so. You know. Git.’”
Sun exposure has a documented effect on people’s moods. Seasonal Affective Disorder, or a clinical shift into and out of depression as the seasons turn toward Winter and back again, naturally can have a marked effect. But whether or not you have SAD, a healthy dose of sunshine can be a libido booster.
Phillip, 34, agrees. “I just have more interest in getting laid [during summer],” he says. “I find it easier to be in a really good confident mood all the time.” It doesn’t hurt, he continues, “that I look good with a tan and usually dress better.”
Fred, 25, also feels more energized and down to clown during the summer holidays. “When the sun is out I wanna be more active, which means I get fitter and feel sexier,” he says. “Plus everyone’s wearing more revealing clothing.”
Near nudity is, of course, the low-hanging fruit of the season’s appeal. Martin, 29, believes summer turns America into a nudist colony, saying, “summer is conducive for sex because no one is wearing any clothes.”
He talks about the renewing effect of summer. When summer hits it throws him back to his early sexual experiences. “You know when you get back from a hot day,” he reminisces, “and everyone’s sticky but then the air conditioner kicks in and it feels like the first time you touched a boob at summer camp.”
My coworker called that summer people heat. “You know, like dogs.”
Several people I talked to preferred fall to summer, when it’s not longer scorching outside but the frigid winter is still far away. Bonus, Halloween. “I like to have sex in the fall because there’s always a chance it could be with a witch,” says John, 28.
Sebastian likes fall sex because he likes “Autumn everything.” That said, fall has its own hazards for him: “I don’t like having sex in inclement weather because I want to be in a different apartment building than the other person, both before and after [the sex].”
I called up my mother, who says she likes early fall the most because you can go outside for a stroll afterward.
“What about having sex outside as well?” I asked her. “No, inside,” she said quite emphatically. “I do not have sex outside.”
She may not but Ron, 66, does. In early summer, he tells me, “when the grass is still green and it’s not searing hot. I love to screw in the tall grass, cowgirl-style, with a little bit of the ‘danger’ of getting caught in the act.”
Of course, plenty of people don’t have strong seasonal preferences. “Every season is my favorite sex season,” says Martin. Fall for the back-to-school vibe, winter for the cold-induced cuddling, and spring because “everything else in nature is fucking as well.”
David, 26, meanwhile, has the most stringent requirements for sex: “My favorite sex season is the one where I’m having sex.”