3 reasons why your sex drive may dip over the holidays

By Lea Rose Emery

It’s supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year — but many of us know the holidays can feel far from magical. Whether it’s warring families, struggling to get every last present ticked off the list, or just running around from place to place, it can feel overwhelming. And sometimes, your sex drive may take a hit. 

The good news? You’re not alone. While some people might get swept away in the celebratory feeling of the holidays, a lot of people find that it throws them out of whack — and they might not be feeling like themselves, in the bedroom or anywhere else. If you’re someone who finds that all of the champagne and partying makes you horny AF, that’s great — but it’s also totally okay if it doesn’t. 

The trick is not to panic. There are so many different factors around the holiday season that can affect your libido — and understanding why you might be feeling a little flat is so important. You don’t need to try to make it better, you don’t need to beat yourself up. Maybe you’ll find that making a little time for you can solve the problem — maybe you just want to ride it out until the new year dawns. Either way, you're okay.  

So here’s why the holidays might be affecting your sex drive — because, unless you’re Bing Crosby, it doesn’t always feel like the most wonderful time of the year. 

1. Stress, stress, and more stress

That’s right, that old chestnut — stress runs rampant during the holiday season. You’re people pleasing, you’re worrying, you’re thinking about the 200 things you have to do before work tomorrow — we’ve all been there. And (no big surprise), stress is one of the worst culprits for killing your sex drive

If you're someone who struggles with anxiety or depression, the stress of the holidays can also exacerbate that — it’s an emotional time, after all. And some people suffer from seasonal affective disorder, which can settle in during the colder months when there's less sunlight. All of these can affect your libido, so you are definitely not alone. 

If you’re really struggling to cope with stress or you have a serious mental health issue, make sure you’re making time to take care of yourself. Whether that manages to sort out your sex drive is secondary — the main priority is taking a moment away from all of the stress. Sometimes, a dip in your sex drive can be a sign that something is off and a reminder that you need to be taking a time out for your own health and well-being.

2. Logistics can get in the way

Fun fact: It’s not always fun having sex in your childhood bedroom with your mom and your sister talking in the living room downstairs. Yeah, once or twice it can feel a little exciting — but, for a lot of us, it gets old. During the holidays, we’re often staying with family, dealing with in-laws, and it can feel like our time isn’t our own. If you manage to keep your sex drive going through all of that, then that's amazing. But for me, sometimes the idea of going at it while feeling like you’re literally surrounded by family and all of their holiday drama is just a little too much. 

If you feel this might be the problem, then carving out some time for you and your partner — or you and just you, if you feel like you need a little masturbatory sesh — can make all of the difference. In between all of the parties and family duties, try to schedule some time in and stick to it. 

3. You’re off your normal schedule 

Holidays can be an indulgent season — and an exhausting one. If you notice that your sex drive isn’t what it normally is, it might just be that the change in routine is to blame. You’re eating different foods — and in my case, a lot of them — you might be drinking way more than normal, all while sleeping and exercising less. For some people this is totally fine — they might even get off on the special occasion feeling in the air. For others, it can give them a big physical knock. That’s okay. 

You can go one of two ways for this. You can either try to reclaim some of your normality — sticking to bedtimes and workouts, trying to avoid going into work with a hangover for the sixth day in a row — and see if your sex drive improves. Maybe you will be able to ding dong merrily on high again in no time. Or, you can simply with it. The holiday season only comes around once a year, after all, and you might find that it’s worth it feeling a little worse for wear because you’re having fun and creating memories. Everyone is different. 

For some, the holidays are the most exciting time of year — but a lot of us approach them with trepidation or straight-up dread. Family wounds, obligations, a lot of stress, and plenty of partying can all take a knock on your sex drive. And it’s so, so common.

You may want to ride that wave or you may want to fight it — but the most important thing is that you’re finding time to take care of yourself. Of course self-care is always important, but it can be even more crucial during the holidays. With a little self-love — whatever that means to you — January will be here before you know it. 


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