Sex and the Summer: Does Heat Get Us Hot?

Heart made of clouds

Hot fun in the summertime? Or cool to the thought of sex in the heat and humidity?

Skimpy shorts, bare chests, and barely-there swimsuits – it’s no wonder there’s a popular conception that summer = sex. But does this assumption stand up to scientific scrutiny? Yes and no:

 According to one literature review (PDF), in southern and tropical climates, births tend to decrease in the spring, indicating that conception was less common during the previous summer…[but] respondents living in the hottest areas, such as Miami, reported having more sex on average than their peers in areas like Minneapolis and Seattle. Still, even Miamians might turn down a proposition on the hottest days—according to the same study, 35 percent of Americans have said no to sex because of the heat.

So what’s behind the idea that heat makes us hot for one another?

Hook-ups might be more common simply because warmer weather brings us outside, and we’re more likely to meet new people who are dressed to impress. (The downside is that the incidence of sexual assault rises in the summer.)

Another theory is that we subconsciously associate feeling “hot” or “warm” with intimacy. (Consider the words “chilly” and “cold” when applied to the human personality.) Other scientists think that compounds present in sweat play a role in chemical attraction.

Whatever the scientific reason,  it’s likely that the idea of Summer Lovin’ is here to stay.


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