Let’s face it: Christmas can be a stressful time.
In 2021, our survey found 70% of UK adults were worried Christmas put extra pressure on their relationships.
So there’s no doubt that the festive season can feel like a burden for the best of us. But what better way to relieve the pressure than with some intimate time with someone special?
Sex and intimacy is good for us for a whole host of reasons – not least that studies have shown it can be a great form of stress relief.
For many of us – sexual intimacy will be the last thing on our minds these holidays, and that’s okay.
But if you’re feeling overwhelmed during this silly season, and you’re feeling in the mood then here are some ideas for how you can focus on pleasure instead of stress this Christmas.
Get in the mood
Start off differently
One of the most nerve-wracking parts of getting things started can be suggesting it. Whether you’ve just met or you’ve been married for thirty years, for lots of people that can be that underlying sense of anxiety about saying your desires out loud. So it’s little wonder that many of us rely on tried and tested moves to initiate sex. But trying something new can be exciting for you and your sexual partner/partners. Just have a go and see what happens.
Remember past experiences
Lots of people have past times that they find themselves fantasising about time and time again. But have you ever shared that recollection to turn up the temperature on your sex life? Talking about past sexual and intimate experiences and what made them so enjoyable is a great way to celebrate your sexuality past, present and future. For couples, it’s probably best to stick to memories you’ve made together rather than with other people!
Try something new
Talk dirty to me
Sometimes the anticipation is just as pleasurable as the deed itself. Why not try prolonging the suspense by spending an evening talking about what you’d like to do together without ever allowing yourself to touch?
Who knows, you might even discover a secret desire you never knew existed.
Everyone loves unwrapping a present at Christmas – how about trying something different this year? Sex toys are a great way of exploring new desires and pleasures together and on your own. And these days your options go well beyond the traditional vibrator. From massage oil to special pillows to get you into the most pleasurable position, there are options to everyone’s liking.
Have some alone time...together
Do you enjoy the thought of a front row seat to someone’s moment of ecstasy? As nice as it is to experience those feelings together, it’s a totally different experience to watch someone else, like your significant other, take that journey solo. Masturbation and self-pleasure can relieve stress, tiredness and even pain -- and watching that can be a real turn on. So consider giving yourself a little extra gift over the holidays.
Practice mindful sex
We all know mindfulness can be good for our mental health, but did you know it can help you enjoy sex more too? Once you’ve gotten into the habit of mindfulness, try practicing while having sex -- focusing on specific sensations, touch and the feeling of what you’re doing. If you notice your thoughts drifting towards those easy peelers you forgot to add to the shopping list then let those thoughts go and keep your attention on the here and now.
Leave the bedroom behind
Have you had sex in every room of your home? If not, now might be the time to start ticking some spaces off your bucket list. Just because your bedroom is where the bed lives doesn’t mean your sex life has to begin and end there. The office, the bathroom and even the kitchen all have their individual perks that can help you de-stress this Christmas.
Build strong foundations
Download the Paired app for couples
Paired is an app which gives you and your sexual partner/partners the opportunity to learn about each other through fun and useful conversations, quizzes and games. Backed by leading experts and research, an independent study found that couples who used Paired for three months saw a 36% increase in the quality of their relationship. From dos and don’ts in the bedroom to getting in the mood -- there’s plenty of sexy-themed content to help you discover new parts of each other this Christmas.
Play a game
When the lights go down and the Monopoly board is packed away, you might think the time for games is over. But with a couple’s deck of cards the play can continue deep into the night. These days, there are all different kinds of card games for couples that offer structure and support for conversations about sex and intimacy. If you don’t know where to start, these games are the perfect way to build up your confidence and your ideas.
With all the busyness surrounding Christmas, we often don't get the chance to stop and take the time to really focus on enriching our romantic relationships.
That's why this year, we’ve created a relationship advent calendar that's delivered straight to your inbox to encourage you to find small moments with your loved ones this festive season.