Love & Sex

Does Warmer Weather Turn Us On?

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It's spring, which means you're probably horny.

So it's theoretically spring, no matter what the temperature says, which means you're probably horny. Like, all the time. Or you should be, because science says so. According to a feature in Pacific Standard called "Sex in the Springtime," decades worth of research back up the claim that spring time ignites a certain passion within many of us.

This makes sense. After all, the change of the seasons does tend to affect our moods, so why not our sex drives? The National Institute of Health says that six percent of the U.S. population is affected by SAD (seasonal affective disorder), while 14 percent suffer from less acute mood shifts. Naturally, these changes in our disposition affect our romantic relationships. But how, exactly?

"A comprehensive and much-cited study in a 1990 issue of The Journal of Reproductive Rhythms suggests that human fertility rates are directly influenced by seasonal changes, and that sunlight and temperature are two outstanding factors in shaping procreation. While scientists report that human reproduction is far less seasonally dictated than that of other creatures, birth rates do rise and fall in distinct patterns throughout the year."

Apparently, temps between 50 and 70 provide ideal baby-making conditions. Pacific Standard quoted the New York Times on the issue: "For reasons that remain mysterious, such conditions somehow help stimulate either ovulation in women, a burst of sperm production in men, or a combination of the two." Or people just feel like getting it on when the birds are chirping and shorts are shorter, but what do I know? I'm no scientist.

A 2002 study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family describes two peaks of sexual activity among adolescents: summertime and December, around the holidays. Summertime seems to result in more new partnerships, while the romantic activity in the winter tends to exist between established romantic partners. This also makes a ton of sense, because it takes some trust to allow your partner to see you naked in all your post-Christmas cookie binge, winter weight glory.

Still, there is little evidence that we actually become aroused more frequently in spring and summer. Another study cited by Pacific Standard found that Polish men thought women's bodies and breasts were more attractive in winter, but not their faces. This might have to do with the fact that we bundle up in the colder months, making revealing outfits harder to come by. Personally, I've never found warm weather to be all that sexy. Warm weather is sweaty and unnecessary sweat is real gross. Cold weather, on the other hand, is ideal for getting as close to another person as is humanly possible.

Image via Flickr.