New Year's Eve is fast approaching and as well as starting 2023 with the pop of a champagne cork and the fizz of fireworks many Brits might also be celebrating by trying something new in the bedroom.
Turns out that welcoming in the new year is one of the special occasions that inspire people to have sex, with over half of us (54%) claiming that they wave goodbye to the previous year by getting down and dirty.
What's more, we're using the celebration as an excuse to be a little more experimental with almost three in five (59%) saying the start of a new year puts them in the mood for testing out new things.
The survey, of over 2,000 adults from sexual wellness brand Lovehoney, also found that New Year's Eve isn't the only festive occasion getting Brits hot under the collar, as over a third (37%) say Christmas Day gets them going.
And it isn't just the festive period that is inspiring couples and singles to have celebration sex, in fact birthdays and Valentine's Day are the favourite occasions for people to get it on.
Almost two thirds (64%) of respondents said that they’ve gotten hot and heavy in the bedroom on their own birthday, while 63% have done the same on their partner’s birthday, and 61% use the most romantic day of the year – Valentine’s Day – to dial up the heat.
Not only are birthdays and February 14 the favourite occasions for sex, they’re also the dates to see the most adventurous sex.
The research found that 64% of respondents felt their sex is more adventurous on Valentine’s, 63% for their partner’s birthday, and 63% for their own birthday.
The most common reason adults believe their sex is more kinky on a celebration is due to trying new positions (35%).
This is closely followed by ‘doing it’ for a longer period of time (45%), and ‘doing it’ multiple times throughout the day (39%). And for as many as one in seven (13%) adults, occasions are celebrated by participating in a threesome.
So what is it about these landmark dates in the calendar that ramp up the sauciness?
According to Dr Justin Lehmiller, psychologist and research fellow at The Kinsey Institute, it's all to do with the impact that the happy feelings these days evoke have on sexual arousal.
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"Social psychologists have long known that strong emotions can sometimes be mistaken for sexual arousal – or can have the effect of amplifying sexual arousal," he explains. "So if you’re in the midst of an exciting celebration where your body is in a heightened state of generalised physiological arousal (e.g. your heart rate is up), and this is coupled with cues for sexual arousal (e.g. you meet an attractive new person), this ups the odds of being in the mood for sex.
"On top of this, people often consume alcohol when they’re celebrating, and in small to moderate doses alcohol can act as an aphrodisiac because it lowers sexual inhibitions.”
But meanwhile, though a ‘birthday blowjob’ is a common occurrence, the research found that over one third of participants (36%) actually feel pressure to have sex and perform due to it being an occasion.
For those aged 18 to 14, half of respondents within this group have also admitted to feeling the same pressure on their partner’s birthday.
Dr Lehmiller says it is important not to feel pressured into having celebration sex, mainly because no one should ever feel under obligation to have sex, but also because it can have an impact on relationships moving forward.
“When you start having sex out of obligation, this can decrease your future sexual desire because, odds are, the sex won’t be great," he explains.
"Obligatory sex can create more issues in your sex life than it solves."
If sex is starting to feel obligatory in your relationship, Dr Lehmiller recommends having a sexual check-in with your partner.
"Tell each other what is and isn’t working for you. And discuss how you can get back to having the sex you really want”.