Do periods of high heat play a role in our sexual desire? Alexia Bacouël, sex therapist, analyzes the effect of mercury on sexual relations.
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The thermometer is around 40 degrees everywhere in France. While for some, the rise in mercury boosts libido, for others it slows down the urge to have sex. In a recent report consulted by Liberation, the National Institute for Demographic Studies (INED) revealed that nine months after each heat wave there were 5 to 6% fewer births. “Among the dropouts, some appear to be directly linked to specific economic events. The year 2004 thus presents a seasonal profile characterized by a trough in spring births, i.e. 9 to 10 months after the heat wave of 2003”, points out the report. And also to add: “We can therefore hypothesize that a sudden heat wave event could have consequences on the fertility of certain couples exposed to the risk of conception. The sudden increase in temperature could also cause a decrease in the sexual activity of spouses (these two hypotheses are not exclusive). »
But then, does the heat act directly on the frequency of intercourse? Alexia Bacouël, sex therapist, couple therapist, founder of the Cabinet of Feminine Curiosity and author of the book Les Below du Plaisir, comes back to this received idea.
Le Point: How the current very high heat is impacting do they desire?
Alexia Bacouël:When it is very hot, we have a moist body, which perspires. For some, sweating is something very sensual, while for others it's quite repulsive. It can even block them from wanting to have sex. As with everything, there are no rules. The feeling in the face of heat remains something personal.
Variations in heat cause variations in light. It is these changes that affect morale. For example, when winter light dims, morale can suffer. The drop in a hormone, serotonin, can cause mild depression and dampen libido. Conversely, strong heat and light boost the production of serotonin and can therefore increase desire.
How does the body respond during a heat wave?
Very high heat also makes you more tired and slower. We often have less energy and our daily activities are less hectic. So some people also have less desire to make love. Indeed, sexual relations require cognitive and physical work that not everyone wants to accomplish.
In addition, the lack of water also affects the functioning of the body. For example, dehydration can lead to erectile dysfunction. The lack of water then does not allow the penis to have enough blood rich in oxygen and nutrients to maintain an erection. So the best advice we can give people is to drink enough to stay hydrated.
Is summer a better time for physical connections?
Couples often have more sex during the summer. During this period, people are more available mentally. They have more time, they are less caught up in the frenzy of everyday life, less stressed, they are in new spaces. Lighter outfits, tanned skin and bare shoulders also help rekindle the flame of desire that may have waned during the year.