Several years ago my partner and I were enjoying a quiet house. All the kids were out with friends and doing various things. So, taking advantage of the childless house we decided to set up sexy shop in the living room and watch porn on the big screen. As is the case with most things that have to do with having kids, just as we were hot and heavy into each other with porn playing, we heard a key in the lock of the front door. We jumped up and ran to the door, slamming it closed just as it opened.
“You can’t come in! We’re wrapping presents!” we yelled, which seemed to be fitting as it was nearing Christmas. Our kid, however, wasn’t buying it. Once we were quickly and adequately clothed we opened the door for him. When he came into the living room my partner and I realized that in our rush we had forgotten to pick up the blankets which were spread out across the couch and we were both looking a bit disheveled. The TV, while turned off, was still on and basking the room in a blue glow. Our son smirked at us both and walked down the hall to his room.
So how is sex a present?
Sex as a Stress Reducer
Let’s be honest, the holiday season has the ability to create stress for a lot of us. In spite of the jolliness of the season, there seems to be a bit of a maddening rush everywhere. Taking some time to physically connect with our partner(s), or even with ourselves, can force us to be in a present state, breathe deeply, and focus on pleasure for ourselves. With all we’re doing rushing around to ensure the days ahead are pleasurable for others, its good self-care to make a bit of our own time as pleasurable and thus a little less stressful.
Lower Blood Pressure
A Scottish study published in the Biological Psychology journal states: “Sexual activity prevents increases in blood pressure during stressful events.” Considering the stresses that many people experience during the holiday season, this link to blood pressure health could certainly be an incentive to secure some pleasure time for yourself. That alone may be a good gift to enjoy!
Sexual Health = Cardiac Health
A little-known fact is how using our sexiness as a workout is actually good for our hearts. When having sex, our heart rate increases. Thus, sex may be the most fun type of exercise. Of course, if you feel you might not be healthy enough for a romp under the mistletoe, you should check with your doctor to make sure.
One of the best gifts to give a sexual partner is to not give them anything at all. Sexually transmitted infections, while treatable, are generally not something that most people desire. The best way to avoid giving such a gift to another person is to wrap up anything that will be inserted with a condom. Unfortunately, many believe simply wrapping up prior to penetration is enough.
Condoms can only do so much to protect from which they’re in contact. To further protect from possible STI transmission, don’t shave or brush teeth right before sexual activity. This may sound counter-intuitive, but much like preventing the spread of other infections such as a cold or the flu, clean closed skin is our best defense. Shaving and brushing teeth can cause micro-abrasions that create an access point for infection. So waiting a few hours after either before putting another person’s sexy parts inside any of your sexy parts is a good defense.
One reason I hear from many about why they choose not to use condoms is that of how restrictive they feel. Truly, one of the most enjoyable facets of penetration into any orifice is feeling the moistness of your partner. To substitute that, place a drop of lube on the inside of your condom prior to placing it on your penis.
To this day the term “wrapping presents” has become code in our family for having sex.
Sex is how we all got here. And while society at large may have issues with the concept of sex for the purpose of pleasure, I am here to advocate for it. Let’s consider how much of a gift sex can be.
Dr. Laurie Bennett-Cook is a clinical sexologist and can be reached at [email protected]