How to Have Sex When It’s Really Hot Out
Expert tips for keeping cool when the last thing you want is to be touched
This story is part of our Dog Days Survival Guide, a collection of essays, recommendations and how-tos to help you get through the hottest days of the year.
If a certain rapper of early-aughts fame is to be believed, extreme heat presents the perfect opportunity to take off all your clothes.
Presumably, Nelly meant this in a sexy way. But in times of temperatures so oppressive stripping is the only appropriate course of action, how much do any of us really still want to touch each other once we’ve taken off all our clothes? While we tend to associate heat with sexiness in a figurative sense — which will definitely be the source of several more puns throughout this article — how hot can sex really be when a literal late-August heatwave is involved?
For many of us, the hottest days of the year tend not to be our sexiest, particularly if you’re weathering the summer sans air conditioning.
“I can recall a really hot summer without AC in my apartment when I was in graduate school. I most definitely did not want to be touched!” says Laurie Mintz, Ph.D., sexpert for sex-toy brand LELO and author of the books Becoming Cliterate and A Tired Woman’s Guide to Passionate Sex. “I could barely stand being with myself, let alone someone else.”
In fact, Mintz adds, there is even research to suggest that high temperatures tend to result in fewer births nine months later. “Most people don’t want to be touched when they are hot, sweaty and uncomfortable,” she tells InsideHook. “This is a turn-off for an overwhelming majority of people.”
But while the idea of sweating it out with a partner on the hottest days of the year may not be a turn-on for most, there is a chance that sweltering summer temps could actually put some people in the mood. According to Mintz, more exposure to sunlight and vitamin D during the summer months can increase levels of testosterone and other “feel-good” hormones that can boost sex drive, while the general lack of clothing and amount of bare skin readily on display throughout the season have a tendency to put sex to the forefront of people’s summertime states of mind.
So if you’re someone whose sex drive goes up when the temperature and humidity levels do, here are some expert tips on how to stay cool during hot sex.
If you have AC, use it
And keep that baby set to a nice 69 degrees. No, really, I’m not even joking. According to sexologist Tyomi Morgan, that’s the ideal temperature for a satisfying sex session.
“It can be difficult for men to maintain erections when their bodies become overheated,” says Morgan. “If you want to ensure penetrative sex will last longer, keep the room at a good 69 degrees.”
No AC? Try having sex in front of a fan, “or even a breezy open window,” suggests Mintz, adding that window-front sex “could be a turn-on for the exhibitionist types.”
Remember car sex?
You may not have AC, but your car probably does, which could make the hottest days of the year the ideal time to rediscover the adolescent art of car sex.
“A quick romp in the car (outside of the garage or with the garage door opened for safety, of course) could do the trick!” says Mintz.
Bonus points if one of you is driving the car.
Water is your friend
“Shower sex is great because you don’t get all sweaty and digusting,” says sexologist Gigi Engle, Promescent brand advisor and author of All the F*cking Mistakes: A Guide to Sex, Love, and Life.
And while Mintz adds that shower sex often fails to live up to the hype — “think slippery and/or cramped quarters” — she concedes that running a cool shower or bath may be the best way to go during a heatwave. Just don’t forget the lube, and maybe a waterproof sex toy or two.
Whether or not you’re planning to go the shower sex route, hopping in the shower both before and after sex is always a good idea, especially when you’re anticipating a particularly sweaty session.
“For pre-sex, taking a lukewarm shower is a great way to get clean, stay cool and engage in foreplay,” says Morgan. “Taking a cool shower post-sex can help with washing away sweat and bacteria as well as cooling down the body to return to a resting state.”
Put your sheets in the freezer
Actually though, just put your sheets in the freezer. “Then make the bed, and have at it,” Mintz suggests.
Speaking of sheets, you’re definitely going to want to wash them after, whether you chilled them first or not.
“In humid weather it can take a while for them to dry and you don’t want to climb into bed and have damp sheets, because that’s super gross,” says Engle.
Ice, ice baby
Instead of fighting the temperature, why not play with it, a la Kim Basinger and Mickey Rourke in 9 1/2 Weeks?
“I always suggest trying temperature play,” says Engle. “You can use ice cubes and run them all over your partner’s body. This way you stay cool and hot at the same time.”
Morgan agrees. “Playing with ice during foreplay is a fun and sexy way to stay cool during the warm months,” she says. “Grab a bowl with a few cubes and use them to trace around your partner’s erogenous zones. Trace the neck, nipples, lips, belly and pelvic region. Use your breath to blow on the water trails to further cool your partner down.”
Sometimes, the hottest sex of all is sex that does not actually involve touching each other. This also happens to be a particularly COVID-friendly option, by the way.
So how exactly does one have sex without touching their partner? Allow me to introduce you to the wonderful world of mutual masturbation.
“Try ‘touchless sex.’ Talk about your fantasies and masturbate side by side,” says Mintz.
Mutual masturbation can be surprisingly hot. But if intercourse is a must, Mintz recommends sticking to positions that minimize physical contact. Standing sex, “especially near a cool wall,” is a good option. And of course, nothing beats doggy style in the dog days.
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