Why May Is Secretly The Sexiest Month Of The Year

Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
It's getting warmer, and all the flowers that started to bud around the spring equinox are in bloom. It's easy to see how this could put some folks in the mood. At least, that's the common thinking behind some of the Pagan and Roman festivities that take place in May, which we're dubbing the year's secretly sexy month.

Let's make one thing clear: This is not, in any way, meant to throw shade at other months and their perceived sexiness. Rather, it's a closer look at all of the nature-based celebrations that take place during May around sex, fertility, and femininity. Below, check out three of the sexiest holidays you've (probably) never heard of from the Pagan and Roman calendars.

Bona Dea
Named for the Roman goddess of virginity and fertility, this festival is performed every year on May 1 to invoke Bona Dea's powers. Historically, this was the public, state-sponsored celebration for her; a more sacred, private celebration took place in December at the home of a priest. Little is known about the rites performed at the festival, but it's believed that most prayers at this time centered around agriculture, with people praying for Bona Dea to imbue the earth with her fertility.

Some of her worshippers, like those who were slaves or poor, sought freedom, but most of them were women seeking health and fertility. For that reason, no men were allowed to attend any mass rite for Bona Dea, though they could bring her offerings.

Beltane
Born out of Pagan traditions, this holiday also falls on May 1, the midpoint between the vernal equinox and the summer solstice. It's seen as the year's counterpoint to Samhain — where Samhain celebrates death, Beltane is all about abundance, fruitfulness, and the visible rebirth of nature at this time of year. Festival rites include maypole dances, goddess worship, and even ritual sex. No matter how you choose to celebrate, just revel in nature's feminine duality; it's at once maternal and erotic, as plants are reborn and animals conceive and bear young.

Flower Moon
Don't miss the full moon on May 21. Named for the aforementioned blooming that takes place this month, the Flower Moon is a time to get in touch with the divine feminine within you. It's a good night to connect with yourself and your loved ones, whether to show each other affection or make a commitment (if the time is right). Last month saw the Seed Moon rise, signifying potential love and life, like a budding flower. Think of the Flower Moon as your chance to realize that potential.

Summer may be the season of sexy flings, and February may have all things romantic covered, but May has some deep roots in the spiritual side of sex. Take a look around this month and see what the birds and the bees are up to. And if you need some direction, we have a few ideas about where to start.
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