Every season has its sexy perks. Winter weather brings with it the perfect excuses to stay in and cuddle. Fall offers up dreamy date activities (hello, long walks through autumn foliage). Summer is just plain hot, and the long days and steamy nights present plenty of opportunities to hook up. But according to some experts, right now, as the weather warms up and the flowers start to bloom, is the horniest time of year. That's right — sexy spring fever is real.
There are a few factors that make this time of year especially sensual. “The weather is the catalyst,” says Danielle Forshee, a psychologist and marriage, family, and individual therapist. Ever since the spring equinox, the days have been getting longer. More exposure to sunlight increases our production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that boosts mood. And happy people tend to be horny people.
The pleasant weather also urges us outdoors, where we're likely to socialize and meet potential new partners. It encourages us to shed some of the bulky layers we've been wearing all winter too.
“People are coming out of hibernation, and they’re swapping out their sweats and comfy clothes for more, shall we say, ‘scantily clad’ options," Forshee says. "They’re exposing more body parts. As humans we notice those things, and it makes us more apt to go into mating mode.”
There may be something a little primal about our desire to get it on this time of year. Birds mate in the spring. Otters do too. And human's biological urges — including procreation — are tied to the seasons as well, a 2013 study indicates. "With the arrival of spring or late winter warmth, revived hibernating animals go out into the world seeking food and, in some cases, mates," the National Wildlife Federation notes. In other words: Goodbye, cuffing season and hello, hookup season.
Holly Richmond, Ph.D., a somatic psychologist and certified sex therapist, agrees that her clients seem especially interested in getting into relationships in the spring. “They’re more interested in the renewal piece,” she says. “Learning how to date smarter. Perhaps they had a breakup over the winter holidays, and they took January and February to rest, and now they’re ready to get back out there.”
Of course, spring horniness is more likely to hit folks who live in places with actual seasons, Richmond says. And no matter where you live, in the age of coronavirus, "shelter in place" orders, and social distancing, spring fever may be delayed until you can freely leave your home and get close to others. As the New York Department of Health wrote in a memo about the COVID-19 pandemic, right now, “you are your safest sex partner."
But in many areas, the weather is already slowly heating up, and the domino effect is being set into motion. More sunlight leads to more serotonin, which (once we're allowed outdoors) leads to more socializing, more skin, more sexual tension. As Forshee puts it: “It creates the perfect storm for hooking up."