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HAVING less sex in the run up to Christmas? You are not alone.
We tend to have less fun between the sheets in December, research from Stanford University has revealed.
But it means we are also missing out on a number of health benefits.
Sex can decrease your levels of cortisol – the chemical that leaves you feeling frazzled – and lower your blood pressure.
Here, sexpert KATE TAYLOR reveals how you can combine sugar and spice this festive season.
SMASH THAT AVOCADO
SERVE up a breakfast in bed that will put you straight on to Santa’s naughty list.
Avocado on seeded toast is a great aphrodisiac.
The avocados promote good circulation and a healthy heart, which are both essential for sex.
While seeds (and nuts) contain healthy fats that lift your mood and also help increase your libido.
Wash it down with freshly brewed coffee, as caffeine has been shown to increase female sex drive and help with erectile dysfunction.
And for afters, serve a bowl of fresh raspberries, blackberries and straw-berries as they contain zinc, which promotes libido and can be found in another aphrodisiac – oysters.
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GET A ROOM, YOU TWO
FEW things are hotter than hotel sex.
But you can’t always get away for a whole night, especially over the busy Christmas period.
There is a simple solution: book a hotel for a few hours during the day.
Most big hotel chains (including Holiday Inn, Ibis, and Novotel) offer exclusive daytime rates for use of a room between 9am and 5pm.
It’s usually half the price of booking the same room overnight – but offers the same naughty possibilities.
Find room availability at dayuse.co.uk.
Arrive separately to your partner to ramp up the suspense, and seduce each other in the bar before heading upstairs.
Don’t forget sexy undies.
MAKE SHAGVENT CALENDAR
WRAP up 12 tiny, naughty treats and hide one under your partner’s pillow every night.
Think small, cheeky and fun – edible undies, flavoured body oils, a blindfold, tingly lubes, handcuffs, sex dice, bullet vibes, novelty condoms . . .
If you feel like splurging, buy a ready-made sexy advent calendar, like the 12 Days Of Sexmas (£65, NastyGal) or EIS’s Erotic Advent Calendar (£66.49, Amazon).
KISS WITH A CANDY CANE
MEN find women more desirable when they taste like peppermint, according to the Smell And Taste Institute in America.
So be sure to suck on a candy cane before you head under the mistletoe.
Strangely, women find men sexiest when they taste like alcohol, so hand him the liqueur chocolates.
Make sure you kiss for at least 30 seconds every day, no matter how busy you are.
It releases a ton of feel-good chemicals in your brain that increase affection and trust.
Make a deal that every time you hear a certain Christmas song, you’ll stop whatever you’re doing and snog.
DRINK MULLED WINE
MULLED wine – warm red wine mixed with spices and sugar – can do wonders for your sex life.
While it increases blood circulation and decreases inhibitions, it has also been proven to raise a woman’s libido.
But be warned. The positive effects decrease the more you drink, so keep it to one glass.
HIT IT WITH CITRUS
TRADITIONALLY you would find an orange at the bottom of your stocking – and that piece of fruit can come in very handy.
Citrus fruits – whether that is an orange, clementine, satsuma, tangerine, mandarin, lemon or grapefruit – contain the phytonutrient hesperidin, which increases blood flow.
And while stress can have an impact on your sex drive, citrus fruits are packed with stress-busting vitamin C.
They have also been shown to improve sexual confidence.
COVER UP FOR SLEIGH RIDE
FEELING bloated from all that Christmas food can deflate anyone’s sex drive.
One study found that dissatisfaction with body image significantly interfered with sexual desire, arousal and even orgasm.
If the diet starts in January, use December to shop for sexy, flattering underwear you can keep on in bed, like a teddy or a lace bodysuit.
Still too shy? Try a more flattering position.
The Sleigh Ride is ideal – he kneels on the bed, resting his weight behind him on his hands, you hop on top, facing away.
He can’t see anything but you can both feel EVERYTHING!
WEAR SEX SOCKS IN BED
ANY position where your feet are in the air dramatically increases friction, sends blood rushing to your bits, and helps you to climax faster.
But a good tip is to wear socks or stockings as cold feet can decrease your arousal.
And what better position to try in December than the Christmas Tree.
Women should lie on the bed, legs up straight and toes pointed.
He kneels in front of you and holds your feet together while he pushes your legs over to one side.
Or to give him the feet-up thrills, sit him in an armchair, hook his legs over each arm of the chair, and hold his ankles while you move on top.
DRESS UP AS MR & MRS C
EVER wonder what Santa and his wife get up to the other 364 nights of the year? You might not want to know…
Research has found men and women are seen as more sexually desirable and attractive when they wear red clothes.
Get matching Santa outfits, sit on his knee, and tell him everything you want for Christmas.
The effect also happens if people are seen against a red backdrop, so swap your plain white bed linen for scarlet sheets.
UNWRAP YOUR BLOKE
YOU can get away with anything at Christmas if you make out you’re wrapping gifts.
So make your excuses to the rest of the family and drag your partner upstairs – and unwrap him instead.
Not in the mood? Try a different time of day.
Women’s sex drives generally peak at around 3pm, and tail off towards bedtime.
Why not book a babysitter to collect the kids from school, or take an afternoon off work, and make the most of your natural afternoon high.
‘I go extra mile to please her’
NICOLE ROBINSON, 42, cannot wait for Christmas as her builder boyfriend Fabrice Williams, 33, will be dressed as her ultimate crush: Father Christmas.
Beautician Nicole, from Tiverton, Devon, says: “Christmas is such a special time for families.
“I love every single festive tradition – but the best part for me is Santa.
“I have fun by asking my partner to dress up as Father Christmas in the bedroom.
“That big, white, fluffy beard is such a turn-on, and when I mentioned it might be a fun thing to do together he didn’t raise an eyebrow and happily donned the red hat.
“If I meet a Santa with a real beard, then that’s even hotter.”
Nicole admits she has no ideas where her crush started but says she’s always loved facial hair on men.
She adds: “It could simply be that this time of the year is so special to me that I’ve associated that rush of endorphins with Santa – then gone one step further by developing saucy feelings for him.
“We have five children between us, so it’s nice that this Santa crush is a bit of fun that is just for us.
“My fella makes a fabulous Santa.
“He really lets me get away with this silly fantasy – and why not as we both enjoy the time we spend in this roleplay.
“Fabrice and I have a fantastic relationship and bringing this element of cosplay into our love life really spices up those cosy festive evenings.”
Fabrice says: “I love dressing up if it pleases Nicole. I know she has a thing for Father Christmas, so I love to wear my Santa hat with nothing else in the bedroom.
“This really excites Nicole and gets things extra naughty.The passion and fun we have with this is amazing, although I must add it was strange at first.
“Just knowing how much it pleases her means I’ll go the extra mile to make it happen.”