Summer of Sex: Why We’re Turning the Heat Up in the Bedroom This Summer

by Lovehoney

on 21 Jun 2023

Lovehoney’s latest study reveals how our attitudes to sex and relationships change through the seasons and why many of us feel more sexually free in the summer.


As winter melts away and temperatures rise, a peculiar phenomenon takes hold. It’s a time when relationships face a test more formidable than anyone could predict: the irresistible allure of summertime freedom. The Uncuffing Season is upon us, and it’s time to brace yourself for a wild ride of singlehood, questionable decision-making, and the unspoken vow to flirt shamelessly under the blazing sun.

We surveyed over 2,000 sexually active adults to see just how many people are replacing their desire for a winter romance for a summer fling. We also spoke to Ness Cooper, clinical sexologist and founder of, to get the lowdown on why our desires change, and on how to safely have the sex you want this summer.

Over one in five Brits feel more sexually free in summer

41% of people we spoke to said their attitudes towards both romance and sex change depending on the season. Of these people, more than one in five (21%) agreed that they feel more open to exploring new sexual experiences in summer, making this the hottest time of year for sexual freedom. On the flipside, just 5% of people said they’re more open to new sexual encounters in the winter.

And it’s not just our sexual appetites that grow as the days get longer, either - we’re also more likely to feel our romantic desires ignite in the summer heat. Almost a fifth (17%) of people said they’re more open to romance in the summer months, which is more than any other time of year.

We also found that men (19%) are more likely than women (15%) to explore new romantic connections when the weather warms up.

Why do we feel more sexually free in summer?

According to Ness Cooper, the weather might have something to do with it: “During warmer weather we can experience a rise in vitamin D, which can increase our libido and make us more receptive to sexual pleasure with a higher chance of experiencing orgasms. It’s possible that this increase could make us more likely to want to engage in more pleasure-focused sex, such as casual sex.”

“Summer food may also lead to better blood sugars, as often it’s less carby and this can help blood flow to the genitals and improve response to sexual stimulation,” Ness adds. “High blood sugars can make it harder to orgasm and experience pleasurable erections of the penis or clitoris. Carby winter foods can also lead to an increase of bloating, making you want to have sex less as it can be uncomfortable.”

Finally, the freedom of summer holidays might also play a part. “Often, summer has a focus of going away on holiday, which has an increase in people wanting to explore causal encounters. There’s also a higher chance of having sex for the first time with a new partner when going on holiday together, as you’re able to relax more without the worries of work.


The most sexually open-minded cities in summer

Things are really heating up in the south, as a quarter (26%) of people in London report feeling more open to new sexual experiences in the summertime – which is more than anywhere else in the country. London’s neighbour Brighton comes close behind with 24%, followed by Manchester (23%) and Newcastle (22%).

London is also the most romantically open city in summer (20%), followed by Newcastle (19%) and Norwich (18%).


The star signs most likely to have sex this uncuffing season

People born under the sign of the bull are most likely to take advantage of their sexual freedom this summer, with over a quarter (27%) of Taureans saying they feel more open to new sexual experiences at this time of year.

This earth sign is famous for their sensuality and appreciation for physical pleasures, and summer offers abundant opportunities for sensory stimulation – whether it be the feeling of warm sunlight on skin, or the scent of blooming flowers. These sensory experiences might heighten a Taurus's natural tendency towards sensual exploration, including new sexual experiences.

Leos rank as the second most sexually open sign in summer (25%), followed by Libras (15%). Leos are also the most open to new romantic encounters in the summertime (23%).

Meanwhile, Aries are the least likely to feel more open to new sexual experiences in summer (14%), followed by Virgo (14%), Scorpio (18%) and Sagittarius (18%).

How to safely find sexual freedom this summer

With so many of us feeling our libidos sizzle under the summer sun, it’s extra important that we know how to explore our newfound sexual freedom safely. In light of this, Ness shared some tips for indulging in hot summer lovin' without any worries.

1. Use protection

“Take barrier methods such as condoms, making sure they aren’t stored in a place they’ll get too hot as the heat can damage the material and increase the likelihood of them splitting.”

2. Get tested for STIs

“Remember to get tested regularly for STIs. This should be something on your to-do list throughout the year.”

3. Set boundaries

“Talk about boundaries and consent. Use safewords if you’re unsure or just met for a casual encounter.”

4. Tell a friend

“Let a friend know you’re meeting up with someone for sex so they can check in with you and make sure you’re safe.”

5. Be open about what you want

“Being open about the type of sex you want can help you find sex more pleasurable. It also helps reduce the risk of experiencing bad sex, that may even be sex you really don’t enjoy and could be traumatic or triggering,” Ness says.

“When you’re open about the type of sex you want it can allow you to give consent easier too, and when you have the ability to give consent fully it can lead to better sexual satisfaction. It can also allow you to plan for that sexual experience and be better prepared for it, leading to a more satisfying time.”

Exploring sexual freedom while in a relationship

Sexual freedom might conjure the image of one-night stands and a chain of casual hookups, but that doesn’t mean couples can’t explore this sense of liberation too.

“Sexual freedom is a social concept partly, as it’s based on the notion that commitment is less free due to social rules around how you should and shouldn’t have sex when committed. It’s largely based on puritan values and sex that’s aimed at reproduction,” says Ness.

“When we learn to redefine what sex is, it can help us see the various ways we enjoy sex that aren’t solely focused on penile and vaginal sex. The reason why you have sex or want to have sex at a given time is valid and shouldn’t be discounted even if it feels like a simple or small reason. As long as it’s consensual and feels good, that’s the most important thing.”

For couples who do want to take advantage of a summer awakening to heat things up in the bedroom, there are plenty of new experiences to explore together. Toys, for example, can open up a whole new world of sexual pleasure to enjoy.

To make the most of bringing toys into the bedroom, communication is super important. “Talk about what you’re hoping to achieve from using the sex toy together. When discussing any emotions around why you think using a sex toy together would be good, focus on how it can relate to a better experience for both of you.”

And remember, when you’re just starting out, simple is best. “One of the biggest mistakes first-time sex toy buyers make when investing in sex toys to use with another is to go with toys that are too large or complicated. Often, smaller sex toys with minimal functions – like a simple vibrator or butt plug – are better for first time use with a partner, before progressing to something a bit more intense like a pussy pump or strap on.”

Sources and Methodology:

All data was taken from a survey of 2,126 adults (18+) who have had sex, carried out in April-May 2023.

Expert commentary provided by Ness Cooper – clinical sexologist and founder of

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Originally published on 21 Jun 2023. Updated on 21 Jun 2023