Not long ago a friend of mine returned from a trip to Aruba with her boyfriend and regaled me with stories of the crazy sex they had – three or four times a day, anywhere they could get each other’s clothes off.
The funny thing is, she and her boyfriend are never like that at home. “We had sex often enough, I guess,” she says, “but it was always run-of-the-mill stuff. Since we’ve been back, we haven’t even contemplated doing anything risky. We’re right back to our old routine.”
All too often, that’s the way it works: Sex at home is like eating at home. Your Tuesday night cheese jaffle might be tasty, but it doesn’t wow you like the cheese platter served at a restaurant. That’s why, if you want to get the most out of your sex life, sometimes you have to pack it up, take it away, and bust it out in a totally new setting.
The Perfect Getaway
What is it about a holiday that makes a woman so horny? Let’s start with the obvious: She’s not working, running errands or taking care of anyone but herself. “I always have more sex when we’re away,” says Julie, 27, who’s been married for three years. “Sometimes we do it twice a day. But at home morning sex never happens; we’re too busy getting ready for work. On vacay I never have a to-do list, except: ‘Have three daiquiris before noon.’”
It’s not rocket science, says sex therapist Ian Kerner, PhD: “People are more relaxed on vacation and tend to engage in more activities that lower inhibitions, like drinking and dancing. Plus, vacations bring novelty into a relationship, which stimulates dopamine, and that plays a big role in sexual arousal.”
Then there’s the issue of location, location, location. Like Julie, I always have more sex when I’m away – but especially if I’m in a tropical climate. Something about being nearly naked in a bikini, all hot, sweaty, and oiled up, makes me much more ready to go for it than having to remove eight layers of clothing and a pair of slush-covered boots. Go figure. “Feeling the heat off my boyfriend’s body as we lie next to each other in the sun always turns me on,” agrees Emily, 26. “It’s so inviting to put our hands on each other’s slick, bare skin.” On one Caribbean trip, her boyfriend was touching her thigh while they were lying out and managed to discreetly slip his finger under her swimsuit. “I leaned over and he fingered me right there on the beach. The whole trip was like that – we’d have quickies in the restrooms near the pool. Once we even did it in the pool.” (Don’t worry, folks, there’s plenty of chlorine in those things.)
Most women get so psyched to get busy on holiday, in fact, that they do tonnes of prep work ahead of time. Mel, 31, makes sure to get a Brazilian wax and buys a sexy new pair of panties for each night she and her boyfriend will be gone. “We live together, and it’s easy to get lazy about things like grooming and lingerie. But when we go away, I know we’re going to be boning every night, so I need to make sure I look hot for him.” Even girls who don’t have boyfriends plan ahead for travel sex: slipping their sexiest undies, a few condoms, and little bottles of lube into their carry-ons just in case. “One-night stands and short flings are so much easier on vacation,” says Sara, a single, 29-year-old financial analyst who travels to Hawaii by herself once a year, “because there’s almost no expectation that you’ll stay in touch.”
Going the Distance
One of the key benefits of vacation is not just that it offers abundant time for more boning, but also opportunities for better, dirtier boning. Being in a foreign country for a few days where you don’t know anyone is almost like an automatic “Get Out of Propriety Free” card. Wanna do something totally impolite? Go right ahead – you’ll never see these people again!
“I’m always more uninhibited on holiday,” says Danika, 24. “The only times my boyfriend and I have had anal have been on trips. I think it’s about not caring what happens to the room. On vacation someone else takes care of everything, so I don’t care if we trash the sheets or break something.”
While some trips provide an obvious setting for raucous, no-holds-barred screwing – private island bungalows, secluded mountain cabins, luxurious over-water villas – many women told me they didn’t necessarily need to be completely alone with their guys to be able to let loose away from home. Karina, 26, loves that in a hotel she can moan as loud as she wants and shout out her boyfriend’s name without worrying about the neighbours. “I don’t care about the people in the room next door,” she says. “I live in an apartment in Sydney, and when we f—k at home my groans are reduced to little whimpers, because I don’t want to blush every time I see my neighbours in the elevator.” She says one time in Ireland she even had someone bang on the wall to get her to tone it down. “I couldn’t have cared less. It actually made the sex hotter.”
Most women reported that dirty talk gets raunchier on hols, too. “I was recently in Fiji with my boyfriend, and every night while we were screwing we would talk about going down to the lobby and picking up another couple,” says Jen, 25. “We’d go into all the dirty details about how we’d switch partners
and have a wild orgy. It was such a turn-on.”
And like my friend in Aruba, a lot of couples are more inspired to get kinky outside the bedroom when they’re away. “Big hotels and resorts have so many nooks and crannies that are great for f–king,” says Tina, 30. “My boyfriend and I snuck out the emergency exit of a penthouse bar in Tokyo and did it doggy-style on the roof. It was easy and totally thrilling.”
There can be downsides to outdoor sex, depending on where you are. Jill, 23, and her boyfriend slipped away while on a Brazilian rainforest hike, with disastrous results: “He grabbed me from behind and threw me down on a mossy bank surrounded by trees. We tore each other’s pants off and started going at it, but after a minute we were both slapping our legs. Then he started scratching his arse. Then I felt an itch ‘down there’. We were covered with mosquito bites. We couldn’t have sex for three days.”
Into the Wild
One time, at a resort in Jamaica, I was on my way back to my room when I saw my sister up against a wall, giggling. She motioned for me to look in the window of a ground-floor room she was standing near. I nearly died laughing: Inside was a woman wearing nipple clamps and wielding a tickler, straddling a fat guy who wore a woman’s silk bra. Soon a small, drunken crowd gathered to peek inside, till the couple got wise and shut the curtains. Maybe they regularly did that at home, but it’s likelier they were jacking the kink factor way up simply because they were away – and they’re not alone.
“My boyfriend and I have swung twice, both times on holiday,” says Pip, 28. “In New Zealand we met a couple at a bar. I made out with the guy while my boyfriend made out with the girl. Later we went to our hotel and had full-blown sex with each other’s partner on the same bed. It was crazy and hot, but not something we’d ever do in the city we live in.” Another friend of mine met a couple at a bar in New York, and they all decided to fulfil a mutual fantasy. “They asked if I wanted to go back to their hotel room, which was nearby, and keep drinking. Once we were there the girl started kissing me, and soon we were making out and stripping down while her husband watched and encouraged us to get it on. He eventually joined in, too. Let’s just say a strap- on was involved somewhere in the mix.”
The natural evolution of all this horniness? Places like Hedonism, a collection of Jamaican resorts designed specifically for partner-swapping orgiastic sex. Just remember, wherever you go, pack plenty of condoms, spermicidal gels, and morning-after pills. What happens on holiday – especially when you’re hooking-up with strangers you picked up at Señor Frog’s – doesn’t always stay on holiday.
BY GILLIAN TELLING