You know what’s the best part about summer? Vacation.
And what’s one of the ways you know you’re really on vacation? You’re having vacation sex.
It’s not the same as at-home sex, no, no, no! Vacation sex is that toe-curling, leisurely kind of sex, where you don’t have to worry about alarms or deadlines and can just relax and let yourself go.
I’ve been thinking about it more now that summer’s beginning to wind down, and you know what? I’ve come to the conclusion that we’ve been really overthinking this whole vacation sex thing. It’s way easier to achieve than we think.
It’s not about staying at a hotel or tropical location. It’s about the mindset that gets you in the mood. Which means… you can make some easy (free) tweaks to your home sex routine.
Here are the highlights of vacation sex that you should focus on in order to recreate the spontaneous experience at home. No travel reservation necessary, just comfort.
It’s a misconception that the sex appeal of vacation sex comes from being in the locale. In my opinion, the same energy can be achieved if we rethink vacation sex as a state of mind, rather than location-dependent.
And what’s the biggest vacation mindset? Relaxing. Think about it: when you’re on vacation, you naturally feel less inclined to focus on daily stressors.
So, if you want to incorporate vacation sex vibes in your bed, the first step is to relax into the moment. Mindfulness techniques like meditation and deep breathing are great for this.
One of my favorite ways to enter a tranquil state is to get wet, aka drawing a bath or getting into the shower. As we go through the routine of washing ourselves or laying in soothing bathwater — focusing our thoughts on the feelings we’re experiencing, and incorporating all five senses — the motion can get our whole body to agree it’s calming time.
Doing this can take away all the distraction, stress, and preoccupation that can make sex feel like a to-do list.
Another big component of vacation sex? You’re more open-minded.
Maybe it’s because you’re in a location that’s temporary, or far from your daily life, but there’s something about vacations that give people the courage to try new things that seem out of place at home.
To me, being open-minded translates almost seamlessly into vacation sex because expanding what “sex,” “pleasure,” or even sexual goals look like can be the key to transforming the kind of sex you’re having to the kind that you want to be having.
Think about the things that turn you on. What about them is so arousing and appealing to you? Even if you don’t play out the exact acts in bed, you can still embody the mindsets or elements of it in your life.
Let’s get real now. Say you want to dominate your partner but don’t want to incorporate full-on BDSM. There’s plenty of ways to show dominance!
Maybe it’s initiating when you want to have sex (with their consent, of course) and taking the lead. Or maybe it’s through sensory deprivation (blindfolding) or restraining them during a make out session while you kiss different parts of their body.
Being open-minded isn’t about committing to acts that make you feel uncomfortable just because you “think” you should be doing them. Instead, it’s about reworking our perceptions of what can feel good during sex.
Like anything else, we can find ourselves stuck in a sexual routine. Switching things up starts with being open to trying new things, releasing our attachments to them, and being willing to be pleasantly surprised if we discover something new that turns us on.
Trying new things can be intimidating because of one thing: we’re afraid of messing up and getting things wrong.
But the key to really enjoying experimental sex is giving yourself permission be okay with things going awry.
Even if things don’t go exactly how you planned — the position is too advanced for you, things rub the wrong way, or it just doesn’t get you off — that’s okay. It’s not a failure; it’s an opportunity to try something new and give you more information about what you do like.
Vacation is so tied to a specific mindset that is relaxed and way more forgiving. So, carrying that state of mind into sex gets you a lot closer to having vacation sex than other things might.
Especially if you’re disabled, experience chronic pain, or any kind of discomfort during sex: how can you incorporate mobility aids and other tools for function during the experience?
Too often, we can feel ashamed if we need the assistance of any kind of tool during sex, but I think that bringing them into the experience can be a fun way to have the support that you need and inviting a new element to the sexual experience.
Experimentation doesn’t mean that everything will always be a success, that awkward moments won’t happen or that things may not work out exactly how you envision. But that’s okay.
What we’re aiming for here is to be open to the possibility of learning something new about ourselves, and enjoying the journey rather than the destination of perfection and orgasm.
This is probably the MOST important tip, and the easiest one to carry into your sexual routine at home. Vacation sex is so sexy, so appealing to many of us because it’s fun. It’s new and exciting — and that’s not only because of the location.
Vacations shouldn’t be what gives you permission to have fun. You’re the only person you need that permission from.
Are there positions that you want to try more often but you’re nervous about how you may look or what your partner may think? These are important to know because they can give you important insight on what you can try when you want to switch things up.
If you have a set way of masturbating or having partnered sex, you can try shifting to new things. Buy a new toy as a gift and make the unboxing a spectacle. Try a new position in a different area of the house (see: shower), or even try slowing down, like you have all the time in the world.
It requires some creativity but making sex fun again… well, that’s always worth it.
Cameron Glover is a writer, sex educator, and digital superhero. You can connect with her on Twitter.