Article: ‘Ho Ho No’ (The Case Against Christmas Sex)

Right now half of you are probably frowning in disagreement and the other half are probably shouting out ‘Hell yeah!’ in extreme solidarity.

Let’s talk Christmas sex.

Tis The Season To Be Jolly (So What The Fuck, Emmeline?)

Sex at the holidays is an incredibly popular recreational activity, and not just for Christmas. We have it every Valentines, for most anniversary events, on Birthdays, and on other important or annual markers (including other festive celebrations). (Seitan) Steak and a Blowjob Day anyone?

Even Mean Girls links Christmas with sex.

Heck, it’s even got to the point where midwives in the UK are actively urging people not to have sex at Christmas due to the annual baby boom that this causes 9 months down the line. Given this, I’m not going to act like there are no benefits to having sex on special occasions, such as Christmas. September 26th is the busiest day for births solely for this reason, which is just crazy to think of.

Of course, that tells you nothing about the quality of the sex but, if we know one thing, it’s that people are still rather interested in sex at Christmas. One survey done by One Condoms found that, although 38% of their 2000 respondent would avoid Christmas sex (due to family being down), 44% would just be quieter (and, in total, 32% would try to have more sex while their family was round for Christmas).

Sex at Christmas can also offer thematic fun in the way of sexy Santa outfits, naughty elf roleplays, and novelties such as carol singing sex toys. I personally own a Christmas-themed show collar that I proudly wear around the Christmas season (with a little jingle bell included).

But I would never, and I mean never, have sex just because it’s a particular date or occasion and here’s why.

Obligation Breeds Contempt

What is one of the main things that we say about sex?

It should always be undertaken with enthusiastic, informed, and ongoing consent.

These are the main determinant for whether any sexy times are had and, if they’re absent, then you’re in a no-go territory.

But having sex just because of a date proactively disregards this mindset. That’s not to say that if you said ‘No’ during your Christmas sex tradition then you’re partner would be like ‘Psh, we have a deal, no take backs now’ (also, can I just say, simply writing that gave me a shudder at how wrong that sounded), but the premise of an event-based sex schedule still puts a foundation of ‘we will have sex’ in place that inherently disregards individual autonomy and the importance of consent in every instance.

Think about it: By setting date-based expectations you’re essentially saying that you expect sex on that day, which puts pressure on your partner/s to fulfill your needs, rather than simply allowing you to naturally enjoy whatever happens on the day. This can lead to some people actually dreading the Christmas season, because they know that their partner/s has these expectations and they may not be on board.

Sex in this framework becomes and obligation, not a consensual act, and that’s pretty messed up.

It Can Represent (And Encourage) Relationship Problems

This kind of sex can also create a very toxic situation in which partner/s also have sex only on special occasions and they withhold or avoid sex in other instances. Not only does this mask a greater relationship problem which really does need to be addressed, but it also aggravates the sexual frustration and distress in that damaged relationship. It leaves one party expecting sex, because they want it, without regard for how their partner feels and, again, another partner essentially just fulfilling a chore, having sex regardless of if it feels good for them, and then just hoping to get it ‘over and done with’ until next year.

This sort of thing? Not okay.

You’d think that this was just a parody trope but, no: I’ve actually heard older individuals (typically women) talking about this exact scenario as if it’s just business as usual for them. As if a women’s pleasure (their pleasure) is secondary, even non-existent, to the desires of their husband, and that they don’t really like sex but they’re going to get it over with anyway.

It’s so upsetting to know that there is an entire subsection of (at the very least) my country that feels this way and follow a traditional patriarchal framework where female pleasure, and that the idea of Christmas sex plays not just a participatory role in this, but actively encourages this framework, and the continuation of a damaging approach to sex and relationships.

Further than this, the pressure to have sex just because it’s a certain time of year is being used to pressure younger individuals too, with one study finding that a quarter of 13 to 17-year olds felt that they were pressured to have sex at Christmas. Not that they were looking forward to sex this time of year, but that they felt pressured.

Oh and, just for the record, the UK age of consent is 16.

…Yeah.

Then there’s the practical elements of it too.

Let’s Be Realistic Here…Christmas Is Just Not The Best Time For Sex

The family, the schedule, the stress beforehand, the alcohol (and attached consent issues), the food…oh god, the food.

I don’t know about you, but come 2pm I am typically full of Christmas dinner, experiencing an energy crash from the excitement of gift-giving in the morning (which, of course, I’ve woken up early for, so that plays in to it too), frazzled from being around family members, and typically want nothing more than to just curl up with an omnibus of bad UK sitcoms, or Raymond Briggs’ Father Christmas.

Most of us at Christmas.

Of course, there will be minor variations from family-to-family but, usually, Christmas involves so much eating and other activities that it typically leaves you sluggish, tied to commitments that kind of involve you showing your face most of the time, and may even involve pleasing merry little tykes who are all hyper from devouring their chocolate Santa.

Christmas is hectic (typically enjoyable, but hectic) so why add another obligation to your schedule (especially when we’ve know that sex as an obligation is super problematic)? It’s not usually going to end well.

But What If We Want To Have Sex At Christmas?

Great! Have sex at Christmas.

I’m a sex blog. I’m not here to wreck your fun. That’s kind of the antithesis of what I want to do.

All I’m arguing for here is that you shouldn’t plan to have sex on Christmas (or any other occasion) just because it’s Christmas, rather than listening to how your body (and your partner/s) feel on any given day.

Christmas sex can be great fun. But, as with any situation, context matters.

So, if you do choose to have sex this Christmas then huzzah! Ride your mutual Christmas cheer until you’re both as red as Rudolph’s nose, and glowing with as much enthusiasm. Just make sure to have sex because you both want it rather than letting the Birthday of a religious prophet dictate when you get it on.

I mean, when you put it like that it’s kind of weird anyway.