Columnist Dr. Jessica O’Reilly is a sought-after speaker, author and sexologist (www.SexWithDrJess.com).
Travel season is upon us, and though holiday planning and the thrill of vacation sex can heighten feelings of connection and passion, the stress associated with travel itself can put a strain on relationships.
To attenuate the stress associated with travel, consider practising gratitude before you hop in your car or board your flight. A brief practise of gratitude can increase intimacy, likability and attraction, and couples who practice gratitude are happier in their relationships and feel closer to one another.
Even if you only have a few days, taking time to escape with your lover not only positively affects your short-term sex life, but can help to reignite feelings of connection and passion. By slipping away from your regular routine and reducing the practical restrictions that inhibit your sex life (e.g., kids, work, household responsibilities), your inhibitions naturally subside, leading to exciting and novel experiences and a boost in desire. Moreover, even mini-vacations tend to produce opportunities for trying something new (e.g., food, culture, environment), and according to self-expansion theory, this partner-supported opportunity for growth increases relationship fulfillment.
For a quick weekend escape, consider a few days in Montreal where you can lounge at Bota Bota (a spa on a boat), enjoy Burlesque and Boylesque at the Wiggle Room or get frisky at L’Orage — a club for exhibitionists and voyeurs.
Closer to home, the Drake offers a pleasure menu as well as packages that include “racy” gifts from local sex-positive shop Come As You Are. And if you have time to hop a quick flight to New York, book the Love Room at the Library Hotel, which features erotic artwork and a literary collection curated by Dr. Ruth.
For longer getaways, consider exploring a couples-only, erotically charged environment like Mexico’s Desire Resorts or Temptation, which is open to couples, groups and singles alike. Just make sure all parties are on board before you book — these experiences can be positively life changing, but they don’t make for a great surprise trip.
When planning your intimate getaway, consider some details that can help you to relax and be more playful.
Be affectionate en route to set the tone. Make a playlist with your favourite tunes. Pack snacks to avoid hunger and crankiness. Use apps like Calm or Headspace if you experience anxiety while travelling. And pack something special like a new pair of underwear, something tasty or a thoughtful note.