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Digital Subscriptions > Healthy Magazine > Dec/Jan 2020 > SEX ON THE BRAIN


Cliché or not, we tend to have more sex during the holiday season. But with distractions and stresses dialled up to 11, it can also feel like we’re just going through the motions. Kate Moyle explains how a new breed of mindful sex can bring back your pleasure principle

If the last thing you touch at night is your phone rather than your partner, you’re not alone. More than half of us check texts in the bedroom, says one recent survey, giving more attention to the device by our bed than the person in it. Sadly, smartphones aren’t the only intrusion in our sex lives – most of us carry a headful of distractions that affect our ability to turn off, not to mention our ability to get turned on.

The brain is the most powerful sexual organ of all. It responds to erotic cues by releasing surges of hormones that divert blood to the genitals and cause the swelling, tingling and wetness that puts us in the mood for sex. But the thing is, our minds aren’t actually that great at multitasking – so if you’re mulling over your tax return as your partner sidles up to you in bed, you’re unlikely to feel any great desire for sex. Mental distractions can also dampen the body’s ability to respond to sex. One study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, for example, found that women who reported the highest levels of distraction displayed the lowest levels of genital arousal when watching an erotic movie. Which figures – if your mind is elsewhere, your sexual organs simply don’t get the memo that passion could be on the cards.

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About Healthy Magazine

Welcome to the Christmas issue of healthy! In the December/January edition, we look at how to avoid stress and stay upbeat over the festive period. Plus, we’ve got some tips on making healthier choices at the Christmas party and setting achievable goals for the year ahead. Many of us suffer with stress over Christmas, so for this issue, we wanted to think about all of the positive things that come with it, too. From our fresh-thinking article on perfecting the art of getting tipsy, to advice on how to break the Christmas weight-gain/January diet cycle, we’re approaching the colder months with a positive outlook. In the name of balance, writer Laura Potter looks at why we should practise Pilates to build strength and improve posture. We also look into the benefits of art therapy, as well as offering some crafting tips for you to try. And if you’re hosting your own festive party this year, don’t forget to flip the magazine over for festive recipe inspiration in our dedicated food section. Find all of this, plus our usual expert-led content, in the latest issue of Healthy.