The climate crisis could be the reason for my dry spell. No, I’m not kidding.
This year, South Asia experienced a debilitating heat wave which pushed temperatures up to 50 degrees Celsius.
New Delhi, the city I live in, had its hottest summer with temperatures also reaching 50 degrees. I wish I wasn’t overdoing it, but even going out for a few minutes during the day would cause me to suffer from rashes or heatstroke. The evenings are no better; dust storms and hot air blow at a rapid pace, making it feel like someone is skinning you alive. According to scientists, these heat waves will become “100 times more likely.”
In these times, dating or even having casual sex becomes more difficult. While I love meeting new people and getting to know them, my body hates the heat. Even getting to a date or a bar becomes exhausting. I mainly rely on public transport from high fuel prices in the country made taxis more expensive. This time I showed up to my date but I was no longer thirsty for his D. The heat had dehydrated me to the point that I could feel my organs begging for a sip of water. I didn’t want to spread my legs any longer for my date; I wanted to lay on his bed and sleep right under the fan while the air conditioner cooled the room.
Yes, the climate crisis affects people’s relationships and sex lifeand I’m part of it.
But how exactly do heat waves and erratic temperatures affect our libido? Does the heat make us less excited? According to a 2015 US study, The answer is yes. the the researchers found that, for every day that climbed above 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit (26-32 degrees Celsius) between 1931 and 2010, there were 0.4% fewer births nine months later. In simpler terms, that means there were 100,000 fewer births in the United States each year.
Higher levels of vitamin D and serotonin in summer can make you more excited, but the current heat wave in South Asia is an example of extreme temperature due to the climate crisis. During the 2018 heat wave in Colombia, the health secretary of the coastal city of Santa Mara, Julio Salas, asked people to not having sex during the day. “Avoid making love or having sex at times when the temperature is high, especially at midday, as this activity is physically demanding and increases your heart rate,” Salas told a local radio station. Salas wasn’t wrong. When my body is drenched in sweat from the heat, the last thing I want is for someone to touch it.
Relationship counselor Ruchi Ruuh pointed out that exposure to extreme temperatures can cause an increase in stress hormones. “There’s an increase in serotonin, which is a mood stabilizer, and dopamine levels drop when we’re exposed to extreme heat,” she told VICE. “As a result, we experience irritability, high blood pressure, chills, and palpitations.”
In such situations, Ruuh pointed out, excitement is often the last thing on our minds. “To be excited you need to cool your body and mind, but not everyone has access to air conditioning or extra coolers.” Ruuh said if you have mental health issues, it might become even harder to deal with the heat. Even climate change affects mental healthwith many people facing “eco-anxiety.” “You can become more disoriented, and that’s bad news for sex because sex and arousal require a level of mental focus.”
Research also shows that higher temperatures can cause drop in testosterone in men, causing a decrease in libido. So if you don’t feel like having sex during the summer – especially when the temperatures are so high, you can feel your skin burning – it could also be because of your hormones.
The climate crisis is even impacting the sex ratios of newborns. According to a study in Japan, climate change could alter the proportion of male and female hatchlings, with more males born in places where temperatures are rising and fewer males born in places with other environmental changes, such as drought or wildfires caused by global warming climatic. Dr. Misao Fukuda, the lead author of the study worked on a separate study which showed a decline in male births in regions affected by environmental disasters. Fukuda Told CNN that stress related to climatic events caused by global warming also impacts the sex ratio. He further hypothesized that changes in sex ratios are due to the vulnerability of Y-carrying sperm, male embryos, and male fetuses. While scientists aren’t sure exactly why male fetuses are more vulnerable, some scientists say it’s because male fetuses are biologically weaker.
Ruuh points out that sex in the summer is more fun for people who come from colder climates, but for people like me who live somewhere where it’s really hot in the summer, having sex when it’s cooler is a best option. “In pop culture and literature, we see the romance associated with spring,” Ruuh said. “Spring represented that transition point between a grueling winter, where you have to wear a million layers, and a summer where you can frolic in your favorite shorts. Even Valentine’s Day is in the spring, but global warming brings the spring season is getting shorter. While our bodies may find ways to adapt to changes in temperature, we miss the opportunity to enjoy and experience pleasure in spring. Exploring sex and desire in the spring can improve libido and make sex more fun.
Intimacy coach Pallavi Barnwal suggests having rituals around sex that can help get you in the mood even in extreme temperatures. “These rituals could be something as simple as showering before sex,” she said. “While showering together or having sex in the shower may seem like a good idea, showering alone can help you refocus and prepare for sex.”
Barnwal also suggested planning sex with your partner. “Planning sex has been frowned upon ever since pop culture taught us that sex is spontaneous. But that’s far from true. During a heat wave, you can try scheduling sex with your partner late into the evening after a pre-sex ritual. Go explore your body and that of your partner and discover new perspectives.
Barnwal also shared an ancient practice that can help with sweaty and stinky situations. “The Kama Sutra suggests having a container filled with scented water next to the bed. In case one of the partners farts, you can use this water to clean them.
Finally, Barnwal suggested we stop viewing sex as an “all or nothing” act. “Not all sex has to be sex,” she said. “Sensuality takes many forms and is not limited to the genitals. If it’s too hot to have penetrative sex, you can have sex with other parts of your partner’s body.
There might be other ways to experience sex during heat waves, like taking a shower together, engaging in temperature play by teasing your partner with ice cubes, or having sex in the car with the air conditioning on. lit. If you don’t have AC at home, you can try putting your sheets in the freezer and then putting them back on the bed again, or engaging in dirty talk and having a orgasm without touching.
But hey, if sweat fetish is your thing, then sex during heat waves isn’t such a bad option.