From The Straits Times    |

Now that travel is a go-go, and we’re packing our bags and getting back out in the world – there’s one thing sexual wellness brand Smile Makers have noticed. When they polled their community, they realise they love dreaming up sexual fantasies that involve travel, transport, and vacation. In fact, in many sexual fantasies or real life, there is something about sex outside of the typical everyday environment that excites people.

It’s interesting to see how many of us are dreaming up sexual escapades in nature — beaches, forests, mountains, parks — perhaps being locked up inside for a few years has made us want to come outside (uh-hum), literally.

80% of the Smile Makers community shared that they have had sex outdoors while on holiday. While sex outdoors isn’t new, our approach to sex might be. We’re seeing people with vulvas tearing up societal sexual scripts to discover the real joy of sex. For many of us, partnered sex may seem like a very stressful, pleasureless (hello, orgasm gap), and fear-based activity — but sex should be fun and full of excitement! We’re being encouraged to play more, with literal good vibes and more open conversations… and what’s better than playing outside?

It turns out there is a connection between our sexual fantasies and how we feel in our sexual selves while traveling. Here’s everything you need to know about it, alongside some sex travel essentials to pack for your next trip, in the Smile Makers’ sex and pleasure travel guide.

Why is travel sex so… sexy?

Dr. Justin Lehmiller, a sexual psychologist, specializing in sexual fantasies, surveyed over 4000 Americans and found that most people reported having fantasies anywhere but at home. Especially in spaces related to travel or vacation…

90% of people fantasized about sex in a hotel.

83% of people fantasized about sex in exotic places like the beach or a waterfall.

53% of people fantasized about sex on an airplane.

Finding ourselves in the places we have sex in our imagination can bring those erotic thoughts to our minds, sparking desire or even triggering arousal. There’s an air of what-ifs and excitement to living out our sexual fantasies.

However, as Dr. Lehmiller suggests in the Sex and Psychology podcast, our travel horniness could be down to more than just our imagination. Lots of things make up the bio-psycho-social phenomenon many of us experience, or witness, on our travels.

1. More opportunity to be aroused on vacation.

We break our routine, freeing ourselves of everyday responsibilities, time restraints, and chores. Especially if we’re not working! All this creates more time to do or think about sex.

2. More stimulation on vacation.

Being in a new place is like a sensory overload, stimulating our brains and causing a state of feeling excitement, i.e., arousal. Not only can general arousal amplify sexual arousal, but it can also be mistaken for sexual arousal. Our horniness might just be a reaction to emotional stimuli, not sexual stimuli.

3. New sexual interests.

It’s not just the surroundings but also the company. On vacation, we see and meet many new people, even in passing, that prompt sexual interest.

4. Less stress on vacation.

Leisurely trips make for more pleasure. We often feel much more relaxed on holiday, as stress factors are less likely to be triggered. Even our accommodation setting helps us destress, as there are no laptops, washing, or interruptions, for example. We’re also more likely to chill out with alcohol or other substances that can act as aphrodisiacs.

5. More freedom.

Travel gives us a form of psychological space, a sense of reinventing ourselves however we like. Being in a foreign place or land means nobody else there knows who you are, so we feel more at ease. A judgment-free zone often makes for a ‘what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas’ mindset.

6. More partner passion.

When traveling with a partner, the new environment and all the above factors can also impact them, which naturally rubs off (pun intended) on us. In the early phases of a relationship, travel can be seen as a joint adventure to explore new opportunities for fun. For longer-term partners, more time and less stress can be conducive to higher sexual arousal.

7. More sunshine.

Sunny vacations are relaxing, but research found that exposure to UVsunlight can also change our hormone levels. Including a rise in testosterone levels – a hormone that boosts sexual libido for both vulva owners and penis havers.

Travel Sex Essentials

Travel-Sized Lube: A bottle of Generous Gel lubricant meets TSA’s 100ml liquid requirement while also looking nothing like a typical bottle of lube. Its sleek, luxurious packaging is perfect for those who might be shy about showing off our sex essentials. Shop Now.

Travel Sex Kit: Don’t leave anything at home; pack a travel case of pleasure instead. This vibrator storage come carry-on, including The Surfer compact vibrator, vulval wipes for on-the-go refreshes, and our cabin-sized lube. Plus, there’s plenty of room for contraception, chargers, oils, and more. Shop Now.

Handy Sachets of Intimate Wipes: Keep a few sachets of Silky (S)wipes close by without having to make room for them. Camping trips, long journeys, airplane toilet freshen-ups, sweaty sessions – our wipes are for a vulva refresh, wherever and whenever. Shop Now.

The Surfer - lipstick vibrator

Best Travel Vibrator: Vacation by name, vacation by purpose. The Surfer bullet vibrator is pocket-sized with a removable battery, super silent, and waterproof, making it the best travel partner! Shop Now.

Here are our tips for taking vibrators on a plane.

  1. Take out any removable batteries to ensure they don’t turn on during the flight and save more battery for the trip.
  2. Always pack rechargeable vibrators that have lithium-ion batteries in carry-on baggage.
  3. Most airport security, including TSA, allow sex toys – but check that vibrators are legal at the destination (yep, we know – vibes are still not allowed everywhere in the world).

We recommend storing vibrators in a clear plastic bag in case of random luggage checks; they stay clean and safe. Also, waterproof and silent vibrators are ideal for vacations – think of long hotel sessions or pool pleasure.

This article was first published in Smile Makers. Smile Makers is a sexual wellness brand on a mission to inspire vulva owners to set their own standards for good sex. As a brand, they bring sexual wellness products into mainstream spaces, remove limiting beliefs around vulva sexuality and foster a global, pleasure-positive and light-hearted conversation about sex.