Nearly three quarters of women say their sex life hots up on holiday with their partner, according to a recent survey – although children, the heat and sunburn can put you off summer loving.
So we asked three Mirror readers to spill the beans and tell us what really happens when they go away…
“Balcony sex was our big turn-on…but not now the kids are with us!”
Jennifer Townsend, 40, is a stay-at-home mum who lives in Hornchurch, Essex, with husband Nicholas, 53, a gardener, and their children Leyla, seven, and Jamie, five.
Our holidays used to be filled with sex. We made love morning, noon and night. We even did it on our balcony in Menorca once.
We’d be lying on the beach or by the pool mid-afternoon and Nicholas would give me ‘the look’ and we’d sneak off back to our room for a quickie. We couldn’t keep our hands off each other.
We spent holidays in Ibiza, Zante, Corfu, Turkey, Cyprus and the Canary Islands and it was always the same. Sultry evenings in bars dancing close and drinking cocktails, then we’d race home, barely getting through the door before ripping one another’s clothes off.
How times have changed. Now the children are here we mostly feel too knackered or too uncomfortable.
We had a very different holiday in Menorca three years ago to the ‘balcony sex holiday’ we had there years back. So different we didn’t have sex at all.
The kids were in the living room area of the apartment and the bathroom was off our bedroom so we were terrified they’d walk in on us at any moment.
Crazy, I suppose, as they could walk into our room at home but somehow you feel more on top of one another when you’re on holiday.
We’ve just come back from Tenerife and things were a little better this time, but still not like they used to be. We managed three quickies in a week but it’s still tough with the children.
We just don’t feel we can be as affectionate in front of them and I need that to get me in the mood. And I don’t feel as sexy after two Cesareans and a bit of weight gain so I no longer feel comfortable in a skimpy bikini.
I envy tanned curvy women on the beach in a two-piece and that does nothing for my libido. Nicholas is sweet and tells me I look gorgeous but it doesn’t change how I feel.
We did have one lovely afternoon in Tenerife when both children fell asleep on the loungers and we were able to frolic in the pool. It was just a shame we couldn’t sneak off and take it to the next level.
I know things will improve, though we have the terrible teenage years to get through first when they think they know more about sex that you do. But one day we’ll go back to those heady pre-children days. And I can’t wait to get that holiday mojo back.
“We’d lock our caravan’s internal door”
Danyel Pedley-McKnight, 35, an HR manager, and her husband, Guy, 39, a store manager, live in Bradford. They have three children, Leeya, 12, Lauren, 11, and Ashlee, seven.
When the children were younger, we went to Haven Holiday Park Resorts – most often the one in Great Yarmouth – for our yearly getaways. And I’ll be honest, you have sex in a caravan and the world and his wife can hear you.
Sometimes Guy would be amorous and I would look at the paper-thin walls and imagine the girls just the other side and say, ‘Not tonight, darling’. Plus, caravans can be really hot without steaming them up in other ways too.
We had brilliant times but it was exhausting. There was crazy golf, the park, evening entertainment. And, of course, no waiter service or room cleaning so I was cooking, making beds, tidying up. I was pretty tired.
Then, last year, we went all-inclusive in Tunisia. And, wow! We still talk about it now.
If I thought I’d be making excuses because of the heat or sunburn, how wrong I was. We had sex every day and felt the ripple effect even after we got home. I’d bought bikinis – I usually wear a one-piece. Guy was blown away by them and kept telling me how lovely I looked. He sent my confidence soaring.
The girls were in the pool all day leaving us together. He was constantly whispering sexy comments in my ear.
Rubbing suntan lotion on to one another felt very erotic and made us more tactile. We’d push our sunbeds together so we could hold hands and every time I stood up to get a drink or rolled on my front to read, Guy playfully tapped my bottom. He couldn’t tear his eyes off my boobs!
It was nice to get dressed up to go out in the evening and although we did make love a couple of nights, we made love every morning.
The air conditioning and total relaxation meant we slept well so were awake early. The girls had their own room with an adjoining internal door to ours so, even though they were asleep, one of us would creep out and lock it. Afterwards, I’d get dressed and go and lie by the pool while Guy had a nap. We’d meet for breakfast with the girls and both have huge grins on our faces. It was very romantic.
“We’ve always made love once or twice a week at home unless we’re really tired but that holiday certainly put a spring back in our step.
“Amsterdam sex shops made us frisky”
Abby Short, 50, and husband, Chris, 54, both events managers, live near Billericay, Essex. They have three children, Liane, 32, Sam, 30, Dan, 20, and Joe, 14.
We have had some amazing holidays but I have to admit I have, at times, been that woman who’s made excuses about sunburn, being too hot or having had too much to drink.
On holiday, Chris is up with the larks and frisky at 6am. I don’t always want it then. I want a well-deserved holiday lie-in. And at night you’ve got that lovely warm holiday feeling and just want to sink into bed and sleep.
It’s sometimes been awkward to have sex when the children are around. I remember Dan being in a room with us on a cruise and sitting bolt upright just as things were hotting up.
Then it got easier as the eldest looked after the youngest so we could have some alone time – we had some pretty special evenings in Cuba one year where it was hot and sultry and there was salsa music playing in the background.
But then the youngest became teenagers and that’s really tough. We went to Hawaii earlier this year and Chris and I snuck off for a little kiss and alone time in the grounds of the hotel. He’d just leaned in when a bright light shone down on us from above. It was our 14-year-old, Joe.
“I’m saving you from yourselves,’ he said. ‘I don’t want another brother or sister.”
But this March, Joe was on a school trip so Chris suggested we grab a three-day-break to Amsterdam.
“You know what Amsterdam’s like!” he said with a wink. Before we even left, we were getting excited. We went to the Sex Museum and giggled all the way through it. We also went into some of the naughty shops.
Chris – who is a little “round” – picked up a leather vest and the sales assistant tried to steer him into a changing room to try it on. We couldn’t stop laughing. I bought a sexy little dress.
Of course it all set the mood and let’s just say I didn’t need to come up with any excuses during the entire stay!
The holiday helped us connect – and find the fun in sex. Amsterdam showed me that you can use holidays to put the va-va-voom back into the bedroom.
We’ve just been on a boating holiday with two other couples. It’s fair to say I didn’t need any excuses on that holiday either – though we didn’t have sex once. In such close quarters with other couples, neither of us were keen to rock the boat!
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