A Sex Therapist Reveals Why Your Sex Drive Happens To Spike On Your Birthday

by Jamie Kravitz

Birthday sex is one of those experiences that is so hyped up, you find yourself wondering if it's really all that great. Pop, rap, and R&B artists have been singing about doing it on your birthday for years. Then again, their music also covers not-so-relatable topics like sipping expensive Champagne in a private jet, so their lyrics are clearly not always applicable to the masses. Before you go looking for birthday sex ideas, you'd probably like to know if it's actually any better than regular sex.

Elite Daily has reached out to "Birthday Sex" singer Jeremih and "Birthday Cake" artist Rihanna for comment and will update this post if they respond.

In the meantime, I spoke to Dulcinea Pitagora, certified sex therapist, about the psychological reasons behind why you might enjoy sex more on your birthday. When it comes to sexuality, it's important to avoid making broad generalizations. Keep in mind that her statements may not apply to every person or situation. With that being said, your sex drive is likely to be higher than usual on your birthday, leading to more and/or better sex. Pitagora explained the science behind this phenomenon, and as it turns out, it's actually quite simple.

"Most people are psychologically primed to have a higher sex drive on their birthday," says Pitagora. "Our perspective is that birthdays in effect give us permission to be the center of attention, be given gifts, and make special requests." The expectation of a celebration combined with the potential for more sexual attention than usual can actually lead to you having a higher sex drive on your birthday.

Birthdays also provide a unique opportunity to embrace your sexuality, and can be an excuse to mention moves or fantasies you've always wanted to try. "Since most people in Western culture are also socialized not to talk about sex — much less tell people exactly what they want sexually — having a birthday provides the perfect context to break out of the norm, and expect special treatment, sexually and otherwise," says Pitagora.

On the other hand, the pressure to make the sex better on your birthday could end up having the opposite effect. According to Pitagora, it depends on the person and their feelings about their relationships and sexual identity, expression, and preferences. "If someone feels insecure in any of these areas, pressure to have more or better sex can lead to increased stress, which could lead to negative projections and can have a detrimental effect on arousal and sexual performance," she says.

And when it comes to celebrating with alcohol, stress can lead to drinking more than you should. "A small amount of alcohol tends to be a libido enhancer, but consuming larger amounts can backfire, increasing emotional volatility and compromising sexual functioning, not to mention judgment and the ability to give consent," says Pitagora.

Of course, women who have had birthday sex have differing opinions and experiences.

For this girl, birthday sex is just part of the bigger celebration.

Yes, I do think birthday sex is better than regular, everyday sex. You can have sex as much as you want because it's your birthday, and you're usually happier so it seems better. Plus, the other person might give you presents. So it's a whole day of being happy, getting presents, and having a lot of sex. Unless you're too drunk — then it might not happen.

— Alex, 23

This girl enjoys the fact that birthday sex makes her needs a priority.

My girlfriend and I do offer each other birthday sex. We have a really healthy sex life and so we have always kind of been into celebratory sex (holidays, graduations, accomplishments). What I love about birthday sex is that, at least for someone who is in a healthy and fulfilling consensual sexual relationship, it can be a part of the whole package. I would say that the sex isn't necessarily better. My favorite kind of sex is actually unexpected sex, when you aren't intentionally necessarily planning it but you both feel really passionate and it just ends up happening. But what I like about birthday sex is that it has this intent behind it. There are weeks when we struggle to hang out, much less have long, passionate, intentional sex. That's just the way it happens when life gets in the way at times. I love that birthday sex is an opportunity to make sex — and my sexual desires — a priority.

— Alaina, 25

If birthday sex is something you want to try, then by all means, go for it. "Because it's socially acceptable to have good birthday sex, it's a great opportunity to go for it, perhaps try things that you’ve been wanting to but usually don't have the guts to mention to your partner, or make more time for sex that day," says Pitagora.

Take her advice and "let the birthday sex you had spill over into everyday life," because why the heck not?

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