It's spring! Even though I live in California, it's exciting when spring comes. I mean literally exciting, as in, it makes me horny. All winter I was like "Eh, dating" and now I'm all like "OMG boys! Lemme at 'em." This happens every year, whether I have a boyfriend or not.
I know everyone talks about spring fever and it's hardly just me being weird, but is there something that actually happens to our brains in the spring? Are there spring hormones?
I'm a girl, by the way.
Indeed there are, at least among the smaller, furrier mammals, and we separate ourselves from our smaller, furrier cousins at our peril.
It doesn't take a modern laboratory to note that mammals and most other creatures, not to mention the entire plant kingdom respond to the lengthening days and the return of the sun by, depending on physiology, sprouting, producing warm juicy sap, nest-building, and/or taking off their clothes. That's what spring is for.
We may not like to think of ourselves as programmed to quite the degree of, say, the famous Siberian hamsters who were found to have libidos entirely regulated by the cutely-named neuropeptide kisspeptin, production of which shuts off in the winter. But we kind of are. Obviously we also respond to things like warm sun on our shoulders, longer afternoons in which to build up sleek sexy muscle and vital endurance, and the relative nakedosity of our fellow humans as they shed bulky coats and long wooly trousers in favor of warm, visible, touchable, responsive skin.
If you think about it, springtime isn't actually mating season for most creatures. Spring is for gamboling little lambsies, conceived in the fall and born once the worst of winter's privations have passed. What peaks in the spring, it seems, is energy. What we do with all that energy is pretty much up to us.
"We may have more energy in springtime, but it won't necessarily play itself out in the bedroom," Michael Smolensky wrote in a WebMD article. "The peak [of sexual activity] is in the fall."
Here's what I think: yes, our hormones and neurowhatses respond to the seasons. Increased energy and optimism plus being outside more, where other people are also feeling happier and healthier, makes everyone feel hornier. If you live anywhere with a proper summer, you'll want to get your oats sown now, though, because researchers have found that we start to feel sluggish again as soon as it gets much over room temperature out there. Maybe we are all meant to live in San Diego, or in shopping malls. But I don't think so.
Now I have Julie Andrews singing "The Lusty Month of May" stuck in my head ("That lovely month when everyone goes blissfully astray".) If there is anything less sexy than Julie Andrews singing Lerner and Loewe, I can't think of it right now. But I'm quite certain that if you venture out in a cute outfit and kicky new sandals and gambol about like a little lambsy-divey, you will find some takers.
Got a question? E-mail Andrea at firstname.lastname@example.org