It’s summertime, you’re in a hotel room somewhere in the South of France. A mysterious lover who doesn’t speak your language ventures to your hotel room, and after a few sips of summer champagne on the balcony you’re transported to another you and the only words they can muster up are “oui, oui, mmmm..” And before you know it, it’s au revoir madame/monsieur. au revoir summer.
And in the words of Carrie Bradshaw, “And just like that”…. It’s fall.
It is normal for many to experience a loss for the sense of thrill that summer brings. Pop-culture has coined fall “cuffing season” because it is a time when many retreat to more wholesome activities like apple picking and, well, sharing pumpkin spice lattes. And while there are benefits to the intimacy of these more “basic” or “vanilla” activities, studies show that a certain amount of that “spice” people get whilst traveling or in the midst of bikini season is healthy whilst, well… “cuffed”.
Here are three date ideas to Pumpkin SPICE-up your fall in all kinds of amorous relationships:
- Do something outdoorsy and cuddly — You don’t have to travel far to find new locations. Find a local hammock or bring a blanket to a park. Cuddling bonds couples and connecting to nature releases endorphins that help individuals feel connected overall. Bringing your usual cuddle session to a more public or outdoorsy location may bring a certain element of “refreshing” “newness’ that the hot sticky summer season can’t always provide. For those looking to elevate the experience all night long try glamping on Governor’s Island at Collective Retreats. Challenge yourself to explore the more non-physical parts of intimacy while you’re out there, look at the stars, and strike up a conversation on a deeper level; it’s these non-physically intimate conversations that increase pleasure and connection later in physical intimacy. Every action outside the bedroom is foreplay towards the next time in the bedroom.
- Role Play at a bar whilst sipping on your cocktail or mocktail, but instead of dealing in fantasy of make-believe of who your partner could be, use the role play as an opportunity to re-meet your partner for the first time as they are now. Individuals are constantly growing and evolving and who you met whatever number of years ago may not have the same ideas, jokes, or pick up-lines you once fell for. Seeing your partner as their own person “non-attached” to you can create a new sometimes lost sense of erotism.
- Ditch the hayride for the haunted house or a scary movie… studies show fear boosts erotism and bonding and similar parts of the brain are activated. Getting closer to one another as fear levels increase simultaneously increases oxytocin levels, the “love hormone”. Moreover, experiencing something scary together increases trust between partner(s) as individuals learn to feel safe knowing they can depend on their “boo!” in fear-inducing scenarios.
Fall doesn’t just have to be about “falling” for someone in ways as traditional or “basic” as pumpkin spice lattes, nor do relationships. A healthy relationship includes the best of what each season brings out in us all year round – pumpkin, SPICE, and all.