The Dos and Don’ts of Post-Thanksgiving Dinner Sex

Or should that be the ins and outs?


What do you mean, gorging on candied yams, turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie, all in close quarters with grandpa, football blaring in the background, surrounded by nine cousins, doesn’t make you want to have sex?

While not often considered the sexiest of holidays, it’s true that Thanksgiving does get you a few days off of work, and as such, the long holiday weekend is an opportunity for closeness, a time to express gratitude and enjoy sex with your partner. These things, however, can be challenging after a 4,000-calorie meal. On a full belly, how do you and your partner prevent a sexless food coma from blocking your wish to rendezvous? Is it best to avoid sex altogether? Are some sexual positions more forgiving than others?

To answer these weighty questions, I reached out to certified clinical sexologist Sunny Rodgers. Here’s what she had to say about leaving some room for “dessert.”

We’re all told that the tryptophan in turkey can affect your sex drive, because you’re slumped in a food coma all night. Are there ways to combat that, or should we just forgo sex on Turkey Day?
L-tryptophan (its full name) is just one of the many amino acids that’s found in turkey. It’s well-known for creating the Sleepy Thanksgiving effect, because it plays a key role in creating serotonin, a body-produced chemical associated with sleep, but also associated with decreased arousal. So yes, tryptophan can absolutely affect a person’s sex drive. BUT, there’s a way to lessen the effects of this sex-drive killer!

Tryptophan needs an additional ingredient in order to easily enter your system and cause an effect  —  this additional ingredient is carbohydrate. That means if you have the strength to bypass that delicious stuffing and everyone’s favorite Hawaiian rolls when you’re enjoying your Thanksgiving turkey, chances are good that you’ll feel delightfully relaxed, but not ready for a nap.

On a full belly, are some positions going to work better than others?
Thanksgiving may be the perfect time for a mutual-masturbation session rather than belly bumping. This gives you both the opportunity to get into a super comfy position and use your hands or sex toys to bring each other to climax.

If actual intercourse is the only dessert you’re interested in, get ready for a couple of the laziest sex positions possible. First up: Spooning! Both partners lie down on their sides, and one partner curls up next to the other’s back and enters them from behind. It’s an easy position to get in, and neither partner has to exert themselves too much.

Next up: The Side-by-Side. Lie down facing your partner and have your partner throw their leg over you. Just like spooning, this position doesn’t require a lot of action but does allow for depth, while both partners can easily control thrusting speed.

When it comes to food and sex, I generally have a “Sex first, then eat” attitude. But that means the sex would need to happen by 10 a.m. on Thanksgiving  —  before coffee, which seems impossible. Is a food/sex balance possible?
While I too love the idea of “sex first,” so sex play and dinner can both be equally enjoyed, it’s also fun to treat dinner like foreplay. Dinner gives you both the opportunity to flirt, whisper what you plan to do to each other afterwards, feed each other and try an aphrodisiac or two with your meal. Organic Authority maintains a list of aphrodisiac choices  —  and two of them (oysters and chocolate) can easily be incorporated into holiday fare. Not to mention, the scent of cinnamon has been found to increase blood flow to men’s genitals. In other words, use meal options to your full advantage.

What about being surrounded by family? How do you find the privacy during crowded holiday meals, where it’s hard to find a window of intimacy to connect with your partner?
There are ways to make your holiday season sexy by looking at your opportunities a little differently. Rather than opt out of sex play when you’re around family, plan on a quiet tryst, where the sounds of your intimate breathing are sexier than any screaming sex session. Plus, having to be conscientiously sneaky and plan your secret sex options together can act as foreplay for you and your partner.

There’s good news about keeping sex on your holiday agenda, too: During a 25-minute romp that includes foreplay, men can burn up to 101 calories while women expend 70, so getting frisky has health benefits as well.