Looking for Love? Our Desire for Sex Spikes During Christmas and Eid, Study Shows

Andy Williams might have dubbed this the most wonderful time of the year, but the holidays are the friskiest time of year, too. At least that’s what a team of researchers concluded after analyzing when and how often people searched for sex online.

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This worldwide study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, found that people of all religions and nationalities become a little more passionate during significant holiday seasons. The team studied data from nearly 130 countries, which included populations following Christian and Muslim faiths.

GettyImages-890471526 Researchers say the rise in online searches for sex coincide with the peak in birth rates nine months later. Alex Pantling/Getty Images

So how did they determine that the holidays are linked with a rise in libido? Google. The scientists, from the U.S., Portugal and the Netherlands, used Google Trends to count up the number of times people searched for "sex" on Google between 2004 and 2014, and when during the year those searches were most common. 

The researchers also scoured Twitter, rating the sentiment expressed in a random sampling of 10 percent of public posts to the social networking platform between 2010 and 2014. To determine sentiment from Twitter posts, the team used the Affective Norms for English Words, a set of English words that are scored to determine arousal, dominance and pleasure, according to the University of Florida. The university’s Center for Emotion and Attention has developed and distributed the resource.

GettyImages-891072624 The holidays ignite lust around the world, according to researchers of a new study. LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images

"We observe that Christmas and Eid-Al-Fitr are characterized by distinct collective moods that correlate with increased fertility," study co-author Luis Rocha, a computer scientist at Indiana University, said in a statement. "Perhaps people feel a greater motivation to grow their families during holidays when the emphasis is on love and gift-giving to children. The Christmas season is also associated with stories about the baby Jesus and holy family, which may put people in a loving, happy, 'family mood.'"

The researchers note that this sexual interest during these seasons correspond to peaks in birth rates nine months later, according to available data. Holidays with less hoopla, like Easter and Thanksgiving, did not appear to incite lustful thoughts.

But winter isn’t the only time of year that people get a little randy. One study found that people are also more interested in sex during the summer. In 2012, LiveScience reported that people searched Google for dating advice, to find prostitutes and to watch pornography during June and July.

While summer and winter seem to be the seasons for sex, others may argue that there’s never not a good time to find comfort in the arms of another.