As it turns out, celebration sex isn't all celebratory, study says

You'll gladly cheers with some bubbly, but it's OK if you aren't up for anything frisky

Young woman in party outfit lying on bed meant to symbolize celebration sex
(Image credit: Westend61/Getty Images)

Pop out the bubbly, but leave the vibrator in the nightstand. Celebration sex isn't all it's cracked up to be, according to a new study. 

While a special moment or milestone might make you feel inclined to whip out the best sex toys and best sex games in your collection, new findings from Lovehoney (opens in new tab) suggest that the expectation to engage in intimate behavior not only makes partners stressed about sex, but kills the mood. (*Pops balloon*)

So what exactly did Lovehoney uncover? Allow us to fill you in. 

What is celebration sex?

Celebration sex is simply participating in the deed during a holiday or a significant event in your life. According to the survey of over 2,000 Americans, here are the top 10 sexiest celebrations (a.k.a. the holidays where you're most likely to get frisky):

  • Your birthday: 64%
  • Your partner's birthday: 63%
  • Valentine's Day: 61%
  • New Year's Eve: 54%
  • Christmas Day: 34% 
  • Christmas Eve: 36%
  • Father's Day: 34%
  • Mother's Day: 32%
  • Fourth of July: 32%
  • Halloween: 30%

When does the act get its most adventurous during the holiday season? Here's what the study further indicates: 

  • Valentine's Day: 64% 
  • Your partner's birthday: 63%
  • Your birthday: 63%
  • New Year's Eve: 59%
  • Halloween: 58%
  • Christmas Eve: 52%
  • Father's Day: 52%
  • Mother's Day: 51%
  • Fourth of July: 50%
  • Christmas Day: 49%

But what happens if you've had a little too much eggnog to enjoy Christmas Day sex or came down with the flu on Valentine's Day? Why is there so much pressure to have this mind-blowing experience and multiple orgasms?

"Celebrations and holidays, such as an anniversary or Valentine’s Day, sometimes lead people to engage in obligatory sex, " Dr. Justin Lehmiller, social psychologist and research fellow at The Kinsey Institute, told Lovehoney. "In other words, they’ll agree to sex they don’t really want because they feel some sense of obligation—it’s something they’re 'supposed' to do."

Nearly 36% of survey participants are feeling pressured to make their S.O.'s birthday celebrations all the more exciting, and 50% of respondents ages 18 to 24 feel this anxiety. 

The bottom line? No need to worry about what you think you should be doing—do whatever works well for you and your partner. Heck, that random celebratory event might be in January or April for you, and you have permission to pull out the party hats—and vibrators—whenever you feel like it.

Danielle is a writer for woman&home and My Imperfect Life, covering all-things news, lifestyle and entertainment. 


The heart of her time at Future has been devoted to My Imperfect Life, where she's been attuned to the cosmos, new TV shows and relationship trends.  


Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids and a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, amNewYork and Newsday, among other outlets. 


When Danielle is not working, you can usually find her reading a book, coffee at hand, or attempting a new recipe. (Recommendations always welcome!)