Between the sheets: Warming up to winter sex

Tonya Starr, Columnist

It’s late January, and the streets are coated with ice, forcing students to waddle down Sheridan like grandmas afraid of hip fractures. Quilted North Face jackets and fuzzy animal hats hide all traces of our shameful winter bodies, bloated from stress-induced Oreo rampages and late-night pizza orders. Like black bears, we bulk up our natural insulation and try to shut out the steady grind of our halting metabolisms.

Not so sexy, right? But never fear. With the right attitude, you can ditch your winter blues for something a little hotter. My cure? Sleep naked.

That’s right. I know, it’s cold. But sleeping naked is a healthy decision for your mind and body. Dr. Natasha Turner, author of 2011 best-seller “The Hormone Diet, says being too warm at night can prevent the release of anti-aging hormones like melatonin and growth hormones, which keep your hair and skin looking happy and healthy. Apparently, being naked also makes for sounder sleep, which keeps the stress hormone cortisol at bay while you rest. This will make you less likely to wake up disgruntled and hungry, and therefore less likely to binge on Eggo waffles.

Furthermore, sleeping naked, or doing anything naked for that matter, is a great way to become more comfortable with your own body. According to a 2009 Glamour survey, more than 40 percent of American women were unhappy with their bodies. That is a sad statistic. But maybe that’s because they spend too much time covering them up instead of embracing them. Next time you hop out of the shower, stay naked in your steamy bathroom until you’re all ready to go. Clean your room naked while you dance to your favorite tunes. Cook a meal naked while your roomies aren’t home. The Naturist Society, a national organization of more than a thousand naturists (or nudists), puts it nicely. Per their website: “We take the issue of body acceptance seriously. We view the nude human form for what it is: a gift of nature, dignified and worthy of respect, regardless of shape, size, age or hue.”

Sleeping naked, and generally being naked, can skyrocket the frequency of sexual activity in your relationship. Hop in bed and get nude to surprise your partner, and the sensory experience of soft sheets on bare skin might arouse some not-so-sleepy feelings. If that’s too much, play around with new combinations of clothed/not clothed. To me, there’s nothing sexier than a guy wearing only well-fitted jeans or a girl in a loose-fitting t-shirt over cute underwear.

Don’t be afraid of winter sex. The characters on “Game of Thrones” do it. Eskimos do it. We can do it, too. Shed a few layers. Turn up the heat and hibernate no more.