We’ve just entered August, which means fall isn’t too far off, but our bodies don’t know that. As temperatures continue to rise, so do people’s sex drives. It seems people are showing more skin (they are because it’s warm out), hooking up more often and experiencing the sort of impassioned summer romances worth writing songs about. All this begs the question: Is it hot in here or is it just every single person in the Northern Hemisphere?

Research would suggest it’s both. As we’ve previously reported, summer is the most carnal time of the year, a debauched three-month window when people are both the horniest and most eager to do something about it. Our hormones are racing, we’re having more fun and being more active, all the while wearing next to nothing, four things that combine to explain why summer is, statistically speaking, the most salacious season.

So how can you make the most of summer’s lifted libidos before it ends? To find out, we turned to sex experts and educators Elle Chase and the ironically named Susan Winter, each of whom had some sage advice on how to take advantage of summer’s boosted sexuality.

SOAK UP THE SUN
Turns out the sun is good for more than just the perfect tan (or, you know, perpetuating all life on Earth). Sunlight has been shown to increase levels of serotonin in the brain, a neurotransmitter that favorably affects our pleasure centers and is associated with feelings of happiness. The more sun we soak in, the happier — and more confident — we feel, so don’t retreat into the shade just yet.

Increased sun exposure also makes our bodies produce less melatonin, a hormone that regulates our sleep and wakefulness. This gives us more energy – more energy to burn in bed. Try to maximize this effect while the days of summer are still long. It could mean you have that much more confidence, vigor and stamina should any sensuous cabana people send a wayward eggplant emoji your way.

KAYAK DOWN A WATERFALL, YOU GODDAMN ADRENALINE JUNKIE
According to Chase, becoming an adrenaline junkie is one of the best ways to take advantage of summer’s heightened horniness. She explains, “With longer days in the summer, we have more opportunities take part in adrenaline-inducing outdoor activities like jet-skiing, kayaking, roller coasters or rock-climbing. Adrenaline increases your heart rate as well as your blood flow to your muscles (including your genitals). When else does adrenaline have that effect on bodies? During sex! Soaring adrenaline outside the bedroom can carry over to inside the bedroom. So, get thee to the nearest amusement park or rock-climbing adventure before the summer’s over and see how adrenaline affects you and your partner of choice.”

Hate the thought of sunlight or live in urban Sacramento where the most “outdoorsy” thing you’re likely to see is a chihuahua pooping on a discarded pizza box? Never fear. According to Winter, the adrenaline rush of talking to strangers can be enough to get your adrenaline going. “Everyone else will be outside, so you may as well be there too,” says Winter. “People are much more open and friendlier in the summertime because their stress levels are lower. Make sure to position yourself in venues and environments that foster easy conversation.” As the days get shorter, people get less friendly, so the time is now.

GET ACTIVE…AND TOTALLY SUCK AT IT
At this point in scientific research, the association between exercise and arousal is pretty much set in stone. However, there’s a prevailing misconception that you have to be “sporty” or “pretty good at water polo” to partake in the sort of physical activity that gets your juices flowing.

Not so, says Winter. While she believes summer’s the perfect time to enjoy being active, she also advises that it’s not how good you are at being active that makes you attractive to other people but how much fun you have. “By eliminating any possibility of being good at any new hobby you take up, you’ve also eliminated the stress of being perfect” she says. “Don’t worry about how it looks to others. Having a good time (with a good self-attitude) is very attractive to those around you. Horrible at dodgeball? Perfect. Feel like joining a bowling league just to escape the summer heat? Excellent choice is well. As long as your choice of activity is ‘for fun,’ the precedent is set to interact with others ‘for fun’ as well.” That sense of fun and adventure, she says, is how most people find their summer flings.

MASTER BODY LANGUAGE
According to Helen Fisher, anthropologist and author of Anatomy of Love: A Natural History of Mating, Marriage, and Why We Stray, it only takes one second to notice whether someone’s attractive. What do we use to make that snap judgment? Body language.

And since summer is typically the season where you can see the most of a person’s body (thanks, tube tops) it’s the perfect time to utilize what science knows about body language in order to demonstrate your own oozing sex appeal to others.

Men can signify attractiveness and fertility to potential partners by standing up straight, squaring their shoulders and standing with their feet just a hair more than shoulder-width apart. Women can do the same by letting their hair down and exposing their necks, hands and wrists, which both aids in pheromone release and suggests they’re total baby-making material. Pointing your feet at the object of your desire can also convey interest, something that’s harder to see when you’re wearing snow boots and 57 layers of down.

USE YOUR ENVIRONMENT
Seducing your partner is a timeless pastime, but the warmer months provide an opportunity to do it in unique ways you can’t when you have to snowblow your driveway for six hours in the dead of February. That’s why Chase recommends you spend the remaining days of summer using your environment to get creative with seduction and foreplay.

“Summer lends itself to more opportunities for arousal and foreplay,” she says. “Washing the car together can end up in wet clothes stuck to our bodies and frolicsome water-play. An impromptu picnic can lead to hand-holding, cuddling, making out, and of course the chilled fruit and ice cubes you packed that you can tease your partner with. All these situations and more can be added to the roster of arousal opportunities.”

The textbook example of using your environment for seduction is the infamous “Oil me up?” trope. Hot bodies in need of UV protection directing your hands — and the SPF 45 — to hard to reach spots as the sun strikes high noon? That’s just Mother Nature playing wingman.

TRY TEMPERATURE PLAY
Look, no one said “Hot N Cold” by Katy Perry is a masterpiece of a song, but there’s some truth to its sentiment, at least in terms of fahrenheit. Alternating hot and cold temperatures during sex can be thrilling, especially during the summer when you’re craving the chill of anything cold.

That’s why Chase is a huge fan of summertime temperature play. “Summer is a great time to experiment with anything cool,” she says. “Try putting your personal lubricant in the fridge for a few minutes before you use it for a little refreshing change of pace. Then, alternate a cold lube with a warming lube like Sliquid Sizzle to send yourself over the edge.”

She also suggests putting a glass dildo in a cool tub of water, or cooling down metal nipple clamps or your favorite vibrator in the fridge for 10 minutes — the unexpected cold can feel insane in your already-aroused state.

PLAY POOL
Summer means swimming, but while it’s easy to get caught up in the sensual aesthetic of a wet body and not drowning, Chase has some tips for how to do it right.

“Playful pool time is a wonderful occasion for building desire and fostering some intimacy,” she explains. “I don’t recommend having sex in a pool, or the ocean, for that matter, because the water washes away any natural lubrication (making penetrative or hand sex uncomfortable) and the chemicals in the pool or the bacteria in the ocean can cause irritation to the genitals. However, I do wholeheartedly endorse floating, holding or caressing your partner in the pool (careful if you’re in a public pool). The surrounding cooling sensation and the lightness of our bodies can make us feel free and sexy as hell. The closeness of your bodies foster intimacy and can rev up your sex drive from all the bonding hormone oxytocin that’s released when you hold each other. Next thing you know, you’re tearing each others bathing suits off in the bedroom.”

Bonus fact: A bikini is nothing more than bondage gear you can wear while riding a dolphin. Swimsuit material is stretchy and durable yet gentle, making it the perfect convenient item of appearel should you and what’s-their-face strike a kinky cord.

CROWD CONTROL
Summer is the time of year when people most like to assemble in large crowds and all stare at the same thing at the same time. Music festivals, Renaissance fairs, sports events, theme parks, beach throngs: These are places and situations where massive gaggles of people focusing on something much more entertaining than you grant you and your partner enough delicious anonymity to sneak off and have private sex in public.

Take refuge in a bathroom, a dressing room, a turkey leg stand (hey, we said Renaissance fair) or under a picnic blanket — anywhere you feel comfortable and have enough relative privacy will do. You wouldn’t be the first couple to get a little handsy in the crowd, but do make sure you’re doing it in a safe, respectable way away from children and overzealous helicopter moms.

DON’T TRY TOO HARD
Just because people are hornier and having more sex in the summer doesn’t mean you need to adjust your behavior or personality in order to match the trend. Instead, Winter offers a timeless suggestion for meeting summer flings that’ll work just as well come December when you’re buried under six feet of snow: Don’t try too hard.

“Acting sexy is an error,” she says. “Though you may gain attention, you’re not creating connection. Leave posturing and games to the amateurs. Put-downs, power trips, and acting cold or aloof isn’t the bait to capture a sexual partner. Not in the summer, and not ever. Show up real, and you’ll find a real response, because the bottom line is sex doesn’t happen until two people feel connected.”

She recommends that you strive to truly connect with the person to whom you’re speaking. Look into their eyes. Listen to what they’re saying. Respond honestly and with interest. That, she says, is the key to creating the connection that activates sexual desire.

CHILL OUT, ACTUALLY
With all this warm-weather sex advice flying around, it can be easy to feel pressured to partake in what seems like a widespread vernal orgy. However, if you haven’t met the ultra-passionate summer fling of your wet dreams thus far, don’t worry — as you probably know, sex doesn’t end come September 1st.

As Chase says, “It’s important to note that feeling pressure to have sex at any one time of year can kill the libido. If you happen to feel sexier in the summer, then take advantage of that. If you prefer more wintery conditions, more power to you. Don’t fall for the hype about summer sex, you can have hot, passionate sex anytime of the year.”

Winter agrees. “Sex is for your enjoyment,” she says. “No matter what your friends are doing, or what the media hypes up, the choice to indulge — or not — is always yours. This is the ultimate freedom of your sexual expression.”

There you go, folks. There is life after summer…unless you’re a watermelon. What have we learned here? Chill out, don’t try too hard, take the pressure off yourself to be good at outdoorsy stuff: It appears that much like summer, summer sex is relaxed, laidback and above all, really fucking hot.

Illustrations by Stephen Palladino.