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Sex with Dr. Jess


June 25, 2019

How to Have a Harmonious Road Trip

Road trip season is upon us! In fact, I just returned from an 8.5 hour drive with my partner, @VerityBrandon. We spent the weekend at Wanderlust in the Vermont mountains (near Stratton) where we practiced Yoga, hiked to several peaks and spread good vibrations in the Soul Pleasure tent with We-Vibe and Womanizer.

Here are a few pics from the weekend…

image2Road trips can be a great way to spend time with your loved ones, but they can also be stressful, so I joined Carolyn and Jeff this morning to share a few tips and insights on how to make the most of your time on the road.

Check out the notes and full video below.

1. Do most people enjoy a long road trip or is it normal to fight?

It’s common to experience tension or argue while on a road trip because tensions are high when you have so little control over your environment. You can’t control traffic, road closures or inclement weather and this lack of control can lead to stress which involves an increase in cortisol release. Cortisol spikes can negatively affect cognitive function, so you may not be your rational self and increases can also negatively affect empathy, which can increase the likelihood of conflict.

image3You also fight while driving because you’re in a state of hyper-vigilance. You’re checking on the road conditions, the cars behind, beside and in front of you and your other passengers (e.g. kids). This hyper-aware state can be exhausting and make you testy, so you may be triggered by things that don’t normally bother you. If you’re the passenger, you have no control and this too can exhaust your patience.

2. What do most couples fight about in the car and on vacation?

a. Travel & Leisure found that the number one topic couples fight about while on vacation is the opposite of a vacation — it’s work.
The consulting firm, Korn Ferry found that nearly half (45 percent) of vacationers check in with the office multiple times a day and more than a quarter (26 percent) check in at least once a day; no one said they abstain from connecting to work during vacation. Fifty four percent reported fighting with a partner about working while on vacation.

b. While driving, couples report fighting about the specifics of driving and directions, in particular. You can avoid this, by simply following the GPS and not trying to beat Google, Apple or Waze. Google knows best. They’re in your head. It’s annoying, but it can be helpful on the road. You may not want to count on the passenger to navigate, so turn on the voice directions and get mad at the GPS/phone when something goes wrong instead of getting mad at your partner.

3. How can you reduce friction and spend quality time together in the car?

a. If you’re the passenger, try to avoid working or being on your phone. Your partner is being courteous enough to drive, so make an attempt to be present and mindful. Make conversation or reach out and rub their neck for a minute. Alternatively, you might want to ignore what I just wrote and split the driving so that the passenger can enjoy time on their phone or relaxing without pressure to entertain or connect with the driver. You do what works for you.

image4b. Make sure you have food, water, money (for tolls) and paperwork (e.g. passports) in the front seat with you. Thirst and hunger can adversely effect cognitive and emotional functioning.

c. Make a share playlist and try to include songs from the early days of your relationship.

Music can move you and research suggests that those who listen to loud music have more sex! Music can shift your mood, improve your perspective, boost confidence and help you to relax — all of which have the potential to heighten your erotic connection. The contagion hypothesis suggests that we mimic what we hear in our environment, so create a playlist that helps to cultivate the emotions you need to feel in order to get in the mood.

4. If you do start snapping at one another or arguing, how can you shut it down and reset?

Touch your partner. Hold hands. Put your hand on their thigh or neck (not to squeeze it!). Physical affection is associated with higher levels of happiness, relationship satisfaction, relaxation, conflict resolution, fondness, trust and likability. The most important time to touch your partner is often when you’re not in the mood, so push through the walls you’re putting up and touch them.

5. Since tech plays a role in our everyday lives, it also plays a role in our travels. How can we maximize its benefits and not allow it to interfere?

Consider using these apps to pass the time and enjoy a few laughs. If you’re traveling as a family, try the Would You Rather or Trivia Crack apps.

If you’re alone with your partner, consider the 36 questions which you can download here or find on the app store or google.

And if you’re really enjoying the journey, check out Roadside America which highlights all the fun and photo-worthy attractions along the way with tips and background information (and it includes Canada).

Happy trials!