I’m just going to come right out and say it: Something about this time of year just makes me horny. I don’t know why the holidays have this effect on me; it’s not as though I have some sort of fetish for fat guys with long white beards who walk around in bright red thermal underwear all the time.

Unfortunately, on top of inspiring lust in me, the holidays also happen to be just about the worst time for me to get unusually hot and bothered. Every time I turn around, there’s a cousin, sister, niece, or nephew standing there expecting me to do something "Christmasy." Apparently, locking myself in an out-of-the-way bedroom to get a little privacy doesn’t qualify as Christmas cheer.

Yes we’re related, but wouldn’t you rather stay in a hotel?

In my family, it doesn’t matter how wealthy a visiting relative might be or how much we despise said relative; the idea of any of relative getting a hotel room strikes my mother as a monstrous idea. As a result, every member of the family who has a place to call his or her own is required to open up said home to visiting family. This results in a temporary over-stuffing of my house; and, not at all coincidentally, an annual flight eastward by my husband, who pretends to be visiting his own family. (I’m pretty sure he actually holes up for a week in a desperate attempt to avoid both my family and highly repetitive public broadcast of Christmas music.)

Some years, I get lucky. I get to host a cousin whose entire family literally can’t hold still unless they are sleeping. As house guests, they’re awesome because they generally pack their local itinerary with so much hiking, sightseeing and other tourist activities that I can safely sneak in some cherished holiday self-stimulation during the daytime while they’re out and about.

This year, however, I’m hosting a different cousin, one whose idea of a "busy day" means a day in which he has to turn off his Xbox and leave the house. With that lump of lazy taking up a 10-day residence in my guest room, the only way I’m going to get any "me time" is if I go out and rent a room.

In Search of Privacy

While I realize the little video viewing booths in the local brick-and-mortar porn shops must actually get used by a fair number of people (otherwise, why would the stores have them?), the idea of masturbating in one makes the skin on my back want to crawl inside of my ears.

Back in the late '90s, I used to make pretty regular trips to such shops. Back then, the porn company I worked for was still digitizing content from VHS tapes, and the studios we were partnered with were so slow about sending us their latest releases that it was actually more efficient to just go rent them.

Along the way, my curiosity got the better of me, so I briefly poked my head inside of one of the video booths. The first thing that caught my eye (nose) was the smell. A stomach-churning olfactory patois of semen and some manner of disinfectant with a masking fragrance that must have been invented by someone who thinks chemical toilets smell simply fabulous.

Given that I’d have to hold my breath to use one, I can’t imagine watching more than about 30 second of video in one - a time during which I’d absolutely have to be standing because I don’t even want to think about making physical contact with the chairs inside what amounts to a jerk-off closet. Maybe this option works for some people who can't find a quiet place at home, but it definitely isn't for me. (Learn more about what happens behind a sex shop's store front in Confessions of a Sex Shop Salesperson.)

I’m Not a Teenager Anymore ...

Back when my husband was still my fiancé, we went to visit his family for Christmas. Naturally, my husband shares my holiday horniness because, let’s face it, as a reasonably "normal" human male, he’s basically horny as a function of being conscious.

During our visit, things reached a point where we couldn’t hold off any longer: Come hell or high egg nog, we needed to get busy. As his mother wasn’t likely to leave the house (not when there was food to cook, a tree to decorate, and a future daughter-in-law’s shit to be all up in ... constantly), we were facing something of a challenge.

One night, in a flash of inspiration, my fiancé came up with a plan. A couple of hours after dinner, as the older members of the family either returned to their own homes or prepared to go to bed, we announced that we were going out for a walk. After wandering the neighborhood for a half-hour or so, we planned to slip into our car, get in a quickie in the back seat, straighten up a bit, then head back inside.

Yeah, yeah, I know…. but honestly, for some reason, we really thought this plan would work out fine.

Naturally, right about the time I was bouncing on him with the sort of frenzied pace designed to deliver the kind of rollicking orgasm I had been anticipating all week, the porch light flicked on and the front door swung open.

Bathed in the faint glow of the porch light, we froze in place as though his mother was a T-Rex who wouldn’t see us, or wouldn’t realize we were mid-fuck if we pretended to be obscene lawn furniture crammed in the back of a rental car.

Needless to say, that didn’t work.

Surprisingly, though, I was still permitted to not only to marry the guy, but also to actually to come back for another Christmas visit ... albeit 10 years later and at the price of hearing at least a dozen snarky references made by in-laws about our penchant for "going out on walks."

Absence Makes Desire Stronger

On the bright side, no sex or porn for a week or two makes both of those options seem all the more attractive - not that I need much encouragement in the first place.

Plus, as I struggle with my unrequited lust, at least I know my husband is in the same boat. For as long as he’s out East, I know his mother is going to put him to work with "man stuff," like repainting the awnings on her house, raking leaves, and bailing his younger brother out of jail.

Soon enough, we’ll be back under the same roof, celebrating in our own way, sharing our mutual affection for boning and porn - and trying our best to avoid accidentally Skyping his mother while we’re at it.