My dad’s death made me horny! Experts explain Las Vegas woman’s bizarre response


A Las Vegas woman has revealed that her 75-year-old father’s death had a surprising result — it made her horny.

Shanna Christmas, 41, said she goes for months without sex, feels good about it, and often struggles to get aroused. In her last relationship, she described time under the sheets as ‘stagnant’ at best.

So it came as something of a surprise that when Christmas’s dementia-ridden father died, she experienced a Renaissance in her sexual appetite — telling strangers she had new ‘panties’, asking male colleagues for hugs and spending hours locked in public bathrooms taking photos of her backside.

‘I was horny. Turned on. Thirsty, as the kids would say,’ she admitted. ‘[But] I couldn’t understand it. This was not an appropriate response to someone I loved dying.’

Experts say the death of a loved one may ignite sexual desire in what is known as the ‘liberation effect’, or a sudden feeling of adventure or opportunity following a loss.

Shanna Christmas, 41, from Las Vegas, said that after her dementia-ridden father Charles died she had a sudden explosion of sexual desire

Shanna Christmas, 41, from Las Vegas, said that after her dementia-ridden father Charles died she had a sudden explosion of sexual desire

To combat the urges, she said she would tell strangers she was wearing new 'panties', hug male colleagues and spend hours in the bathroom taking pictures of her backside

To combat the urges, she said she would tell strangers she was wearing new ‘panties’, hug male colleagues and spend hours in the bathroom taking pictures of her backside

The death of Ms Christmas’ father, Charles, did not come as a complete surprise.

He had been suffering from a form of rapid dementia, a rare type of the disease that rapidly escalates over several weeks to months to rob sufferers of their memory, robbing sufferers of their memory and judgment skills.

By the end, he was described as having forgotten how to eat and rarely opening his eyes.

When Ms Christmas, a comedian, received the news that he was nearing the end, she was touring in Los Angeles.

‘I had no family around. My college roommate, who I was staying with at the time, was at work, so I couldn’t even hug another human when I got the call,’ she wrote in the Insider.

‘And I had been single for 10 months, which meant there was no man of my own around, either,’ she said.

Despite receiving the news, she decided to stay in Los Angeles and continued with her shows.

But this was when, while she was dealing with the grief and loss, her sex drive suddenly ramped up.

During one of her shows just two days after his death, she revved up the crowd by yelling: ‘I’ve got new panties! And my dad’s dead!’

At other shows, Christmas would go up to male colleagues to tell them the bad news and then ask for a hug.

She even admitted to spending almost every evening locked in a cubicle in public bathrooms taking pictures of her backside while wearing new panties that ‘exposed a large portion of my undercarriage’.

‘My level of thirst could only be explained by this new feeling of emptiness, I just wanted to connect with someone,’ she said.

‘Well, with a man. A big, strong man.’

‘My ex was 6ft5in and was the best at holding me and making me feel small. It’s what I desperately wanted.’

There has been little research into why people may feel horny after the death of a loved one — although some experts say this is not uncommon. It has even been featured on popular TV shows like ‘Grey’s Anatomy’.

Psychologists have said the phenomenon may be a ‘liberation effect’, or a sense of relief after an expected death.

‘There’s an excitement about the unknown,’ said Dr Patti Britton, a clinical sexologist based in California.

‘I think that excitement is part of what “wakes someone up”.’

Her father, Charles, pictured, had suffered a form of rapid dementia that gradually robs people of their memory and ability to live independently

Her father, Charles, pictured, had suffered a form of rapid dementia that gradually robs people of their memory and ability to live independently

Other theories suggest that the sudden burst in sexual desire could be due to a will to avoid grief and cover the void opened by the loss.

Dr Britton added: ‘The grief trajectory is about a loss of closeness — a loss of intimacy. That’s why our libido kicks in: To fill that void.’

Dr Helen Fisher, a biological anthropologist at the Kinsey Institute Indiana, added to VICE: ‘The body becomes quite broken [after a death] and having sex — decent sex — drives the dopamine system.

‘Any stimulation of the genitals drives the dopamine system in the brain, which gives feelings of optimism, energy, focus and motivation.’

In her case, Ms Christmas said that within a few weeks, the impulses to have sex began to subside. She didn’t have sex during her Renaissance period.

She then transitioned to a point where ‘no one’ was attractive and said she could not even get aroused enough to pleasure herself.

‘It’s as if I’ve been slingshotted back into who I was before,’ she said. ‘Alone again. Trying to sort out the feelings of emptiness and isolation.’ 



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