display | more...

Too Darn Hot was written by Cole Porter for the original stage production of Kiss Me, Kate, which opened on December 30, 1948 at the New Century Theatre in New York City. The song is performed in Act Two by the character Paul, originally played by Lorenzo Fuller.

Too Darn Hot also appears on the 1956 Ella Fitzgerald album - Sings the Cole Porter Song Book. Ella's version is fantastic for swing dancing.

Here are her lyrics (which aren't too different from the original lyrics):

It's too darn hot,
it's too darn hot.
I'd like to sup with my baby tonight,
fulfill the cup with my baby tonight.
I'd like to sup with my baby tonight,
fulfill the cup with my baby tonight,
but I ain't up to my baby tonight
'cause it's too darn hot.

It's too darn hot,
it's too darn hot.
I'd like to coo with my baby tonight,
and pitch the woo with my baby tonight.
I'd like to coo with my baby tonight,
and pitch the woo with my baby tonight,
but brother you'll fight my baby tonight
'Cause it's too darn hot.

(chorus)
According to the Kinsey Report
every average man you know
much prefers his lovey dovey to court
when the temperature is low,
but when the thermometer goes 'way up
and the weather is sizzling hot,

Mister Pants,
for romance,
is not,
'Cause it's too, too,
too darn hot.
It's too darn hot.
It's too, too darn hot.

It's too darn hot,
it's too darn hot.
I'd like to coo with my baby tonight,
and pitch the woo with my baby tonight.
I'd like to coo with my baby tonight,
and pitch the woo with my baby tonight,
but brother you'll fight my baby tonight
'Cause it's too darn hot.

(chorus repeats)

Mr. Guy, for his squaw,
a marine, for his queen,
a G.I., for his cutie pie, is not.
'Cause it's too, too,
too darn hot.
It's too darn hot!


Of course, what I find most amusing about this particular version of the lyrics is that, to my knowledge, Alfred C. Kinsey's two big surveys of sexual behavior, Sexual Behavior in the Human Male and Sexual Behavior in the Human Female (published in 1948 and 1953, respectively) make essentially no claims about the effect of temperature or season on sexual behavior, with the possible exception of the following reference in Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, from the chapter about extramarital sex:

The averaged data may show mean frequencies {of extramarital sexual contact} of once a week or two, but the whole of the year's total is likely to have been accumulated on a single trip or in a few weeks of the summer vacation.

But the song does raise an interesting question: Does temperature play a role in human sexual behavior, and, if so, what is that role? (and, okay, yes, romantic contact does not necessarily involve sex, but they brought up the whole subject by mentioning the Kinsey report and I am lazy. There, I've admitted it. Are you happy now?)

The lyrics imply that hot weather disinclines people from, ahem, romantic contact. This concept seems intuitive for many people. As a friend put it, "the last thing I want to do in hot weather is something that makes me more sweaty." I thought the question warranted further examination, because I remember reading somewhere that people in warmer climates report having sex more often, and with more sexual partners (on average) than people in cooler climates (granted, I haven't been able to locate the reference, so I might just be making that up). The science is a bit less clear-cut about the role of temperature in sexual behavior, so perhaps I am not crazy, after all.

First of all, in support of Cole Porter's exhortation, examination of hormonal cycles in human males reveals that, in the northern hemisphere, testosterone levels peak in October, and are at their lowest in late spring.1 Testosterone has long been associated with sexual behavior, and testosterone replacement therapy can provide marked improvement to loss of sexual function associated with testosterone depletion. 2 Thus, it is not unreasonable to infer that the highest testosterone levels (in the fall) may be associated with the highest levels of sexual activity. Indeed, Reinberg and Lagoguey's study1 does reveal a peak in both intercourse and masturbation associated with the October testosterone surge. However, they also found a second, albeit lesser, peak of sexual activity in July, when testosterone levels are relatively low. July is typically a warm month in the northern hemisphere, so I'll have to count that as a point against Mr. Porter. Interestingly, the same study reports that daily peaks in testosterone levels occur early in the morning during the spring months and in the afternoon during the fall, so perhaps, during the spring, men are simply too tired to have sex during the times when they are hormonally inclined to do so.

Seasonal variations in birth frequency also support the Porter theory. More babies are born in late spring and early autumn, with associated periods of conception firmly in the final, and coldest third of the year in the northern hemisphere (October through December).3 There also appears to be a peak in births specifically associated with conception during the winter holidays (notably, this peak is especially prominent for extramarital conceptions. Being a mid-September baby myself, I have grown pretty comfortable with the idea that I am the result of a tipsy evening following a New Year's Eve party). But before you get too comfortable with those demographics, more people are diagnosed with sexually transmitted diseases during July, August, and September than at any other time of the year, and condom sales have their second-highest peak during the summer months, with this peak more prominent during hotter years (the highest peak in condom sales is for the week of Christmas. Go figure).3

Comparative biology would also suggest that, for primates, hot weather is associated with lagging sexual function (this point should be particularly convincing for those of us that believe that all primates share a common ancestor. Many species of primates with seasonal mating patterns are typically only sexually active during the fall and winter months.4 Of course, this appears to be the result of seasonal hormonal fluctuations, as researchers were able to induce summer sexual behavior in rhesus monkeys by treating the females with estradiol.

And just to complicate matters further, if you take a liberal definition of "hot" (yes, fine, I know the lyrics specifically refer to weather. Humor me for a bit.), then you can cite Henson and Rubin's work,5 which indicates that an increase in labial temperature is a reliable and objective measure of arousal in the human female.

So, all told, it seems unclear what role temperature plays in human sexual behavior. Personally, I figure that this lack of a clear correspondence between temperature and human sexual behavior suggests that humans will have sex whenever the opportunity arises. Fortunately for Cole Porter, the lyrics also make a passing reference to an increased tendency toward violent behavior in hot weather, which is thoroughly supported by scientific data. Assault (both sexual and nonsexual) is more common during the summer.6

There, now didn't that take the fun out of the whole song?

1. Reinberg and Lagoguey (1978) Circadian and circannual rythyms in sexual activity and plasma hormones (FSH, LH, testosterone) of five human males. Archives of Sexual behavior, 7(1): 13-30
2. Snyder, Peachy, Berlin, Hannoush, Haddad, Dlewati, Santanna, Loh, Lenrow, Holmes, Kapoor, Atkinson, and Strom (2000). Effects of testosterone replacement in hypogonadal men. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 85(8):2670-2677 3. Wellings, Macdowall, Catchpole, and Goodrich (1999). Seasonal variations in sexual activity and their implications for sexual health promotion. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 92(2):60-64.
4. Pope, Wilson, and Gordon (1987). The effect of season on the induction of sexual behavior by estradiol in female rhesus monkeys. Biological Reproduction, 36(4):1047-1054.
5. Henson and Rubin (1978). A comparison of two objective measures of sexual arousal in women. Behavior Research and Therapy, 16(3):143-151.
6. Michael & Zumpe (1983). Sexual violence in the United States and the role of season. American Journal of Psychology, 140(7):883-886.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.