Have you ever noticed that after sex your conversations are lot more… open? Even the most private people have been known to spill an embarrassing story in postcoital moments.
Men evolved to make an effort to attract a woman — that we know. But when we end up having sex, we’re wired to keep the other person around to care for the kids. So, we get intimate. We have sex in the missionary position when most animals don’t. We tend to sleep together afterward. And we get cute by saying really emotionally vulnerable things. All of this, to keep the other person around — although these days it might just backfire.
The researchers determined this by carrying our a few a trio of studies. The studies, published in Personality and Psychology Bulletin and shared in Science of Relationships, determined that sex really makes us say cutesy wootsie things.
In the studies, the participants were exposed to sexual stimuli — including that sex scene from Original Sin with Antonio Banderas and Angelina Jolie — as well as neutral stimuli. In all of the studies, the participants exposed to sexy signals got turned on, which makes people more likely to feel vulnerable.
Here’s how one of the researchers explained it:
“Overall, the findings indicate that activation of the sexual system encourages self-disclosure, a strategy that allows people to become closer to a potential partner. Self-disclosure, in turn, further increases the desire for this partner and fosters relationship development. Sharing of private aspects of the self with another individual is a well-documented way for adults to increase interpersonal intimacy and enhance relationship formation. The present research suggests that sexual activation facilitates this process, such that when two strangers meet, sexual interest will determine the extent to which personal information will be revealed during their interaction: Heightened sexual interest in a prospective partner is likely to increase self-disclosure, whereas a lack of sexual interest is likely to inhibit it.”
Well, there ya have it. Next time you say something vulnerable during pillow talk that you didn’t mean to say — go ahead and blame it on science.