Does sex make you more honest?
Our accidental oversharing after a romantic encounter might not be so accidental after all.
Turns out pillow talk isn't just idle chatter; it's science.
A new study published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, conducted by a team of researchers at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, Israel, found that those who engage in sexual activity with a relatively new partner often disclose personal information about themselves without even knowing it. Why? Evolution, that's why.
It all comes down to our evolutionary need to build relationships. We engage in intimate acts with another person, and in turn we want to continue that intimacy and move it beyond the physical. So we talk. A lot.
While all this may seem obvious to anyone who's ever overshared after a particularly, um, stimulating romantic encounter, consider this: just thinking about sex – or being exposed to some sexual stimuli even subliminally – made participants in the study very chatty. And very honest.
And, since this study was actually three studies put together, the research went a step further. The team of IDC researchers led by noted sex researcher Gurit Birnbaum also found that beyond that initial sexual encounter, people tended to make an effort to get closer to this new partner, and facilitate further interactions.
"Results showed that merely thinking about sex, even without being aware of it, encouraged self-disclosure," the study authors wrote. "... These findings suggest that activation of the sexual system encourages the use of strategies that allow people to become closer to potential partners."
So what might have started as a casual flirtation, researchers say, could turn into something much more – depending on how much you unconsciously open up.
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