It almost sounds cliche to claim that having sex with a guy makes us lose our minds over him, suddenly turning us into clingy, insecure, needy versions of ourselves. However, it seems like there’s a little bit of truth to that. Here are the results of a new study that might help you understand why you’re so sprung when he’s good in bed.
- The better the sex, the deeper the attachment. That’s basically the sum total of research published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships anyway. The general idea is that sexual intimacy, particularly when it’s super fulfilling, has the power to “facilitate emotional bonding during face-to-face encounters with a new opposite-sex acquaintance.”
- Sexual attraction is an indication of other “non-verbal immediacy behaviors.” In one part of the study, participants of the opposite sex were paired up according to their attraction levels to one another and asked to lip-sync a song. From there, researchers were looking for other clues of intimacy like eye contact, close physical proximity, and synchronization. The more attracted to one another the couples were, the more of those behaviors were present.
- The more of those behaviors were present, the more participants wanted to see each other again. A second part of the study put attracted couples together for a slow dance. Those with high incidences of the aforementioned non-verbal immediacy behaviors were way more likely to be open to seeing their partner again, even desiring it. Oh snap!
- The suggestion of sex changes our responses too. The third and fourth parts of the study exposed participants to either sexual or neutral images (study three) and erotic but not explicit or neutral videos (study four) before pairing up attracted opposite-sex couples for a completely unrelated task. In both instances, those who’d seen the sexual images and videos were way more into interacting and getting up close and personal than those who’d seen the neutral media.
- Basically, the more “sex in the air” as Rihanna would say, the more likely you are to want to get cozy and affectionate with the dude. As the report read, “Even a nonconscious sexual stimulus can elicit verbal and non-verbal behaviors that not only convey contact readiness but also express caring about a partner’s well-being. By doing so, our research suggests that when two strangers meet, sexual desire experienced by one or both of them may initiate a cascade of behaviors that signal their interest in further interaction as well as their willingness to invest in a potential relationship. Such behaviors help set the stage for deepening the emotional connection between them.”
- Obviously this isn’t true for everyone. While this study is pretty interesting and likely explains a lot about our interactions with the guys we’re intimate with, there are certainly both men and women out there who are capable of (and only interested in) casual hookups without developing feelings. For the rest of us, this is somewhat comforting, right?