If you and your beloved are having trouble talking things through, the solution may be to stop talking and get busy. A new study discovered that couples are more likely to engage in positive pillow talk after orgasm.
“Post-coital communication is likely linked to sexual and relationship satisfaction,” reported Amanda Denes, a professor at the University of Connecticut, and lead author of the study. “For this reason, pillow talk may play a pivotal role in maintaining intimacy.”
Denes’ research showed that the secret to getting people to open up after good sex was the effect of the pro-social, “love and trust” hormone, oxytocin. It floods the brain after orgasm. Not only does oxytocin lower stress hormone levels, it promotes feelings of comfort and closeness with one’s partner. Both the men and women in the study shared more after sex, but the women were likely to make more positive disclosures.
The 253 people in the study also revealed that having a few too many cocktails before an encounter may limit oxytocin’s, beneficial after-sex effects. Study participants who had been drinking were still likely to disclose things during post-coital chit-chat that they might have withheld if sober, but their revelations were more likely to be shallow and negative.
“Oxytocin is an ‘upper’ and alcohol is a ‘downer,’ so it’s not surprising that they have opposite effects on behavior,” said Tamara Afifi, a professor at the University of Iowa, and co-author of the study. “People who drink more alcohol on average perceive fewer benefits to disclosing information to their partners.”
Oxytocin’s effects are temporary, however, so to truly enhance communication in your relationship, you’ll have to be intimate a little more often.
Step Lively: Feel Better
Just 6,000 steps a day cuts your risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, according to a new report. If that sounds like a lot, remember it’s about the average amount of activity a person logs in a day. To get in a few extra steps, just park the car a little further away from your job or take the stairs at work instead of the elevator. It does not matter how you get the steps, as long as you move. So pick up an inexpensive fitness tracker and see how you’re doing.