If you’re inclined to cuddle and chat after sex, you might have a good relationship on your hands. And a new study finds that if you’ve just experienced an orgasm — and stay away from alcohol before sex — your post-coital pillow talk is far more positive.
The study, completed at the University of Connecticut, found that people who had orgasms during sex experienced improved communication afterwards. After an orgasm, oxytocin enters the brain, providing a greater sense of well-being and an enhanced sense of trust. It’s a “pro-social” hormone, helping to strengthen the bonds between two people and reduce stress and levels of perceived threat. Because of this hormone, post-orgasmic communication can often be more free and open.
“Post-coital communication is likely linked to sexual and relationship satisfaction,” Amanda Denes, Assistant Professor at the University of Connecticut, said in a press release. “For this reason, pillow talk may play a pivotal role in maintaining intimacy.”
In addition, the scientists found that drinking before sex had a negative impact on post-coital communication. They studied the effects of booze on communication, and found that people were more likely to say things they hadn’t intended to disclose. Their "pillow talk" was less positive than people who didn’t drink. “Oxytocin is an ‘upper’ and alcohol is a ‘downer,’ so it’s not surprising that they have opposite effects on behavior,” Tamara Afifi, Professor at the University of Iowa and a co-author of the study, said in the press release. “People who drink more alcohol on average perceive fewer benefits to disclosing information to their partners.”
Previous research has suggested that alcohol has a negative overall effect on sexuality and relationships. It might have a negative impact on arousal, making it more difficult for males to achieve an erection. It can also cause dehydration and delay or prevent orgasms.
“The results revealed that individuals who orgasmed perceived greater benefits to disclosing to their partners after sexual activity,” the authors wrote in their abstract. “They also disclosed more positively valenced information and information of greater magnitude compared to those who did not orgasm.”