If you've ever found yourself feeling a little emotionally uninhibited after sex, you're not alone. The phenomenon of letting loose and sharing secrets after sex is such a thing that a series of new studies has sought to prove it and find out why we're so inclined to get intimate after, well, getting intimate.
A new study from the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, titled "Sex unleashes your tongue" (lol, yeah, obviously), found that even just being exposed to sexually suggestive images leads people to participating in behaviors that foster nonsexual intimacy. Or in other words: Seeing something that leads a person to think about sex makes it easier to open up emotionally.
This new study was a compilation of several studies that tested the theory of sex = a proclivity to overshare, and all three studies were able to produce the same result. In one, people were subliminally exposed to sexual stimuli (a sexy image that they weren't necessarily aware they were seeing) and then asked to share a personal anecdote with a stranger of the opposite gender via instant messenger.
In another, participants watched a sexy scene from a movie and were asked to reveal an embarrassing personal story in a face-to-face interaction with a stranger.
One constant rang true for each of the scenarios: The study groups that were exposed to the sexy stimuli disclosed more personal information than study groups that didn't see anything sexy before being asked to spill a secret. "The findings indicate that activation of the sexual system encourages self-disclosure, a strategy that allows people to become closer to a potential partner," reads a summary of the study in Science of Relationships. "Self-disclosure, in turn, further increases the desire for this partner and fosters relationship development."
So not only does sex bring you physically closer, but all that "postcoital oversharing," as the researchers call it, is likely to bring you closer to a partner in the moments after sex. Either use that to your advantage or be maybe extra careful next time you're lying around in a sweaty body pile with your partner after sex. Your brain shouldn't be held responsible for the stories it tells mere moments after an orgasm high.
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This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.