STORRS, Conn. (CBS Connecticut) – The findings of a recent study indicate that people are far more likely to disclose secrets during “pillow talk,” or post-sex conversation.
According to an article that appeared in a recent edition of UConn Magazine, relationship researchers have learned why some people are inclined to feel more trusting post-coitus – and why others might still clam up.
“When individuals experience orgasm, profound physiological changes occur as a hormone called oxytocin floods their bodies,” the article, written by assistant professor Dr. Amanda Denes, indicated. “Increases in oxytocin have been linked to many pro-social behaviors – hence the hormone’s nicknames, ‘love hormone’ and ‘trust hormone.'”
She continued, “While men as well as women experience the post-climax oxytocin surge, testosterone is thought to dampen the effects of oxytocin, which may mean fewer warm, fuzzy feelings post-sex for individuals with more testosterone, such as men.”
Denes, whose areas of focus include interpersonal communication with emphases on disclosure and sexuality, noted that the increment of time following sex – referred to as a post-coital time interval – could be an important component in establishing and maintaining closeness and trust in a romantic relationship.
“[F]or individuals in more committed relationships, pillow talk is part of the way they maintain closeness and satisfaction with their partners,” she noted, then added that for some, “it seems that the glow of orgasm may minimize the risks – and enhance the benefits – of disclosing.”
Denes and other experts said that they hope to continue researching the benefits and importance of pillow talk, as well as the reasons why people feel so inclined to share emotionally during that time period.
She added, “In starting to answer these questions, we’re gaining a better understanding of the ways that post-coital behavior relates to relationship satisfaction and healthy couple functioning.”