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Post-Sex Pillow Talk May Strengthen Relationships

Update Date: Dec 25, 2013 03:27 PM EST
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The "love hormone" oxytocin is the reason why partners feel more comfortable revealing their true feelings after sex.

Previous studies have linked oxytocin, also called the "trust hormone," to satisfying and enduring relationships. And new research shows that orgasms strengthen the emotional bond between couples.

Lead researcher Amanda Denes discovered that women who experienced orgasm revealed more intimate feelings to their partner after sex than women who did not orgasm. 

Denes, an assistant professor at the University of Connecticut, wanted to understand the role of "pillow talk" in relationships because people have very different experiences of it.

She explained that many people reveal intimate feelings to a partner after sex or during the post-coital time interval (PCTI), regardless of the length of a relationship.

"Why were some people sharing their innermost feelings, even when they knew the relationship had not yet reached that level? What effects would these post-coital disclosures have on relationship satisfaction?" Denes wrote in an article for the University of Connecticut.

"To explore the relationship between hormones and communication decisions, she looked at what people talked about during PCTI as well as 'one important variable [that] was likely influencing this whole process - orgasm," she added.

"To ignore the importance of orgasm would be to ignore a key piece of the pillow-talk puzzle," Denes said.

The study revealed that women who orgasmed told their partners more intimate feelings after sexual activity than women who did not orgasm. Denes believes that oxytocin is the reason why women who climax have more of the hormone in their systems than women who did not.

The study also found that people in committed relationships revealed more intimate feelings to their partners after sex than those in newer or more short-term relationships.

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