Post-sex psychology

Slate has an article covering the growing research on post-sex behaviour – what we do after we’ve got it on and what it might mean.

To be honest, I had no idea that anyone was studying what people do after sex but it sounds like the science is well underway.

Counter to popular opinion, a dated study, and the great wisdom of many lady mags, researchers have not found that men fall asleep faster than women after sex. In fact, according to a recent study [pdf] of heterosexual pairings by Kruger and Hughes, a woman is just as likely as a man to be out first. But — and here’s the interesting part — regardless of gender, the partner who stayed awake longer reported that they weren’t getting enough post-sex hugging, kissing or talking – what evolutionary psychologists call “pair bonding” activities…

And what about the other activities people move on to after sex, like hanging out in bed, ordering Chinese food, or smoking a cigarette? Earlier in 2011 Kruger and Hughes published a report in the Journal of Sex Research, considering a wider range of after-sex impulses. In that case they found that our post-coital behaviors – again considering only heterosexual sex – tend to split along gender lines. Eating, fixing yourself a drink, smoking and asking your partner for favors – all activities that sound pretty good to me – were more likely to be taken on by the men. The women, in this case, placed greater importance on behaviors related to intimacy, like cuddling and “professing their love.”

From reading the article though it’s clearly a fascinating area, even if the research seems only to have looked at heterosexual sex so far.

Apparently though, my preferred behaviour, apologising, seems barely to feature at all.

Link to ‘After the Climax’ from Salon (via @QMUPsychology)

2 thoughts on “Post-sex psychology”

  1. “Apparently though, my preferred behaviour, apologising, seems barely to feature at all.”

    I don’t believe that for even one tiny second 🙂

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