If you want to open up some positive communication in your relationship, have an orgasm, but skip the alcohol, according to a new study published in Communication Monographs. When you have an orgasm, your hypothalamus releases a dose of the oxytocin, a hormone linked to sexual pleasure and social bonding. It also lowers our cortisol levels, a hormone we produce in reaction to stress. It’s a combination that helps us feel more safe and trusting, so we’re more apt to open up and share feelings.
Alcohol, on the other hand, is a depressant that may make you chatty, but it’s less likely to be positive communication if you regularly drink before sex. And alcohol may make you feel sexy, but it can hinder performance and get in the way of orgasm. Alcohol interferes with respiration, circulation, and the sensitivity of nerve endings. Study authors suggest that drinking plus failure to achieve orgasm is a recipe for negativity.
Female study participants who experienced orgasm were more likely to share positive information than women who didn’t have an orgasm and men who did. Participants who had an orgasm perceived less of a risk and more potential for benefits to disclosing their intimate feelings.
“Post-coital communication is likely linked to sexual and relationship satisfaction,” said Amanda Denes in a press release. The Assistant Professor at the University of Connecticut and lead author of the study went on to say, “For this reason, pillow talk may play a pivotal role in maintaining intimacy.”
There’s a common stereotype that men fall asleep immediately after sex, but a 2011 study published in the Journal of Social, Evolutionary, and Cultural Psychology found that’s not necessarily the case. Either way, conversation isn’t the only way to bond with your mate. Nonverbal communication such as cuddling, falling asleep together, and sharing a laugh can be every bit as intimate as talking.