Seeking Greater Intimacy? Think About Sex.
Try this experiment: Place your full attention on something sexual for several minutes and then think about it for a little while. Afterwards, take notice if you seem to be more talkative. New research cited in a recent article by Elizabeth Bernstein says you will be. And, notably, it suggests that you will also be more inclined to reveal aspects of yourself to those with whom you converse. Apparently, thinking about sex motivates us to seek connection with others by making us chattier about ourselves.
The cycle of emotional intimacy
According to Dr. Birnbaum, the studies’ lead researcher, “Thinking about sex starts a positive cycle of emotional intimacy: When you think about sex and then disclose personal information, the other person likes you more. If the attraction is mutual, he or she typically reciprocates by sharing as well. That, in turn, makes you feel more affection.”
The implications of this theory in a dating scenario seem fairly obvious. But it can benefit long-term relationships as well: Thinking about sex on your own can motivate you to reveal more of yourself to your partner. This might spark him or her to behave in kind, strengthening your intimate bond. Also, Dr. Birnbaum suggests experiencing a sexy environment with your partner. A sexual atmosphere can help promote sexual thoughts, leading to more intimate conversation and activity.
Be careful. . .
Perhaps most importantly, one caveat of this chattiness effect is that it may impact you inadvertently. As Dr. Birnbaum warns, “Be careful to whom you are blabbing. If you see a suggestive ad in a magazine and start oversharing to the bus driver or a cute co-worker you’re not helping your marriage.”
How often do you think about sex?