While helping out around the house, listening to your partner, and being kind are all typical pieces of relationship advice, here’s one you may not have heard: let your mind get dirty once in a while!
Research published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin suggests that simply thinking about sex can help. According to the study, sexy thoughts encourage partners to open up and share information with one another, encouraging bonding.
In study one, participants were asked seven questions about their ideal first date scenarios. Between questions, pictures flashed on the screen so quickly the participants weren’t consciously aware of them—half of the participants were shown erotic photos, while half were shown images of fish. After this, the individuals were asked to share a personal story via Instant Messenger with a researcher masked as an attractive individual.
In study two, half of the participants watched a sex scene between actors Antonio Banderas and Angelina Jolie, while the other half watched a film on cat behaviour. Then, they had to tell an embarrassing personal story while face-to-face with a member of the opposite sex.
In the third study, participants watched videos of couples interacting sexually or talking about their feelings. Then they were asked to tell an embarrassing personal story via online chat to an attractive member of the opposite sex.
All three studies found that people who were exposed to sexual stimuli were willing to reveal significantly more personal information about themselves. These findings reveal that sexual arousal may lead to a better emotional bond.
To apply this to your own relationship, pick up on your partner’s mood. If they seem more romantic, it is probably a better time to talk. Moreover, don’t spew your emotions—open up gradually. Finally, create a sexy atmosphere. All of this will help to boost your connection with your partner.
So, go ahead: get your mind in the gutter!