Many of us know that yummy, intimate feeling of lying in bed with our lover after a bout of glorious sex, shrouded in privacy and bliss. Often during those times, we find ourselves discussing things that we may not normally reveal, and that only serves to make us feel closer to our lover. Post sex conversations seem to be sweeter, more honest and cozy. What is it about this time, when the build up and sex are actually over that contributes to our love bond? Scientists seem to have found some answers in this regard which explain more about our post coital delight, including the highly influential role of our orgasm.
Orgasm creates deep physiological adjustments to our system, including a release of oxytocin, which is also known as the love hormone. This release is often stronger in women than men, as testosterone suppresses oxytocin, so sometimes women may feel more warm and fuzzy after sex then men. It seems that this hormonal surge influences our desire to disclose positive feelings to our lover, resulting in increased bonding and higher relationship satisfaction. Oxytocin promotes a feeling of trust and love, so it makes sense that when it has been released, we desire more connection with our lover.
On the flip side, sometimes people feel remorseful of what they have revealed during pillow talk, especially if it is with a casual or less known lover. They feel influenced by the delicious feelings induced by the release of oxytocin and perhaps this lowers any natural and protective defenses that allow us to feel safe. Perhaps another way to look at this is that even if we are not received in a way which we desire when we express our vulnerability, at least we have the courage to show another our true self. And if we are not accepted fully, maybe this is a good measure of whether we should allow the other to be in our life or not. While protecting the heart could lead to less emotional pain, it might also cut us off from discovering the beauty of complete recognition.
Perhaps next time your are bathing in the idyllic veil of oxytocin induced joy and love; remember that this is an important part of bonding. If you feel compelled to expose intimate parts of who you are and how you feel about the other, maybe ease up on self-protection. Let yourself be fully seen and you might be happily surprised when you could be fully received by another. This is the nature of true intimacy and our bodies encourage this bonding. Trust your body and go with the flow.