TORONTO – Think about what you do immediately after sex. Whatever it is, if it’s outside of the bedroom you’re doing it all wrong, new Canadian research suggests.
Some post-sex cuddling – especially for new parents – is the trick to keeping a happy sex life and strong relationship, according to a University of Toronto study.
“When people think of sex, they tend to be focused on intercourse or orgasm,” lead research Dr. Amy Muise said.
“This research suggests that other affectionate aspects of sex are important for sexual and relationship satisfaction.”
Muise is a professor at the University of Toronto, where she specializes in sexual motivation research. In her previous research, she had even advised Canadians not to do the deed just for the sake of it.
Instead, she argued that our reasons for having sex are just as important as how frequently we do it.
This time around, in a two-part study with the help of about 330 people, Muise looked at what couples do after sex and how it impacts their relationship.
Through online surveys, Muise learned that on average, people are affectionate for about 15 minutes post-sex. Muise asked her recruited couples to cuddle for longer than that. Once they got into that habit, they reported an “afterglow” that was long lasting. Even during a three-month follow-up, the couples were happier with their sex lives and their relationships.
That was especially the case for couples with kids. Muise wasn’t necessarily surprised.
“Parents often have less time for sex and romance. Time spent cuddling after sex had a stronger impact on their relationships than it did for non-parents,” Muise said.
“It is possible that additional bonding time after sex is even more important for couples who may face challenges finding time for intimate connection,” she said.
So what should couples do during that time? Muise lists kissing, cuddling and pillow talk. Don’t head straight for the shower or get dressed right away.
And if your husband or wife is in the mood for sex and you’re not, don’t even think about taking one for the team by giving in.
“What we’re finding is that all sex isn’t created equal. Some sex leads to more positive outcomes than others,” Muise told Global News in November.
Her latest findings were published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behaviour.