A new study has emerged that explains every single weird thing you’ve ever managed to talk your s.o. into during sex. The study, “Feelings of Disgust and Disgust-Induced Avoidance Weaken Following Induced Sexual Arousal in Women,” in the journal PLoS ONE (via The Atlantic), or as it’s commonly known amongst dudes “I Literally Cannot Believe She Does This Shit With Me,” began with the following premise:
Sex and disgust are basic, evolutionary relevant functions that are often construed as paradoxical. In general the stimuli involved in sexual encounters are, at least out of context strongly perceived to hold high disgust qualities. Saliva, sweat, semen and body odours are among the strongest disgust elicitors. This results in the intriguing question of how people succeed in having pleasurable sex at all. One possible explanation could be that sexual engagement temporarily reduces the disgust eliciting properties of particular stimuli or that sexual engagement might weaken the hesitation to actually approach these stimuli.
Yeah, maybe how you do it buddy.
It’s an intriguing question, of course. Why is it that things that would revolt us in our normal every day lives seem “hot as fuck,” to use a technical term, when we have a boner/girl-boner? Why do I set new land speed records for reaching over to [x] out of the browser as soon as I’m finished watching one of my special movies on the internet? And why doesn’t the same rule we have for dropping food apply to semen, where .5 seconds after it lands it becomes instantly disgusting? It’s because animals are fucking weird. Basically because of that.
In order to test for our reaction to the disgusting, the researchers showed a group of 90 women film clips that weren’t meant to induce sexual arousal, (a clip of one of my soulful a capella One Direction covers on YouTube, say), heighten adrenaline or neutrality. They were then asked to perform a series of tasks apparently designed by that German doctor from Human Centipede, like reaching into a bucket of used condoms, or handling poopy toilet paper, or having a conversation with their spouse of twenty years (guessing on that last one).
Turns out the sexually aroused women were more inclined to get ‘er done with the gross tasks than the control group.
CONCLUSION: The instinctual response of revulsion to most gross stimuli is somewhat dampened by sexual arousal. The theory is that, because sex can be in some ways gross, but we still need to do it, this adaptive perception has helped us thrive as a species.
How to apply this in your own life: Try maybe going to the bathroom with the door open right before you hop into bed with your lover next time, or at the very least, make sure to always keep a bucket of used condoms on hand at all times. You never know when you’re going to need it.