Sexual Stimulation Promotes Openness and Agreeableness

Sexual Stimulation Promotes Openness and Agreeableness 1

Research confirms that people will say just about anything to get laid and the linked article frames this phenomenon as a form of deception, but I think it’s more useful to view it as enhanced agreeableness and openness.

The first experiment asked pairings of men and women to debate a fictitious situation face-to-face, with each participant being assigned a specific stance to take. The results revealed that students who were exposed to sexual stimuli beforehand were much more likely to openly express agreement with the member of the opposite sex they were supposed to be debating with compared to the control group that did not view any sexual stimuli before interacting.

The second experiment set out to determine if participants would flat out contradict a stance or opinion they had literally written out all to appease a sexually attractive individual’s ideals. First, each student was asked to fill out a questionnaire regarding some of their dating preferences, for example, “To what extent does it bother you to date someone who is messy?”

Then, they were exposed to either a subliminal sexual picture or a neutral image. Next, each participant was told they would be engaging in an online chat with an attractive individual, and were given a profile of their chat partner that included some of their supposed opinions and preferences. Sure enough, participants who had been exposed to a momentary sexual image were much more likely to conform their tastes to that of the individual they were about to chat with, and in many scenarios those tastes directly contradicted what they had originally recorded in the initial questionnaire.

Were the students “lying” when they openly expressed agreement or conformed their tastes? I doubt their initial self-reported preferences were so strongly held that merely being socially agreeable should count as “lying”. In fact, what seems to be happening is that the students are making a completely reasonable effort to get along with their partner, catalyzed by the sexual stimuli.

So then, what can we married couples learn from this experiment on students? How about this: if you want to experience more agreeableness and openness in your marriage, then promote sexual stimulation in your relationship. Initiate and respond to sexual talk, touch, jokes, teasing, games, planning, and anticipation. View yourself and your spouse as “potential sexual partners” to be impressed, rather than roommates!

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