Ever wondered why we don’t find getting intimate just plain gross? Turns out there are scientific reasons….
When you think about it, getting intimate is a bit of a disgusting business- fluids and stickiness and sweat and all sorts of other unsavoury things.
So why don’t we see it that way when aroused?
Science now thinks it’s found the answer – in women, at least. Arousal in women apparently negates feelings of disgust, allowing people to get intimate without feeling repulsed or freaked out.
The neuroscience isn’t quite clear yet, but the study – which was, admittedly, pretty small – did some comprehensive tests and made a few interesting conclusions.
The women who volunteered were divided into groups, one of whom was shown a sensually arousing film, the others not.
Then they all had to do some pretty disgusting tasks – drink from glasses with (fake) bugs in them, touch dirty things, eating food that looked contaminated (even though it wasn’t), and other tests of the ‘yuck’ reaction.
The results? The women who’d watched the film rated the tasks as less gross than their counterparts did, because the arousal had dampened their disgust-responses.
They were also more willing to do them at all.
So what does this mean? Getting aroused directly affects how disgusted you are, both by your surroundings and by specific acts.
The scientists think that this is an evolutionary response, evolved to help people get over their inherent ‘gross’ reaction to intimacy.
The most interesting part is how arousal makes people not just willing to tolerate ‘disgusting’ stuff, but to do ‘disgusting’ things. In other words, arousal lowers your inhibitions and prompts you to perform acts you normally wouldn’t.
It’s also a potential way of investigating people who have trouble in the bedroom. If their neural wiring isn’t allowing them to override the natural ‘disgust’ response, they’ll have difficulty doing what most others find completely normal.
And it teaches lessons about the necessity of being properly aroused via foreplay – if you aren’t, the disgust reaction won’t be fully shut off, and you might find the whole process unexpectedly more visceral than usual.
The experiment has yet to extend to men, so science isn’t quite sure whether disgust-reactions are restricted to one gender.
On the flip side, if you’re about to root through garbage, clean the bathroom or do something else that makes you gag, take a few moments with some arousing material first. Then the whole task will become surprisingly easier…
Lady Friday xx
Taking pillow talk out of the bedroom, every Friday…