Is this really why we feel the need to share secrets after sex?


(Image credit: Rex Features (Shutterstock))


Words by Jadie Troy-Pryde

Everyone is guilty of some post-sex oversharing. Whether you're cosied up to your other half or your Tinder date has gone surprisingly well, for some unknown reason we feel the need to start spilling our secrets like a verbal stream-of-consciousness, and before you know it you're reliving that time your Year 6 best friend did the 90s version of ghosting you.

But why does it happen? Why do we suddenly get the urge to pour our hearts out after sex? According to a new study from the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, the need to share is essentially triggered as a means of self-disclosure which ultimately leads to bonding.

The study involved various experiments to see if sex was responsible for this oversharing. In one, participants were shown some sexy imagery subliminally and then asked to tell a personal story to a complete stranger of the opposite sex over messenger. Another asked people to watch a sex scene from a film before recalling an embarrassing anecdote to strangers, this time face-to-face.

The results showed that the participants exposed to 'sexy stimuli' were more likely to share their secrets.

'The findings indicate that activation of the sexual system encourages self-disclosure, a strategy that allows people to become closer to a potential partner,' the study concludes.

'Self-disclosure, in turn, further increases the desire for this partner and fosters relationship development.'

So there you have it - no need to feel embarrassed about everything you've accidentally shared while chasing the 'afterglow'.

The leading destination for fashion, beauty, shopping and finger-on-the-pulse views on the latest issues. Marie Claire's travel content helps you delight in discovering new destinations around the globe, offering a unique – and sometimes unchartered – travel experience. From new hotel openings to the destinations tipped to take over our travel calendars, this iconic name has it covered.