It’s not news that love makes you do stupid things. And while we’d like to think that stupidity comes from a pure place, it’s actually more likely coming from the rumblings in your private place.
That’s right, I’m talking about feeling horny. According to a new Canadian study, the desire to get down and dirty with someone makes you act a little like an idiot. Frankly, I’m not sure why they needed a study to prove such an obvious point, but there you go.
The research, which was recently published in Archives of Sexual Behavior, shows that when people are sexually aroused, they’re more likely to do something illogical and risky. The interesting part is that these things don’t always have to do with sex. That means your sexual attraction to the one-night stand may make you want to take skydiving lessons the next day rather than try anal for the first time.
To get accurate, uninfluenced data, the researchers had to be somewhat sneaky. They rallied 144 college students under the pretense that they’d be participating in a gender differences study. They were told ahead of time that they’d be asked to watch sexually explicit videos and that they’d have to fill out a few questionnaires while they watched.
However, the 144 students were actually split into two groups — one was made to watch the sexually explicit scenes between men and women, while the other watched non-sexual interactions between men and women. After the videos were over, the students were asked to fill out the questionnaires. One asked about their demographics, another asked about their level of sexual arousal in relation to the video, while a third had them respond to risk-taking scenarios, both sexual and non-sexual.
The students who reported they were aroused by the videos also reported that they’d be more likely to engage in risky sexual behavior. This was the case for both the male and female subjects, but the numbers were slightly higher with men. That makes sense considering the other studies that have shown men tend to be less logical when they’re around women to whom they’re attracted.
They conducted a second experiment to better understand how increased levels of horniness can make people do more stupid things of a non-sexual nature. They essentially did the same experiment that was illustrated above, but with a new set of students and a different type of post-video activity. Instead of filling out questionnaires, they had the students play blackjack on the computer. What they discovered was quite telling. “[It] was shown that participants in the experimental group displayed significantly more risk-taking in the card game than the control group — despite this game having nothing to do with attaining sexual gratification,” wrote head researcher Shayna Skakoon-Sparling.
Essentially what this means is, when you’re sexually aroused, your brain is not only an illogical mess, but it’s going to push you toward doing particularly foolish things, like making risky gambling moves. So does that mean you should be extra careful when engaging in sex with someone to whom you’re incredibly attracted? Of course it does, but it doesn’t mean you can’t have a good time. A little risk-taking can be fun, but remember, just like with any other intoxicating substance, moderation is key.