Falling asleep right after sex is usually a sign that you just had a great session that literally put you to bed, but researchers say this tendency also increases your partner’s need for post-coital cuddling and conversation.
“The more one’s partner was likely to fall asleep after sex, the stronger the desire for bonding,” says Daniel Kruger, a research fellow at the University of Michigan and lead author of the study published in the Journal of Social, Evolutionary, and Cultural Psychology.
In an anonymous online study, researchers questioned 456 participants about their sex-sleep lives, asking them who falls asleep after sex and who falls asleep first when going to bed not after sex? Participants whose partners nodded off immediately after sex were typically left wanting more.
“Falling asleep before one’s partner may be a non-conscious way to foreclose on any commitment conversation after sex,” says co-author Susan Hughes, associate professor of psychology at Albright College in Reading, PA.
That statement may make you think men are more likely to catch some Zs right after sex but there was actually no difference between men and women’s behavior. But, women were more likely to fall asleep first when they didn’t have sex. Dr. Hughes says this could be an “artifact of mate guarding — making sure the woman doesn’t leave them for another partner,” or men may just stay up longer trying to convince the women to have sex. I’m betting on number two.
Fighting off the urge to go to sleep after sex is no easy task, although most people enjoy a little post-sex cuddling. I say you should take immediate post-sex sleep as a sign of satisfaction. The partners who are staying up wondering why their partner fell asleep probably have other concerns about the relationship that they need to address, and they’re taking their partner’s sleep as a sign of something being wrong and a lack of affection.
Do you prefer to cuddle after sex or are you usually the first to be knocked out? Do you take it personal if your partner falls asleep right away?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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