Like to give and/or get some harmless, consensual paddling in the boudoir? Turns out, your naughty little secret might be more than just a turn-on: Spanking could actually bring some couples closer, according to a study conducted at Northern Illinois University.
Researchers tracked levels of the stress hormone cortisol in 13 men and women at an S and M party in Arizona before, during, and after spanking and other activities like bondage and 'flogging.' They also measured testosterone for women and men at another S and M event in Chicago. 'During S and M scenes, cortisol rose significantly in those receiving stimulation, but dropped back to normal within 40 minutes if the scene went well,' according to NewScientist . 'There was no change in those inflicting the activity.' Testosterone increased significantly in women only, but also dropped back to normal. The researchers concluded that overall, even extreme sex isn't stressful when it's consensual--and like doing any fun activity together, it is likely to boost a couple's closeness.
But if you're not the spanking type--or even the sex type--you still have some tamer options: 'It doesn't have to be tying up your partner or placing clamps on their nipples, it could be something as simple as cooking a meal together or even doing the housework as a duo,' says Richard Wiseman, a psychologist at the University of Hertfordshire in Hatfield, UK. --Jax
Photo courtesy of Ben Scicluna, via Flickr.
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