Steamy, hot, raunchy, wild, intense – these are all words you’ll often hear used to describe a good session between the sheets. But there are some other words that can also be used to refer to sex – sticky, wet, slimy, sweaty, stinky. Sex sometimes comes with a little bit of grossness, but humans have long been able to put aside the icky stuff in favor of the thrill and excitement.
A group of researchers from the Netherlands set out to figure out exactly why humans were able to lower their gross-out factor in order to do the deed. The results were recently published in the journal PlosOne.
In their report, the scientists say that spit, sweat, semen and body odors are among some of the grossest parts of sex. They hypothesized that sexual arousal might lower one’s propensity to feel disgusted, thus making sex easier.
To test their theory, they gathered together a group of 90 healthy women, and split them into three groups. They used film clips to stimulate the arousal of one group, while another group was given non-sexual but still positive arousal, and the third served as a neutral control group.
Next, the participants took part in 16 different tasks, some of which involved sexual acts, such as using personal lubricant or a vibrating device. They also participated in non-sexual behaviors that were still pretty gross, such as taking a sip of juice when a large insect was inside the cup. They were then asked to rate their level of disgust. Patients were allowed to opt out of tasks they found too vile.
Researchers found those who were sexually stimulated found all of the gross behaviors, including those that weren’t sexual, to be less disgusting. The sexually aroused women were also more likely to participate in a larger number of the tasks.
Of course, there are other things about sex that can be gross, especially in the aftermath. Those who don’t play it safe when they get down and dirty could very well end up contracting a sexually transmitted infection, many of which have pretty gross symptoms. To avoid this nasty factor, make sure you use condoms every single time you have sex. This will not only cut down on your chances of getting an STD, but it will also show your partner that you like the good, not gross, parts of sex.