Anyone who's had mind-blowing sex probably knows what it's like to experience the post-sex glow; with a bit of a spring in our step, our outlook on life feels just a little bit brighter. But is this vibe actually a real, concrete phenomena? Well, a new study performed on newlyweds shows that people can, in fact, experience a sexual "afterglow." This glow can last up to 48 hours and can even be linked to how happy you are in your relationship in the long-term.
Here's what "afterglow" actually means.
For this study, researchers collected data from over 200 newlywed couples. They were asked to record their sexual activity every day for two full weeks and regardless of whether or not they had sex that day they were also asked to report how satisfied they were with their partner, their relationship, and their marriage each day. When they analyzed the results, they showed that having sex one day was associated with increased sexual satisfaction up to two full days later. And so, the "sexual afterglow" really means an increase in sexual and relationship satisfaction that can last for up to 48 hours after sex.
What your glow says about your relationship.
Sex is unarguably an important part of any romantic relationship, and it got researchers thinking about how far the powers of sex actually stretch. Can sex sustain the romantic bond in between sexual experiences? Does this afterglow really matter when it comes to our relationships and keeping romance alive? Apparently, yes. Even though most couples only have sex a couple times a week (in this study the average was four times every two weeks), the afterglow is a "cognitive mechanism through which sex promotes pair bonding." In the long-term, this glow was linked to higher levels of marital satisfaction.
As for what your glow says about you, specifically? Interestingly, this phenomena seems to be the same for all of us—simply part of the shared human experience. The results from this study held true for all different ages, genders, frequency of sexual activity, personality traits, and even how long the couple had been together.
Gretchen Lidicker has a B.S. in biology and earned her master’s degree in physiology with a concentration in complementary and alternative medicine from Georgetown University. She's the author of CBD Oil Everyday Secrets: A Lifestyle Guide to Hemp-Derived Health and Wellness and Magnesium Everyday Secrets: A Lifestyle Guide to Epsom Salts, Magnesium Oil, and Nature's Relaxation Mineral. A Kripalu Center for Yoga and Ayurveda-trained yoga instructor, expert bread baker, and farmers market fanatic, she believes that no day is complete without a good dance party.