Sex plays a central role in reproduction, and it can be pleasurable, but new findings suggest that it may serve an additional purpose: bonding partners together. A study of newlywed couples, published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, indicates that partners experience a sexual ‘afterglow’ that lasts for up to two days, and this afterglow is linked with relationship quality over the long term.
Quantifying the Sexual Afterglow: The Lingering Benefits of Sex and Their Implications for Pair-Bonded Relationships (abstract). Andrea L. Meltzer, Anastasia Makhanova, Lindsey L. Hicks, Juliana E. French, James K. McNulty, Thomas N. Bradbury. Psychological Science, article first published online: March 16, 2017.