Women After Sex

First there was mystery. Why do women want to cuddle and men want to hit the road (after sex), then there was brain scanning and evolutionary psychology, and the mystery was no more. According to a groundbreaking study from the Journal of Sex Research, it would seem that when it comes to post-coital behaviors, men and women could well belong to different planets.

The study begins by presenting the evolutionary perspective of sexual behaviors that we are all more or less familiar with — males have more reproductive power than females, hence, it is an instinctive thing for the preservation of the species that they should frequently seek multiple partners, instead of long-term relationships.

The study becomes much more interesting when scientists start asking men and women, including college girls and boys, who willingly enter into the short-term sexual relationship/one-night-stand arena on a regular basis, how they behave after sex.

According to the results, even girls who are having a one-night-stand want to cuddle and kiss and become anxious about what their male partner is thinking of them, or whether they still find them attractive. On the other hand, the interviewed men largely declared that they usually wanted to eat, urinate or sleep after sex.

Overall, our study demonstrated that post-coital behaviors related to pair-bonding after sex seem to be initiated and preferred by females far more so than by males, and this was the case for not only long-term, but also for short-term, mating.

Interestingly enough, men were found to initiate kissing primarily before sex, while it was mostly women who were responsible for it after sex. The conclusion seems to be that men would be using kissing as a road to sex, while women would be using it as a an emotional display with bonding purposes.

Even when these patterns are obviously not exclusive and genre differences are nowhere near clear-cut in this area, according to the study’s findings, women will bond, while men will satisfy their immediate sexual and non-sexual needs. It would seem that not all of women´s liberation can change what is written in our genetic codes.


Hughes SM, & Kruger DJ (2011). Sex differences in post-coital behaviors in long- and short-term mating: an evolutionary perspective. Journal of sex research, 48 (5), 496-505 PMID: 20799133

Campbell, A. (2008). The Morning after the Night Before Human Nature, 19 (2), 157-173 DOI: 10.1007/s12110-008-9036-2

HASELTONU, M., & BUSS, D. (2001). The affective shift hypothesis: The functions of emotional changes following sexual intercourse Personal Relationships, 8 (4), 357-369 DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-6811.2001.tb00045.x

Image via Liv friis-larsen / Shutterstock.

Veronica Pamoukaghlian, MA

Veronica Pamoukaghlian, MA, holds a Masters in Creative Writing. She has directed two documentaries shot in psychiatric wards and a feature documentary about the 77-year old senior Decathlon champion of the world, Raul. Her last production is Monstruo, a short film about non-voluntary euthanasia. She is the CEO of Uruguayan film production company Nektar FIlms. You may visit her blog at The Wander Life
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