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have more sex or cuddling

It's Sexy Time!

March 21, 2007

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By Stuart Colcleugh

Hey, girlfriend, not feeling very amorous lately? Try having more sex or cuddling.  That's one of the possibilities suggested by two studies set for publication in the journal Hormones and Behavior, by SFU graduate student Sari van Anders, her supervisor Neil Watson and a team of psychology department researchers.

Van Anders' team found in their first study that intercourse and cuddling boost testosterone levels for females of all sexual persuasions, increase their desire for sex and raise confidence in their own sexiness.

Women with higher testosterone were more likely to report having orgasms as well, though the orgasms did not increase testosterone.

The psychology PhD candidate and her co-researchers tested 49 women before and after cuddling, copulation and exercise to determine how these activities affected their testosterone levels.

Exercise was used as a control factor, since it alone can alter a person's biochemistry.

They found that women had increased levels of the hormone right before intercourse and after both cuddling and intercourse. The study is among the first to suggest that women can modify their own hormone levels based on how frequently they cuddle or have sex.

The team's second study tested 47 men and 48 women who were single, monoamorously partnered (one partner), polyamorous (having multiple committed relationships), or in a polyamorous lifestyle but not currently multi-partnered.

The researchers found that monoamorously partnered men and women had the lowest overall testosterone levels, while polyamorous men and women both had higher testosterone levels than either single or monoamorously partnered participants.

The second study suggests that testosterone may be higher in individuals who could be looking for more or new partners, and it is among the first to show that having multiple partners is associated with higher testosterone.

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