Sex can be messy, but most people don't seem to mind too much, and new results reported Sep. 12 in the open access journal PLOS ONE suggest that this phenomenon may result from sexual arousal actually dampening humans' natural disgust response.
The authors of the study, led by Charmaine Borg of the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, asked female participants to complete various disgusting-seeming actions, like drinking from a cup with an insect in it or wiping their hands with a used tissue. (The participants were not aware of it, but the insect was made of plastic and the tissue was colored with ink to make it appear used.) Sexually aroused subjects responded to the tasks with less disgust than subjects who were not sexually aroused, suggesting that the state of arousal has some effect on women's disgust response.
Citation: Borg C, de Jong PJ (2012) Feelings of Disgust and Disgust-Induced Avoidance Weaken following Induced Sexual Arousal in Women. PLoS ONE 7(9): e44111.doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0044111
Financial Disclosure: The University of Groningen and University Medical Centre Groningen support this study, together with Malta Government Scholarship Scheme grant number MGSS_PHD_2008-12 which partially funds the first author. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
Competing Interest Statement: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.
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