sex research

Makeup Sex is Monkey Sex!

Monday, October 6th, 2014

I was recently asked by the Cosmopolitan Sex Q & A column if there’s some sort of scientific reason why makeup sex (sex after a fight) is so hot. You can find a portion of my answer in the November 2014 issue of Cosmo. For more explanation, here’s my more detailed answer:

Think of makeup sex as hot monkey sex. The evolutionary roots of makeup sex come from our closest primate relatives: chimps. After they fight, chimpanzees who had been opponents reconcile by kissing and hugging. Bonobos, a unique variety of chimpanzees, actually have sex after a conflict almost as if they are showing their mate they will still be exciting lovers despite their fight. In fact, Bonobos are likely to mate for longer periods of time and in more creative positions. So we know, scientifically speaking, where makeup sex comes from, but why do so many people like it? A recent sex research study (of humans) revealed that there are almost as many reason for and reactions to makeup sex as there are people having it. Some people report that they still have aggressive feelings, so they have sex more aggressively. Others say that they want to smooth things over, by having loving sex. Still others report that they try to impress during makeup sex, which may be what’s going on in your bedroom. Your lover (particularly if he was the one at fault during the fight) may be trying to show you that he’s worth keeping around by pulling out all the stops and using his best sex moves. You may want to show him you appreciate it, so you bring your A + sex moves, too.

For more info, check out these sources to see the research mentioned:

Mumford, D. L. (2014). Is make-up sex hot or not: measuring motivations toward make-up sex. Doctoral dissertation, California State University, Stanislaus.

Abramson, P. R., & Pinkerton, S. D. (Eds.). (1995). Sexual nature/sexual culture. University of Chicago Press. Link to page 38:

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