Dating and Relationship Advice

It happens in every romance movie ever: the couple is having a passionate fight complete with shouting and tears when, all of a sudden, they stop, make eye contact, and immediately start going at it. We’ve all seen The Notebook. We all know this happens IRL, too. And we’ve all probably done it once or twice.

But the question is: why? Why does arguing with your partner make you so horny? Are you a kinky weirdo? Is there something wrong with your brain?

A: No. B: Absolutely not. C: There are legit, research-based reasons why this happens. Here's what they are.

Hormones

The brain releases a ton of hormones when it’s under stress — AKA, when you’re fighting. In order to counteract these stress hormones, the brain then craves pleasure-inducing hormones like serotonin, oxytocin, and dopamine. An easy (and fun) way to get those bad boys flowing? Sex.

Anxiety and Arousal Are Weird Cousins

Both anxiety (like from fighting) and arousal (like from sex) increase your breathing, blood flow, and heart rate. Since they induce such similar body responses, it’s easy to switch from one feeling to the other.

The Need for a Release

When you’re under stress, your body switches on your sympathetic nervous system to fill you with energy. (This is a remnant of the caveman days when being stressed meant you had to run for your life from a saber-toothed tiger.) When you’re filled with energy, you are also filled with the need to release that energy in a physical way. See where I’m going?

Hurts so Good

The word “passion” has Latin roots in the word “patior,” which means “I suffer.” (Thanks, Definify.) In other words, there’s always been a close link between suffering and passion. That’s probably why the phrase “hurts so good” and sadomasochism are things. And why you feel super passionate and ready for some loving after a hurtful fight.

P.S. It’s worth noting that just because you’re into makeup sex doesn’t mean you’re on the next train to Whip and Chain Town. And just because you like being handcuffed doesn’t mean you like fighting with your partner or need to fight with your partner to have sex.

Makeup Sex Is Great

Sex isn’t just fun or pleasurable, it also helps boost intimacy. So when you’re mad at your partner, a great way to feel closer again is to do it. And oftentimes, this post-fight sex is better than everyday sex because repairing that bond feels just as good as the orgasm.

Now, just because there are reasons arguing makes you horny doesn’t mean you should start picking fights just to get it on. And, perhaps most importantly, emotional abuse and violence are never okay in a relationship, even if they lead to sex. It’s a big red flag if you find that your relationship only ever feels good after something bad, like an awful fight or a violent outburst.

But otherwise? Make like Rachel and Ryan and go have some hot, post-argument sex. Bonus points if you kiss in the rain.