Laughing during or after sex is more common than you'd think. And while you may get a fit of the giggles when something goes wrong, laughter during or after sex also signifies an incredibly satisfying sexual experience. Psychologist Stanislava Puač Jovanović explains...

 

Sex is always a unique experience. What it will be like depends on an array of factors. Whom with and when are you sharing this encounter? What kind of mood set the stage for the act — gentle, romantic, passionate, or is it sex after a fight? Finally, there are different types of lovers. Some people are shy and quiet, and some loud and full of confidence. There are those who like to submit. Others allow themselves to be passionately dominant or benevolently aggressive. Some play roles and test ways to get satisfaction. 


And some people laugh during or after sex.


In this article I'll look into the relationship between sex and laughter. I'll review current research and explain why you or your partner may have an uncontrollable need for laughing during sex — or afterwards — and why it is perfectly normal. 

 

Why do some people laugh during and after sex?

Laughter accompanies us at every step of a romance. When we first meet a person we like, we tend to laugh loudly and signal interest. Research has revealed that, by doing so, we send a “this is play” message in an uncertain situation. 

 

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Laughter brings us closer to our partners throughout the relationship. Everyone knows what joy in a relationship feels like. When you joke around, smile a lot, and laugh, it means you are happy together. In fact, a study proved that the amount of time you spend laughing with your partner is directly associated with the quality of the relationship. 


Therefore, laughter during sex can be seen as a continuation of the good feeling you have with your partner. Also, it may mean that you are in a good relationship with yourself. But how so, exactly?

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Laughter during sex brings partners closer 

 

Laughing the awkward moments off

A recent study revealed that people who are fine with laughing at themselves might enjoy better relationships. The ability to laugh at yourself and share this laughter with others can even boost your sexual satisfaction. What is the mechanism behind this association? People who love to make fun of themselves tend to be more confident and feel better in their skin. So, laughter during sex means, basically, that you are more relaxed in relationships and sure of yourself. 


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Even more precisely, we all know that embarrassing incidents happen during sex. Sometimes, we have a snowball’s chance in Hell of looking as elegant, confident and alluring as we intended. Whether you get stuck trying to take off tight clothes, fall off the bed, pass wind, or try a pose you have zero experience with, 'mistakes' will happen. The entire experience will not become a mortifying event when you can laugh off those embarrassing moments. 

 

The chemical foundations of laughter with sex

The science behind laughing during or laughter after sex can be summarised as follows — when you are happy and pleased, you act accordingly. In layman’s terms — when sex is great, the elation can naturally be followed by laughter. 


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Sex impacts (among other hormones and neurotransmitters) the secretion of oxytocin. Oxytocin is associated with many functions in both sexes. It helps during labour and has a role in breastfeeding. Another function of oxytocin is related to the tend-and-befriend response, which is, in short, the opposite of flight-or-fight. It is behaviour more typical of women. However, oxytocin helps us connect with others in general, regardless of sex.


Finally, oxytocin has been shown to influence sexual pleasure. 

 

“When your body is filled with oxytocin during intercourse, it is natural that you might laugh. The same chemical explanation can be applied to laughing after sex. It is simply the continuation of pleasure and cheerfulness.”

 

Because of the connection between oxytocin, orgasm, love, bonding, sexual pleasure, and lower levels of stress and pain, scientists are now calling it the hormone of love. 


Therefore, when your body is filled with oxytocin during intercourse, it is natural that you might feel the need to laugh. The same chemical explanation can be applied to laughing after sex. It is simply the continuation of pleasure and cheerfulness. 

 

Why do some people not laugh during sex?

Sometimes, we think of sex as anything but funny. We want to impress, look seductive, and feel secure and adored. In short, sex is can often be quite stressful, even though it is meant to be anything but that. Sex is, potentially, an arena for all our insecurities to come out.


One study looked into how attachment styles relate to sexual satisfaction. The results determined that people who had insecure attachments reported sexual dissatisfaction. What is more, when men had an anxious attachment, their female partners were dissatisfied. When women were avoidant, their male partners were not pleased. 


Overall, when people do not feel relaxed and confident enough, they might have a hard time enjoying intercourse. Laughter during sex is unlikely to happen.

 

5 ways laughter and sex are connected

On the other hand, when you incorporate laughter into your sexual life, you are blending two phenomena that naturally go hand in hand. Why? Because they are very similar in terms of their effect on the body. 

 

  1. Both laughter and sex can alleviate anxietyAs discussed earlier, oxytocin and endorphins, the happiness hormones, are released during sex and laughter. These hormones can help you feel relaxed and overcome anxieties more easily. 
     
  2. Furthermore, laughter and sex both stimulate your immune system. WebMD reports that several studies found having sex once or twice a week is related to higher levels of antibodies in your bloodstream. Similarly, laughter stimulates your immune system and has positive effects on natural killer cell cytotoxicity. It could be argued, then, that laughter after sex doubles the benefits. 
     
  3. Indeed, laughter and sex can make us fit and healthy. Both can be considered exercise, in a way. Apart from other beneficial effects of both activities on our physical and mental health, sex and joking around burns calories. A study determined that 10–15 minutes of laughter per day could increase your calories expenditure by 2–10 kcal. 
     
  4. Laughter and sex also leads to hormonal balance. Whether you are laughing or having sex (or laughing after sex), your cortisol and adrenalin levels drop. Researchers are even suggesting the use of laughter therapy instead of pharmacological means of addressing stress-induced hormonal disbalance. The overall workings of both playfulness and sexual pleasure lead to better hormonal balance.
     
  5. Laughter and sex change our moods and thoughts for the better. Overall, we can conclude that both laughter and sex can help us feel better, more optimistic, and more peaceful. They can help ease tension and reset our minds when we get too wrapped up in our own thoughts and fears. And laughter after sex is the winning combination for a great mood.

 

How laughter can strengthen relationships

Playfulness is a desirable trait, regardless of gender. Researchers who study the role of playfulness in romance found that when women are full of life in that way, men see youth — regardless of age. On the other hand, a playful man will be perceived as non-aggressive by women. These are traits men and women seek in the opposite sex when they are choosing their long-term partners. 


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However, the role of laughter and playfulness (including laughing during sex and laughter after sex) does not end at the point of a beginning of a relationship. There is an abundance of research revealing that laughter can strengthen relationships at different stages. 

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Stay playful and enjoy everything about sex shutterstock.com/fizkes

 

What is it about playfulness that helps us feel good in relationships? A 2019 study explored how different forms of playfulness might relate to relationship satisfaction. Over 200 couples were surveyed. The findings confirmed that two kinds of playfulness directly led to higher levels of satisfaction with one’s relationship.

 

The first is other-directed playfulness. This is when you enjoy playful interactions with others use playfulness to ease tension in social situations or to cheer others up. The other is intellectual playfulness. Such playfulness comes to play when you prefer complexity over simplicity, enjoy play of words, or playing things through in your mind. 

 

“When your body is filled with oxytocin during intercourse, it is natural that you might laugh. The same chemical explanation can be applied to laughing after sex. It is simply the continuation of pleasure and cheerfulness.”

 

Playfulness also plays a role in sexual satisfaction. Metz and McCarthy, researchers in the field of sex and related psychological factors, determined that being playful can prevent monotony in your sex life. They say that people chase great sex in the wrong directions, listen to the wrong sources, and get caught up in sexual “hype”.

 

The focus on perfectionism fuels performance anxiety and undermine healthy, satisfying sex. Therefore, add playfulness to your sex life. Was there anything comical about the intercourse? Do joke about it (in a sensitive manner, of course). Laughing after sex will ease the tension and bring you closer. 

 

RELATED: What playfulness can do for your relationship

 

How can we get more laughter into our relationships? One theoretical model, empirically confirmed and also very intuitive, could provide advice. According to its principles, when we are playful in a relationship, this causes positive emotions. Positive emotions, expectedly, make us feel more content with our relationship. However, who are people who are playful? The confident ones. Yes, self-esteem and a love for humour make you feel confident enough to act silly at times and be full of beans. 

 

Takeaway: laugh and love

Sex is meant to be fun. However, modern culture puts too much pressure on the act. We see unrealistic bodies, positions and ambience everywhere. From TV shows to pornographic material, we are bombarded by how “the perfect” sexual intercourse ought to look. As a result, we get too stressed and focus on the wrong things. 
 

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Remember, sex is about two people making a connection. To have a genuine relationship with someone, you need to be authentic. This means laughing during sex if you feel like it. As long as you are not mocking your partner, laughter during sex can only add to the beauty of the act.


So, do not shy away from laughing after sex and creating a lasting feeling of closeness with your partner. 

Main image: shutterstock.com/Rawpixel.com

 

 

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Written by Stanislava Puač Jovanović

bert.jpgStanislava Puač Jovanović has a master’s degree in psychology and works as a freelance writer and researcher in this area. Her primary focus is on questions relating to mental health, stress-management, self-development and well-being.

 


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