From the bedroom I hear an assault of gunfire, insane car chases, and the mighty growl of motorcycle engines.
I hear the zombies, too. They are the most terrifying; there is nothing more unsettling than the sound of a man’s desperate screams as he is being torn apart by a pack full of bloodthirsty zombies.
After a few fun zombie attacks, courtesy of The Walking Dead, or a violent action flick, my husband is ready for sleep.
Nightly, he waits until I shuffle off to bed to read before devouring material I consider too ghastly to watch.
He is lucky, for I go to bed very early, with 10 p.m. being a late night. But, for all of my husband’s love of sports car races and greasy motorbike fix-up shows, gruesome shooting scenes and cruel, brain-sucking zombies, he is a true romantic. This romance isn’t contrived, more like a spontaneous slow dance in the living room, a lovely, unexpected email, or a hug so warm and genuine, I never want to let go.
It isn’t the syrupy stuff of Hollywood or The Bachelor, thankfully. It is real and wonderful.
Yet, a study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior found that men don’t get revved up by romance in the same way women do.
In fact, it can cause the male sex drive to decelerate.
The study revealed that male participants became more turned on viewing clips from an English history documentary than they did by watching the epic kiss scene between Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet from the 1997 film, Titanic. “Results showed that, at the implicit level, women wanted more sex after being primed with romantic mood, whereas men showed the least wanting of sex in the romantic condition,” the study found. Lead author Marieke Dewitte, assistant professor of clinical psychological science at Maastricht University in the Netherlands, explained that men require more explicit visual stimulation for arousal compared to women, who may not need visual stimuli to inspire desire.
It also suggests that women prioritize attachment, to ensure their partner stays and helps raise the child.
Dewitte's study involved 86 men and 78 women, who were analyzed while watching three different styles of material.
The first involved a couple having sex; the second was the famous Titanic kiss followed by a romantic scene from 1993's Indecent Proposal, and the last was a clip from the English history documentary.
Women reported being most turned on by scenes from the Titanic and Indecent Proposal, whereas men most desired sex after watching the sex video and the history documentary.
While my husband will watch so-called ‘chick flicks’ with me, some he will find too nauseating to stomach. For the record, so will I. It seems the men in the study shared this sentiment. In fact, they were physically turned off by the famous Titanic smooch scene. Personally, I am just thankful that English history documentaries are not at the root of my romantic life, but I do have a newfound appreciation for high-speed car chases and gory apocalyptic TV shows.
So thank-you death, destruction and unsightly flesh-eating zombies: Without you, romance might be dead.
Image Source: WikiCommons
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