Does Thinking About Sex Make You Stupid Or Smart?

Conventional wisdom holds that thinking about sex makes us dumb. Sexual thoughts distract us and make us do stupid things, right? According to Fox News, which recently ran the headline “It’s a Fact, Sex Makes Us Dumb,” it would certainly seem to be the case. However, a recent set of studies published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin found that thinking about sex may do just the opposite under certain circumstances. That’s right—thinking about sex can actually make you smarter in some ways.
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Do Our Sexual Fantasies Differ When We Feel Insecure?

Sexual fantasies exist to serve many different functions, from enhancing sexual pleasure to expressing hidden desires (for a few fantasy examples, see A Top Ten List of Women’s Sexual Fantasies and A Top Ten List of Men’s Sexual Fantasies). Having fantasies is considered to be a normal and healthy part of human sexuality. In fact, research has found that frequent sexual fantasizing is linked to having a more satisfying sex life [1]. To date, most research on sexual fantasies has focused on describing common fantasy themes, while very little work has considered where sexual fantasies actually come from and why fantasy content varies so much from person to person. A new set of studies has found that at least part of our fantasy content may stem from attempts to deal with personal feelings of insecurity [2].
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