Researchers claim that shopping can be just as exciting as sex, as stumbling upon a great deal causes a powerful endorphin rush that rivals sexual arousal. Seriously?
A dispassionate shopper, I am reluctant to buy the theory that that a hot deal can leave you overcome with climactic excitement. I adore my sky-high heels and appreciate their role in the bedroom, but I cannot imagine getting that worked up in the mall.
Shopping expert, Tamika Auwai of Shop Socials sees things differently and invited me to attend her sold-out event, TEN, at the Spoke Club to observe the connection between intimacy and shopping in the flesh. This cocktail-friendly experience included some of the hottest designers in Canada and I was immediately taken aback by the number of couples who attended hand-in-hand. Perhaps it was the exclusive venue or the melange of booze and design, but the event was packed and love was in the air.
Guests were eager to explain the connection between shopping and intimacy and did not seem the least bit unnerved by intruding questions from a sexologist. One happy couple in their thirties explained that shopping for clothing and accessories allows them to custom-design their ideal lover…at least on the outside: “I like dressing him. When I pick out his clothes, he looks even hotter. And that’s obviously good for our sex life.”
Not surprisingly, the vendors agreed that shopping is the perfect pastime for couples. Designer Sally Han of Psalms 91:1 Accessories explains that trying things on with a lover opens the door to one of the most important components of flirtation: compliments. “I think every woman has a love bank,” explains Han. “And for many of us, we love words of affirmation. Shopping together creates a connection and an opportunity for the guy to offer positive affirmations and compliments to fill up her love bank.”
Mark Johnson of Kovalum, an Indian-inspired Canadian-made clothing line, reiterates the connection between the emotional component of shopping and intimacy. “From what I understand, women’s desire and arousal is related largely to shared emotional experiences,” says Johnson. “So to the extent that shopping can be a shared emotional experience with your partner, it makes sense that it can be good for your libido.”
As a sexologist, I agree that spending time together, exchanging compliments and playing dress-up can certainly reignite the sexual spark. However, the stress of spending can also detract from it, so strong communication and pre-set spending limits (or a commitment to window-shopping) are of paramount importance.
I do not believe that you need to spend a ton of money to have a hot sex life, but if shopping is something you already enjoy, go ahead and look for ways to make it a sexy and intimate experience. And be sure to take advantage of those fitting rooms!