Date nights spent playing board games or painting together spices up a couple’s sex life, according to new research.
Creating art or taking each other on at Monopoly, cards, checkers, chess, puzzles, dominoes or even word games boosts production of a chemical called oxytocin – known as the ‘hugging hormone’ as it’s released during love-making.
Interestingly men wielding their brushes released twice as much as women – or couples doing the games.
Assistant professor of child and family studies Dr Karen Melton at Baylor University in Texas, said: ‘We were expecting the opposite – that couples playing the board games would interact more because they were communicating about the games and strategies, or because they were competing, and with more interaction, they would release more oxytocin.’
This is because it’s linked to bonding and family cohesiveness, she said.
The team also expected painting couples would be more attentive to the instructor and to the canvas than to their partners.
But art class participants instead reported more partner-touching than couples playing board games.
Dr Melton said: ‘Typically, an art class is not seen as an interactive date with your partner.
‘But sometimes couples that were painting turned the activity into a bonding time by choosing to interact – putting an arm around their partner or simply saying, ‘Good job.”