Have you ever wondered how to recognize a woman that had sex last night? It’s pretty obvious when one of your buddies finally makes his move with a girl and gets to release some of that pent-up sexual tension. You’ll catch him the next day whistling for no reason and cracking the relaxed, loopy smile of the satisfied as you watch the game. (Odds are he’ll end up telling you about it anyway.)
But what about women? How can you tell whether the women you meet at the bar, see every day at work, flirt with at the gym, or—gulp—your significant other, have tangled in the sheets recently. Tousled hair? Bite marks? These Hollywood-ized signs are, in fact, misleading. All women are classically hard to read in everything, but here are five genuine ways to tell that she recently got lucky. With these signs, you just may find yourself understanding her a little better.
1. You are more attracted to her
The more active her sex life, the more her body releases pheromones, chemical messengers that your sense of smell picks up and can be designed to attract the opposite sex. A review published in the Journal of Advanced Research analyzed a series of recent studies on pheromones and found that they can increase arousal and mood in the opposite sex. In other words, if you find that just standing near her and breathing in her natural scent gets your engines revving, there is a good chance she got some recently.
2. She feels happier
Aside from offering a welcome distraction from a stressful work week, and the benefits that come with the natural physical exertions in the sack, research by the University of Colorado, Boulder, shows that frequency of sexual activity increases self-perception of happiness. The study, which surveyed more than 15,000 people, found that those who reported having sex two to three times a week were 55 percent more likely to report a higher level of happiness than respondents going through a several month dry-spell. Additionally, the research shows that we get even happier with our lives when we think we are having more sex than our peers. Competitive much?
3. She looks prettier than normal
“During sex, your body undergoes a lot of changes,” says Bean Robinson, Ph.D., associate professor in the Program of Human Sexuality at the University of Minnesota Medical School. “The two main things that happen have to do with muscle tension and the increase of blood flow to all areas of your body.”
A slightly flushed face indicates better health, higher estrogen levels—a hormone linked to perceived fertility in women—and attractiveness, reports a study from the University of St Andrews in the UK. All other things being equal, her flushed cheeks tell your brain she is more sexually attractive.
4. She got a ‘Great Night’s Sleep’
Women who orgasm have a 30 percent increase in the hormone prolactin directly following sex, and a second spike the following afternoon, research from the Oxford Journal of Human Reproduction reveals. Why does this matter?
Along with other functions, prolactin is also one of the hormones that causes drowsiness and can help encourage the deep REM sleep that we associate with a good night’s rest. So when she remarks on her sound ZZZs, or heads off for a noon-time nap, she might be sleeping off the effects of a successful romp the night before.
5. She is less needy
“There is a deep need for people to feel bonded,” says Robinson. “The sexual act and activity releases oxytocin, a hormone that helps people bond.” This bonded feeling fulfills a deep evolutionary need for women to foster a strong social network to protect potential offspring, according to research in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. With elevated levels of oxytocin, her inherent “bonding needs” will be better satisfied, making her less clingy for a while. Plus, oxycontin helps women clarify social interactions, so she doesn’t over-analyze and hang to your every word, a bonus for any type of relationship.