No, it’s not a romcom.
The best movie to watch with someone you’d like to see naked isn’t a romcom or a comedy — it’s a horror flick. There are a few science-backed reasons for this, but perhaps the most interesting is the theory of “misattribution of emotions,” which basically says that we stick whatever emotion we’re feeling to our impressions of the people and events around us. (This also explains why jamming at a great concert might trick you into thinking you’re in love with the average-looking lead singer.)
It’s easy to associate an adrenaline rush with the same excitement you feel when you’re crushing hard on someone.
In Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior by Ron and Ori Brafman, researchers had men cross two different types of bridges to get a woman’s number. Of the 16 dudes who crossed a secure wooden bridge, only two ended up calling the woman. However, half of the 18 men who crossed a shaky suspension bridge followed through with a call.
…horror films can actually make you more attractive to the opposite sex.
Affectionately called “the love bridge” in the psychological community, the study shows it’s easy to associate an adrenaline rush with the same excitement you feel when you’re crushing hard on someone. So basically, anything that gets us amped makes us more physiologically aroused (is this why I’m always so horny on roller coasters?)
A study from the late 80s explains it differently. Scientists Dolf Zillmann and Norbert Mundorf found that horror films can actually make you more attractive to the opposite sex. Researchers paired male undergrads with female partners and showed them a 14-minute clip from Friday the 13th Part III.
The men reported enjoying the film almost twice as much if the female showed distress during the film, while the women said they liked the film more if their male companion acted calm and collected. Men were initially considered unattractive were later judged more appealing if they displayed courage.
This explanation does seem a little antiquated — still, you don’t need to subscribe in traditional gender roles to cuddle up with your S.O. and freak the fuck out over some Mike Myers. So invite your squeeze over, curl up on the couch and put on a terrifying film that will make both your heart rate and your nether regions pumping. #Netflixandchillsdownyourspine