This might just be the most bizarre study ever conducted, and also one of the most interesting: conducted by the Research Center for Marketing and Consumer Science at Belgian University K.U. Leuven, the study is called, “What a feeling! Touching sexually laden stimuli makes women seek rewards.” It was published in the latest edition of the Journal of Consumer Psychology, and here is what the researchers found.
In a nutshell, the study reveals that touching things that either vaguely or directly reference sexual stimuli—say, for example, your man’s boxers—increases your brain’s reward center’s drive to seek rewards. They looked at how women responded when they touched boxers in a department store (as opposed to just looking at them), and discovered that the tactile experience of coming into contact with something somewhat sexual made them drop more cash.
The study was initially undertaken because the researchers felt that previous assumptions the advertising industry as a whole are guilty of—namely, that women “don’t respond economically” to sexual stimuli—were wrong because they only considered visual stimuli. So the researchers went about testing how free women got with their money when they were able to touch things, and voila: Ms. Money Bags appeared in full force.
Does this mean we’ll be seeing mens’ underwear brands like Jockey and Armani start experimenting with some sort of tactile advertising? That would be very interesting to see (would a male model show up at our doorstep?), but we doubt it. Though we wouldn’t hate it.