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Why we call people the wrong name during sex

It's not necessarily a bad thing

It’s embarrassing for everyone involved and can often put a stop to proceedings, but calling someone the wrong name during sex is not an infrequent occurrence.

According to Dr Jim Pfaus, it’s actually natural and just what the brain does.

“When you're in a state of euphoria, you conjure up things that remind you of other things, because you're in a state that has happened before,” he explains.

Essentially, it’s unavoidable that your brain will jump back to memories of previous sexual encounters whilst mid-coitus.

It can seem like a massive insult when you’re at your most vulnerable and intimate, and your partner calls you by their ex’s name, but according to Dr Pfaus, it can actually be considered a good thing.

“Let's assume the person had a very special former lover who made him or her feel a certain thrill. Those sexual thrills, quality of orgasms, and feelings of closeness were associated with that person and his or her name,” he explains.

So when your partner gets your name wrong, it’s only because the closeness you’ve created reminds them of previous intimacy.

This also helps explain why you’re more likely to accidentally call your lover by the name of an ex, rather than a family member or friend.

A lot of people say they just stop thinking during sex, and this is particularly likely for women: “At the moment of orgasm, women do not have any emotional feelings,” says Gert Holstege of the University of Groningen in the Netherlands.

So it makes sense that the majority of embarrassing name mistakes occur whilst orgasming. 29-year-old writer Beca told Broadly that it mainly happens to her “in the midst of a wild orgasm, so losing my mind.”

But what should you do when you’re at the height of intimacy and have just accidentally let the wrong name slip?

Dr Pfaus believes ignoring the error is to be avoided. His advice? “Stop what you're doing and talk about it, try to figure out a way to give it a happy ending."

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