This article possibly contains original research. (October 2012)
Pillow talk is the relaxed, intimate conversation that often occurs between two sexual partners, sometimes after sexual activity, usually accompanied by cuddling, caresses, kissing and other physical intimacy. It is associated with honesty, sexual afterglow, and bonding, and is distinguished from dirty talk which usually forms part of foreplay.
The content of pillow talk can include the sexual act itself, stories and confessions, expressions of affection and appreciation, often after 10 pm and playful humour. A line of research done on pillow talk has revolved around the hormone known as oxytocin; this "bonding hormone" is related to other effects, such as decreasing stress, decreasing perceptions of social threat, increasing bonding, and increasing the ability to read emotional cues. This hormone has been known to increase in the body proceeding sexual activity between two people that have reached the point of orgasm. The individuals involved in this act of coitus can benefit from this process by opening up in a sense of communication and trust. A study done by Amanda Denes (2012), shows that partners who orgasm are more likely to engage in the act of pillow talk versus partners who do not orgasm.
Pillow talk is conventionally seen as an opportunity for spies to obtain secret information. In espionage, a "honeypot is a trap that uses sex to lure an enemy agent into disclosing classified information" Christine Keeler is said to have used this approach in the Cold War-era Profumo affair. The Profumo affair was a British political scandal that occurred in 1961, when John Profumo, the Secretary of State for War in Harold Macmillan's government had a sexual encounter with Christine Keeler, who was 19 years old at that time. When the Profumo–Keeler affair was first revealed, public interest was heightened by reports that Keeler may have been simultaneously involved with Captain Yevgeny Ivanov, a Soviet naval attaché, thereby creating a possible security risk.
- The 1959 Rock Hudson/Doris Day film Pillow Talk follows the screwball comedy format of a humorous battle of the sexes focusing on courtship, marriage--and therefore wished-for consummation and pillow talk.
- A couple's pillow talk session is often used as a plot device in works of fiction and drama, such as movies and television. It offers a convenient setting for a couple to discuss relevant plot events or reveal new information to each other.
- Elephant Bill records how he only discovered the fate of his dog Jabo two years later in pillow talk, "when a young Burmese girl told me the true story, as all girls will on certain special occasions".
- A song Pillowtalk recorded by British singer and songwriter Zayn.
- A song and music video Pillow Talking recorded by American rapper Lil Dicky
- E. Raynor, The Happiest Woman (2011) p. 37
- F. A. Ramos, Enigma (2007) p. 70
- R. L. Weagley, Wallace (2011) p. 353
- Denes A. Talk: Exploring Disclosures After Sexual Activity. Western Journal of Communication. Vol. 76, Iss. 2, 2012/
- 11 Terms used by spies. Available online at: http://people.howstuffworks.com/11-terms-used-by-spies1.htm. Accessed on March 14, 2014
- R. Taylor, Encyclopedia of Cold War Espionage (2004) p. 136
- J. H. Williams, Elephant Bill (1964) p. 106