According to a small Dutch study, scientists might have determined how a woman's desire can help her override a "potentially icky activity such as sex can seem pleasant and doable".

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For the study, researchers recruited 90 heterosexual women to complete 16 gross tasks such as drinking juice from a cup with a bug in it, wiping their hands with a used tissue, and fishing around in a bowl of purportedly used condoms. The participants were unaware that the props used during the test were faked to appear disgusting.

The researchers then showed a third of the subjects the same dirty movie titled de Gast (The Guest), which is allegedly pretty arousing. Another third of the women watched adrenaline-juiced films featuring river-rafting and skydiving, and the unluckiest third watched super boring footage from a train ride.

The findings showed that women exposed to the sexually arousing material found the disgusting yet sexually related tasks (i.e. touching used condoms) way less disgusting than the other women, and were also better able (to a lesser degree) to tolerate non-sex-related tasks like drinking bug juice than their counterparts who weren't watching dirty videos.

The results, published online in the journal PLoS ONE, indicate that arousal overrides feelings of disgust and facilitates a woman's desire to do something that a woman who is not aroused might find flat-out repulsive.

via Livescience