For Halloween Love and Sex, Wear Red and Smile

Become a "Red Hot" for what we think of as a children's holiday.

Posted Oct 28, 2015

National Heart Lunch and Blood Institute
Source: National Heart Lunch and Blood Institute

As adult parties for Halloween start springing up, each year certain themes emerge oftentimes from movies or television. Acording to research studies, red clothing is the color of love and desire in men.   

As we have often read in studies by Andrew Elliot, psychology professor at the University of Rochester, New York, when men see a woman in red, they “rate her as sexier and more attractive.” The Journal of Social Psychology pointed out that “Red, relative to other achromatic and chromatic colors, leads men to view women as more attractive and more sexually desirable. Men seem unaware of this red effect, and red does not influence women's perceptions of the attractiveness of other women, nor men's perceptions of women's overall likeability, kindness, or intelligence.”  (1)

If you suddenly find  yourself at a loss for a last minute party outfit– or if you would just like to plan a party for two – try a red dress, red lusciously painted onto your lips, and be beautifully alluring this Halloween. Whether you are a mother, who waits until the last minute to hunt for a Halloween party outfit or a single woman waiting for the perfect costume, here is a thought. Go to a local thrift shop. Find a shimmering red dress to wear. Add some flashy sparkle earrings and a red boa. Then treat yourself to bright red lipstick and voilà, you have become a “Red Hot.”   Just remember to smile.

Smiles are important

In looking at the research on smiles, it seems that a particular type of smile, one that lights up the whole face, comes about through a set of facial muscles that may control our joy and destiny. Named for a French researcher, the “Duchenne smile” reveals relationship secrets. Researchers have determined that a smile can predict happiness and divorce, convey love and compatibility between couples, and is happily contagious. (2)

Those of us who grew up with older relatives always reminding us to stand up straight and smile might have inadvertently learned the secret to happiness, good relationships, and less stress. To visualize an image of the Duchenne smile, think of Julia Roberts and Mario Lopez, or the smiley face emoticon. The Duchenne smile uses facial and eye muscles to create that “you light up my life” look.

Looking through yearbook photos, researchers at DePauw University accurately predicted marriage and divorce just based on the smiles. “The Science of Intimate Relationships” reported on couples who were happiest by two simple actions observed on videotapes — those who nodded in agreement as the other spoke and those with Duchenne smiles. It seems that in the act of smiling, you feel better and this sends a signal to the brain called “happiness.” (3)

The toothpaste smile and oxytocin:

Consider this: In a study on toothpaste sales, it was found that people were willing to pay more for toothpaste promoted by actors with Duchenne smiles. If such a smile can sell toothpaste, imagine what it might do for your relationship?  If your relationship is rocky for the moment, just try smiling as you think about the joy you derived in the past anda this will trigger production of the love hormone -- oxytocin.

You can practice the Duchenne smile until it becomes a reality for you. Much like gratitude, if you practice the gratitude you do not necessarily feel — through kind acts and saying "thank you" — eventually you will find yourself becoming a more grateful person. Try smiling more often at the person you love, watch movies together that make you laugh, and your love life and sex life can reach new levels of compatibility and joy. (4)

Copyright 2015 Rita Watson


1. Elliot, A. J., & Niesta, D. (2008). Romantic red: Red enhances men's attraction to women Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 5, 1150-1164

2. Gunnery, S., Hall, J., The Duchenne Smile and Persuasion, Journal of Nonverbal Behavior(link is external), June 2014, Volume 38, Issue 2, pp 181-194

3. Robert Provine: Lauaghter: A Scientific Investigation/ NationalCenter for Biotechnology Information, J Foer - ‎2001 

4. RA Emmons, CM Shelton - Handbook of positive psychology, 2002 - Oxford University Press

5. Vinita Mehta, The Mysterious Power of Red | Psychology Today/