And a leather tourniquet closes around your throat, and your legs—bound to your shoulders with a complex system of pulleys and chains—start to stiffen and cramp, and the blood pools to your genitals and your brain, and as you shudder to one final, magnificent orgasm you croak, "I love you."
And wax drips off your nipples and cools on your thighs, and it stings and solidifies and brings up wicked goosebumps on your soft, supple flesh, and edging close to ecstasy you pant, "I love you."
And hands unseen are whipping at you through the dark, and each of your limbs is bound to a separate post of the bed, and your body isn't yours anymore—it is scratches and pink pre-blushes of bruises and the sting of a whip and the red welts of suffering, and you are gristle, euphoric gristle, and you shout to whomever it is hurting you, pleasuring you, "I love you."
And you take one delicious breath after the hands are released from around your neck and the bag taken off from over your head and you release that slick, sticky feeling that was your entire body being covered in lubricant and you look at what a mess you are, what a dirty little mess you've become, and look up at the light and say, "I love you."
And you take a sip from a glass of water because every fluid in your body has gushed out of you in a wave and you whisper, "I love you."
And you glisten and gleam and you are fresh out of the shower and pampered and powdered and swaddled in tight, fresh underwear, and suddenly every single one of your holes is filled at once—every single one, you are yanked and filled like a cushion at a cushion factory—and you yell out as much in surprise as in delight, "I love you!"
And you kneel on the floor and graciously lap it all up and gargle, "I love you."
Read on Noisey: Meeting the UK's Most Obsessive Vinyl Hoarders
Anyway: Valentine's news! It turns out saying "I love you" or talking about love or whatever in bed is actually more erotic in the long term than wearing fancy lingerie or engaging in straight-up foreplay.
That's according to a Chapman University study into the sex 'n' satisfaction habits of 39,000 married or cohabiting, consenting, heterosexual adults—all who had been with their partner for three or more years. So, like, the exact inverse of freaky. The most "slice of plain white bread with just a smidgen of warm margarine" sex-havers in the universe. Proper "just tap water is fine, thanks" orgasm-doers. The "Can we have the lights off, Lynn? And close the curtains. You know I can't rest if we don't close the curtains" of the fuck-loving world.
Anyway, out of them, turns out the more satisfied were the ones who regularly indulged in intimate behavior, with 75 percent of satisfied men and 74 percent of satisfied women in the study being the ones who regularly said "I love you" or spoke lovingly while they had sex. And probably said things immediately afterwards like, "Actually, I prefer spooning to intercourse." The kind of people who get up early to go to farmer's markets. Dream distantly of living in Downton Abbey times. Take little Tupperware containers full of seeds and nuts to work to stop them from breaking down and just enjoying a dirty, guilty lil' vending machine Snickers.
That said the phrase was also uttered by 49 percent of dissatisfied men and 44 percent of dissatisfied women, so maybe love truly is a lie.
"Almost half of satisfied and dissatisfied couples read sexual self-help books and magazine articles, but what set sexually satisfied couples apart was that they actually tried some of the ideas," said lead study author Dr. David Frederick. The study also found 83 percent of people were sexually satisfied during the first six months of their relationships, and people who sent a teasing little sext earlier in the day were more likely to be sexually satisfied later on. Also sexual variety was important for overall satisfaction, but analysts couldn't figure out exactly which various sexual flavors were conducive to long term satisfaction—"evidence on the effectiveness of specific forms of variety, such as showering together or wearing lingerie or use of sex toys, is lacking"—so guess you've got to mess around with it a bit.
So, thanks to science, if you're planning on having some electric, earth-shattering orgasms this Valentine's Day, don't come at your lover with a dildo or a variety pack of intense warming pleasure gels or restraints or frankly appalling DVD footage of someone getting done. Instead, just drop the L-bomb, right in the middle of the freshly ironed sheets, right before you bark yourself to a climax six minutes after starting. Have a good one, lovers. Have a good one.
Follow Joel Golby on Twitter.