The Health Benefits of Sex
Maybe you’re a committed health freak, or maybe you just like having sexy time. Either way, we’ve got good news for you. Displaying affection and doing the dirty with your partner leads to better emotional and physical well-being. The following list will convince you to never not have sex again.
Let’s Start With Foreplay (Don’t You Dare Skip It!)
Talking — It’s how it all started anyway. Simply spending no-touch time together can put you and your partner at ease and even lower your blood pressure (according to a study from State University of NY, Oswego). This backs up more research that shows that heart disease happens much less among married couples. Add that to the list of reasons to get married, right next to tax benefits and love, of course. The foundation for all relationships, and even just sex FWB, is communication.
Cuddling — While we’re talking about communication, did you know that cuddling (otherwise known as ‘endurance hugging’) is an effective way to tell your partner things you just can’t put into words? According to David Klow, a marriage and family therapist, “Non-verbal communication can be a very powerful way to say to your partner ‘I get you.’” Skin-to-skin contact is a real human need, so it’s no surprise that being snuggle buddies is natural to us.
Kissing — Not only does kissing release oxytocin, it can also keep your mouth clean by flushing bacteria and plaque away from your teeth. But nobody likes stank breath, so make sure to brush, floss, and moisturize before locking lips! When you think about it, kissing is also a barometer for sexual chemistry. If one person prefers aggressive tonsil hockey, and the other is into gently lip play, it might be an indicator that you’re mismatched when it comes to compatibility between the sheets too.
Sex Makes Your Smarter – And A Bunch Of Other Stuff
Yeah, sex feels good. That’s a no-brainer. But when it comes to real brain chemistry, there’s even more reason to feel good about feeling good, because sex has legit effects on the noggin. Here are some little-known brain benefits of mind-blowing sex!
Self Esteem — We’ve all experienced it. That little pep in our step, the smile we can’t help but crack on our commutes to work after a wonderful session of morning sex that no one knows about. Believe it or not, nature is giving you this self-esteem boost. On the contrary, a lack of sex can lead to feelings of inadequacy and self doubt, and we don’t want that.
Stress Relief — Stress is a normal part of everyday life, but like any problem—the sooner it is dealt with, the better. During sex, your brain releases oxytocin, a mediator of well-being, social interaction, growth and healing. Thenonapeptide kicks in after just 20 seconds of kissing, leaving an hour-long romp equating to one wild neopeptide party.
Critical Thinking — We usually think that thinking about sex is a distraction from what we’re supposed to be thinking about, but according to Dutch psychologist Jens Förster, individuals who think about sex are better at critical thinking compared to those who don’t.
Memory — According to a study performed by Princeton’s Psychology Department, rats, which have a similar mammalian physiology to us humans, have a higher capacity for memory the more they have sex. The experiment’s data showed that an increase in sex promoted cellular growth in the hippocampus, an area of the brain that controls memory. So if you have more sex you’ll be more likely to remember your anniversary!
Pain Relief — Our brains house what scientists have matter-of-factly dubbed the pleasure center, which is linked to the reward circuitry that encourages us to do things that feel good. When the reward circuit is triggered, the brain releases beta-endorphins, which decreases pain and vasopressin, increasing the feeling of human bonding — leaving us able to think more clearly.
And while you’re adding some extra TLC to your fitness routine, don’t forget about diet and exercise – namely, foods and workouts that bolster and enhance your sexual performance. Check out the foods that can increase your libido, as well as our suggestions of workout moves for better lovemaking, and thank us later!
And Don’t Forget The Big O.
Sometimes viewing orgasms as goals can ruin the pleasure that builds along the way, especially for those who can’t or have never orgasmed. It’s worth exploring the myths and facts of orgasms, but for those who orgasm regularly, we’ve got some climactic research for you.
A healthy sex life can make you feel six years younger. Don’t believe us? It was scientifically concluded from a study from Duke University. Melinda Gates went to Duke, so you know it’s bona fide information. So trade in that collagen coffee and botox for some new sex adventures. A key point of this research is that this physiological fountain of youth can be attained by having over 200 orgasms a year; truly a bit of science we can get behind and quite an ambitious goal. Challenge accepted.
Immune System — Sexual activity boosts your body’s amount of immunoglobin A, an enzyme that increases your body’s resilience to illnesses like colds and the flu.
Appearance — The same endorphins that help to boost intimacy also keep your skin supple and improve your complexion, while getting laid itself is a fantastic calorie burner. This also may add to why you feel six years younger.
Better Sleep — The drop in blood pressure and the release of natural sedatives that occur after having an orgasm can lead to a more restful sleep and regular sleeping patterns. And the physical workout helps too, we suppose.
If we’re being completely honest, sometimes you’ve just got to do it yourself — and adding a sensual massager to the equation will only enhance your chances for pleasure. Next time you feel like enjoying yourself, take extra peace of mind from the fact that the benefits go beyond pleasure, and you’re doing your mind and body service as well.
Katy Thorn is a post-grad writer with a passion for writing about sex, sexuality, and all things rated R. She received her degree in Women’s Studies with a focus in Intersectionality at the University of California, Berkeley (Go Bears!). She has a cat named Yoko, drinks too much black coffee, and hates writing bios.