The Benefits of Sex

No matter your age, ethnicity, location, or even religion, sexual intercourse remains an act of great significance. It is viewed as an act of passion, reproduction, recreation, and expression, just to name a few. Sex is a natural and necessary part of life, and although you probably do not need an excuse to get close and passionate with your partner, here are some great benefits to consider about sexual intercourse.

Sex Increases Intimacy. Orgasm releases the hormone oxytocin, which builds feelings of trust and love in partners.  

Sex Can Make You Happier. A study by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that regular sexual intercourse brought partners the same levels of happiness as those who earned an extra $100,000 each year. Also, the endorphins released after orgasm and the prostaglandin found in semen has been found to decrease depression.

Sex Can Help You Live Longer. The British Medical Journal reported that men who had sex only once per month were twice as likely to die in the following 10 years than men who had sex 4+ times per month. Furthermore, women who reported having and enjoying sex tend to live up to eight years longer than women who did not have or did not enjoy sex.

Sex Can Lower Stress and Blood Pressure. Studies have found that having sex regularly can relieve stress and result in a healthier blood pressure. One study in Scotland had men and women keep records of their sexual activity, and then later put them in a stressful situation (such as speaking in public). During this ordeal, they checked their blood pressure. Those individuals who had sex often dealt with the stress of the situation better than those who had abstained from sex. Other studies have shown that people who cohabit and have sex often tend to have a lower diastolic blood pressure.  

Sex Can Help You Look Younger. Studies have found that having sex regularly seems to slow down the aging process. In one study at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital in Scotland, people guessed the ages of individuals in photos. Those who they judged to look the youngest were also the ones who had reported having the most sex. Researchers stated that sex increases the production of the human growth hormone, which improves muscle tone and helps you look younger.

Another study found that sexual arousal and orgasm releases the hormone Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), which not only boosts your immune system, but can help repair tissue, keep your skin looking healthy, and repair damaged tissue.  Furthermore, the increased blood flow that sex promotes helps cleanse your system, providing organs with a steady flow of oxygen and ridding the body of toxins.  

Sex Can Improve Self-Esteem. Many people report that they have sex to boost their self-esteem, according to researchers at the University of Texas.  Having good sex can help raise one’s confidence in and outside of the bedroom, which may lead to even better sex in the future.        

                                                                    

Sex Can Help You Sleep Better. Orgasm releases oxytocin which, among other things, can help promote sleep.  People who have sex often have reported that they sleep better and feel more refreshed during the day than those who do not have sex.

Sex Can Help Prevent Heart Attacks and Strokes. A study at the Queens University in Belfast found that men who had sex often (3+ times per week) cut their risk of heart attack and stroke in half.

Sex Can Reduce the Risk of Prostate Cancer in Males and Breast Cancer in Females. A study found that men in their 20s who had ejaculated 21+ times per month were less likely to get prostate cancer later in life than men who had ejaculated only four to seven times per month. Furthermore, females who had sex consistently over a 20-year period had 1/10 the breast cancer risk as those females who did not have sex.  Of course, a female’s risk can also be affected by other factors (such as family history).

Sex Boosts Immunity. A study at Wilkes University in Pennsylvania found that people who had sex once or twice per week had higher levels of the antibody immunoglobulin A than those who did not have sex, which helps protect against colds and infections.

Sex Can Regulate a Female’s Menstrual Cycle. Females who have sex at least once a week have been found to experience more regular menstrual cycles than those who do not, according to researchers at both Columbia and Stanford.

Sex Can Improve Vaginal and Pelvic Muscle Function. According to a study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, sex can improve vaginal function in the long run due to muscular contractions.  Furthermore, a component of semen called prostaglandin seems to help oxygenate the vaginal walls and improve blood flow, which leads to positive overall vaginal health.  

Sex Burns Calories. Trying to get in shape? Perhaps you should try to add sexual intercourse into your fitness routine.  Sex can burn up to 5 calories per minute, which adds up! Make that a few times per week and you are well on your way to toning up.  A study in Germany also showed that people who have sex more also end to have a smaller waistline and hips.  

Sex Helps Relieve Pain. Orgasm releases a wave of endorphins (chemicals that create the feeling of happiness) in the brain, triggered by the release of oxytocin, which helps to relieve pain.  One study found that those who had been exposed to an oxytocin vapor had their pain cut in half when their finger was pricked.  

References

·         "National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior." Nationalsexstudy.indiana.edu. The Trustees of Indiana University, 2010. Web.

·         The Kinsey Institute. indiana.edu. The Kinsey Institute, Indiana University, n.d. Web.

·         Stuart, Brody. “The Relative Health Benefits of Different Sexual Activities.” The Journal of Sexual Medicine. 7.4.1. (2010): 1336 - 1361. Web.

Last Updated 07 May 2013.

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