Sex and sexuality are a part of life. Aside from reproduction, sex should also be about intimacy and pleasure. And the good news is that sexual activity can offer many surprising benefits to all facets of your life; physical, intellectual, emotional, psychological, and social.
Although sex should be about having fun, there’s nothing wrong with recognizing why it’s good for you and taking a closer look at the actual benefits of sex.
So, What Are the Benefits of Sex?
- Better sleep
Your body releases oxytocin, also called the love hormone, and endorphins during orgasm. The combination of these hormones can act as sedation and better sleep can contribute to:
- a stronger immune system
- a longer lifespan
- feeling more well-rested
- having more energy during the day
Getting better rest is vital for our health and relationships. If we’re not well-rested, we become stressed which can put a serious strain on our relationships. Having more sex not only helps us get the zzz’s we need, but also improves our relationship.
- Headache relief
Sexual activity can provide full or partial relief from migraines and cluster headaches. Believe it or not, of people who were sexually active during their attacks:
- 60% reported an improvement during a migraine
- 70% reported moderate to complete relief during a migraine
- 37% reported improvement of symptoms in cluster headaches
- 91% reported moderate to complete relief in cluster headaches
- Improved Heart Health
Just like any physical activity, healthy sex is good for your heart. A study published in the American Journal of Cardiology found that men who had sex twice weekly or more had less risk of cardiovascular diseases, like stroke or heart attack, than those who had sex once a month or less.
And for those who worry that the exertion involved in sex is a threat to the heart, the American Heart Association’s Scientific Statement on Sexual Activity and Cardiovascular Disease says that having sex is safe for people who can exercise with no heart problems.
Having sex can actually be considered a rather good form of exercise. On average, you burn three to four calories per minute. That’s a lot more fun than toiling away on a treadmill.
- Beneficial to Your Mental Health
Sexual activity, with a partner or through masturbation, can provide important psychological and emotional benefits. Like exercise, sex can help reduce stress and anxiety and increase happiness. Studies suggest that sexual activity may correlate with:
- increased satisfaction with your mental health
- increased levels of trust, intimacy, and love in your relationships
- improved ability to perceive, identify, and express emotions
- lessened use of your immature psychological defense mechanism to reduce distress from emotional conflict.
At an older age, sexual activity may also affect your well-being and ability to think. Research found that sexually active adults between 50 to 90 years old had a better memory. They were also less likely to feel depressed and lonely. Turns out the benefits of sex remain at any age!
- Confidence booster
Frequent sexual activity, whether with a partner or alone, can make you look younger. This is partially due to the release of estrogen during sex. Sex can boost self-esteem and reduce feelings of insecurity, leading to more positive perceptions of ourselves. That’s reason alone to add more sex to your life!
- Social benefits
Thanks to oxytocin, sex can help you connect to your partner. Oxytocin can play a role in developing and deepening relationships. You will find that consistent, mutual sexual pleasure helps with bonding within a relationship.
Coupled partners often have increased relationship satisfaction when they fulfill one another’s sexual desires. And you may find positive growth in your relationship when you’re able to express yourself and your sexual desires.
- Reduction of Prostate Cancer Risk
A study published in the journal European Urology found that men who ejaculate more than 21 times per month, compared with those who do so four to seven times per month, were 20 percent less likely to develop prostate cancer. While more research is needed to confirm this link, it appears that men who ejaculate regularly may reduce their risk of prostate cancer.
The Bottom Line
Sex isn’t the only indicator of a happy and healthy relationship, but it can provide benefits we may not normally think of. If you find that your levels of desire don’t match with your partner’s, communicating about why and working together to foster more sexual intimacy can benefit you both in many ways.
The benefits of sex are both physical and emotional and a happy sex life should be a priority in your relationships. With so many positives, it’s a no brainer to engage in safe, sane, and consensual sex whenever we can!