No matter how many people try to deny it, sex and sexuality are an important part of life. Sex is not only about reproduction, it is also about pleasure and intimacy. Sexual activity,
Sex and sexuality are a part of life. Aside from reproduction, sex also offers intimacy and pleasure. Sexual activity, sexual intercourse, or even masturbation offer many benefits physically, intellectually, emotionally, psychologically and socially.
According to the American Sexual Health Association, sexual health is not just about avoiding unplanned pregnancies and STIs, it is also about acknowledging that sex plays an important role in your life.
A study conducted in young men and women shows that sex can be good cardio exercise. But it can only be considered as light exercise so don’t give up on your gym membership yet.
Here are some other health benefits sex offers:
- burning calories
- lowering blood pressure
- strengthening muscles
- increasing heart health
- increasing libido
- reducing your risk of stroke, heart disease, and hypertension
More sexually active people have a tendency to exercise more frequently as well as maintain better dietary habits than those with less active sex lives. On the other hand, physical fitness also helps improve sexual performance.
Improved immune system
A study of immunity conducted on couples shows that more immunoglobulin A (IgA) was found in the saliva of those who had frequent sex (1 – 2 times a week). The antibody IgA helps prevent illnesses and acts as the frontline to defend the body from HPV (human papillomavirus).
However, more sex doesn’t equal more IgA. Those with more than 3 times of sex per week shared the same amount of IgA with those who didn’t have frequent sex. According to the study, the positive effects of sex can possibly be canceled out by anxiety and stress.
During an orgasm, your body releases endorphins and the “love” or “intimacy”hormone named oxytocin. When combined, the two hormones act as sedation.
Better sleep can help build:
- an improved immune system
- increased life expectancy
- feeling more well-rested
- having more energy during the day
Another study shows that sex can also help fully or partially with cluster headaches and migraines.
Among those who were sexually active during their attacks:
- 60% noticed an improvement during a migraine
- 70% experienced moderate to complete relief during a migraine
- 37% noticed an improvement of symptoms in cluster headaches
- 91% experienced moderate to complete relief in cluster headaches
According to a recent review, men who had more frequent sexual intercourse had a lower risk of developing prostate cancer.
One study stated that men with an average of 4.6 to 7 orgasms per week were 36% less likely to get a prostate cancer diagnosis before reaching their 70s. The comparison was made to men with an average of 2.3 or fewer times per week.
Men’s mortality can also be affected. A study with 10-year follow-up shows that men with frequent orgasms (at least 2 a week) had a 50 percent lower mortality risk than those with less frequent orgasms. Despite confusing results, some research suggests the more sexual activity, the better quality and health of your sperm.
For women, orgasms help increase blood flow and release natural pain-relieving chemicals.
Sexual activity’s benefits in women:
- improve bladder control
- improve fertility
- reduce incontinence
- build stronger pelvic muscles
- help produce more vaginal lubrication
- relieve menstrual and premenstrual cramps
- potentially lower the risk of endometriosis, or the growing of tissue outside your uterus
Sex can also help strengthen your pelvic floor, which offers benefits such as less pain during sex and reduced chance of a vaginal prolapse. According to a study, penile thrusting during sexual intercourse can result in reflexive vaginal contractions.
Sexually active postmenopausal women are also less likely to have significant vaginal atrophy, a.k.a the thinning of vaginal walls. Women with vaginal atrophy struggle ffrom pain during sex and urinary symptoms.
Benefits of sex for your mental health
Whether with a partner or through masturbation, sexual activity offers important emotional and psychological benefits. Similar to exercise, sex helps relieve stress and increase happiness.
According to several studies, sexual intercourse may help with:
- increasing satisfaction with your mental health
- increasing levels of intimacy, trust, and love
- improving the ability to identify, perceive, and express emotions
- lessening the use of your immature psychological defense mechanism, or the mental processes to reduce distress from emotional conflict
At an older age, sexual activity can also help with our well-being and thinking ability. According to some research, adults between 50 – 90 years old who are still sexually active had better memory and were less likely to feel depressed and lonely.
Whether with a partner or through masturbation, frequent sexual activity can make you look younger thanks to the release of estrogen during sex.
According to a study, there is a correlation between frequent sex and significantly younger look (7 – 12 years younger). most of the participants were also comfortable expressing their sexual identity and sexuality.
Thanks to oxytocin, sexual activity helps you connect to your partner, developing your relationship. Also, consistent, mutual sexual pleasure definitely plays a huge role in leveling up the bonding.
Your relationship satisfaction is often increased when your sexual desires are fulfilled by your partner and vice versa. When you can express yourself as well as your sexual desires, your relationship will grow positively.
As stated above, masturbation can offer some same benefits as sex with a partner, but also has its own advantages such as:
- enhanced sex between partners
- increased ability for orgasms
- increased sexual satisfaction
- understanding your own body
- boosted self-esteem and body image
- treatment for sexual dysfunction
Besides, masturbation is completely safe (without toys) and poses fewer health risks. It can help prevent unplanned pregnancies as well as STIs. Not to mention that it can also help increase mental well-being according to Planned Parenthoo. It does not increase mental illness or instability like many believe.
Don’t worry, you can still lead an active and happy life into your 100s according to a long-term study conducted by the National Health Service in the United Kingdom. The benefits of sex can also come from other pleasant activities such as interacting with pets, listening to music, and having strong religious faith or network of friends.
However, if sex is a part of your life, you should ensure to be able to communicate and experience sexual satisfaction. Orgasms help level up the bonding in a relationship and sex helps improve self-esteem, reduce the risk of heart disease, and many more to name. Hence, if you have time, spend it on sex to find relief and an increase in happiness.
In case you are worried about too much sex (including masturbation), don’t sweat it yet as having frequent orgasms is healthy. However, if you think sexual addiction and chronic masturbation have become your problem, seek help from your doctor.