Stop what you're doing and head to the bedroom. You're welcome.
You should know that sex is very, VERY good for you. Besides the rosy afterglow, the natural calorie burning and the relaxing high of orgasm, there are plenty of physiological and psychological benefits that tell us that sex is not something to be enjoyed infrequently — but something that should be sought out, scheduled, and made a priority in your life.
Let’s turn to scientific research to see what it is saying about the life and health benefits of sex:
1. It lowers your risk of heart disease.
A study at the New England Research Institute in Massachusetts tracked the sexual activity of men aged 40 to 70. The results showed that men who indulge in regular lovemaking (at least twice a week) are up to 45 percent less likely to develop life-threatening heart conditions than men who have sex once a month or less.
Researchers took into account other risk factors, such as age, weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. Sex lowers heart attack risk by balancing testosterone and estrogen levels in the blood.
In another study, men who had sex at least twice a week were half as likely to die of heart disease as men who rarely had sex.
2. It regulates your blood pressure.
Elevated blood pressure is a risk factor for coronary artery disease, heart attack, kidney disease, and stroke. A study published in Biological Psychology found that regular sex was associated with lower diastolic blood pressure. This study focused on people living with their sex partner.
Still further research found a link between giving and receiving several hugs a day and lower blood pressure in women. So both sex AND long hugs lower blood pressure and improve our health.
3. Believe it or not, it can actually protect you from breast cancer.
Studies have found that squeezing the breasts — a common activity in sex — is shown to improve the quality of breast cells and decrease the risk of breast cancer.
4. It lowers your risk of getting prostate cancer.
The Journal of the American Medical Association reported that “high ejaculation frequency was related to decreased risk of total prostate cancer” regardless of how a man climaxes — intercourse or masturbation.
Also, a study at the National Cancer Institute showed that men who ejaculated through sex or masturbation at least five times a week were much less likely to get prostate cancer.
5. It gives you a big boost in your immune system.
Researchers at Wilkes University, Pennsylvania, found that sex once or twice a week in winter can boost the immune system and reduce the chances of catching colds and flu. It does so by boosting levels of immunoglobulin A, or IgA, which binds to pathological organisms that invade the body and then activate your body’s immune system to destroy those organisms.
Eastern medicine agrees, relating the immune system boost to the fact that women are mostly yin and therefore need and benefit from the yang of a masculine partner to balance out their bodies, and vice versa, which fortifies the immune systems of both parties.
6. It's the best (and most fun) sleeping pill EVER.
During sex and orgasm, oxytocin is released that helps promote relaxation and restful sleep. Masturbating to orgasm will have the same effect. Healthy sleep is important for all aspects of your health because of the regeneration that occurs during sleep.
7. It keeps you fit and helps you lose weight.
Sex burns about as many calories as the same time spent training or walking. It not only burns calories but also improves circulation to the important pelvic organs. The thrusting movements of sex provide stimulation to these important reproductive organs, which need regular contraction and release for their health.
Sex is vitally important to help move the blood and release toxins through sweat, and it helps tone the belly, butt, and legs. Hold yourself up with your arms and get an upper body workout, too. The improved sleep you get after sex will also help regulate your metabolism to aid weight loss.
8. The oxytocin you release during intercourse can heal your wounds faster.
Some evidence suggests sex can be rejuvenating to the point of helping wounds heal faster. Several experiments have shown that oxytocin can help even stubborn sores, like those suffered by diabetics, to heal by regenerating certain cells.
9. It makes you look (and FEEL) younger.
Sex makes your skin look better by increasing DHEA, a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands that is said to give skin a more youthful appearance. Studies done in Denmark showed that people engaging in regular sexual activity looked significantly younger than their peers who were having less sex.
Taoist practices encourage men and women to put ejaculatory fluids on their skin and to consume them to reap their anti-aging and life-giving properties. Sex also helps prevent atrophy of the pelvic floor by utilizing these muscles during sex, therefore keeping the vaginal and pelvic floor muscles strong.
10. It kills your stress.
A study at Yale found that daily intercourse leads to increased cell growth in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for regulating stress. More sex means lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the body, leaving you calmer and more at peace.
Lower cortisol levels also mean better sleep and less cortisol-induced belly fat.
11. It boosts your pain tolerance.
Orgasm is a powerful painkiller because oxytocin is secreted by the body before and during climax. According to a study by Beverly Whipple, professor emeritus at Rutgers University and a famed sexologist and author, when women masturbated to orgasm, “the pain tolerance threshold and pain detection threshold increased significantly by 74.6 percent and 106.7 percent respectively.”
12. It majorly helps relieve even the worst migraines.
A study at the University of Muenster in Germany showed that sexual activity can lead to partial or complete relief from migraines. They attribute this to the release of endorphins during sex that are natural painkillers.
13. It helps you get in touch with your emotions.
In 2013 Helen Hunt starred in a film by director Ben Lewin called The Sessions, where we were introduced to the idea of a “sex surrogate" — a therapist who actually has sex with you in order to help heal sexual performance-related issues.
This might seem like a wild idea, but it is not a new idea. Tantra practitioners have been healing men and women using sexual activity for time immemorial. Psychology Today says, “We feel happier, warmer and better, live longer, and experience life as more meaningful if we love and let ourselves be loved.”
Receiving acceptance and affirmation of ourselves through sexual intimacy is deeply validating. We can heal each other through deeply transparent, intimate, and emotional sex. Whether we experience deep love, verbal affirmation of our bodies, physical, emotional, and spiritual adoration — or simply the presence of another human being — sex has the potential to bring our deepest wounds to the surface and heal them.
What better way to be loved than to MAKE love?
14. It makes men less aggressive.
When men ejaculate, they balance their testosterone levels, meaning they express less physical and emotional violence in the world. When men are deeply loved and accepted in the act of sex, they experience profound mental and emotional benefits.
This phenomenon was shown in a study with mice. When the mice were flashed with a light, it would trigger aggression, and they would begin to attack everything around them. There was, however, one way of preventing these violent urges: sex.
If the males were mounting a female, the burst of light had little effect, and the males didn't experience aggression. We make the world less violent when we have sex.
15. It can even help you recover from a mental illness.
Freud is famous for his illumination of the problems that arose in men and women when their sexuality was suppressed: nymphomania nervosa, dominatrix turbulentus, ecstasis frustratus, and hysteria affectus. Masturbation or sex would heal these symptoms of “mental illness”.
Ancient physicians believed that a woman was liable to get very sick if she was deprived of sexual activity; it could even lead to ‘‘hysteric uterine constriction.’’ Wives were encouraged to remarry after either the death of the husband or a divorce so they would not go without sex.
There was even legislation passed during the rule of Augustus in ancient Rome that required widows and widowers to remarry to be able to fully inherit from people outside of their immediate family. As a society it was evident that things functioned better when everyone had someone to sleep with.
Women are happier, kinder, and more proficient when they have bigger and deeper orgasms. Their orgasms can even unlock altered states of consciousness where new ideas, solutions, and visions can be had and shared with the world.
Lauren Brim is a sexual wellness coach and the author of "The New Rules of Sex" a roadmap to rediscovering your sexuality in a dynamic and healthy way. Book a coaching session at www.TheNewRulesofSex.com if hang-ups around sex are getting in the way of your super fabulous sex life.