Sex feels good, but did you know it's also super good for your health?
From head to toe, the benefits of sex start as soon as things start heating up and stay with you long after that post coital glow fades away. Here are some benefits for your brain, body, and bonding that you can look forward to during and after making love.
FOR YOUR BRAIN
1. Boosted Brain Power
Sex increases blood flow everywhere, including your brain. That blood flow includes an extra bump of glucose which you can use as energy. This can be just the jump start you need to get focused and productive in other areas of your busy life. Make it a priority, not an afterthought! 4
2. Reduced Stress
Busy? Anxious? Fearful? You know what can help with that? Research from Scotland shows that people who had sex within the past two weeks were better able to manage stressful situations. This is because endorphins and oxytocin are released during sex and help ward off anxiety and depression (with a surge at orgasm, but consistently throughout any sexual activity). 5
3. Improved Mood
Sex feels good and you look good doing it, but it also elevates your mood and has been shown to reduce depression. Exposure to semen has even been shown to sometimes act as an antidepressant! 3
4. Better Memory
Concerned about your memory as you age? Then you'll be glad to know, sexually active adults have been shown to have better memory than their less frisky counterparts. 1
5. Confidence Booster
Frequent sexual activity can make you look younger! This is a side effect of the release of estrogen during sex. 1 Intimacy with your husband can also give you a sense of being attractive, desirable, proficient, and confident, which can carry over into other aspects of your life as well. 4
6. Satisfies Cravings
And not just for THAT. Sex offers the same benefits as sugary comfort foods - without any of the bloat! Pleasure pathways in the brain light up during sex - the same way that they do when enjoying sweet treats. 2
FOR YOUR BODY
7. Pain Relief
Sore muscles? Back ache? Even a migraine or the effects of rheumatoid arthritis? Just looking at your husband can make you feel better. In a study, anesthesiologists showed people pictures and found a significant drop in the experience of pain when people looked at their romantic partners. Just cuddling can release oxytocin, while sex releases serotonin, endorphins, and phenylethylamine - all hormones that trigger euphoric feelings. Endorphins released during orgasm resemble morphine and have the same feel-good effects by triggering morphine receptors in the brain and effectively relieving pain. That certainly sounds more fun than popping a few pills and calling the doctor in the morning. 2, 5, 7
8. Better Sleep
While it’s a cliche that men pass out right after sex, sex can help you catch a few Z’s too. The brain releases norepinephrine, serotonin, oxytocin, and vasopressin, which can trigger the urge to cuddle or pass out. Those endorphins that make you feel great and relieve pain can also relax your mind and body and get you primed for sleep. Another explanation for why that pillow seems so inviting after an orgasm - the hormone prolactin is released during the Big "O" and prolactin levels are higher when sleeping. However, keep it low key and slowed down if you’re trying to sleep after, because being highly active can leave you feeling more energetic rather than sleepy. 3, 5
9. Higher Energy
Wait, what? Didn’t I just tell you that sex can make you sleep better? All those hormones that are making you feel extra cuddly and euphoric can also pump you up! A shot of glucose into your system after orgasm sharpens brain performance and your body can use it as energy. Busy night coming up? Try some afternoon delight to get through it.
10. Improved Smell
Prolactin that is produced after intercourse creates new neurons in the olfactory bulb - the part of your brain that controls how we understand and react to smells. 3
11. Higher Immunity
People who have sex one to two times a week have three times as much Immunoglobulin A (a major player in the natural antibody game) coursing through their bodies as those who are having no sex, infrequent sex, or even very frequent sex (more than 3 times a week). So make a point of warming up with your hubby a couple of times a week and the two of you can fight off the common cold together! 1, 3, 4, 7
12. Softer Skin
That “morning after glow” is a cliche for a reason - increased blood circulation and a rush of oxygen in the blood means a temporarily brighter complexion. An orgasm triggers a rush of endorphins and growth hormones like DHEA that even help heal damage caused by the thinning of the skin. Regular sex releases hormones including testosterone and estrogen, which can keep the body looking young and vital. Estrogen also promotes soft skin and shiny hair. A study in Scotland viewed participants through a one way mirror and guessed their ages. Those having frequent sex with a steady partner were perceived to be seven to 12 years younger than their less active counterparts. 2, 4, 5
13. Healthier Heart
Sex counts as cardio, making it great for boosting your metabolism, loosing weight, and maintaining a healthy heart! Studies show that your risk of dying from a heart attack or stroke goes down as the frequency of orgasms goes up. Assuming that you aren’t exceptionally vigorous, a good romp puts your heart in the same position as jogging 4-6 miles an hour. And like other cardio, exercise between the sheets has the benefits of strengthening muscles and reducing your risk of heart disease and hypertension. 1, 2, 3
14. Better Circulation
Sexual activity - all the more so with an orgasm - increases blood flow and that blood is carrying with it increased oxygen and helping to eliminate toxins to promote the healthy function of all your systems. Healthy circulation gives you more energy, a glowing complexion, and even improved sensitivity down below to help you climax during sex! Additionally, improved circulation lowers blood pressure, and the hormones circulating through your blood help to regulate and prepare your body for whatever you have planned next. So get your groove on, because it's going to make you feel amazing all around! 1, 4
15. Uterine Benefits
When a woman has an orgasm, the uterus contracts. These contractions have wide reaching benefits including less intense menstrual cramping, faster periods, and reducing the risk of endometriosis. Sex, especially during your period, can reduce the risk of uterine tissue growing outside of the uterus. 1
16. Stronger Pelvic Floor
The act of sex can help strengthen your pelvic floor, which has benefits such as less pain during sex and a reduced chance of vaginal prolapse. Intercourse helps build stronger pelvic muscles and increases the production of your vagina’s natural lubrication. Women who continue to be sexually active after menopause are less likely to have significant vaginal atrophy, which can lead to pain during sex. Other side effects down under include improved bladder control and reduced incontinence. Oh, and more intense orgasms! 1, 7
17. Stronger Teeth
So this link hasn’t been proven explicitly, but semen contains minerals like calcium, magnesium, and zinc which are also found in root canal fillings and over the counter tooth rinses. These minerals can help strengthen teeth, so getting them in your system can make your smile even brighter. 3
18. Lowered Risks During Pregnancy
Frequent sex during pregnancy, especially exposure to semen, can reduce the risk of developing preeclampsia (which can cause swollen extremities, headaches, nausea, and even seizures). HLG-A is a protein found in semen which can help regulate a pregnant wife’s immune system and protect against preeclampsia. 3
19. Better Periods
Frequent sex throughout the month can make that time of the month lighter, shorter, and less disruptive. Intimacy and intercourse can help regulate levels of luteinizing hormone which controls the menstrual cycle. Lower fluctuations in the hormone can make your cycle less disruptive. The uterine contractions that come with an orgasm rid the body of cramp-causing compounds and help expel blood more quickly, helping to end your period faster. 3, 5
20. Higher Fertility
Obviously your chances of conceiving are higher when you’re having sex, especially during the fertile window. However, current studies show that sex even outside of the fertile window can promote types of immunity that support conception. Sexually active women experience a greater change in helper T cells, which help the body recognize that sperm or a newly fertilized egg are not “foreign invaders”. These same helper T cells can change Immunoglobulin A antibodies to help them fight diseases without interfering in the uterus. These changes in immunity help prepare the body to sustain a pregnancy and they were only observed in sexually active women, showing that the couple that practices baby making often has better chances of making a baby! 6
FOR BETTER BONDING
21. Improved Emotional Health
Sex with your spouse has proven emotional benefits that are greater than what singles experience. The release of oxytocin during intercourse and orgasm stimulates a pair bonding instinct and can manifest itself in feelings of generosity toward others and closeness to your husband. It also improves the ability to perceive, identify, and express emotions. 1, 4
22. Improved Marital Relationship
Sex isn’t called making love for nothing. Consistent, mutual sexual pleasure helps with bonding within a relationship, thanks again to oxytocin. Couples have reported increased relationship satisfaction when they fulfill one another’s sexual desires. The openness that comes with sharing intimate moments in the marriage bed can carry on into other parts of your spousal relationship thanks to increased levels of trust and intimacy sparked by that magical little hormone. 1, 4
23. Greater Understanding of God
God made sex, because He loves us and wants us to better understand and love Him too. All throughout the Bible, He calls us to spend time being physically intimate with our spouse. Proverbs tells our husbands to “enjoy the wife of your youth” and “delight in her breasts.” The entirety of the Song of Solomon is a celebration of marital intimacy, full of beautiful imagery of not only emotional connections, but physical pleasure as well. And the Apostle Paul, speaking to the church in Corinth, tells us explicitly, “Do not deprive one another … so that Satan may not tempt you.” Again, he says in Ephesians 5:31, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” The leaving is important, but the becoming one flesh is a beautiful picture of the intimacy that is found in the marriage bed.
Frequent sex is not only encouraged by God for a healthy marital relationship, but it also gives us a sweet taste of what life will be like one day with Him in eternity. My college professor's wife once told me, "The best way I know to describe Heaven is it will be like a giant, never-ending orgasm." I know - it's a funny way of thinking about it! But I think it's true that the ecstasy we experience during sex, particularly during orgasm, is the closest we come on earth to comprehending the flood of joy we'll experience when we're with our Creator forever, and the fact that He made sex to be delighted in reveals the goodness and love that defines who He is.
I don't know about you, but I can’t think of many other activities that offer so many physical and emotional benefits in such an enjoyable fashion!
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