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Five Reasons Why You Should Have Lots of Sex

Healthy SexLove is the answer, but while you are waiting for the answer, sex raises some pretty good questions.  ~Woody Allen



There are some very compelling reasons why you should be having sex. A lot of sex. Common sense tells us that the male orgasm directly serves to propagate the species. Although the female orgasm has puzzled scientists forever, there is consensus that it is also related to fertility – ultrasounds of female orgasms show the cervix dipping into the semen with each contraction, increasing the likelihood of fertilization.

Of course, nothing surpasses the pleasure of the O. Check out this website called Beautiful Agony: Facettes de la Petite Mort that I found, um, riveting:

“Beautiful Agony is dedicated to the beauty of human orgasm. This may be the most erotic thing you have ever seen, yet the only nudity it contains is from the neck up. That’s where people are truly naked.

The videos were made in private by the contributor (and sometimes their partner). We don’t know what they’re doing, or how they are doing it, we just know it’s real and it’s sexy as hell.”

They’re right, it is sexy as hell. Yikes, one could er, invest, considerable time on such a site. It’s definitely a vast improvement over the stupid phony orgasms one sees in pornos.

It turns out there are a whole slew of other reasons to have sex, all of which lead to higher quality of life, which leads to more sex, and so on. As researchers focus intently on the science of relationships and sex, many physical benefits are being identified. It’s part of nature’s grand plan to get us into the sack as much as possible.

1. Sex Relieves Stress

  • A big health benefit of sex is lower blood pressure and overall stress reduction, according to researchers from Scotland who reported their findings in the journal Biological Psychology. They studied 24 women and 22 men who kept records of their sexual activity. Those who had intercourse had better responses to stress than those who engaged in other sexual behaviors or abstained.
  • Kissing causes a drop in cortisol, a stress hormone, reducing anxiety.
  • In 2006, Stuart Brody, a psychologist at the University of Paisley, Scotland concluded in a study that having sex before giving a speech in public reduces stammering and nervousness. He also concluded that participants who had penetrative sex were the least stressed, with normal blood pressure, and those who were asked to abstain were greatly stressed and had high blood pressure levels.
  • The reason behind the calming effect is the hormone oxytocin, which is released during sexual activity.


Interestingly, it’s also true that highly stressful situations can trigger sexual arousal. Sex therapist Ian Kerstner revisited the 1974 Shaky Bridge Study, which showed that men who spoke to a woman who was sitting on a dangerous suspension bridge were far more likely to engage her and ask her for a date than men who spoke to the same woman on a smaller, sturdy bridge. Adrenaline makes us sexually aroused, and also promotes romantic attachment. It spikes the brain’s natural amphetamines, dopamine and norepinephrine, which play a big role in arousal.

So ladies, we need to figure out better ways of scaring the shit out of guys.

2. Sex Boosts Immunity

  • Psychologists Carl Charnetski, Ph.D., and Francis Brennan, Jr., Ph.D., asked 111 college students their frequency of partner sex: none, less than once a week, once or twice a week, or three or more times a week. The once-or-twice-a-week group had the highest levels of immunoglobulin A, and enjoyed the most protection from colds. This group had 30 percent more IgA than the two groups who had less frequent sex and the group that had sex more often (too much of a good thing).
  • The researchers also surveyed participants about relationship duration and satisfaction. As duration and satisfaction increased, so did IgA level. Close contact should increase the likelihood of cold transmission–unless interpersonal closeness provides benefits that override the risk of physical proximity.
  • A sexually active relationship provides another significant immunological benefit: relaxation. In good relationships, lovemaking is deeply relaxing. Many studies show that deep relaxation stimulates the immune system.
  • Lovemaking is also a powerful form of social support. Many studies show that social support revs up the immune system, and helps prevent colds.


Get busy now to ward off the swine flu.

3. Sex Improves Performance in Life

  • Contemporary sports medicine and coaching methods have effectively busted the abstinence myth in the athletic world. Studies suggest sex is a performance booster.
  • Helen E. Fisher, an anthropology professor and human behaviour researcher at Rutgers University, says increased sexual activity can lead to improved performance at work. Concluding a study in 2005 on around 40,000 Americans, Fisher says, “In addition to being a great exercise and a stress reliever, sex triggers the release of a number of valuable brain chemicals. From improved problem-solving as a result of heightened dopamine levels, to enhanced teamwork skills due to a flood of oxytocin, there are a number of positive benefits that can improve performance in the workplace.”
  • Fisher adds, “The dopamine rush one gets from sex is associated with improved creativity, so it’s likely those who have regular sex are more creative at work.”
  • Also, after sex, men and women receive a boost of chemicals that generate feelings of trust, attachment and calm. Those who have regular sex are likely to feel more cooperative and agreeable. It also drives up testosterone, which can give men and women feelings of competence, self-confidence and well-being.


However, having sex with a coworker on the conference table the night before a presentation might not give you the polish you’re looking for.

4. Sex Reduces Pain

  • During sexual activity, the body releases feel-good endorphins, the brain chemicals that bear a remarkably close resemblance to morphine. Endorphins serve as powerful pain relievers. Sex can cure a headache or reduce PMS symptoms.
  • In a study published in the Bulletin of Experimental Biology and Medicine, 48 volunteers who inhaled oxytocin vapor and then had their fingers pricked lowered their pain threshold by more than half.
  • In women, sexual stimulation produces a powerful pain-blocking effect. At least one of the mechanisms is that sex blocks the release of neuropeptide labelled as Substance P, which is a pain transmitter.


In their new book Why Women Have Sex, Cindi Meston and David Buss (one of the Evolutionary Psychology gods) highlight 237 reasons, one of which is “to cure a headache.” They also formally state that women sometimes have Pity Sex, which is usually a very bad idea.

5. Sex Helps You Sleep Better

  • The oxytocin released during orgasm also promotes sleep, according to research.
  • Getting enough sleep has been linked to maintaining a healthy weight and blood pressure.


Duh. Put away the Lunesta and get busy. You can choose to wake your partner, or not; either way you can be asleep in less than ten minutes. I’ve never understood why women resent guys conking out right after sex. Pillow talk is best in the morning.

There are some other research claims that I’m more skeptical about:

  • Sex burns calories. OK, yeah, but if you’re not a Cirque de Soleil kinda girl, then you’d be much better off hitting the gym in the morning. 21 hours of sex burns 3,570 calories, or just over a pound. I mean, let’s be honest, sex gets us to our target heart rate for about 30 seconds.
  • Sex boosts self-esteem. I agree that meaningful sex boosts self-esteem. And a hookup can boost self-esteem briefly, but can also result in a morning-after crash that makes you feel like hell.
  • Sex improves intimacy. Sex does release oxytocin, the hormone that promotes bonding and trust. However, although both sexes get the oxytocin surge, it is suppressed to some degree in men by testosterone. That means that women are bonding more intensely than men are, from a physiological standpoint. This is why women have sex with jerks, and then find themselves developing feelings of attachment for them, even though they don’t particularly like them.

Sex is really, really good for you. However (you knew there was a caveat), sex can also lead women to feel badly about themselves for a whole bunch of reasons. It depends on who you’re bumping with. You need to weigh what approach to sex is right for you. If all else fails, I’ve gotta think that you’ll get at least a partial hit of some of these wonderful benefits flying solo. To paraphrase Woody Allen, at least you’ll be having sex with someone you love.

Sources:

http://www.sfbg.com/blogs/sexsf/2009/07/three_possibly_relevant_sex_st_1.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1215160/Sympathy-painkiller-weight-loss–real-reasons-women-sex.html

http://www.livemint.com/2009/09/28193712/Basic-Instinct-Sex-and-common.html

http://www.webmd.com/sex-relationships/features/10-surprising-health-benefits-of-sex

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/all-about-sex/200906/want-prevent-colds-have-sex-weekly

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    19 October 2009 at 9:10pm
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  • uberVU - social comments
  • Melissa

    I'm new to the site and I understand (and agree) to the whole philosophy behind it. It's just that, I've been single for 8 months now and i can't find someone with relationship material anywhere. I meet guys, i go out with them, but it never gets anywhere serious. I've been flying solo and enjoying the benefits of exploring my own body but I gotta be honest, it is not the same. It's kinda like, when you're on a diet, you get to eat but you're never fully satisfied. It's very frustrating actually. I've always been a very sexual woman and I was having a bad time during this period and I don't like hooking up but I'm actually doing it with this guy i met recently. I know I'm under great risk of getting hurt but i feel like i don't have any other option. I love sex and I hate the implications it has for women.

  • susanawalsh

    Hi Melissa, welcome and thanks for leaving a comment! I hear exactly what you're saying. I don't think there's anything wrong with casual sex. As you say, it offers a way to be sexually active. As you know, though, the problem arises with the potential for one-way emotional attachment. Since you mention that you know you are at risk for getting hurt, you know exactly what I mean.

    Whether you're looking for something short-term or long-term, it's very important to choose a decent guy. Someone who is not out to use you and leave you feeling terrible about yourself. A friend with benefits, for example, may be a better bet than someone you know up front is a player.

    There is no easy answer for women. We want to have relationship sex, but it's not commonly available. Until you find someone special, all you can do is try to keep yourself safe, both emotionally and physically.

  • LAC

    Re: “Sex reduces pain.” That truth has always concerned me, because I could definitely see how people could sustain a serious injury and not notice during sex. I've had my fair share of sex sprains over the years, and one thing I notice pretty much every time is how painful it can be to keep my hips rotated for so long–sometimes it's agony for the first few minutes after we're done and I'm trying to get comfortable again–but I don't notice it during, of course. And I have long been paranoid about seriously injuring my cervix and not realizing it (especially because that angle of penetration can be a “hurts so good” sort of thing, so I could see it going too far easily).

    I think it's interesting how some types of pain are almost completely blocked (the fruits of contortionist moves, for example), and yet some come through clear as a bell (anal sex, for many women) no matter how into the moment you are.

  • susanawalsh

    Hey, LAC. I agree that there are different kinds of pain during sex. Obviously, a slight muscle strain may go unnoticed until later, while tearing or abrading tissue will be more of an OUCH right then and there. I think it's interesting that research shows that sex can relieve pain totally unrelated to sex, like headaches or PMS symptoms. Personally, I've found that when I have a headache, having an orgasm actually makes it much worse, at least for a while. So for me, “Not tonight, I have a headache,” is a valid excuse sometimes!

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  • factopo

    Hey, an article about sex. Try googling for “factopo”

  • factopo

    Hey, an article about sex. Try googling for “factopo”

  • http://www.imyours.co.uk/mature_dating/ Mature dating

    Sex can reduce pain because during sex some pheromones are released and the pleasure that someone feel during sex can cover other types of pain. This is my opinion.

  • Lonely Law Student (I hope you know who this is…)

    I take issue with this article, except for the end, I think until the stigma about women having lots of sex changes, we should all take a little more responsibility when it comes to sex (having it, with whom, when…)
    Anyway, these facts may be true, but is it worth the stigmatization that comes with the better sleep, the less pain etc…??
    Anyway, I just wanted to say that I really enjoy this site and “a friend” told me about your 57 ways to meet guys article, but I can’t find it on here. Where is it?
    Thanks

  • RupertKluse

    Great article Susan! The only thing I would add is her post-sex attitude. I hate it when a woman immediately covers up after sex. I just had sex with you and now you’re afraid of me seeing you naked?? Huge Turnoff!

  • MelissaSweet

    2. Sex Boosts Immunity

    My boyfriend was running a fever and I said “well we should try having sex so you can feel better.” After the deed was done he gets up and says “You should leave a comment on ‘that thing you read and put ‘It’s True’ cause I am feeling a lot better! My fever went away….I’m not even sleepy (big smile)!” Then he gets up to do laundry. LOL

    (By the way this just happened a while ago, it was our first time having sex, yes i planned it out lol. He is also my wonderful Beta. At first I had planned on making him invest and work for it “jump through hoops to be with me”, but after reading many of your blogs, Susan, I realized that after almost 2 whole months of havin him on the chase and us both developing a huge crush on eachother, i decided i was going to take a chance and just DIVE IN. BUT, I did so after we had already had the relationship talk (because you said to make sure first). He made it very clear that is what he wanted. So I hope now I can show him that I also clearly want to be with him too)

    Thank You Susan :) and He thanks you too :)

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Melissa
      Thank you so much for leaving this comment! You have made my day. I am so happy for you both!

  • Gil

    So that’s why bad boys are so robust and why the “nice” guys are sick and weak!