Talking about sex can be contentious, often encouraging people to express strong opinions, and even debate each other. It is just such a subjective topic, so most people have a specific set of feelings about sex one way or another.
For instance, some people believe that sex is one of the basic human requirements like food and sleep. Some recognize it as pleasure, not necessity, but still place a lot of importance on it in their lives. And others may think it's less important, seeing it for reproductive purposes — or perhaps they just have lower libidos. In any case, what cannot be disputed is this: science has shown that sex has numerous health benefits, and therefore can certainly enhance your life. Here's how ...
1. Sex lowers your risk of heart attack.
A recent study indicated that those who have less sexual activity are at increased risk of cardiovascular disease. By extension, the more often you have sex, the less likely it may be that you develop heart disease. So, perhaps increasing your sexual activity could just save your heart. Because sex also lowers your cortisol levels (e.g. one of the hormones that makes you stressed out!), it is also associated with stronger immune systems, better sleep and improved quality of life. In other words, sex may just heal your heart.
2. Sex may reduce pain.
Science has shown that when women orgasm, the body produces an analgesic effect, thereby reducing pain. One study tested women who engaged in vaginal self-stimulation, while also placing painful compression upon their (free) finger. During this time, those women reported that their pain threshold was significantly increased, meaning that they were less impacted by the pain and more focused on the pleasure. So, before you pop an ibuprofen, perhaps try masturbation instead?
3. Sex lowers blood pressure.
Sexual activity actually lowers blood pressure. Research conducted in 2006 indicated that men and women who regularly had (heterosexual, penile-vaginal) intercourse displayed lower blood pressure, which also resulted in reduced stress.
Interestingly, unlike in #2, masturbation (or any other kind of sexual activity) had little or no effect on blood pressure, which indicates that intercourse specifically may be what directly impacts blood pressure.
4. Sex improves your mood.
Having sex, or even just cuddling, releases oxytocin and dopamine, which are both bonding and feel-good hormones. These hormones are also associated with improved mood and increased happiness. It can be difficult to imagine even having sex when your mood is low or you are feeling flat, but having an orgasm can make a big difference to how you feel.
5. Sex strengthens your immune system.
Having frequent sex strengthens the immune system to protect the body against disease. A study conducted in 1999 on college students measured immune system functioning in correlation with sexual activity. The study found that those who reported to have frequent (once or twice per week) sexual activity showed higher concentrations of immunoglobulin, which is one the commonest antibodies which protect against infection and disease.
6. Sex helps you sleep.
Numerous studies have shown that sexual activity and intercourse promotes the release of the hormone prolactin. Prolactin is not only responsible for the feeling of satisfaction but is also higher during sleep. This means that having an orgasm or sex can increase your likelihood of falling asleep, and possibly relieve you of those sleepless nights. Next time you find yourself lying awake at night, perhaps a little coitus could ease you back into dreamland.
If healthy living is high on your list of priorities, then including sex could be as beneficial as diet, exercise and sleep. Including sex into your health regime is likely to show many changes in your health and general well-being, so my advice to you would be to get it on!