Enough of hushing. It is but necessary that you understand your body and it’s requirements in entirety. How do you expect to be happy and healthy without that knowledge? Let’s talk about sex.
Motivation behind getting physically intimate with someone can come from a place of selflessness (I want you to feel good), selfishness (I needed a boost in my self-esteem), boredom (I had nothing else to do), affection (I am so in love with you), intoxication (I don’t remember anything from last night), curiosity (I wanted to know how it felt), determination (It’s time we expanded our family), revenge (I just had to teach him/her a lesson), and so on and so forth.
Whatever the reason driving your libido,…
…the benefits of some netflix and chill is universal and surprisingly (or not) so essential.
Besides ‘the love hormone’ oxytocin la-di-da (it’s called ‘making love,’ isn’t it?) and enhancing your bond with your partner (let’s just make that very big assumption), let’s see what else a little (or a lot of) action can contribute to your well-being.
Sex reduces stress and anxiety.
The hippocampus is the part of your brain responsible for memory, learning, and emotion. Stress is an emotion, which means that your hippocampus must be switched on when your tired soul wishes to combat stress.
According to a study, sexual activity stimulates new cell growth in the hippocampus.1 This empowers your brain (with a truckload of cheerful ammunition) to deal with stress, resulting in a happier, stress-free you.
By increasing the duration of sexual activity, the initial (mild) anxiety that sex brings with it is reduced as well.
Another study also implicates the benefits of sex in regulating blood pressure and, hence, stress.2
This just means you’ll have a better day at the office, a more-restful sleep at night, and an ‘I don’t care’ attitude when your dog chews the remote control.
Sex increases fertility.
For those of you thinking of filling up the soccer team bus with your DNA (read: having babies),…
…this is great news. Yes, it is but obvious, the more sex you have, the higher your chances of conception (very basic math). But there is actually more to it than mere probability.
Sperm quality is reduced when its DNA is damaged. According to an Australian study, sex (to the point of ejaculation) every day for a week improved sperm quality by reducing sperm DNA damage.3 81% men exhibited a 12% decrease in sperm DNA damage. Less damaged, more robust sperms naturally improve the chances of conception (increased fertility for both the Mr. and the Mrs.). It is, thus, advised that couples trying to have a baby indulge in the good ol’ houghmagandy daily in the week leading up to ovulation.
Sex reduces pain.
Intercourse can be fun.
That itself will probably help you forget about that arthritic knee or bruised shoulder. But the analgesic effects of intercourse are much more than just ‘fun.’
If you’ve had a surgery or watched the TV show House, you are well versed with the term morphine. For those of you who aren’t, it is a painkiller. Our bodies endogenously produce morphine-like painkillers called endorphines.4
They increase your pain threshold by decreasing your sensitivity to pain. Sexual intercourse increases oxytocin levels (the love hormone) which allows for the release of endorphins.5 It is probably the body’s way of ensuring that sexual stimulation remains enjoyable and doesn’t become aversive. Well, it’s a win-win for you! More endorphins translates to ‘Pain? What pain?’
Sex boosts immunity.
Immunoglubilin A (IgA) is the most prevalent antibody (read: defence cell) that is produced in mucosal linings throughout our body. More IgA means a stronger immunity. Also, salivary IgA has been proved to be directly proportional to vaginal IgA (Will tell you why this random piece of information in a bit).
According to a study involving 112 college students, individuals who engaged in sexual activity once or twice a week exhibited higher salivary IgA levels than individuals who had no sex or too much sex (more than twice a week).6 Besides an overall strengthened immunity (you’ll fall less sick and can go on those countless dates you have lined up),…
…more salivary IgA means more IgA in the vaginal mucosa as well. This lowers the susceptibility to sexually transmitted diseases. (Now do you see the connection?)
Sex decreases cardiovascular risks.
A research group proved that the frequency of orgasms is inversely proportional to mortality.7 Too much to comprehend?
A 1,000 middle-aged men were tracked for ten whole years. Those who had more sex led longer lives–a whopping 50% increased mortality. They also had a stronger heart as observed by their reduced risks of coronary diseases.
Sexual activity, thus, protects your cardiovascular health (jump into the sack at least 2 to 3 times a week)8…
and your desire to grow old with your partner.
It’s all a matter of the heart after all!
References [ + ]
|1.||↑||Leuner, B., Glasper, E.R., Gould, E. Sexual Experience Promotes Adult Neurogenesis in the Hippocampus Despite an Initial Elevation in Stress Hormones. PLoS ONE. 2010.|
|2.||↑||Stuart Brody. Blood pressure reactivity to stress is better for people who recently had penile–vaginal intercourse than for people who had other or no sexual activity. Biological Psychology. 2005.|
|3.||↑||Australian study presented at the annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Amsterdam.|
|4.||↑||Sharma, A. & Verma, D. Endorphins: Endogenous Opioid in Human Cells. World Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. 2014.|
|5.||↑||Henry Szechtman, Moshe Hershkowitz, Rabi Simantov. Sexual behavior decreases pain sensitivity and stimulates endogenous opioids in male rats. European Journal of Pharmacology. 1981.|
|6.||↑||Charnetski, C.J. & Brennan, F.X. (2004). Sexual Frequency and Salivary Immunoglobulin A (IgA). Psychological Reports. 2004.|
|7.||↑||George Davey Smith, Stephen Frankel, John Yarnell. Sex and death: are they related? Findings from the Caerphilly cohort study. British Medical Journal. 1997.|
|8.||↑||Susan A. Hall, Rebecca Shackelton, Raymond C. Rosen, Andre B. Araujo. Sexual Activity, Erectile Dysfunction, and Incident Cardiovascular Events. Am J Cardiol. 2010.|