Why Should We Have Sex? 20 Good Healthy Reasons

It's not only about reproduction

By on November 24th, 2007 11:11 GMT
Marvin Gaye knew very well what was singing with his "Sexual healing". Sex seems to be more than a hormonal discharge and some short moments of pure pleasure. Scientists show that sex is extremely beneficial for our health, while the lack of an active sex life might have negative effects. And masturbation is not a solution: blood prolactin levels in males and females after orgasm is 4 times higher in both sexes compared with the levels after orgasm from masturbation. Prolactin counteracts the effects of another hormone, dopamine, booming during sexual arousal. This explains why orgasm from intercourse is more satisfying than masturbation and the "recovery period" in men, as high levels of prolactin induce erectile dysfunction.

But too much sex, can also be harmful: more than thrice a week it can weaken the immune system, making us vulnerable to infections...

1. Sex is beneficial for both the heart and the blood circulation, especially in the brain. While having sex, the heart rate goes from 70 beats per minute to 150, a good training for the heart. Having sex thrice a week decreases the risk of heart attack by 50 %. Also during the sex intercourses, the breath is deeper, meaning a better oxygenation.

2. The mental and emotional health balance is clearly tuned by sex. People who are involuntarily celibate or abstinent and often exhibit depressive feelings (like anger, frustration, self-doubt, paranoia and even depression) are driven into this by "missed opportunities", due to living without having sex.

In fact, in case of light depressions, after having sex the brain releases endorphins, that decrease stress, inducing a state of euphoria.

It seems also to be something in the sperm contributing to the good effect on the mood. Researches showed that women whose partners used condoms were more prone to depression than others. This is supposed to be linked to prostaglandin, a chemical found in the sperm and absorbed in the vaginal tract, modulating the woman's mood. Semen appears to act as an antidepressant in women.

Women who have sex without condoms are also more likely to be victims of the rebound effect following the breakup of their relationship, pointing that there is a withdrawal effect that influences depressiveness when semen exposure stops.

Anyway, protected or not, sex and orgasm do cause a release of endorphins, the "happiness" brain hormone that 'brings' the good mood.

Even more important is the fact that sex strengthens the bound of the couple, self esteem, positive thinking and optimism.

A 2007 British research proved that sex is better than money in making you happy, and being sexually active indeed brings a happy life. But more financial power doesn't bring you more sex.

Sex "enters so strongly (and) positively in happiness equations" that a higher frequency of sexual contacts from once monthly to once weekly is similar to the happiness level increase brought by an additional $50,000 in income for the average American. The happiest individuals were those getting the most and regular sex: married people, or those involved in a relationship, who declared 30% more sexual activity than bachelors. A stable marriage was figured out to bring the same happiness levels provoked by an extra $100,000 earning annually, while divorce was equivalent to a happiness decrease of $66,000 each year.

Psychologists already knew that happy people are usually more sexually active, and many studies confirmed that people who are depressed have less sex. It is sure that mind and sex fuel each other.

3. Sex eliminates stress. You know the feeling of total relaxation and calm following a sexual intercourse. A subsequent profound calming sleep follows, with great effect in combating the stress, and persons with a regular sex life sleep better and feel better the next day.

4. Sex means softer skin. While having sex, a woman's body doubles the estrogen level, and this makes her hair shine while the skin becomes softer.

5. Long term researches showed that regular basis sex increases the humans' lifespan. For the same age and health, those who had orgasms more frequently had half the death rate of men who did not have such frequent orgasms. This could be due to the plummeting stress hormones, reaction that installs after we have sex. Frequent orgasms (about 100 per year) have been linked to an increase of 3-8 years in a person's lifespan and a decrease of death risk of 50%.

6. Sweating while having sex cleanse the skin pores, making the skin brighter and decreasing the risk of developing dermatitis.

7. Sex can keep you fit, burning extra-pounds. Quickies of 20 minutes weekly mean 7 500 calories annually, that's as much as you consume on 120 km (745 mi) of jogging. A sex session can burn about 200 calories. This is like running 15 minutes on a treadmill!

If this helps, here is a guide on your sex metabolism (http://members.aol.com/evilsuzie/ia/sexcalories.htm) (however, the following statements have not been scientifically proven...yet):

OPENING HER BRA:
With both hands........................ 8 Calories
With one hand.......................... 22 Calories
With your teeth........................ 85 Calories

PUTTING ON A CONDOM:
With an erection....................... 6 Calories
Without an erection.................... 315 Calories

PRELIMINARIES:
Trying to find the clitoris............ 8 Calories
Trying to find the G-Spot.............. 192 Calories

POSITIONS:
Missionary............................. 112 Calories
69 lying down.......................... 178 Calories
69 standing up......................... 312 Calories
Wheelbarrow............................ 386 Calories
Doggy Style............................ 400 Calories
Italian chandelier..................... 972 Calories

ORGASMING:
Real................................... 112 Calories
Fake.................................. 315 Calories

POST ORGASM:
Lying in bed hugging................... 18 Calories
Getting up immediately................. 36 Calories
Explaining why you got out of bed immediately......816 Calories

GETTING A SECOND ERECTION:
If you are:
20-29 years old........................ 36 Calories
30-39 years............................ 80 Calories
40-49 years............................ 124 Calories
50-59 years............................ 972 Calories
60-69 years............................ 2916 Calories
70 and over......................... Results are still pending

DRESSING UP AFTERWARDS:
Calmly................................. 32 Calories
In a hurry............................. 98 Calories
With her father knocking at the door... 1218 Calories
With your wife knocking at the door.... 3521 Calories

8. Sex strengthen muscles. So much pushes and flexions... It depends on your stunts in bed, of course, but it's clearly a lot more fun than running for miles. Bed fitness sessions clearly improve muscles of your pelvis, thighs, buttocks, abdomen, chest and arms.

9. The more active your sex life is, the more attractive for the opposite sex you are. High sexual activity makes the body release more pheromones, chemicals that attract the opposite sex, but also to display a security given by experience.

10. Sex improves senses, at least the smell. Following the orgasm, a rise of the hormone prolactin makes the brain's stem cells form new neurons in the olfactory bulb, boosting a person's olfactory abilities.

11.Sex is also a pain reliever, ten times more effective than Valium: immediately before orgasm, levels of the hormone oxytocin rise by five times, determining a huge release of endorphins. These chemicals calm pain, from a minor headache to arthritis or migraines, and with no secondary effects. Migraines also disappear because the pressure in the brain's blood vessels is lowered while we have sex. So now we see that actually, a woman's headache is rather a good reason for having sex, not against it.

Sex also stimulates the release of estrogen, decreasing the PSM pains.

12. Kissing stimulates salivation, which cleanses food left between the teeth and lowers the acidity in the mouth, the main cause of the tooth decay and bad breath.

13. Sex fights off allergies. A good sex session can be a good remedy against stiff nose, being a natural antihistaminic that helps combating asthma and high fever.

14. Regular sex balances the ratio good cholesterol: bad cholesterol.

15. Sex balances sex hormones: estrogen protects a woman's heart but on the long term, it can be efficient also against Alzheimer's disease and osteoporosis while testosterone spurs the growth of the bones and muscles.

16. The sexual activity means less colds, flu and infections. 1-2 intercourses weekly means 30 % higher levels of the antibody immunoglobulin A, that spurs the immune system.

17. Sex means a better control of the bladder, as pelvis muscles controlling the urine flow are stronger.

18. After orgasm, especially in the evening, we get sleepy. Sex increases sleep quality. Following an orgasm, the body of both males or females becomes completely relaxed, so they may have a good deep sleep.

19. Most pregnant women stop having sex a few weeks before giving birth, as there is a widespread idea that having sex late in pregnancy could trigger labor. But studies shows this is not true. Prostaglandin is released in huge amounts by the woman's body as it triggers labor. Also, orgasm can induce uterine contractions. Still, there is no scientific proof that sexual intercourse close to the end of pregnancy starts the labor.

20.Sex fights cancer! Various researches have shown that a high ejaculation frequency and sexual activity are linked to a lower risk of prostate cancer later in life. A study found out that men who ejaculated 13 to 20 times monthly presented a 14% lower risk of prostate cancer than men who ejaculated on average, between 4 and 7 times monthly for most of their adult life. Those ejaculating over 21 times a month presented a 33% decreased risk of developing prostate cancer than the baseline group.

Researches found that sexually active women have a lower risk of developing breast cancer.

Many cancers can be boosted by impairments of the hormonal balance, and perhaps sex and orgasm can fix this. Indeed, increased estrogen levels have been linked with higher risk of many cancers and increased testosterone levels in men has been linked to greater risk for prostate cancer.

But too much sex can be harmful for your health. In fact, over sexual partners increase the risk of infection with papillomavirus (HPV), a common genital virus, which can be transmitted even through anal and oral sex, by 8.6 times.

The human papillomavirus (HPV) is the leading cause of cervical cancer (in uterus) (95 % of the cases). Due to oral sex, HPV can provoke larynx, esophagus and oropharyngeal cancer (cancer of the throat, tonsils and back of the tongue), in a rate higher than heavy smoking or alcoholism. This virus can also provoke periungual skin, vulva, vagina, penis, perianal and anus cancer and it is also suspected to cause breast cancer.

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