Have you noticed how often talk on sex is about dangers and risks? Rape, abuse, infections, porn, harassment, dysfunction – there’s not a day goes past without the newspapers commenting on at least one of these topics.
What’s not talked about are the positive benefits of sexual expression. Yes, sex can be good for you. Sex can make you healthy. Sex can keep you healthy. Or, as I often say, “an orgasm a day keeps the doctor away”. In fact, we now have quite a lot of evidence showing us that sexual pleasure and activity, including masturbation, are sources of physical, psychological and spiritual well-being. Let me give you some examples.
For starters, it’s been found that increased frequency of sexual activity is linked with reduced breast cancer in women who have never had a child. Another study similarly found that women who did not have a sexual partner and rarely engaged in sex had a higher risk of cancer. And interestingly, the more that men experienced orgasm in adulthood, the less chance they had of getting breast cancer (yes, they can get it too!).
Heart disease is another area where sex helps. It’s been found that men and women having sexual intercourse less than once a month were twice as likely to have a fatal coronary as those with high frequencies. Some researchers think that this finding is linked to testosterone which is released (in both men and women) during orgasm. Level of testosterone released with orgasm has been found to reduce the risk of heart disease.
Sex also seems to bolster the immune system amongst those people having sex once or twice a week compared with people who are abstinent. Funnily enough, immunity was not improved for those having sex more than twice a week (now, there’s some ammunition…).
Sex also helps us to sleep. In fact, one study found that 32% of women who masturbated in the previous three months had done so in order to help them get some shut-eye. And in the same study, 9% of women said they masturbated to relieve menstrual cramps, so there’s another health benefit from sex.
And, women with active sex lives have been found to exercise more frequently and to have better diets than those who are less active.
Women can also benefit if on occasions they have sex and orgasms during menstruation because this leads to less chance of developing endometriosis. And talking of menstruation, studies also show that heterosexual women who have intercourse at least once during each non-menstruating week, and lesbians who have sex with another woman at least three times a week, develop more regular cycles than those who are celibate or have little sex.
Sex is also a great way of relieving depression, increasing self esteem, creating intimacy and improving quality of life. Among elderly women, for example, masturbating has been linked to a lower risk of depression. Interestingly, masturbation at all ages tends to be associated with higher self-esteem in women.
Sexual activity and orgasm also have a great effect on reducing stress. This is partly due to the release of a chemical called oxytocin into the bloodstream during orgasm, and partly due to the psychological effects of doing something pleasurable. It’s not surprising then that 39% of women say they masturbate to relax.
I could go on, but I think you get my drift. The message is pretty clear, isn’t it? Sex is a great way of getting and staying healthy. It’s a perfect health product (and the ingredients are all natural). Being healthy means you have to take care of your physical, emotional, mental, relationship and spiritual health. The evidence now shows that sexual activity can help us in most of these areas. However, there’s just one small catch! It’s usually good sex that has health benefits, and this doesn’t mean the ‘how-well-can-I-perform’ variety.
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