Having a healthy sex life means different things to different people.
We all have stressors and stress hormones that build up in our systems and act like toxins in our bodies. But there are also hormones that do exactly the opposite – they make us feel good. These hormones deserve just as much attention, which is why I’m chatting it up about your sex life.
You might wonder why it is that men care so much about sex. Or why is sex so important to men?
According to the latest studies, regular sex – that’s one to two lovemaking sessions per week – can provide some incredible boosts to your health and wellbeing.
1. Look younger
Last week, clinical neuropsychologist at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital, revealed to a psychology conference that his extensive research had found older men and women with an active love life looked five to seven years younger than their actual age.
But you don’t have to be at it every night to enjoy youth-enhancing effects! In fact, quality was as important as quantity, with the anti-ageing benefits stronger if the sex was classed as “loving”.
2. Disease-proof your body
Having high levels of the natural steroid DHEA, known as “the anti-ageing hormone”, is believed to be key to keeping your body fitter for longer. During sex, DHEA is secreted throughout the body, and after an orgasm, the level in the bloodstream soars to five times its normal amount.
3. Ease those nasty period cramps
Many women say period pain diminishes if they do the deed during a cramp attack.
One theory why is that muscle contractions that occur when you reach peak levels of excitement relieve tension in the muscles of your uterus – the ones that cause menstrual cramps – therefore easing the pain.
4. Prevent a heart attack
Lots of studies have found that regular sex can ward off heart attacks, not bring them on as it was once feared.
Having sex three times a week could halve your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
Another study in Israel found that women who had two orgasms a week were up to 30% less likely to have heart disease than those who did not enjoy sex or didn’t have an orgasm.
5. Increase your attractiveness to others
High sexual activity makes the body release more pheromones, chemicals that enhance your appeal to the opposite sex.
This is why the more sex you have with your partner, the stronger your desire will be to have sex with them again.
6. Give yourself an all-over healthy glow
Sex promotes skin renewal because it is an aerobic form of exercise.
The scientist behind this study found that vigorous sex pumps higher levels of oxygen around the body, increasing the flow of blood and nutrients to the skin, and pushes newer, fresher skin cells to the surface, making skin look healthier.
7. Lower your blood pressure
A Scottish study found men and women who had plenty of sex coped well with stress and had lower blood pressure than those who abstained.
8. Improve your self-esteem
One of the most important benefits was that participants who had sex regularly felt more confident about their bodies.
9. Banish depression
Like any exercise that raises your heart rate, sex causes your brain to release feel-good chemicals that boost your levels of serotonin – the happy hormone – to lift your mood.
Serotonin is the body’s key antidepressant chemical and one of the major reasons people smile and feel happy and relaxed after sex.
Sexually active women in long-term relationships are also less likely to feel depressed than women who go without sex.
10. Slash stress
In a study in the Psychology journal, researchers found that people who’d had sex in the last 24 hours coped better with stressful scenarios – such as public speaking – than those who had not.
Research has also shown that touching and cuddling during and after sex reduces the body’s levels of cortisol – the hormone that is secreted when you’re stressed.
11. Kick your insomnia into touch
The oxytocin released when you orgasm has another benefit – it can help you drop off, research claims.
Both men and women release this feel-good hormone just before orgasm, and as it courses through your system, it promotes relaxation and sleepiness.
So there is actually a genuine excuse for him to fall asleep so quickly after sex…