Benefits of Sex

Sex – claims for the physiological benefits of sexual activity.

As research confirms time and time again, good sex in a healthy, stable, monogamous relationship can only better our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well being.

Body composition, weight loss and weight control. Each person can burn  200 calories or more during 30 minutes of sex. The sexual act conditions strength, flexibility, muscle tone, and cardiovascular conditioning. The action that involves rhythmic pelvic tilting is especially good for the core muscles (the abdominal muscles and spinal muscles). Flexibility is also improved as positions are held. Some isometric and weight resistance action is also performed during sexual activity.

Prolonged sexual activity also has cardiovascular benefits.

Sex has been shown to offer migraine and menstrual cramp relief, as well as alleviate chronic back pain thanks to the endorphins and corticosteroids released during sexual arousal and orgasm.

Sex helps the way we respond to stress, increasing levels of oxytocin and stimulating feelings of warmth and relaxation. The quality of the sexual response also helps people monitor their physical and mental stress and physiological status.

Sex has also been associated with improved immunity.

Sex helps self-esteem and intimacy, especially when sex is consistent and involves mutual pleasure. Sex causes a surge in oxytocin at orgasm and  stimulates feelings of affection, intimacy, and closeness.

Sex releases endorphins during arousal and climax that can relieve depression and anxiety, and increase vibrancy. Sex improves overall attitude toward life and relationships. One study even concluded that components of semen which are absorbed through the vagina and enter the bloodstream may antagonize depressive symptoms.

Sex can be beneficial, spiritually, and lead to a better quality of life and a stronger spiritual relationship with your partner.

Sex, including masturbation, helps sleep and fights off insomnia.

Sex keeps you looking and feeling younger and, according to some research, may lead to shiny hair, a glowing complexion and bright eyes, mostly due to the increase secretion of the hormone DHEA (dehydroepiandrostone).

Research shows that there is a significant relationship between frequency of orgasm and risk of death, especially with men. Men who orgasm two times a week have a 50 percent lower chance of mortality than those who climax one time per month.

Decreased risk of breast cancer. One study of women who had never given birth found that an increased frequency of sexual intercourse was correlated with a decrease in the incidence of breast cancer.

Reproductive system health benefits: Sex may decrease a man’s risk of prostate cancer, and a woman’s risk of endometriosis. Sexual activity can also improve fertility in women by regulating menstrual patterns.

See also the introduction to this topic.

Brody S.  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.
Biol Psychol. 2006 Feb;71(2):214-22. Epub 2005 Jun 14

Charnetski CJ, Brennan FX.  Sexual frequency and salivary immunoglobulin A (IgA).
Psychol Rep. 2004 Jun;94(3 Pt 1):839-44.

Davey Smith G, Frankel S, Yarnell J.  Sex and death: are they related? Findings from the Caerphilly Cohort Study. BMJ. 1997 Dec 20-27;315(7123):1641-4.

Gallup GG Jr, Burch RL, Platek SM.  Does semen have antidepressant properties?
Arch Sex Behav. 2002 Jun;31(3):289-93.