I don’t imagine there are very many people who need convincing that sex is a good thing, or that would need coaxing to engage in more sex. Sex is extremely pleasurable and that should be sufficient reason to vigorously pursue it. The one caveat is to avoid risky, indiscriminate sex that could potentially create very unhealthy situations, such as STD’s, AIDS or unwanted pregnancies.
What specifically constitutes “good sex” is as variable as there are different tastes in clothing or food. There has been quite a bit of study on this topic, though not all of it would pass rigorous scientific scrutiny. It is no surprise that more sex in a monogamous relationship fosters intimacy and marital bliss. The surprising consensus is that regular vigorous sexual activity can also improve the overall quality of your life, and, some of the benefits even accrue to those more predisposed to individual self-pleasuring:
- Helps to maintain a healthy body composition. Sex burns between 75 and 150 calories per half-hour. It is comparable to other physical activities like yoga 114 calories per half hour, dancing – rock 129, walking – 3mph 153, weight training 153, canoeing – 2mph 153, volleyball 174. Sexual arousal and orgasm releases the hormone testosterone which, among other things, is necessary to build and maintain bone and lean muscle tissue.
- Improves cardiovascular health. Sex is exercise that raises heart rate and blood flow. In a study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, researchers found that having sex twice or more a week reduced the risk of fatal heart attack by half for the men, compared with those who had sex less than once a month. No increase in stroke incidence was found.
- Relieves stress, improves sleep. People having frequent sex often report that they handle stress better. The profound relaxation that typically follows orgasm for women and ejaculation and/or orgasm for men, may be one of the few times people actually allow themselves to completely relax. Many indicate that they sleep more deeply and restfully after satisfying lovemaking.
- Boosts the immune system. Wilkes University in Pennsylvania says individuals who have sex once or twice a week show 30% higher levels of an antibody called immunoglobulin A, which is known to boost the immune system.
- Relieves pain. Through sexual arousal and orgasm the hormone oxytocin is secreted in your body which in turn causes the release of endorphins. Because of these natural opiates sex acts as a powerful analgesic.
- Age more youthfully. Every time you reach orgasm, the hormone DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone) increases in response to sexual excitement and ejaculation. DHEA can boost your immune system, repair tissue, improve cognition, keep skin healthy, and even work as an antidepressant. In a 2002 British study, researchers found a 50 percent reduction in overall mortality in the group of men who said they had the most orgasms.
- Reduces prostate cancer risk. A study recently published by the British Journal of Urology International asserts that men in their 20s can reduce by a third their chance of getting prostate cancer by ejaculating more than five times a week. Another study, reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that frequent ejaculations, 21 or more a month, were linked to lower prostate cancer risk in older men, as well, compared with less frequent ejaculations of four to seven monthly