Top 10 Reasons To Have Sex Tonight

March 24, 2008


1. Sex Relieves Stress

A big health benefit of sex is lower blood pressure and overall stress reduction, according to researchers from Scotland who reported their findings in the journal Biological Psychology. They studied 24 women and 22 men who kept records of their sexual activity. Then the researchers subjected them to stressful situations — such as speaking in public and doing verbal arithmetic — and noted their blood pressure response to stress.

Those who had intercourse had better responses to stress than those who engaged in other sexual behaviors or abstained.

Another study published in the same journal found that frequent intercourse was associated with lower diastolic blood pressure in cohabiting participants. Yet other research found a link between partner hugs and lower blood pressure in women.

2. Sex Boosts Immunity

Good sexual health may mean better physical health. Having sex once or twice a week has been linked with higher levels of an antibody called immunoglobulin A or IgA, which can protect you from getting colds and other infections. Scientists at Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., took samples of saliva, which contain IgA, from 112 college students who reported the frequency of sex they had.

Those in the “frequent” group — once or twice a week — had higher
levels of IgA than those in the other three groups — who reported being abstinent, having sex less than once a week, or having it very often, three or more times weekly.

3. Sex Burns Calories

Thirty minutes of sex burns 85 calories or more. It may not sound like much, but it adds up: 42 half-hour sessions will burn 3,570 calories, more than enough to lose a pound. Doubling up, you could drop that pound in 21 hour-long sessions.

“Sex is a great mode of exercise,” says Patti Britton, PhD, a Los Angeles sexologist and president of the American Association of Sexuality Educators and Therapists. It takes work, from both a physical and psychological perspective, to do it well, she says.

4. Sex Improves Cardiovascular Health

While some older folks may worry that the efforts expended during sex could cause a stroke, that’s not so, according to researchers from
England. In a study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, scientists found frequency of sex was not associated with stroke in the 914 men they followed for 20 years.

And the heart health benefits of sex don’t end there. The researchers also 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.

5. Sex Boosts Self-Esteem

Boosting self-esteem was one of 237 reasons people have sex, collected by University of Texas researchers and published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior.

That finding makes sense to Gina Ogden, PhD, a sex therapist and marriage and family therapist in Cambridge, Mass., although she finds that those who already have self-esteem say they sometimes have sex to feel even better. “One of the reasons people say they have sex is to feel good about themselves,” she tells WebMD. “Great sex begins with self-esteem, and it raises it. If the sex is loving, connected, and what you want, it raises it.”

6. Sex Improves Intimacy

Having sex and orgasms increases levels of the hormone oxytocin, the
so-called love hormone, which helps us bond and build trust. Researchers from
the University of Pittsburgh and the University of North Carolina evaluated 59
premenopausal women before and after warm contact with their husbands and partners ending with hugs. Tey found that the more contact, the higher the oxytocin levels.

“Oxytocin allows us to feel the urge to nurture and to bond,” Britton says.

Higher oxytocin has also been linked with a feeling of generosity. So if you’re feeling suddenly more generous toward your partner than usual, credit the love hormone.

7. Sex Reduces Pain

As the hormone oxytocin surges, endorphins increase, and pain
declines. So if your headache, arthritis pain, or PMS symptoms seem to improve after sex, you can thank those higher oxytocin levels.

In a study published in the Bulletin of Experimental Biology and
Medicine,
48 volunteers who inhaled oxytocin vapor and then had their fingers pricked lowered their pain threshold by more than half.

8. Sex Reduces Prostate Cancer Risk

Frequent ejaculations, especially in 20-something men, may reduce the risk of prostate cancer later in life, Australian researchers reported in the British Journal of Urology International. When they followed men diagnosed with prostate cancer and those without, they found no association of prostate cancer with the number of sexual partners as the men reached their 30s, 40s, and 50s.

But they found men who had five or more ejaculations weekly while in their 20s reduced their risk of getting prostate cancer later by a third.

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.

9. Sex Strengthens Pelvic Floor Muscles

For women, doing a few pelvic floor muscle exercises known as Kegels during sex offers a couple of benefits. You will enjoy more pleasure, and you’ll also strengthen the area and help to minimize the risk of incontinence later in life.

To do a basic Kegel exercise, tighten the muscles of your pelvic floor, as if you’re trying to stop the flow of urine. Count to three, then release.

10. Sex Helps You Sleep Better

The oxytocin released during orgasm also promotes sleep, according to research.

And getting enough sleep has been linked with a host of other good things, such as maintaining a healthy weight and blood pressure. Something to think about, especially if you’ve been wondering why your guy can be active one minute and snoring the next.

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One Response to “Top 10 Reasons To Have Sex Tonight”

  1. Rabbi Edgar Weinsberg Says:

    Apart from reducing stress and creating intimate bonds between two people, sex has intrinsic recreative value. Mutually desired sexual intercourse refreshes the body anWHY SEX?

    Apart from reducing stress and creating intimate bonds between two people, sex has intrinsic recreative value. Mutually desired sexual intercourse refreshes the body and renews the soul. As such “sex” literally helps you re-create yourself anew. This is important to most women and men, especially if they have gone through the ordeal of prostate cancer or some other illness. Sex is significant activity, especially when preceded by a period of absence, which as we all know, makes the heart grow fonder!

    The Judeo-Christian ethic generally views this as proper and normative. Sexual activity is a form of behavior that can heighten the sacred relationship between husband and wife. In today’s more liberal, p.c. world, this applies between two people regardless of gender.

    Those who are not married have at times made the claim that sexual intercourse is more than physical release. This is potentially valid when sexual intercourse, as briefly as it may occur (often only five minutes), reflects the abiding emotional connection between two people.

    But consider the fact that in the Bible the term for sexual intercourse is “to know” another person. For instance the Book of Genesis states that Adam “knew his wife” after their expulsion from Paradise – the Garden of Eden. This served the purpose of procreation, but more than likely was an expression of commiseration! In the biblical context it suggests that when Paradise is lost, we can find it again through each other.

    To know someone intimately occurs only when relationships are sustained over time. This is a far cry from isolated encounters that amount to nothing more than a “one-night stand.” Such acts may be fun, while relieving stress and tension. Still, they are at best momentary interactions.

    The sex act is to be cherished as life-affirming, even though one French equivalent for sexual intercourse is “le petit mort” – literally, “a small death.” Sex, when indiscriminate, is cheapened. Sex is most fulfilling when it helps foster sustained relationships where love and commitment can flourish.

    Besides, sex really is generally good for you. To borrow from ancient Roman saying, it fosters a healthy mind and soul along with a healthy body. Who could ask for anything more?
    -Rabbi Edgar Weinsberg (Rabbi-Ed@ConquerProstateCancer.com)

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