As if you needed an excuse? You may enjoy sex, but did you know it can cure what ails you, from headaches to high blood pressure and back again? And we’re not simply making this up. Really, we’re not. Virtually all of this is backed up by experts, scientists, or academics, and by endless studies. Sex has health benefits for both men and women of all (legal) ages and can provide a great reason to have more of it.
To begin with, sex is exercise. You can burn around 85 calories in a half hour by fooling around together. So, do that 42 times and you have burned nearly 3,600, and maybe lose a pound. So sex is a great weight loss tool. But there’s more. Sex releases certain beneficial substances like hormones and antibodies, that do everything from boosting immunity to killing pain, cementing feelings of commitment, and making people who regularly engage in sex look younger and have higher self-esteem.
Sex helps you live longer, makes you smarter, improves your health, wards off the common cold, banishes depression and more. Or, as The Wall Street Journal said, sex means longer lives for men; women live longer when they are sexually satisfied. As if you need an excuse, here are 15 things that sex cures, can help prevent, or makes a heck of a lot better.
In a study reported by the International Headache Society, in its journal Chephalagia, half of the participants in the study reported an improvement in their migraines. Even more impressive, some 20 percent claimed that their headache had been cured by sex. Why? It’s down to a hormone called endorphine, the brain’s natural pain killer, that is released during sex. Have a headache? You know what to do. No “not tonight I have a headache” anymore. Must have been an interesting study to monitor . . .
Forget holding your breathe, drinking a ton of water really fast, or getting someone to jump out and scare you out of the hiccups. Just have sex. Nobel Prize winner and physician Dr. Francis M. Fesmire, has cited two sure-fire hiccup cures. One of them involves . . . well it’s better not to ask. The other? Orgasm. He recommends orgasm. It’s got something to do with the stimulation of the vagus nerve. If you really want to know the other option, Google Fesmire and hiccup cure. A hint? It’s massaging where the sun doesn’t shine. And they give Nobel Prizes for that little piece of information. Apparently, yes.
13. Colds and Flu
Leave the Vitamin C and the Airborne on the shelf and have sex. Why? Well sex stimulates production of a germ fighting antigen (with the unpronounceable name of Immuunoglobulin A) that helps to ward off infection. Scientist at Wilkes University in Pennsylvania found that having sex 1 or 2 times a week received a nice little boost to their immune system. So, not exactly a cure for the common cold, but it’s a start.
12. Healthy Heart
When diet and exercise are not enough, try sex. In 2010, researchers at the New England Research Institute announced the result of a study of 1,000 men. Apparently, men who have sex more than 2 times a week are 45 percent less likely to develop serious heart conditions than men who have sex less than once a month. They were not quite certain why, but said something about the mental and physical benefits of sex.
11. Signs of Ageing
In 2013, Dr David Weeks of the Royal Edinburgh Hospital spoke at the British Psychological Society conference and revealed (you didn’t already know this?) that sex materially contributes to our quality of life. He reported that, according to his research, men and women who had an active sex life looked 5 to 7 years younger than their real age. So, if someone is not ageing well…Well…
Scientists at the University of Paisley have reported that a study of 22 men and 24 women, over a number of weeks, proved that frequent sex reduces stress and the increase in blood pressure it brings. It’s all those feel-good hormones that are swimming about in the aftermath. Apparently, it helps make you calmer at work too.
Can’t sleep? Sex can help. During sex our bodies release a wonderful little hormone called oxytocin, the so called “cuddle hormone” that induces sleep. You know how they fall asleep afterwards? Blame oxytocin. And, by the way, women produce more of that stuff than men. Who’d have thought it?
8. Blood Pressure
It’s official. Sex gets your heart racing and afterwards the hormones released actually lowers blood pressure. This works equally well for both men and women. The feel-good hormones come into play when you go for the real thing. So says Dr. Stuart Brody. Other studies point to hugging as helping to lower women’s blood pressure.
7. Prostate Cancer
Researchers at the University of Montreal claim that sex helps prevent prostate cancer. Even better (or worse?), men who have had sex with more than 20 women have their risk of developing prostate cancer decreased by a whopping 28 percent, over men who have had fewer partners. The study followed 3,200 men over a 4 year period. Can’t you just see the tee shirt now: “Get Healthy. Sleep Around”.
Dr. James Coan, a Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia, has announced that hormones produced during sex lessen or cure depression. Sex as a mental health tool? Yes. Hormones such as oxytocin and endorphines really do make you smile. Just before you fall asleep . . . And it may be that oral sex is even more beneficial. That’s another one to Google.
5. Brain Function
A 2013 study by Italian researchers at the University of Pavia claim that sex makes you smart. Well, not smart, but it does make you more mentally alert by stimulating brain nerve growth. Princeton University backed this up with a study conducted on rats. The Pavia study sounds more fun. But then again, why wouldn’t it? After all, it is Italy.
4. Life Span
People who have sex regularly live longer? A study at Queens University Belfast reports that middle-aged men who had sex regularly lived twice as long as those who did not have sex frequently. Add this in to things like the reduced risk of heart problems, the reduction of stress, and the lower prostate cancer risk that comes with regular sex, and it’s not hard to reach the conclusion that sex is downright good for you.
It’s not just the obvious: the more you have sex, the more likely pregnancy is. No, studies have shown that regular sex helps balance a woman’s hormones, keeping her reproductive cycle in tip-top condition by balancing estrogen and testosterone. Also, regular sex helps men maintain healthy sperm.
2. Commitment Issues
Regular sex and the hormones that are released, foster commitment and togetherness. Sex fosters togetherness and communication on almost every level. People who have little sex can suffer from alexithymia, a condition where a person can tend to withdraw and not understand emotions. When we get aroused, our limbic system in the brain is awash with neurochemicals that forge feelings of attachment, and who knows, maybe even love.
The University of Texas has compiled a list of 237 reasons people have sex. Reasons? One of the main reasons is that both men and women believe that good sex boosts self-esteem and feelings of well-being. One of the hormones released during sex boosts our sense of well-being. And the other 236 reasons?