More rewarding than Talk Like A Pirate Day, more universally applicable than International Tuba Day, healthier than Cheese Pizza Day, and infinitely more practical than National Beheading Day, February 14th has been deemed Think About Sex Day. Handily coinciding with Valentine’s Day, for the second year running The Sexual Advice Association is promoting the day as one designed to encourage everyone to think about the physical and psychological issues surrounding sexual activity.
Not at all a guilty pleasure, sex is crucial to our physical and mental wellbeing. The Dept of Health in Minnestoa describes sexual health asa state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality, not just an absence of a physical disorder.
So how does sex benefit us in each of these areas?
Clearly there is a lot to be said for the physical reaction of the body to sex. As well as the feel good factor of an orgasm, sex has numerous health benefits. A study at Queen’s University, Belfast also found that sex three times a week reduces the risks of a heart attack or stroke. Getting sweaty in the sack increases the heart rate and blood circulation, just like any physical exercise and exertion, and can apparently burn as many calories as a game of tennis. For women the increased oestrogen releases protects the heart whilst the flow of testosterone strengthens men’s bones and muscles. In addition, the same hormones help you to look good, making the skin glow and the hair shine, giving you a physical boost inside and out.
The blood boosted to the brain during sex has been suggested to improve intelligence, although the debate is still out as to whether abstinence and a preference for books may be a better way to increase IQ. Either way, it’s worth doing your homework to find out.
The self-confidence and spring in the step that comes from good, rewarding intercourse with someone you have chosen cannot be underestimated. The boost of endorphins creates an emotionally content state that lasts longer than the orgasm, and the after effects of this bliss only increase the more often they occur. Another hormone, released only in women is oxytocin. Generating feelings of warmth and belonging, it is this hormone that prompts the desire for a post coital cuddle.
As well as resulting in the birth of a new generation, sex serves social functions. People who are relaxed, not frustrated, and are at ease with their sexuality are better functioning citizens. By lowering stress levels and increasing energy, people are happier, more productive, and more engaged – a study at the University of West Scotland found that sex can reduce mental pressure and stress for at least a week. Happier, healthier people make for a happier, healthier world.
The original article was posted on Medicalium.