This article is taking on a life of its own: I wrote it recently for Woman’s Day online magazine, and it has gotten picked up by NBC’s iVillage, and led to a really fun interview today on the Playboy radio station on Sirius XM. Enjoy!
Six reasons why sex is good for our health and keeps us feeling young:
1. Libido is life energy. The word “libido” does not just refer to sex. If you look in the dictionary, “libido” refers to “positive life energy”. Libido is often a reflection of a person’s feelings of motivation, confidence, and “mojo”. So, if a person’s libido is low, it is worth evaluating further and doing something to improve it.
2. Sex protects our health. For both men and women, studies show that sexual activity has a protective effect on our health. In men, studies have shown a 50% decrease in the risk of cardiovascular mortality in men having frequent sex, as compared to the men in the study having the least frequency of sex. Studies also confirm similar findings in women, especially regarding orgasms.
3. Erectile function is a good indicator of overall cardiovascular health in men. The same things that damage the blood vessels of the heart can damage the penile blood vessels. In a report from 2005, a panel of experts made a recommendation that all men 25 years old or older should be asked about erectile dysfunction, regardless of whether they mention it to their doctors, because it is an early marker for cardiovascular disease.
4. Oxytocin is good for us. Sexual activity, and especially orgasm, causes the release of the hormone oxytocin, that gives all sorts of health benefits: mood enhancement, lower cortisol, lower blood pressure, glowing skin, and possibly even protection against several hormone-mediated cancers.
5. Sex improves your blood flow. Healthy sexual encounters cause dilation of blood vessels all over the body, which in turn improves blood flow to many body organs including the brain. Blood flow brings oxygen and nutrients to the cells, and improves the health of these organs.
6. Sex reduces stress. Research started by Kinsey in the 1940’s shows that people with fulfilling sex lives experience less anxiety and tend to be less violent or hostile. Sex causes the release of oxytocin, endorphins, and dopamine, all of which are hormones that increase positive feelings of attachment, affection and closeness.