With the ever-expanding availability of condoms, IUDs, and other highly-effective birth control methods, sexual activity is becoming progressively more worry-free. As societal attitudes become more relaxed, academics feel more comfortable researching sex. Various studies have found that regular sex provides an array of health benefits, so go ahead and jump in bed – sex is good for you!
It makes you happier. Ever noticed that minutes after getting frisky, people seem more relaxed? Biochemistry has discovered the answer for this. During sex, the body releases chemicals called endorphins, which create feelings of relief and pleasure. They are a natural anesthetic, and, contrary to medical myth, there is no evidence to support that frequent masturbation or sexual intercourse can “dull” one’s endorphin release. The presence of endorphins is a purely beneficial phenomena. These chemicals heighten our mood and can lead to a brighter attitude and more positive interactions with people.
Up that immune system! Not only does sex relieve tension, but it boosts our immune systems as well. A study at Wilkes University found that sex significantly increases levels of the antibody called immunoglobin. What better way to stave off the Swine Flu than some advanced cuddling?
It burns calories. When you’ve got Bob Seger’s famous “fire down below”, you can burn some intense calories. Although attempts have been made to create a “calorie calculator”, most of these models are scientifically unreliable. How many you burn specifically can depend largely on how adventurous you are between the sheets. Weights? Treadmills? Sounds like it’s time to develop a “creative” workout routine!
Did sexual repression cause historical upheavals? Ever since Freud cracked open the field of psychoanalysis, academics have been trying to elucidate the role “sexual hysteria” could have played in historical upheavals and tragedies. How come all those witch trial “interrogations” had to do with examining women’s breasts and vaginas? Austin Cline, an author hailing from the Ivy League, has suggested that events like the Salem Witch Trials were spurred by the sexual repression of men in power. Let’s hope our world leaders are getting enough off-the-job action.
You don’t have to go all the way to get the health benefits. Worried about pregnancy or STIs, but still want the healthy release? Try dry sex. This is when two partners “go through the motions” of sexual intercourse, but remain fully clothed. Since sperm can’t swim through jeans or layered clothing, it’s a worry-free activity. Be careful, though! The thinner your clothes, or the more articles you take off, the less protection you have. Additionally, dry sex requires self-control in the “heat of the moment” to bridle your libido before it bucks free and leads to full-on intercourse.
As research on the chemistry of sex increases, the health benefits of sexual activity keep piling up. So don’t “chew on ice”, as Americans say. Don’t “peel your beer labels”. Instead, choose to indulge in some physical affection with a partner. It is a cost-free way to get healthy…together!