For healthy, consenting adults, sex can be mind-blowing. But getting busy with a partner can also have some legit benefits beyond our brainwaves. Read on for more reasons to get it on — as if we needed ‘em.
The good feelings swirling around the brain during sexy time are due to brain chemistry, specifically dopamine and opioid chemicals. But the goodness extends beyond our brains.
Studies have found that regular hanky-panky can do way more than make us feel warm and fuzzy. Here are the health benefits of sex:
1. It could increase longevity
Research shows that sex may help you live longer. A 2019 study of older adults found that getting down in the years after a heart attack decreased the risk of death by one-third.Trusted Source
2. It increases job satisfaction
If work’s got you down, consider coitus (okay, Sheldon). A 2017 study found that when married couples fooled around at home, the good vibes spilled over into work the next day. Folks were in a better mood and more engaged with their jobs.Trusted Source
3. It preserves marriages
For our married readers out there, it’s worth it to try and keep that sexy spark alive. A 2017 study found that “sexual afterglow” lasted 48 hours post-sex and contributed to pair-bonding — those lovey, dovey feelings you have toward your mate.Trusted Source
4. It helps ward off cold and flu
Researchers found that university students who engaged in sexual activity a few times a week had higher levels of immunoglobulin A — an antibody that helps fight infections and the common cold — in their saliva.Trusted Source
Interestingly, the IgA levels were highest in couples who consistently had sex a few times a week, but lower in people who had no sex or lots of sex.
5. It improves self-esteem
Maybe there’s a reason for that extra pep in your step. In 2014, researchers collected data on college students every week for a year. They found that those having casual oral, vaginal, or anal sex fared better on well-being and self-esteem tests than those who did not have sex.
6. It reduces stress
Doing the deed has positive mental health associations for everyone. In general, intercourse can make blood pressure less reactive to stress and reduce overall stress levels.
7. It can be a workout
Anyone who’s ever watched an R-rated movie knows sex can be quite the workout. A 2013 study said an average bedroom rodeo burns 85 calories, or 3.6 calories a minute. This led researchers to conclude that, sometimes, sex can be considered significant exercise.
8. It relieves headaches
Gettin’ frisky releases a bevy of feel-good chemicals, including serotonin, endorphins, and oxytocin. These generate feelings of euphoria, pleasure, and elation — and make people forget all about that nagging headache.
A 2013 study out of Germany showed that 60 percent of migraine sufferers felt better after knocking boots. For people plagued with cluster headaches, there’s good news too. The same study found that 37 percent of subjects felt better after sexual activity.
9. It improves sleep
It’s a cliché that dudes pass out right after sex, but intercourse actually can help all people nod off. Feeling relaxed and comfortable are big factors in hitting the big O, so it makes sense that there’s a tendency to want to snooze right after.
In fact, a 2019 study found that that people who had orgasms before bed (either from sex with partners or masturbation) experienced “favorable sleep outcomes,” as in, hitting the hay faster and getting better quality sleep.