The benefits of sex are many, some of which are immediately apparent, and it’s not just a man who benefits. Sex benefits extend to women, too. Having sex on a regular basis is good for your physical and mental health, and you know one of the benefits of sex is a stronger relationship! Here are 11 incredible benefits of sex backed up by science.
Sex and orgasm feel good. It would have to for our species to populate, and sex feels so good that most of us engage in it without any intent to propagate. The reason sex feels so good is twofold.
First, you have the physical pleasure of it. When your partner stimulates your G-spot just right, or you rub your clitoris just right, nothing compares. The physical sensation is due, in part, to the number of nerves endings in those areas. Your clitoris alone has about 8,000 .
But you also have a chemical cocktail going on that boosts those good feelings, especially when you orgasm. Dopamine is released in the pleasure center of our brains whenever we enjoy something so that obviously comes into play during sex and masturbation.
One hormone, oxytocin, is well-known for being the “cuddle hormone.” It makes you want to get close to your partner after sex and has helped humans pair-bond through the centuries (it’s also responsible for bonding between mother and child during breastfeeding). Oxytocin has been scientifically proven to encourage men to bond with you by increasing activity in the reward centers of their brains .
This leads us to our next point.
- INCREASED RELATIONSHIP CONNECTION
Sex is almost sacred to some people. It’s something shared between two people who care deeply for each other. That’s why having sex is also known as making love, and some people view it as a way for two people to become one. Whether you have a romanticized view of sex or not, there’s no doubt that the physical connection of sex makes you feel more emotionally connected to your partner.
If you need any proof that one of the benefits of sex is a stronger relationship, simply look at relationships where sex isn’t happening as frequently as one or both partners would like – or at all! Resentment quickly builds, the couple may fight more even if it’s about other topics, and one or both of them might resort to cheating to get their needs met.
This is why we recommend striving for an active sex life with your partner. There’s no set amount of sex you should be having (read more about that), but you should both be willing to explore, break up the routine and take turns initiating sex.
Although sex isn’t like running a marathon (marathon sex can be quite fun, however!), you might be surprised at how effective sex can be as exercise. One study in particular found “that sexual activity may potentially be considered, at times, as a significant exercise .” Several factors will affect the efficacy of sex as a workout. Leisurely morning sex, for example, might not burn as many calories or be as good for your cardiovascular system as intense and passionate sex that increases your heart rate and leaves you sweating.
Either way, any sex is better than not doing it at all.
- LOWERED BLOOD PRESSURE
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is something that many adults struggle with. Lack of exercise and poor diet along with other factors all contribute to hypertension .
So if sex counts as exercise and can also have a calming effect, is lowered blood pressure one of the benefits of sex? Yes!
A healthy sex life, proper diet, and stress management can all help to lower blood pressure, which can be hard on your heart.
- MORE HEART HEALTH
While you might think of your heart as being responsible for your emotions, we all know this organ is really in charge of pumping blood through our bodies. A strong heart is essential for our life and healthiness, and one of the benefits of sex is a strong heart!
So, perhaps an active sex life is one of many activities that you want to incorporate into your life to decrease heart disease and stroke.
- IMPROVED IMMUNE SYSTEM
Your body’s immune system is really quite impressive. It fights off everything from the common cold and influenza to more serious infections – even human papillomavirus (HPV).
Thus, anything that boosts your immune system is a plus, and this may actually be one benefit of sex. Specifically, having sex twice per week results in more immunoglobulin A in a person’s saliva than having sex once per week or not at all .
Increases in sexual frequency don’t continue to increase the level of these antibodies, and there are a number of factors that can impede your immune system. Still, it’s worth noting that this is one of many sex benefits.
- PAIN RELIEF
No one likes pain, unless you’re a bit of a masochist, of course. Learn why sex and pain go so well together in our article about BDSM. The good news is that sex can help reduce pain such as headaches, so there goes the old excuse, “Not tonight, honey, I have a headache.”
Up to 91% of people experienced moderate to complete relief of cluster headaches thanks to sex during their headache attacks . Taking some medication may also help, but sex will certainly distract you during times of pain.
- BETTER SLEEP
Remember oxytocin? It doesn’t just make you cuddly. It can also act as a sedative if humans are anything like rats . Perhaps this is one reason why babies fall asleep after breastfeeding and men are so apt to zonk out after sex.
Whether you’re completely exhausted from a romp or a powerful orgasm leaves you drained, better sleep is one of the most common benefits of sex. Of course, sex isn’t the only thing you need for a good night’s sleep, but if you find yourself tossing and turning while the minutes count down, why not initiate sex with your partner for some release.
Better sleep is key to a number of the benefits of sex on this list, including a stronger immune system. Restful sleep can help you maintain or lose weight  and keeps you in a better mood . For this reason, alone, sex can be beneficial.
- IMPROVED BLADDER CONTROL
Pregnancy, age, and other conditions can lead to less control over your bladder. For women, sex is an exercise of the PC muscles, which are what your bladder relies on. So having sex is good for bladder control.
Additional workouts for those muscles, known as Kegel exercises, can lead to better sex and more intense orgasms while continuing to improve the strength of the PC muscles.
- CANCER PREVENTION
Okay, so this one isn’t about you, exactly, but some sex benefits affect men more than women. The prostate is located in a man’s anus, and it’s one area where men, especially those older in age, have to worry about cancer.
This benefit of sex becomes apparent with men who frequently have penetrative sex with female partners . This is because ejaculating often helps to reduce the risk of prostate cancer, and sex is a great way to achieve that !
- LIBIDO BOOST
Sex is one of those things that makes you crave more the more you have it. So if your sex life has been in a slump, you’re probably not going to have an overly active sex drive. In the same vein, having sex on a regular basis will encourage your libido to remain healthy.
It might take a bit for you to get into the mood to get back in the habit of having sex, but the payoff can be great, and your partner will certainly appreciate it.
Of course, you can sex yourself with a little hands-on interaction if you’re single because.
MASTURBATION HAS BENEFITS, TOO
Even if you don’t have a partner, you can still reap plenty of the benefits of sex with a DIY approach. Stimulate your clitoris to orgasm, find a new toy or indulge in some porn or erotica. Better sleep, pleasurable orgasms and a general reduction in stress will follow.
Plus, you don’t have to worry about anyone else’s pleasure, which means you can focus on your needs, take as much time as you need and forget about brushing your teeth or hair beforehand!
You may even find it preferential to masturbate rather than just to hook up with someone for the sake of some of the benefits sex offers if you’re not into casual sex. After all, bad sex or having sex for the wrong reasons can lead to feelings that negate much, if not all, of these sex benefits.
While we can’t guarantee that every benefit of sex from this list will happen for you, the chance of achieving any benefits of sex is a good reason to hop into bed with your partner right now! No partner? Don’t worry! The benefits of sex mostly extend to masturbation, too.