This article first appeared on Midlife Boulevard. The focus may be on the holidays but remember that the benefits to having an active sex life are many–and they apply all year long!
I think having sex is the answer to lots of life’s pleasures, but if you need a reason here are 5 benefits of sex, plus a bonus one we can’t overlook.
When life gets stressful we often forget to take care of ourselves. We make time for others without remembering that self-care is vital.
Holiday schedules and baking, parties, decorating, shopping, and all the other bits of getting the family ready for the holidays takes a huge amount of time. It can get downright chaotic. If you really want to approach the holidays, or any part of life, at your best you might consider the benefits of having sex. Even if it’s just a quickie, or a private party of one.
Having sex doesn’t require a lot of work. Do take a little time to get in the mood—whether that’s by dressing up a little, setting the scene with candles and clean sheets, or thinking sexy thoughts. These actions provide a transition from that overworked mind into a state of readiness. You’ll feel sexier and in a place where you’re ready to receive.
Sex is about receiving, being taken care of and nurtured—just as much as it is about giving. Emotionally and physically.
Here are 5 good reasons for having sex right now:
- Want to feel happier? Less stressed? Orgasms result in the release of oxytocin, known as the ‘feel good’ hormone. Sure, cuddling helps too, but the orgasm is what really gives you that “ahh” feeling.
- Want that fresh glowing look for a party? Having sex makes us look healthier, and some would say younger. “Eric Braverman, MD, founder of PATH Medical Center in New York City, says having sex releases a key compound in the body that is good for all kinds of things—including improving your complexion. During sex, your body produces a hormone called DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone). “It can boost the immune system, give you healthier skin and even decrease depression,” he says.” (Source)
- Not sleeping well? Tense? Orgasms physically and emotionally relieve tension and exhaust the body, which can help you fall asleep quicker. Here’s what Dr. Lauren Streicher, Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Northwestern University and author of Sex Rx: Hormones Health And Your Best Sex Ever, has to say about that. “Generally people do sleep better after masturbating, but very often it’s from feeling relaxed and satisfied.” She’s talking about the benefits of masturbation, but it’s the orgasm that is the essential component.
- Blood pressure spiking after the ‘mandatory’ office Christmas party? Go home and have sex. It’s been attributed to lowering blood pressure. A study published in Biological Psychology found a connection between frequent intercourse and lower diastolic (the bottom number) blood pressure. And, yes while a good round of sexual activity does momentarily increased the heart rate it’s the overall effect of sex and orgasms that helps with blood pressure.
- Women are the givers, the doers, the ones who work so hard to make all the pieces fall together. We try and make everyone happy and the holidays are peak times for us to exhaust ourselves trying to ensure the experience is perfect. Take some time out for yourself—pour a glass of wine, or run a nice hot tub and enjoy yourself. Indulge in a round of self-pleasuring— use your hands to apply your favorite scented lotion or body wash. Get out the foot/back massager and use it to relax all over. Invite your lover, partner, spouse to meet you at home for ‘lunch’. Plan for your enjoyment. Make it part of the holiday to-do list.
- And perhaps this is one of the best reasons to schedule sex, regardless of how busy we are. When we are stressed we don’t always feel in ‘harmony’ with those around us. It’s easy to shift into resentment or frustration if we feel like we’re doing all the work. Having sex with our partner is a great way to shift the focus and pay attention to what’s important. We feel better when we have sex—some sexuality experts say it raises self-esteem. We feel more intimate with our partner and all of those things make it a little easier to face the umpteenth holiday party, bake one more batch of cookies or deal with unpredictable relatives.
As you head into the New Year’s weekend and look at how 2016 will unfold remember the benefits of stress-relieving sex.