6 Secret Health Benefits Having Sex Will Give Your Body and Mind
And one way to elevate the effects of the whole half dozen.
Chances are, you’ve been thinking about sex lately.
Don’t deny it; don’t be embarrassed. Sex. It’s a biological fact hardwired into the human brain. Coming in with numbers that won’t be news to your inner narration, a research team at Ohio State University established baseline metrics for sexual musing in a paper titled “Sex on the Brain?” The study, conducted by professor of psychology Dr. Terri D. Fisher, suggests that women engage in sexual contemplation ten times every waking day, while men host 19 eroticized reveries during that same elapsed time.
As we go about our day-to-day lives, there may be any number of reasons for the intrusion of sexualized ideation. One reason to keep foremost is that we think about sex so much because sex is so good for us. In fact, a consistent flow of sex on the brain is healthy, and engaging in actual sex, physically, where sex is experienced in thoughts and in actions, is one of the most health-enhancing activities a human being can engage in.
Endorphins and feel-good hormones flood the brain’s pleasure centers and go ricocheting up and down the central nervous system during and after an intimate sexual encounter.
KINDLAND is not just pointing out perks of sex in hopes this information will open your mind toward having sex with us later. Chances are, we will never meet. What we do here is selfless: Read on for six actual, legitimate, physical and mental-health benefits that are boosted by having sex.
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1) Sex Gives Your Immune System a Boost
Ever feel like you don’t necessarily have a cold coming on, but you might be attacked by one soon? When sensing intimations of infection, a lot of people will go to hot yoga or a high-temp gym to work up an internal body heat to burn that virus out. No one’s knocking a vigorous soul cycle, of course, but sex, science says, will actually increase levels of immunoglobulin A. Called IgA for short, immunoglobulin A practically has the word immune right there in its name. According to a study by Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, you only need to have sex once or twice a week to spike your IgA levels by as much as 30 percent.
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2) Sex Lowers Your Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a leading cause of stroke and is interlinked with stress and anxiety, which play into maladies ranging from dizziness to diabetes. Obviously, high-blood pressure is the epitome of un-chill, and the afterglow of sex, especially non-masturbatory sex, tends to align participants with chill internal conditions. What’s not so obvious is the observation by Dr. E. Dean Nukta, MD, medical director of interventional cardiology at Cleveland’s Fairview Hospital, that, “Orgasm in women stimulates the release of the hormone oxytocin, which has a direct effect on lowering blood pressure."
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3) Sex May Decrease the Incidence of Prostate Cancer
The established fact that men think about sex more often than women think about sex may be linked directly to the human instinct for survival. According to findings made by the James Buchanan Brady Urological Institute of Johns Hopkins University, “Compared with men reporting fewer ejaculations per month at all ages, men who reported 21 or more ejaculations per month had one-fourth the risk of prostate cancer." That is, admittedly, only one study, but the numbers are very compelling.
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4) Sex Is Nature’s Best Stress Reducer
Even as babies, we all know the calming effect of affectionate physical contact. A primal comforting comes from basic skin-to-skin touching. Add to that the endorphins and feel-good hormones that flood the brain’s pleasure centers and go ricocheting up and down the central nervous system during and after an intimate sexual encounter—including the aforementioned oxytocin—and no wonder the mind’s worry stations are content to stand down.
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5) Sex Is a Portal to Sounder Sleep
It stands to reason that a de-stressed, relaxed, content, pleasure-satiated person who is already in bed will have a strong likelihood of slipping into a deep and satisfying slumber. There is also scientific basis for this intuitive no brainer: Sex releases the hormone prolactin, which induces those warm waves of drowsy abandon—but not always. Particularly vigorous bouts of sex may act as an energizing force, leaving one or more participants wide-awake, and making conversation while awaiting the passage of the refractory period.
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6) Sex Is a Holistic Pain Reliever
People will go to great lengths—well, all the way to the medicine cabinet—to make life hurt less, with often disastrous results. Barry R. Komisaruk, PhD, a professor at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, has a better idea. It’s common knowledge among exercise freaks and others that the endorphins released during physical exertion, particularly physical exertion of a sexual nature, closely resemble morphine. “Orgasm can block pain,” Komisaruk tells WebMD. “We’ve found that vaginal stimulation can block chronic back and leg pain, and many women have told us that genital self-stimulation can reduce menstrual cramps, arthritic pain, and in some cases even headache.” One takeaway here is that the situation comedy’s oldest excuse for avoiding sex—someone has a headache—might in fact be a great reason for engaging in it.
How far elevated any particular act of sex becomes with the addition of weed all depends on how cool the people having sex are with weed, and with each other.
The beneficial aspects of sex are similar to the comforts we gain from music. As with sex, there are many, many different styles, schools, and traditions of music. Some people are fully obsessed with one very particular musical genre, and fully turned off by many others, which is another parallel to sex. And, of course, everybody with ears and an emotional core knows that music is better with weed; so certainly it must follow that sex and cannabis are a mutually enhancing combination?
Actually, yes, sometimes—and sometimes not. How far elevated any particular act of sex becomes with the addition of weed all depends on how cool the people having sex are with weed, and with each other.
“Introducing marijuana as a tool for increased relaxation and openness can be very beneficial,” intimacy and sexuality expert Michaela Boehm tells KINDLAND, provided the aroused smokers are “in a relationship where basic intimacy, sexual interest, and compatibility is established.”
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Boehm believes that shared marijuana moments leading up to sharing sex are particularly helpful in releasing stress and setting aside daily frustrations for couples who have demanding jobs that create physical and emotional tightening.
Certified clinical sexologist, Jo Z. Flannery, an associate marriage and family therapist and co-founder of Sexology International, takes Boehm’s recognition of weed’s relaxation qualities even deeper. Flannery tells KINDLAND that mixing weed with sex gives optimal results, “if the people engaging in sex feel safe and are familiar with how their bodies respond to marijuana.”
For the cannabis initiated, according to Flannery, a whole new world of sexual fulfillment can be accessed:
“The best way to participate in sex is to engage the five senses; touch, taste, smell, sight and hearing. Marijuana organically enhances the senses and allows the mind to expand and discover realms of unexplored excitement or tranquility. People who are made to feel sensual when using marijuana are in the ideal situation to engage their senses and relax into having a full mind and body experience.”
Boehm concurs that when using the right product, the additional relaxation and sense of wellbeing “can take sexual intimacy to another level. Couples who have an in-general good connection benefit immensely from the introduction of cannabis as a tool for body and heart opening and a lowering of habitual barrier to intimacy.”
Both Flannery and Boehm caution, however, that adding dabs to date night can sometimes create distance and tension rather than relaxation and intimacy.
'Pot has the ability to help us feel more connected to each other and the universe.'
“Cannabis might make the situation worse is if one or all of the partners have a dependency on cannabis,” warns Flannery. “One who is dependent on marijuana may not feel they have the capacity to engage with their partner without marijuana present. At this time, habitual cannabis use would hinder intimacy and make the situation worse.”
Boehm too cites marijuana dependence as a red flag. “Abuse of any substance will cause relational issues. When the relationship is in general trouble, cannabis can heighten the awareness of those areas. Resentment and withholds will get amplified as the nervous system opens. Areas of contention in a relationship will become more prominent with use.”
So maybe it’s best to skip pot as a foreplay component and stick with the traditional and storied glass of fine wine?
Neither expert falls for that old idea.
“Alcohol is generally numbing to the nervous system,” reasons Michaela Boehm. “While alcohol lowers the inhibition threshold, it also (generally) lowers sensation and the ability to connect in a meaningful and intimate way.”
In contrast to alcohol, Jo Z. Flannery suggests that cannabis “enhances our sense of touch, and allows us to experience sounds in a more profound way. Visuals are intensified, our olfactory abilities are more sensitive, and our sense of taste is amplified. Pot has the ability to help us feel more connected to each other and the universe.”
And not only is that interconnection with other people and the world at large a recipe for good health, it's why we strive for good health in the first place.