If you’ve ever asked yourself if sex is healthy (we know you have) and what the benefits of sex are, we are here to tell you: YES, and many.

Sex offers an enormously long list of health benefit. Not to mention all of the rewards it bestows onto your relationship. Sure, sex is excellent exercise. But it’s important not to downplay that it also increases your sense of security and attachment with a partner. And overall, that secure attachment is widely beneficial to your physical as well as your emotional well being.

Why Sex Is Good for You

With all that negative messaging about sex (it’s dirty, it’s verboten, shhhh don’t talk about it), you might be wondering why sex is good for you. Let’s start with the Top 10 reasons for having sex – plus one bonus:

  1. Exercise. Although sex is not a top form of exercise, it definitely can give you a good workout, especially if you take the time to really get things moving. 
  2. Lower blood pressure. One study has shown that sex (but not masturbation) lowered systolic blood pressure.
  3. Increased heart health. Sex lowers the risk of heart attack by help keeping estrogen and testosterone in balance.
  4. A boost to the immune system. One surprising study found that people who are more sexually active have increased antibodies and, as such, a better immune system.
  5. Pain reduction. Sex releases natural analgesic hormones into that block and lower pain.
  6. Lowered chance of prostate cancer. For men, ejaculating regularly – whether through sex or masturbation – has been shown to decrease the risk of prostate cancer. It’s important to be dedicated though. The Harvard study said that those ejaculating 21 times or more per month enjoyed a 31% lower risk. Best then to get started right away…
  7. Increased bonding. If sex is satisfying for both partners, it’s a way to increase your bond and sense of being on the same team. It also boosts your resilience for the tough things that come up in relationships.
  8. Improved sleep. Orgasms and certain hormones released during sex can help you fall asleep – and even sleep more soundly.
  9. Reduced stress/tension and an elevated mood. The exercise of sex, the orgasms, and the deepened connection with your partner helps to lower stress and tension in your body. Psychological benefits of sex are linked to better mood – sex can keep your spirits high and put a spring in your step.
  10. Improved women’s bladder control. Orgasms keep the muscles throughout the pelvic floor strong, and increase women’s ability to control their bladder.

Bonus – Higher libido: If 10 weren’t enough reasons for having sex, it turns out there’s an additional bonus! Having sex actually makes you want more sex! Sex improves blood flow to the genitals, boosts women’s ability to lubricate, and increases vaginal elasticity.

Is sex healthy everyday?

Is Sex Healthy Everyday?

Different people want or need different amounts of sex to feel healthy and happy. There is really no “right” amount or frequency when it comes to sex.

However, it’s definitely not healthy to have sex when you really don’t want to. The amount of sex you want can ebb and flow throughout your life, based on circumstances. Stress, chronic pain, recent birth, grief, and hormonal changes have been shown to negatively affect your sex drive. Exercising, connecting with a new partner, and special achievements or celebrations on the other hand may amplify your desire for sex.

If you are rarely interested in sex, it is important to figure out why. Maybe that is your natural rhythm and it’s just right for you – which is great. Don’t let anyone shame you about how much sexual desire you have!

At the same time, there may be other reasons why you are not interested in sex. For example, it is possible that the sex that is available to you is not very arousing. Or you are not getting the proper amount of seduction or warm-up, so sex is less pleasurable or interesting. You may also have a lot of tension, or lack intimacy with your partner.

Is Masturbation Good for You?

In addition to the health benefits of sex, there are other advantages masturbation brings you. Here are the 5 reasons why masturbation is great for your well-being:

  1. A healthy relationship with your body. Even if you have a partner, make sure you take some time for self-pleasure. It’s always great to cultivate your relationship with your own body and erotic energy. Also, while porn is fine, try to masturbate without it occasionally. Orgasm will probably take longer, but you will continue to expand your physiological arousability. 
  2. Making up for differences in libido. It’s actually quite likely that you will have differences in your desire with a partner in your life time. If you are the partner with the higher desire and you are monogamous, masturbation can be a great way to fill the gap.
  3. Learn what gives you orgasms. This one is mostly for women – since women sometimes have a harder time achieving orgasm. Teach yourself how to orgasm, and it will be much easier to give your partner a helping hand during sex. You may also find you only have orgasms with a vibrator, which means you need to bring your vibrator into partner sex as well.
  4. Time to explore your fantasies. Sex is so much hotter when you know what your fantasies are. And masturbation can be the perfect place to explore your erotic mind. Once you figure out what fantasies really turn you on, share them with your partner or ask them to act them out with you.
  5. Lowers menstrual cramps for women. While orgasms during sex help alleviate menstrual cramps, some people don’t like to have sex on their period. We suggest you try it – after all, that’s what red towels are for. However, if you or your partner aren’t into it, at least masturbate to lessen cramping and pain. 

The Benefits of Kissing

Benefits of kissing

As if the benefits of sex and masturbation weren’t already sweet enough: who knew that kissing has perks of its own? Enjoy this list of 3 health benefits of kissing:

  1. Lower cortisol. Turns out kissing can lower your cortisol levels. The result? Lower stress and increased self-esteem. Bring on those delicious lips!
  2. Lower cholesterol. Another chemical benefit: one study found that couples who engaged in more romantic kissing had better total serum cholesterol levels. This means better heart health and lower chances of stroke. 
  3. An additional boost to the immune system. Different from the antibody boost you get from sex, kissing your partner shares the microbiota in your saliva and tongue. You know what they say … the more microbiota, the better.

We want to reiterate that all of the benefits you derive from sex, masturbation, and kissing only materialize when you engage in these activities because you want to and enjoy them. Some people are asexual and don’t want to have sex. Others have a lower desire for sex, prioritizing other activities or needs they enjoy more. It doesn’t mean you should have sex just for the health benefits.

How a Sex Coach Can Help

Do you want to dive in and explore all of the ways sex can be a healthy and wonderful resource in your life? In the context of a supportive, celebratory community, consider joining the Somatica Core Training for personal growth

If you want to have more or better sex, a sex coach can help you learn the tools of seduction and arousal. They can also encourage you if you are feeling uncertain about whether the amount of sex you want to have is healthy.

By figuring out what’s right for you, a sex coach can connect you with your inner voice. They encourage you to express your needs, and accept and embrace yourself for who you really are. In the event you are struggling with mismatched libidos, a sex coach can help you and your partner navigate those differences.

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Danielle Harel
Danielle Harel, PhD is the Co-creator of the Somatica® Method and the Co-Founder of the Somatica® Institute. She trains coaches in the Somatica® Method of Sex and Relationship Coaching. She has her own private practice in Sunnyvale, where she supports her clients in having amazing sex and relationships as well as passion-fueled lives. She has published original research on Orgasmic Birth and is the co-author of two books, Cockfidence - The Definitive Guide to Being the Man You Want to Be and Driving Women Wild and Making Love Real - The Intelligent Couples Guide to Lasting Intimacy and Passion. Danielle Has her Masters in Clinical Social Work From Haifa University in Israel and her PhD in Human Sexuality from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality (IASHS). She is a Clinical Sexologist and a Certified Sexological Bodyworker. Danielle is a Certified Body Positive Facilitator and took many trainings in embodied and mindfulness based therapeutic approaches such as Hakomi.