Whatever kind you’re having, it feels pretty damn good.
that pleasure isn’t the only reason you should keep getting busy
underneath the sheets: The mental and physical benefits of a healthy sex
life extend far beyond your bedroom.
But don’t just take our word for it. Researchers, scientists,
and medical professionals have made it their mission to study exactly
how sex improves nearly every facet of your life.
Here, the fruits of their labour: 10 science-backed reasons you should have sex tonight. As if you needed an excuse.
1. Sex makes you happier
Okay, that’s pretty much a no-brainer, but there’s actually a physiological reason why an orgasm makes you blissful.
because your body is flooded with oxytocin – a stress-reducing hormone –
a few minutes after you climax. This makes you feel relaxed, happy, and
closer to your partner afterward.
Since your oxytocin levels
stabilise 10 minutes after you orgasm, try cuddling post-coitus to keep
the good vibes going, suggests Debby Herbenick, PhD, a sex researcher at
“Oxytocin can be released not only during masturbation and intercourse, but also during close touching,” says Herbenick.
not cuddling is the biggest mistake you make in bed – she’s more likely
to find the experience “very pleasurable” if you spend 6 to 10 minutes
cuddling with her afterward, according to one Canadian study.
She also gets a rush of oxytocin after orgasming, which makes
her crave more affection. Simply playing with her hair, rubbing her back
or resting her head on your chest can help her get that, says study
author Robin Milhausen, PhD.
And you don’t have to get it on every
day to reap these benefits. Read on to our last tip to see exactly how
often you should have sex to keep both you and your partner happy.
2. Sex lowers your prostate cancer risk
Frequent ejaculation lowers your prostate cancer risk, according to a study from the Boston University of Public Health.
surveyed nearly 32 000 men about their ejaculation frequency and
followed them up for 18 years. They found that men ages 20 to 29 were
19% less likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer if they ejaculated
21 times or more each month compared to guys who didn’t ejaculate as
The benefit was even greater for older men: Guys 40 to 49
who met the same ejaculation standards saw a 2% reduction in their
prostate cancer risk.
While more research needs to be done to
confirm the findings, the study authors believe that frequent
ejaculation may play a part in clearing out any cancer-causing
infections that could develop within your prostate.
And no worries
if 21 seems like a big number to live up to: The more you masturbate,
the lower your prostate cancer risk, too, the study found.
So you can supplement your sex with solo sessions.
3. Sex makes you hate your job less
great sex life makes you happier with your job and might even make you
better at it, according to a recent study published in the Journal of
Oregon State University researchers asked 159 married employees to complete two surveys every day for two weeks.
participants noted how many times they had sex between the end of their
work shift and the next morning. Then, in the afternoon, they answered
questions about how happy and engaged they felt at their jobs.
who had sex the night before work were more likely to immerse
themselves at their jobs and enjoy their time in the office the next day
than those who didn’t make time for sex, the researchers found.
might happen because sex produces a significant “morning positive
effect”, the researchers say, meaning all of the good feelings
associated with sex – mainly stemming from feel-good chemicals like
oxytocin and dopamine – carried over and produced a nice mood boost the
next day, too.
4. Sex helps your penis perform
Having sex keeps your member going strong, according to a study published in the American Journal of Medicine.
you don’t really have to use it that often to notice the benefits: In
the five-year Finnish survey of nearly 1 000 men aged 55 to 75 years
old, those who got some action just once a week were half as likely to
develop erectile dysfunction (ED) than men who got lucky a little less
An erection delivers crucial amounts of oxygen to your
penis, says lead study author Juha Koskimäki, MD, PhD. Low oxygen levels
can cause scar tissue to develop, which can make it hard to get hard.
if you’re going through a dry spell, remember that other factors you’re
in control of – like smoking and inactivity – also raise your ED risk.
Making healthy lifestyle choices and following these strategies for stronger erections can help.
5. Sex helps you sleep better
keep your eyes open post-coitus? That’s because sex primes you for the
perfect snooze by making you feel super relaxed, thanks to oxytocin’s
But oxytocin isn’t the only hormone that
floods your system after orgasm. Your body also releases a hormone
called prolactin, which suppresses dopamine, a neurotransmitter that
helps you feel awake, explains Men’s Health sleep advisor, W Christopher
Plus, if you’re getting down in the dark, your body
will think it’s time for bed. So that sparks the release of melatonin, a
hormone that makes you feel sleepy and tells your body it’s time to
rest. The combination of those three hormones conks you out in no time.
6. Sex burns kilojoules
Okay, so we’re not saying your typical romp is on par with an hour in the gym – but hear us out. Sex gets your body moving.
fact, men burn 418 kilojoules during the average sex session, which
lasts about 25 minutes, according to research from the University of
“The level of intensity that is exerted from sexual
activity could be higher than that of walking at [4.8km/h] but less than
that of jogging at [8km/h],” the researchers write in the study, which
was published in the journal PLOS ONE.
Even better: The longer you do it, the more kilojoules you burn.
may not sound like a lot, but a few extra 418 kilojoules burned a week
definitely can add up – and beat out the negligible kilojoules you’d
burn by vegging out on the couch during your Netflix binge.
7. Frequent sex may protect your heart
following more than 1 100 men for an average for 16 years, researchers
found that men who had sex two to three times per week had a
significantly lower rate of cardiovascular disease than men who only had
sex a few times a month or less, according to a study published in the
American Journal of Cardiology.
There are a couple theories as to
why that could be, the researchers say. For one, sex contributes to the
physical activity needed to protect your heart.
The American Heart
Association (AHA) recommends 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week,
so make sure you’re still hitting the gym in addition to what you’re
doing in the bedroom.
Plus, if you’re having frequent sex, you’re more likely to be in an intimate relationship, the researchers explain.
supportive partner makes for a happier heart – physically and
emotionally – by easing your stress levels. That’s a win for your
ticker: Too much stress can actually cause a heart attack or stroke by
increasing the amount of inflammation in your body, research from
Harvard Medical School found.
One caveat: If you’ve had
cardiovascular problems in the past, you should probably wait to have
sex until your heart issues have returned to normal, the AHA recommends.
Talk to your doctor before you do the deed, especially if you’re on medication.
8. Sex boosts your immune system
like staying in bed might help you fight off a cold after all. College
students who had sex one or more times per week had higher levels of
salivary immunoglobulin A (IgA) than those who had had less sex,
according to a study published in Psychological Reports.
why that matters: IgA is found in mucous membranes within your
respiratory and GI tracts, as well as in your saliva and tears.
body uses this blood protein as its first line of defence to fight off
sickness, according to the University of Rochester Medical Centre.
So the more of it you produce, the better able you’ll be to fight off an infection.
more, doing it more often than that doesn’t necessarily make you
happier, the researchers found, so don’t feel bad if you don’t have the
energy to get it on every night after work.
Once a week is pretty average for most couples, the researchers say.
according to a study published in the Association for Psychological
Science, all of the happy feelings experienced after sex can last up to
48 hours for couples, which keeps your bond going strong long after your
sack session has concluded.