13 Reasons to Have More Sex
Get busy tonight
If you really need an excuse (or several) to heat things up in the bedroom, we've got you covered: Besides the obvious reasons one might have sex—love, pleasure, baby-making—science shows that there are quite a few health benefits to getting intimate. The next time your partner asks, "Was it good for you?" you can say yes—in more ways than one!
Sex burns calories
Sex helps you sleep
After orgasm, the body releases a relaxation hormone called prolactin, says Kristin Mark, PhD, director of the Sexual Health Promotion Lab at the University of Kentucky. "If you're not feeling particularly tired beforehand, having sex and reaching orgasm may certainly help you nod off a little more quickly than you would have otherwise."
Sex lowers your blood pressure and stress levels
The study suggests two important benefit of regular sex, says Mark: Better blood pressure control, and better stress management overall. "Sex not only lowers people's perceived levels of stress, but it also appears to helps them handle stress more effectively, as well," she says.
Sex strengthens your heart
These sorts of findings only show a correlation, not causation, says Mark. "People who have healthy sex lives probably have overall healthy lifestyles." Even so, she suspects there may be a connection: "Sex helps regulate hormones like estrogen and testosterone," she says, "which impacts all kinds of systems in the body, including the heart."
Sex may protect against cancer
The benefits may be clearer for breast cancer prevention, however: A French study found that women who had sex at least once a month were less likely to develop breast cancer than those who didn't. And while the disease is rare in men, those who orgasm less than six times a month appear to be at increased risk of breast cancer compared to those who do so more often, according to a Greek study.
Sex boosts immunity
Sex relieves pain
Endorphins released during orgasm, as well as increased blood flow to the genital area, likely play a role in sex's pain-relieving power, says Mark. "Pain sometimes has to do with blood flowing to one particular area, like the head, and sex can take some of that pressure off by redirecting the flow."
Sex may extend your life
"We can't really do cause-and-effect studies, so we don't know if sex actually helps people live longer, or if healthier people are just having more sex," says Lehmiller. "But from what we know about the other health benefits of sex, it probably won't hurt to have more of it!"
Sex strengthens relationships
Want to boost that bond even more? Be sure to cuddle after sex: A University of Toronto study found that couples who were asked to spend extra time together after sexkissing, talking, and being affectionatereported higher levels of satisfaction with their sex lives and with their relationships.
Sex is the key to lasting happiness
Sexual activity didn't have to mean intercourse, either, or result in orgasm; the study authors say that anything couples do together to stimulate sexual arousal can have a lasting benefit.
Sex makes you smarter
Sex makes you look younger
Why? Lead author David Weeks, PhD, suspects the endorphins and feel-good chemicals released during intimacy, plus sex's beneficial effects on sleep and stress levels. Sex also boosts blood flow and helps regulate hormones, says Mark, which can both have positive effects on skin's appearance.
Sex makes you want even more sex
"Even if you don't have much desire in the first place, getting started can help you get in the mood, and it can also give you back some of that desire in the long run," she says. And with all of these other healthy reasons to have sex, why not do it even more?