It's True: Having Sex Makes You Happier
You may not think about it much, but a multitude of processes and changes go on in the human body both during and after sex. These include positive changes in circulation, breathing, brain activity, hormone activity and more. All of this means that having sex results in a variety of health benefits. These health benefits can at least partially explain why sex makes you happier as a whole. Having a satisfying orgasm on a regular basis can improve your health in a number of ways, and even boost your overall libido.
The Multiple Benefits of Having Frequent Sex
Research using function magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has found that during orgasm, brain activity increases quite a bit. Blood flow to the brain improves during this time, and the brain is also able to use oxygen more efficiently. These benefits to your brain probably last for at least a little while after you climax. If you orgasm frequently, then your brain will receive these benefits on a regular basis, improving the overall health of your brain.
Studies have shown that a good orgasm will lower your blood pressure. This is great if you suffer from high blood pressure, especially since this condition can lead to heart attacks. Having sex will also improve circulation all over your body.
Research has found that enjoying orgasms while you're on your period can help protect against endometriosis, a painful condition that can cause infertility.
Having plenty of sex improves fertility, and not only due to its prevention of endometriosis. Some research suggests that if a woman has an orgasm during sex, she will retain more sperm after intercourse and the uterine contractions caused by orgasm may help move sperm along into the Fallopian tubes. So, if the female partner has an orgasm during sex, she's more likely to get pregnant. This is great news (on multiple levels!) for couples looking to conceive.
Regular sex can help burn calories. It is estimated that having sex can burn up to 200 calories per half-hour. Longer sessions, vigorous movements and physically challenging positions will increase the calorie-burning potential of sex.
One small studied found that men who have at least two orgasms per week are 50 percent less likely to die early than men who had one orgasm per month. Although the evidence is not conclusive, regular sex could help you live longer.
One large study from the National Cancer Institute, involving 50,000 men, discovered that having at least three orgasms per week decreases your risk of prostate cancer by 30 percent, compared to men who only have one-third as many orgasms. It seems that ejaculation keeps the prostate healthy. This may be because it helps to flush out toxins, reduce fluid build-up and relieve tension.
Oxytocin May Be the Main Reason Why Sex Makes You Happier
Oxytocin is a fascinating, multi-purpose hormone that plays a tremendous role in our everyday lives. The main purpose of oxytocin is twofold: to signal the brain that a positive social interaction has taken place and to prompt the brain to carry out more pro-social actions. The hormone is released when you talk to someone you trust, when you are given a gift and even when you pet your dog. It's released during childbirth in huge amounts not only to promote uterine contractions but also to help the mother bond with her baby. Oxytocin is also released, of course, during orgasm.
However, an orgasm isn't the only aspect of sex that causes a spike in oxytocin levels. The affection and cuddling often shared by a couple after lovemaking also contributes to this rise.
The Benefits of Elevated Oxytocin Levels
Having sex makes you happier, but the physical health benefits of sex can't quite fully explain this. The answer appears to be oxytocin. The oxytocin released during sex improves your happiness and your relationship. Here are some ways that oxytocin makes you happier:
- Oxytocin is a potent stress-killer. The more oxytocin is in your system, the more relaxed and comfortable you'll feel, even outside the bedroom.
- Oxytocin likely plays the evolutionary role of promoting monogamous bonds. One study found that men in relationships, when given an artificial dose of oxytocin, stood farther away from attractive strangers. It makes sense that frequent good sex would promote fidelity.
- Even beyond promoting fidelity, oxytocin benefits your romantic relationships in innumerable ways. This is reflected in studies that have found that having more sex increases your relationship satisfaction. According to a study from the British Psychological Society, even just increasing sex to once per week is enough to see benefits in your relationship. Be sure to cuddle afterward, as other studies have shown that post-sex affection is another relationship-booster.
- Oxytocin and the other endorphins released into your body after orgasm have a sedative effect, meaning that having sex will help you sleep better.