1. Lowered stress, improved blood pressure These were the conclusions from a Scottish study of 24 women and 22 men who recorded their sexual activity. The participants were then tasked with stressful situations, such as public speaking and doing math out loud.
Those who’d had intercourse responded better to stress than did those who engaged in other sexual behaviors or abstained.
2. Increased immunity A Wilkes University, PA, study of 112 college students confirmed that having sex once or twice a week increased the antibody immunoglobulin A (IgA) production by 30%. LgA protects us from colds and other infections.
3. Burned calories “Sex is a great mode of exercise,” LA sexologist Patti Britton says. She added that it takes both physical and psychological work to do it well.
Thirty minutes of sex burns 85 calories; 42 half-hour sessions burn 3,570 calories, more than enough to burn off a pound of that too, too solid flesh.
4. Improved heart health A British study followed men who had sex two or more times a week over a 20-year period. Researchers found these men were half as likely to have a fatal heart attack as were men who had sex less than once a month.
Additional good news from the study: no link between how often men had sex and the likelihood of stroke.
5. Improved self-esteem “One of the reasons people say they have sex is to feel good about themselves,” says sex therapist Gina Ogden. “If the sex is loving, connected and what you want, it raises it.”
“When things go well in the bed and you’re pleasing you’re partner,” says San Francisco sex therapist Sandor Gardos, PhD, founder of MyPleasures.com, “you feel more confident and powerful in other parts of your life.”
6. Deepened intimacy Having sex and orgasms boosts levels of the hormone oxytocin, aka the love hormone, which helps people bond and build trust.
7. Reduced pain Oxytocin released at orgasm boosts our bodies’ painkillers, called endorphins, and can reduce PMS symptoms, menstrual cramps, arthritis pains, headaches and other sources of discomfort.
One study, in which 48 people inhaled oxytocin vapor and then had their fingers pricked, found that the vapors had reduced their pain thresholds by more than half.
Stay tuned for 8 MORE SURPRISING JOYS OF SEX
Sources: Discovery News, March 11, 2013 Women’s Health Magazine, July 4, 2011 webmd.com