You probably don’t need me to tell you to have more sex. It’s hardwired into your very existence. To procreate is to realize our reason for being. Besides, and perhaps more importantly, it’s so darn enjoyable! Anyone who doesn’t enjoy sex is definitely doing something wrong.
But in the unlikely event that you need to convince your partner to engage in more sexual fun times, I have just the thing. Orgasms have been implanted into our anatomy in order to not only provide vast fountains of pleasure, but to actually rewire and re-energize our bodies. To have more orgasms is to dramatically improve you and your partner’s health and wellbeing. Here’s how.
Orgasms may help you kick your cold
Okay, so the thought of having sex with someone who’s sneezing, snotting and coughing isn’t exactly an overly romantic one. But sometimes you’ve just got to take one for the team. In a 2004 study published in the Journal of Neuroimmunomodulation (tongue-twister, anyone?), 11 healthy young males were told to “masturbate until orgasm.” Researchers drew blood continuously during the “experiment” to determine endocrine parameters. By the way, the fact that those males weren’t put off by this during masturbation is a testament to their virility.
The blood work showed that sexual arousal and orgasm increased the number of leukocytes, otherwise known as “killer cells.” These violent-sounding cells are on your side. When a man is sick (and presumably a woman as well), orgasming could boost the power of the immune system and get them onto the road to recovery sooner.
Orgasms can help you sleep better
This particular finding might not be news to you, but it’s still very much worth discussing. Many millions of Americans suffer from sleeping disorders. And sleep impacts almost every aspect of your life. So, anything that can improve your sleep naturally is worth singing the praises of, right?
If you’re tossing and turning trying to get to sleep at night, why not toss and turn on top of your loved one? Researchers are still scrabbling to find out why it is that people sleep so much better after orgasming, but you’ve probably noticed it yourself. If you have sex at night, you almost fall asleep within minutes of completing the act.
And that sleep is invariably deeper and more restive than usual. Perhaps it’s the release of endorphins that does it, and the banishment of stress that comes along with these helpful little hormones. Whatever it is, you might as well make the most of it. There’s certainly no adverse side effects, while the same can’t be said for your over-the-counter sleeping pill.
Orgasms can dull the pain
Oxytocin, that same naturally-produced chemical which is thought to be responsible for kicking your insomnia, can also alleviate pain. Lisa Stern, a nurse practitioner that works with Planned Parenthood in Los Angeles, told Woman’s Day that orgasms can alleviate discomfort from arthritis, surgery and even pain during childbirth. “The mechanism is largely due to the body’s release of a chemical called oxytocin during orgasm. Oxytocin facilitates bonding, relaxation and other positive emotional states.” While that post-orgasm pain-relief may only last up to 10 minutes, Stern noted that certain studies found that simply thinking about sex can help to ease those painful woes.
Orgasms might make women happier
Beyond the obvious enjoyment and short-term pleasures associated with sex, scientists are starting to develop a theory that male orgasms just might be the new big thing for treating female depression. In a 2002 study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, researchers sought to measure the effects of using condoms on depression of a group of sexually active college females.
Using condoms of an indication of whether one of those females did or didn’t receive semen in their reproductive tract, researchers were able to piece together some interesting findings. Overall, those ladies who had sex without condoms were found to be less depressed. Researchers noted that females who didn’t use condoms during sex had increased depression scores as the amount of time since their last sexual encounter increased. At the other end of the spectrum, females who used condoms had a higher rate of depression and suicide attempts.
Scientists theorize that the vagina can absorb certain compounds from semen during intercourse. These compounds may directly alleviate symptoms of depression. That’s one seriously awesome antidepressant!
Orgasms increase brainpower
Sure, crosswords and sudokus can help slow the neurological degradation of aging, but orgasms can provide even more benefit for your brain. In 2004, a study published in the Journal of Brain Research sought to model this brain-supporting effect of reaching a sheet-scrunching, moan-emitting orgasm.
As part of the study, researchers asked women to bring themselves to orgasm while lying inside an fMRI machine that measures blood flow to different parts of the brain. The tests showed that orgasms increased blood flow to all areas of the brain, thereby providing inflows of vital nutrients and oxygen that fuel increased brain function and health.
So, ditch the crosswords, which only stimulate certain parts of the brain. Instead, start getting busy between the sheets. Your entire brain will thank you for it.
Orgasms may help you live longer
Still looking for that elusive fountain of youth? The solution may be closer than you think — and probably a whole lot more enjoyable! A 1997 study published in the Journal BMJ measured the association between orgasm frequency and mortality in 918 men between the ages of 45 and 59. The results were nothing short of astounding.
Mortality risk for those men who had a “high orgasmic frequency” was half as low as those men who had a “low orgasmic frequency.” In short, getting more sex — and hence more orgasms — in your life can increase your chance of survival by 50 percent. The results also showed that death from coronary heart disease and a range of other common causes of death were significantly lower in the group with higher orgasm frequency. Studies have also indicated a similar relationship between orgasm frequency and mortality in women, so there’s no excuse ladies!
Orgasms can help regulate your period
Studies show that orgasms can not only help to make a woman’s monthly cycle more regular, but they can also reduce pain during menstruation. A 2007 Planned Parenthood report indicated that regular sex can help regulate your menstruation. This means it’s more regular and predictable. In case you’re wondering, “regular” equates to once or twice during a non-menstruating week — you should be able to manage that, right?
In addition, other research indicates that you can actually reduce pain during menstruation by having sex and achieving orgasm during this time. It might seem a bit too messy for your taste, but a lot of women do this and benefit from a range of other health effects as a result.
Orgasms keep your lady parts healthy
Regular time spent with your loved one (or a certain intimate device) between the sheets can actually improve the health of your reproductive organs. The intense stimulation brought on by orgasm triggers a rush of blood, oxygen and nutrients into your genital tissues, keeping them supple and refreshed. Once again, in order to maintain the healthy of your lady bits, aim for some of that “regular sex” I talked about earlier — once or twice a week at least. And if it’s that time of the month, don’t hold back. Having an orgasm during your lady time can actually prevent against endometriosis, a uterine condition that can lead to fertility, fatigue and many other unpleasantries.
Orgasms get you in shape
It turns out that sex is actually pretty darn good exercise! Not only does a tumble between the sheets get your loins throbbing, it also gets your blood pumping and your heart racing. This is similar to a good cardio or high-intensity workout — minus the throbbing loins, I would hope. Getting it on for half an hour and achieving at least one orgasm (yes, you can have more than one each time) can burn up to 200 calories. And you can bet that it’s a whole lot more pleasurable than a 30-minute run on the treadmill!
Orgasms improve with age
There’s plenty to groan and grumble about regarding getting older, but sex isn’t one of them. Much like a fine wine, it appears that sexual enjoyment and ability to achieve orgasm actually increases with age. A 2012 study published in the American Journal of Medicine sent a questionnaire regarding sexual health to 1303 older women, asking about general health, recent sexual activity and the Female Sexual Function Index. Of the 806 respondents, all were postmenopausal and the median age was 67.
According to the study, “Half (49.8 percent) reported sexual activity within the past month with or without a partner, the majority of whom reported arousal (64.5 percent), lubrication (69 percent), and orgasm (67.1 percent) at least most of the time.” Additionally, those women over 80 years old reported the highest frequency of orgasm satisfaction. And if you can still achieve mind-blowing orgasms over the age of 80, there’s plenty for you to look forward to in your golden years beyond games of chess and cups of tea!
— Liivi Hess
Keen to partake in all the great benefits of orgasms, but have trouble reaching them? Yoga might have the answer.