1. Sex Reduces Stress
Feeling stressed? Some sexual healing may be just the relief you crave. According to a study conducted at the University of Paisley in Scotland and published in Biological Psychology in 2006, when subjects had sex, their blood pressure reacted less to stressful activities (public speaking and mental arithmetic) than when they engaged in other sexual activities or none at all.
Among the possible reasons: “It’s a pleasurable, enjoyable activity and many people sleep better after sex,” says Robin Milhausen, assistant professor of human sexuality and family relations at the University of Guelph.
2. Sex Burns Calories
Okay, we can’t claim that sexercise burns as many calories as running or an aerobics class, but getting between the sheets for an hour will burn about 275 calories (for a 150-pound person). Now, don’t expect it to affect the scale that much—you need to burn 3,500 calories to lose a pound. But every little bit helps; and it’s a heck of a lot more fun that sit-ups.
Additionally, when you’re physically active during sex, says Milhausen, your cells, muscles and organs are getting fresh oxygen, which is good for your body.
3. Orgasms Can Help Reduce Pain
If you’re thinking of laying on that old excuse, “Not tonight, honey, I have a headache,” maybe you should reconsider. In her latest book, The Science of Orgasm, co-author Beverly Whipple, explains that at orgasm, the “love hormone” oxytocin surges and there is a marked reduction in sensitivity to pain, to about half that of the resting level. And although relief of migraine through orgasm is less reliable and effective than relief through prescription drugs, the analgesic effect is more rapid.
That said, any effects would be limited, cautions Milhausen. “During the time of orgasm and directly thereafter, it can increase your tolerance to pain, but it’s not a long-term solution. You can’t run a marathon and avoid pain because you had sex hours before the race.”