Advertisements

10 Sex Tips for the Best Action You’ve Ever Gotten – How to be best in bed.

[adsforwp id=”1591″]

We did the homework for you.   Install Our Application Now for More. Click HERE

When it comes to knowing what makes your partner tick in the bedroom, tutorials on “mind-blowing sex positions” only get you so far. Stimulating and gratifying sex is all in the timing, the communication, and spontaneity, according to Dr. Bea Jaffrey—a clinical psychologist and psychotherapist based in Switzerland—and Mary Jo Rapini, a Houston-based psychiatrist and sex therapist. Keep scrolling to find expert suggestions from Rapini on what works in the bedroom and tips from Jaffrey’s new book on overcoming common sex issues, 159 Mistakes Couples Make in the Bedroom.

1. Tell Him What Turns You On

Research suggests that better communication is key to better sex, and no, we don’t necessarily mean dirty talk. Communicating what you like and don’t like can be instructional and informative as you get to know each other’s bodies. If he’s doing something you like, say so rather than relying on ambiguous gestures or noises. And if it’s something you’re not into, communicate that or guide him in a new direction. Want to try a different angle? Suggest one. If simultaneous orgasm is your goal and you’re close to climaxing, don’t be mum about it.

[adsforwp id=”1591″]

2. Don’t Underestimate the Power of Praise

In a 2016 study published in the Journal of Sex Research, researchers analyzed answers from 39,000 heterosexual couples that were married or cohabiting for over three years. Sexual satisfaction reported to be higher among the couples who revealed that they gave each other positive affirmation during sex and were open enough about embarrassing moments during sex to joke about them and move on. Dr. Jaffrey notes that this lighthearted approach to sex is key, saying, “Don’t take life too seriously. Happy couples laugh together.”

3. Keep Things Spontaneous

Even great sex can start to feel monotonous over time if it’s more or less the same old routine. To mix things up, Marie Claire’s guy expert Lodro Rinzler suggests that “if you’re in bed with someone and have a sense of something new you or your partner might enjoy, be it some teasing, a change in position, anything…go for it. Men love it when women are spontaneous and confident in their ability in bed.”

[adsforwp id=”1591″]

Dr. Jaffrey also recommends switching up the time and place to avoid falling into a rut of once-a-week “duty sex.” “Try new places to have sex, maybe on the sofa, in the car or on the kitchen countertops? Or how about the back row of a movie theater? Be careful though because sex is illegal in public places. Try role-playing…take a bath together. Be inventive, have fun.”

4. Think of Foreplay as a Long-Term Act

Jaffrey notes that setting the mood for sex is vital, for women especially, and that foreplay should start long before sex even begins: “I am talking here about the mental foreplay that happens days in advance, not the one that you have just before sex. Make sure to be attentive to your partner. Small gestures and nice comments are significant to setting the right mood for sex.” She also suggests keeping up communication during the day through texts or emails.

5. Exercise and Don’t Skimp on the D (the *Vitamin* D)

If anyone doubted the power of exercise, there’s a good chance the Class Pass subscription you passed up this year is affecting your sex drive. “Exercise improves circulation in the body, and that includes the blood flow to your genital area, consequently increasing the desire and lifting your mood”. We’re sure those endorphins don’t hurt.

And as for those of us city dwellers lacking in vitamin D? “Even during the summer, we don’t get enough vitamin D because we’re scared of the UV rays causing us skin cancer and premature aging,” says Dr. Jaffrey. “Though too much sun can be damaging to the skin, Vitamin D is essential for estrogen production in women and testosterone production in men. It boosts your libido so if you feel friskier during the summer, this is the reason.” Our pressing spring fever questions answered? We think yes.

6. Go for Morning Sex or Afternoon Delight

Dr. Jaffrey notes in her new book that a major reason for mismatched desire between couples is the way men and women handle stress during the week. Men, she says, see sex as a stress reliever while women want to have sex after they’ve had time to unwind. As a result, women tend to go to bed exhausted, their minds focused on preparing for the next day.

Her solution? “A better alternative is to have sex in the morning. Set the alarm 30 minutes before your usual time and see what happens. Men’s testosterone levels peak in the morning so you might be pleasantly surprised…Another alternative would be to have afternoon sex on weekends. Interestingly enough, women tend to ovulate in the afternoon, meaning that the optimal hormone level for female sexual desire happens at that time.”

“Men see sex as a stress reliever while women want to have sex after they’ve had time to unwind.”

7. Expand Your Vocabulary

The power of sexy banter in the bedroom gets underplayed, but it can be a serious mood-enhancer when you’re trying to liven things up together. Going about that, however, isn’t the easiest for people who aren’t used to actually vocalizing 50 Shades-esque fantasies. “What my [clients] benefit the most from is when they go to a bookstore or they go online and they find an erotic book,” says Rapini. She suggests that couples read from erotic books together, especially if they want to work on developing a “dirty talk” vocabulary that gives them the language cues without feeling self-conscious.Reading off scripts, she says, never works as well as if couples find a book they really like together and can build off of that jargon.

8. Experiment with Toys and Props

One way that Rapini counsels long-term couples on how to explore the unknown to enhance their sexual experience is to try shopping for products and toys together. That could mean anything from couples’ vibrators (she recommends the remote-controlled Fiera) to massage oils to body paint to blindfolds, though Rapini says another way to set the scene is to try adding music as sexy background noise. “Make massage part of your routine and start touching each other. Many couples will start feeling their libido rise after they do that,” she says.

9. Do Chores Together

Sure, as trivial as it sounds, doing housework together not only makes you better roommates that are less likely to blow up over a stack of dishes, but also helps couples have more satisfying sex. According to a 2016 study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family, sharing household duties encourages an “eroticism of fairness,” in which there’s a turn on from both genders sharing roles that are traditionally relegated to women exclusively. Scientific proof that partners who want to share cooking and cleaning duties are sexier in the bedroom? Say no more.

10. Focus on Quality Rather Than Quantity

There isn’t really one golden rule, but a recent study suggested that more sex doesn’t mean better sex and that the happiest couples have sex only once a week. So if you’re anxious about you and your partner not screwing like rabbits, there’s proof that the more energy you put into making regular weekly sex *better* will pay off in the long run.

[adsforwp id=”1591″]

Advertisements

Medical advise on sex after a miscarriage

You are likely to feel that your body is ready for sex resumption, but this may not necessarily mean that you are ready to Resume sex. See details below.

Everything changed when you saw the two pink lines show up on that pregnancy test – but here you are in the confusing space after a miscarriage with a thousand thoughts swirling around your brain: check this.     Install Our App from HERE

How soon can I try again? 

What if this happens again? 

And, let’s be honest: What does this mean for my sex life?


First, know that whatever you’re feeling is completely okay. “Women can have such different reactions to a miscarriage,” says Dr Catherine Monk, professor of medical psychology at Columbia University Medical Center. “I hope that women and their partners understand that the range of feelings are normal.”

Sex after miscarriage is a complicated topic – and what’s “normal” when it comes to feeling physically and mentally ready for sex again can vary widely. Still, there are a few general guidelines that may help make this difficult time in your life a little less confusing.

You may Want to Read the Story from an aborted Child

Your body isn’t ready for sex immediately after miscarriage.

The big concern is that your cervix should be closed to prevent any potential infections, says Dr Zev Williams, chief of the division of reproductive endocrinology and infertility and associate professor of obstetrics and gynaecology. He notes that, after a miscarriage, your cervix opens up (a.k.a. dilates) to let the fetal tissue out. And depending on how many weeks along you were when you miscarried, the closing process can take anywhere from a couple weeks to a couple months.

Your gynae can check your cervix via a physical exam, so be sure to get the go-ahead from her before having sex again.

The one exception here: If you had what’s known as a “chemical pregnancy” – meaning you got a positive pregnancy test but an ultrasound didn’t confirm it, something that can account for as many as 75% of miscarriages – you don’t have to wait to have sex.

Read more: Common causes miscarriages

Many women find that their libido takes even longer to bounce back.

Just because you’re physically ready to have sex post-miscarriage doesn’t mean you’re ready emotionally. You may be struggling with a sense that your body has failed you somehow – or feel like you’re to blame for your miscarriage (likely not true, by the way, as most first trimester miscarriages are due to chromosomal abnormalities, according to the American Pregnancy Association).

“It can be tough to turn on your intimate side when you’re dealing with these feelings,” says Dr Monk.

You have to give yourself room and self-compassion to mourn in the way that’s right for you, she adds.

If your experience makes you want to avoid sex for right now, that’s okay. If you’re counting down the days until the doc gives you the go-ahead to get busy again, that’s fine, too. Or, you may feel both: Wanting to try sex again, but also being totally freaked out by it.

There’s no shame in seeking help from a qualified therapist, particularly one who has experience with women and this type of loss. They can help you work through your feelings on the topic and give you tips for communicating with your partner.

After all, they’re likely mourning in their own way, too (and may not feel ready to have sex again themselves). Openly talking about it may help you both set expectations for intimacy and what each of you are comfortable with.

Read more: 3 women describe what it’s actually like to have a miscarriage

What do I need to know about getting pregnant again?

You’ve probably heard the oft-given guideline to wait three or six months after a miscarriage, but there’s little data to back that up. “Research comparing waiting three months or trying sooner [shows that] women who waited longer ended up taking longer to get pregnant,” says Dr Williams.

That doesn’t mean you should necessarily try right away, though. “After a loss, you want to make sure your body returns back to its pre-pregnancy state,” he says.

In addition to verifying that your cervix has closed, you’ll want confirm (via a blood test) that your levels of hCG, or the “pregnancy hormone”, are back to baseline. This ensures you don’t confuse a potential new pregnancy with your old one.

One caveat: If you’ve had multiple losses, you’ll want to consider getting an evaluation from a reproductive endocrinologist to identify if there’s an underlying problem – many of which can be dealt with effectively via treatment.

Regardless of your exact circumstances – and how you’ve reacted so far – “miscarriage is a mourning process, and we all cope differently,” says Dr Monk. “There’s no right or wrong way to do it.”

Five sex positions after pregnancy

They say everything changes when you have a baby—and that definitely includes your sex life. “What worked for you before having a baby might be very different after giving birth,” says Dr. Mary Jane Minkin, a clinical professor of obstetrics, gynaecology and reproductive sciences at the Yale University School of Medicine. Why? Your anatomy has changed.

Install Our Android Mobile App HERE

“For a woman who has an uncomplicated vaginal delivery, it usually takes about six weeks to heal,” says Dr. Leah Millheiser, director of the Female Sexual Medicine Program at Stanford University. “That means, when a woman starts to have sex again, obviously it’s been a while. It can be a little tighter and narrower down there.” On the flip side, some women experience just the opposite after giving birth: a loosening of the pelvic floor. “There is stretching of the tissue down there, but typically that goes back to normal,” Millheiser says.

On top of that, many breastfeeding moms experience problems with dryness—the number-one bedroom issue Minkin hears about after a woman gives birth. Breastfeeding causes a decrease in oestrogen, which obviously affects the vagina, she says. So even if you didn’t use it before, you’ll probably need to introduce lube to your sex life after giving birth.

What do all these changes mean? Your go-to position might not get the job done anymore. “Once you’ve been cleared by your doctor to engage in penetrative intercourse, you can begin to experiment with positions,” says Dr. Kat Van Kirk, a licensed marriage and sex therapist and author of the Married Sex Solution: A Realistic Guide to Saving Your Sex Life. “What matters is that you’re comfortable so you can focus on pleasure.”

“In general, women do really well on top during the postpartum months because they can control the speed and the depth of penetration,” says Millheiser. “A woman has to try out the position that she enjoys to find out what’s best for her.”

The experts stress that every woman is different—there’s no holy grail of post-birth sex moves. But to get your sex life revved up again, they recommend starting out with these five positions.

READ MORE: The 5 Best Sex Positions For When You’re Feeling Stressed

Reverse Cow Girl

To try penetration for the first time post-birth, start on top. “If you’re comfortable straddling away from your partner on your knees, Reverse Cow Girl can be a great way to have clitoral access while you control depth and rhythm,” says Van Kirk.

READ MORE: 5 Sex Positions You Should Finish With For An Orgasmic Grand Finale

Frisky Flip

If you’re not comfortable on top, try flipping over and lying flat on your stomach. “This low energy rear entry position allows you to relax into penetration without your partner being able to go too deep,” says Van Kirk.

READ MORE: 5 Sex Positions Perfect For When You Want To Get Rough

Spooning

Post-baby, slow and steady wins the race. “Going side-by-side can help control your partner from going too deep or too hard,” says Van Kirk.

READ MORE: The 4 Most Dangerous Sex Positions For His Penis

 

“Lazy Sex”

If spooning feels good but you want to shake it up, try what Van Kirk calls “lazy sex.” “Lay in an ‘L’ shape with your partner with you on your back and he on his side,” she says. “This allows for minimal exertion while also giving you both access to your clitoris.”

READ MORE: 10 Wild, Crazy Sex Positions You Need To Try

Lip Service

Speaking of your clitoris… “Cunnilingus (a.k.a. oral sex) is always a good option,” says Van Kirk. “Whether you are laying back or leaning on the headboard, you don’t have to worry about penetration.”

How does menopause affect sex drive?

Sexual problems are more common in postmenopausal women, which suggests that menopause can reduce libido.

The reduced sex drive is often caused by decreased estrogen levels, which can dampen arousal and result in sex being more painful.

In this article, we look at how menopause might affect someone’s sex drive, along with what can be done to improve libido.

 

Menopause and libido

What is menopause?

sad middle aged woman sitting on bed

Menopausal symptoms can have a negative effect on a woman’s relationship with her partner.

Menopause refers to when a woman stops having her period permanently, but it can affect more than a woman’s menstrual cycle.

Menopause can cause physical and emotional changes that impact a woman’s life, including her sex life.

Some symptoms and side effects associated with menopause include:

  • anxiety
  • bladder control issues
  • decreased sex drive and desire (libido)
  • depression
  • difficulty sleeping
  • thinning hair
  • weight gain

Each of these effects can impact a woman’s quality of life and relationship with her partner.

What is libido?

Libido refers to sexual interest and sexual enjoyment.

Some women going through menopause report reduced libido, but the causes vary from person to person.

According to one review, the reported rates of sexual problems in postmenopausal women are between 68 and 86.5 percent.

This range is much higher than in all women in general, which is estimated to be between 25 and 63 percent.

Why does menopause affect libido?

Decreased estrogen levels can result in reduced blood flow to the vagina, which can cause the tissues of the vagina and labia to become thinner. If this happens, they become less sensitive to sexual stimulation.

Decreased blood flow also affects vaginal lubrication and overall arousal. As a result, a woman may not enjoy sex as much and may have difficulty achieving orgasm. Sex may be uncomfortable or even painful.

Fluctuating hormone levels during perimenopause and menopause can also affect a woman’s mental health, which in turn, may cause a decrease in her libido.

Stress can also impact a woman’s libido, as she may be juggling a job, parenting, and be caring for aging parents. The changes in hormone levels a woman may experience during menopause may make her irritable or depressed, so dealing with everyday stress may feel more difficult.

According to an article published in the Journal of Women’s Health, women who have more significant side effects associated with menopause are more likely to report lower libido levels.

Examples of these side effects include hot flashes, depression, anxiety, trouble sleeping, and fatigue.

Other factors that make a woman going through menopause more likely to experience a reduced libido include:

  • history of chronic health conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, or depression
  • history of smoking
  • engaging in low levels of physical activity

A woman should talk to her doctor about how these conditions could affect her sex drive.

 

Tips for improving libido

There are several steps a woman can take to increase her libido. These include medical treatments, lifestyle changes, and home remedies.

Medical treatments

middle aged couple enjoying a bike ride

Spending time together on shared hobbies, exercising, and planned dates will help increase a couple’s intamacy.

If a woman experiences changes to her vaginal tissue, such as thinning and dryness, she may wish to consider estrogen therapy.

Prescription estrogen can be applied directly to the vagina in the form of creams, pills, or vaginal rings. These usually contain lower doses of estrogen than regular birth control pills.

Some women may wish to take estrogen pills that contain higher levels of hormones. This treatment, known as hormone replacement therapy, might help reduce symptoms, such as hot flashes and mood changes, but may also carry risks.

A woman thinking about hormone replacement therapy should discuss it with her doctor before starting to take any medication.

One study found that women using hormone therapies reported higher levels of sexual desire compared with women who did not.

Less commonly, a doctor may prescribe testosterone therapy. However, not all women respond to this treatment, and the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) do not approve it for treating sexual disorders in women.

A woman may not experience any changes in her sex drive after using estrogen or testosterone therapies.

A woman may also choose to see a therapist who specializes in sexual dysfunction or enhancing sex. Sometimes, couples may want to attend therapy together.

Lifestyle changes

Some women may benefit from using water-soluble lubricants during sex. These can be purchased over-the-counter at most drugstores.

However, women should avoid non-water soluble and silicone-based lubricants, as these can break down condoms used to protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Increasing physical activity, such as getting 30 minutes or more of exercise on a routine basis, may help reduce menopause-related symptoms, including a low libido. Eating a healthful diet can also enhance a person’s overall sense of well being.

Changing sexual habits

There are many ways a person can foster a sense of intimacy with their partner, including:

  • Changing sexual routines: Try spending extended periods on foreplay, use vibrators or other sex toys to enhance an intimate experience, or engage in sexual activity or touching without the goal of orgasm.
  • Relieving stress together: There are many stress-relieving techniques a couple can do outside of the bedroom to increase intimacy. Examples include going on planned dates together, taking a walk, or spending time doing hobbies together, such as exercise, crafts, or cooking.
  • Practicing masturbation: Spending time alone and exploring what types of touch and sexual stimulation work well for an individual can help them talk to a partner about their needs and preferences. It can also help a person feel more comfortable with sexual activity without the pressure of a partner.

Natural remedies

Some women use natural supplements to try to increase their libido. It is important to keep in mind that the FDA do not regulate herbs and supplements, so women should be sure to choose a reputable brand.

Some natural remedies used to increase libido in women include:

  • black cohosh
  • red clover
  • soy

A woman should discuss these remedies with a doctor before taking them to ensure they will not interact negatively with other prescriptions and supplements she may be taking. Soy contains estrogen, so it may react with other estrogen therapies.

 

When to see a doctor

A woman should speak to her doctor whenever perimenopause or menopause is having a significant impact on her day-to-day activities, including sexual activity.

Sometimes, a doctor can recommend changes in health habits as well as discuss whether prescription medications may help relieve the symptoms, including a low libido.

Speaking with a doctor can also rule out any other underlying medical conditions that may cause a reduced libido. These conditions include urinary tract infections, uterine prolapse, endometriosis, or pelvic floor dysfunction.

 

Outlook

woman speaking with a doctor

A doctor will be able to rule out other conditions that may be responsible for a reduced sex drive.

While some women do experience a decreased libido in menopause, others do not.

Some women may even experience a heightened libido after menopause. This can be due to reduced stresses over pregnancy and fewer child-rearing responsibilities.

If a woman’s libido is impacted after menopause, she should talk to her doctor about treatments that could enhance her quality of life.

What is sexual addiction?

Sexual addiction is a condition in which an individual cannot manage their sexual behavior. Persistent sexual thoughts affect their ability to work, maintain relationships, and fulfil their daily activities.

Other terms for sexual addiction are sexual dependency, hypersexuality, and compulsive sexual behavior. It is also known as nymphomania in females and satyriasis in men.

While sexual addiction shares some features with substance addiction, the person is addicted to an activity, not a substance. Treatment may help, but without treatment, it may get worse.

An estimated 12 to 30 million people in the United States (U.S.) experience sexual addiction. It affects both men and women.

Fast facts on sexual addiction

  • Sexual addiction prevents people from managing their sexual behavior. Why it happens is unclear.
  • It can have a severe impact on a person’s life, but key bodies, such as the American Psychological Association (APA), have not yet established it as a diagnosable condition.
  • Typical behaviors include compulsive masturbation, persistent use of pornography, exhibitionism, voyeurism, extreme acts of lewd sex, and the failure to resist sexual impulses.
  • Treatment centers and self-help groups can help with sexual addiction.

What is sexual addiction?

The American Society of Addiction Medicine describes addiction as “a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory, and related circuitry.”

Sexual addictionSexual addiction is an inability to control sexual urges, leading to impaired relationships and quality of life.

A person with sexual addiction is obsessed with sex or has an abnormally intense sex drive. Their thoughts are dominated by sexual activity, to the point where this affects other activities and interactions. If these urges become uncontrollable, the person can have difficulty functioning in social situations.

In some cases, a person with a healthy and enjoyable sex life may develop an obsession. They may find themselves stimulated by acts and fantasies that most people do not consider acceptable.

In some cases, the person may have a paraphilic disorder, such as pedophilia. This is a diagnosable disorder.

A paraphilic disorder involves sexual arousal caused by stimuli that most people do not find acceptable, for example pedophilia. It involves distress and dysfunction.

Sexual addiction has not been fully established as a medical condition, although it can adversely affect families, relationships, and lives. One difficulty with identifying sexual addiction is that people have different levels of sex drive, or libido. One person may consider their partner a “sex addict” only because they have a higher sex drive.

More research is needed to determine whether or not sexual addiction exists as a disorder.

Symptoms

Some attempts to define the characteristics of sexual addiction have been based on literature about chemical dependency. Sexual addiction may share the same rewards systems and circuits in the brain as substance addiction.

However, people with sexual addiction may be addicted to different types of sexual behavior. This makes the condition harder to define. It also suggests that the disorder stems not from the individual acts, but rather an obsession with carrying them out.

Sexual addiction also appears to involve making rules to feel in control of the condition, and then breaking them to make new rules.

Activities associated with sexual addiction may include:

  • compulsive masturbation
  • multiple affairs, sexual partners, and one-night stands
  • persistent use of pornography
  • practicing unsafe sex
  • cybersex
  • visiting prostitutes or practicing prostitution
  • exhibitionism
  • voyeurism

Behaviors and attitudes may include:

  • an inability to contain sexual urges and respect the boundaries of others involved in the sexual act
  • detachment, in which the sexual activity does not emotionally satisfy the individual
  • obsession with attracting others, being in love, and starting new romances, often leading to a string of relationships
  • feelings of guilt and shame
  • an awareness that the urges are uncontrollable, in spite of financial, medical, or social consequences
  • a pattern of recurrent failure to resist impulses to engage in extreme acts of lewd sex
  • engagement in sexual behaviors for longer than intended, and to a greater extent
  • several attempts to stop, reduce, or control behavior
  • excessive time and energy spent obtaining sex, being sexual, or recovering from a sexual experience
  • giving up social, work-related, or recreational activities because of a sexual addiction
  • sexual rage disorder, where an individual becomes distressed, anxious, restless, and possibly violent if unable to engage in the addiction

Studies have demonstrated a strong link between alleged sexual addiction and risk-taking. Sexual addiction may cause a person to persist in taking risks even if there may be health consequences, such as sexually transmitted infection (STI), physical injury, or emotional consequences.

Complications

Untreated, compulsive sexual behavior can leave the individual with intense feelings of guilt and low self-esteem. Some patients may develop severe anxiety and depression.

Other complications may include:

  • family relationship problems and breakups
  • financial problems
  • STIs
  • legal consquences, if the sexual act is illegal or publically disruptive, such as in exhibitionism

Causes

The causes of sexual addiction remain unclear.

Addiction takes root in the reward center of the brain. It may occur when certain parts of the brain mistake pleasure responses for survival mechanisms.

The midbrain is the section of the brain that handles the body’s reward system and survival instincts. As sexual activity creates a rush of dopamine, the “feel-good” chemical in the brain, this triggers the feeling of pleasure. The midbrain then mistakes this feeling of pleasure as being central to survival.

One possibility is that, in people with sexual addiction, the frontal cortex, or the brain’s center of logic and morality, is impaired by the midbrain.

Studies on rats have linked lesions of a section of the brain called the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) with compulsive sexual behavior. This may shed some light the causes of hypersexuality in humans.

Some studies have found a higher frequency of addictive sexual behavior in people from dysfunctional families. A person with sexual addiction is more likely to have been abused than other people.

A significant number of people recovering from sexual addiction have reported some type of addiction among family members. It can occur alongside another addiction.

Diagnosis

Symptoms of sexual addiction may resemble those of other addictions, but the diagnostic criteria for sexual addiction remains in dispute. For this reason, there are different sets of criteria for diagnosing the condition.

Hypersexuality is not a formal diagnosis, according to the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA’s) Diagnostic and Statistic Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-V), due to a lack of evidence supporting its existence as a condition.

However, the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Edition (ICD-10) provides a category into which hypersexuality can fit: “F52.8: other sexual dysfunction not due to a substance or a known physiological condition.”

Excessive sexual drive, nymphomania, and satyriasis are all included under this category.

The Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, UCLA, suggested in a 2012 study that to in order for a sexual addiction to qualify as a mental health disorder, an individual must:

“Experience repeated sexual fantasies, behaviors, and urges that last upwards of 6 months, and are not due to factors, such as medication, another medical condition, substance abuse, or manic episodes linked to bipolar disorder.”

As more examples of sexual addiction and its consequences have emerged, the disorder has become more widely accepted as a legitimate mental condition.

Sexual addiction or advanced libido?

One challenge is to distinguish sexual addiction from a high sex drive.

Two key features can help health professionals to do this:

  • consistent failure to control the behavior
  • continuation of the behavior despite the harm caused

A qualified psychiatric doctor will be able to distinguish between an advanced libido and a pattern of dependency on sexual stimulation or other paraphilic disorder that requires medical attention.

Suggested criteria

Dr. Aviel Goodman, director of the Minnesota Institute of Psychiatry, has proposed criteria similar to those used in substance addiction.The criteria would diagnose sexual addiction when significant damage or distress is caused by a pattern of behavior.

To receive a diagnosis, a person should show at least three of the following traits during a 12-month period. The behaviors relate to tolerance and withdrawal issues. They would not adjust to the changing personal circumstances caused by sexual addiction.

  • The behavior needs to increase in frequency and intensity to achieve the desired effect.
  • Continuing at the same level or intensity fails to produce the desired effect.
  • Discontinuing the behavior leads to withdrawal syndrome, including physiological or psychological changes.
  • Similar behavior is engaged in to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms.

Other possible criteria include:

  • engaging in the behavior for a longer time or at a higher intensity or frequency than intended
  • having a persistent desire to cut down or control the behavior, or making unsuccessful efforts to do so
  • spending a lot of time on activities needed for preparing to engage in and recovering from the behavior
  • giving up or reducing important social, occupational, or recreational activities because of the behavior
  • continuing the behavior despite knowing that it is likely to cause or worsen a persistent physical or psychological problem

Treatment

Addiction can be difficult to treat, as a person with an addiction will often rationalize and justify their behaviors and thought patterns. People with a sex addiction may deny there is a problem.

Sexual addiction treatmentSexual addiction can be controlled by attending self-help meetings.

Current treatment options aim to reduce any excessive urges to engage in sexual relations and to encourage the nurturing of healthful relationships.

The following treatment options are available:

  • Self-help organizations, such as Sex Addicts Anonymous, Sexaholics Anonymous, Sexual Compulsives Anonymous, and Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous, offer 12-step programs to help the individual in self-managing the condition.
  • Residential treatment programs are available for individuals with various addictive disorders. These are in-patient programs, during which the individual lives on-site at the facility and receives care from specialized therapists.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) provides a variety of techniques that help the individual change their behavior. CBT can equip a person to avoid relapses and reprogram harmful sexual behaviors.
  • Prescription medications, such as Prozac, may be prescribed to reduce sexual urges, but the drug has not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat this condition.

The support of friends and family is crucial for a person recovering from an addiction. Sexual addiction, due to its behavioral nature, can be difficult for others to understand and tolerate, especially if it has already led to damage in relationships.

However, a strong support network helps to reduce destructive behavior and the risk of relapse.

Consider to donate for women health and saving delivering mothers from dying in Maternity Click HERE to donate.

Sex talk: 5 myths you need to drop

Everyone’s heard their fair share of sex myths, especially during their teenage years. Unfortunately, though, some myths might persist well into adulthood, affecting the way we relate to our sexual lives. Here, we debunk some of the most widespread misconceptions about sex.

couple in bed

Sex myths — we’re better off without them, we say, so here we debunk five of the top contenders in this category.

“When did you pop your cherry?” “You’ll go blind if you masturbate!” “Oh, and maybe put your sex life on the back-burner if you want to wow your colleagues at next month’s sports event.” Do these phrases sound familiar?

Well, we’re here to look at the facts on these and other myths about quality time in the bedroom — and we don’t mean sleep.

So sit back, relax, and learn why you should try to stop worrying so much about apocryphal “facts” about sex.

1. Popping the cherry

This is the age-old belief that a woman’s hymen is a good place to look to if you desire to know whether she’s still a virgin — or, at least, if she has engaged in vaginal intercourse.

But although much significance is attached to the hymen as an alleged marker of virginity in many cultures, the truth is that more often than not, it can’t tell us much about a woman’s sexual history.

The hymen is a membrane that lines the opening of the vagina, and its actual shape and size varies from person to person. Normally, it does not cover the vaginal opening entirely — which makes absolute sense, since otherwise menstrual and other discharge would not be able to leave the vagina.

In fact, some of us are even born without a hymen.

In the rare cases wherein the hymen does cover the entire vaginal opening — this is a congenital condition called imperforate hymen — surgery is carried out to perforate it and allow vaginal discharge to pass out of the body.

While vaginal intercourse or some more strenuous physical activities could cause minor hymen tearing, many women do not experience any tearing or bleeding during sex, as the hymen can stretch to accommodate the penis.

As Nina Dølvik Brochmann and Ellen Støkken Dahl, authors of The Wonder Down Under, explain in a TED talk, this membrane is kind of like a scrunchy — elastic and flexible.

Even if tearing does occur, bleeding doesn’t always follow. And because hymens can have myriad different shapes, it will be incredibly difficult to tell whether that “dip” in the membrane is due to a minor rupture or whether it was there all along.

2. Menstruation as ultimate baby barrier

Another favorite piece of sex lore is that women can’t get pregnant if they have sex while on their period. It’s true that this scenario is highly unlikely, but even so, the possibility of pregnancy isn’t fully eliminated.

The likelihood of becoming pregnant after period sex depends largely on how long your menstrual cycle is. In most women, the menstrual cycle lasts for approximately 28 days. Usually, 3– 5 of those days are taken up by their period, during which unfertilized eggs, or “ovules,” and uterine lining are eliminated.

Women are most fertile during the ovulation stage of their menstrual cycles, when fresh eggs are produced. Ovulation usually takes place about 12 to 16 days before the start of the next period.

Some women, however, have shorter cycles, which means that their ovulation stage also happens earlier.

That, coupled with the fact that sperm can live inside the human body for up to 5 days, means that if the timing is right, sperm could hang out inside the female body for just long enough to survive the period and penetrate a fresh egg.

So, if you do plan to ease those menstrual cramps by having sex, you may wish to consider using a condom.

3. It’s not an orgasm if it’s not vaginal

Perhaps thanks to the supersexed ideal spread by commercial porn, many people are stuck for a long time with the idea that a woman’s orgasm is purely a vaginal experience, achieved through repeated penetration.

A quick look on the Internet will reveal that some popular searches include, “Why can’t I orgasm?” and “Why can’t I make my girlfriend climax?”

Well, as Medical News Today explained in a longer piece, there is no “one-size-fits-all” recipe for achieving orgasm, and very often, women will require clitoral stimulation, instead of just vaginal penetration, to reach that sweet spot.

For some, penetration doesn’t cut it at all, and clitoral stimulation alone is their stairway to heaven.

In fact, according to Essentials of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, of the women who reach sexual climax, “25 percent […] achieve orgasm with penetrative sex and 75 percent need extra clitoral stimulation.”

That’s why both men and women would do well to learn as much as possible about their and their partners’ bodies and try to understand what makes them tick individually.

4. Masturbation is bad for you

This bring us to our next item, which is that masturbation, somehow, is bad for you. There are, in fact, many myths related to masturbation: that it can make a man go blind; that it can lead to erectile dysfunction; and that it can cause sexual dysfunction in women.

feet peeking out from under the sheets

Don’t worry, masturbating won’t hurt you, and you may want to take your sweet time while you’re at it.

In case there were still any doubts, there are absolutely no links between your genitals and your eyes, so try as you might, you won’t lose the gift of vision just by exploring your nether bits sometimes.

In fact, specialists argue that there’s no such thing as masturbating too often, and that it actually brings a plethora of health benefits, including released tension, eased menstrual cramps, and, no less importantly, a “roadmap for [the] body,” as sex therapist Teesha Morgan said in a TED talk.

She added that, for women, this roadmap learned through masturbation helps them to more readily achieve an orgasm; they become better-equipped to solicit the kind of attention that best works for them.

As for the notion that frequent masturbation can cause erectile dysfunction, Morgan explained that it, too, is a false concern. However, she added that what could happen in some cases is that a man may become used to a certain practices — for instance, “quickies” — that could then take over in partnered sex, as well, with unwanted results.

Let’s say, as a man, every single time you masturbate you only give yourself a few minutes from first touch to ejaculation. That may condition you to those few minutes, so when you’re with a partner and you want to last longer, that may create problems for you.”

Teesha Morgan

A good way to prevent this from happening, explains Morgan, is to “make your practice and your play as similar as possible,” which may involve actually spending a little more quality time with yourself, rather than rushing through things.

5. Sex affects athletic performance

It seems intuitive, doesn’t it, that engaging in exercise that might be somewhat demanding, such as sex, will decrease your stamina, so you probably shouldn’t play at this game right before running an important marathon.

For years, the managers and coaches of top sports performers have forbidden their athletes to indulge in steamy action before important events, for fear that their performance would be weakened.

You’ll be relieved to find out, then, that that’s not really the case at all. Recent studies show that having sex the day before participating in a sports competition doesn’t affect performance.

Still, researchers point out that further investigations should still be conducted — regarding the potential psychological effects of sex when it comes to athletic performance, for example.

One editorial addressing the question of sports performance following intercourse suggests that, depending on individual psychological resilience, sex might alter the state of mind of an athlete before a competition.

“If athletes are too anxious and restless the night before an event,” the authors write, “then sex may be a relaxing distraction. If they are already relaxed or, like some athletes, have little interest in sex the night before a big competition, then a good night’s sleep is all they need.”

Long story short, there is no evidence that a little consensual sex “match” is anything but good for you — just learn what works for your body, stay safe at all times, and if something you’ve heard or read about sex sounds fishy, fact-check it against a credible source.

Sex anxiety: How can you overcome it?

feet peeking out from under the sheets
Whether you’re a woman or a man, you might have experienced sexual anxiety over the years. Feeling anxious sometimes about our prowess between the sheets is normal, but when it happens repeatedly, this can affect our quality of life. So, what can you do to dispel the doubts and lead a healthy sex life?

intimate partners not facing each other in bed

How can you move past the anxiety that keeps you from enjoying your sex life?

Sexual anxiety — or sexual performance anxiety — is something that affects men and women of all ages, regardless of how much experience they have with intercourse.

For some, this type of anxiety is short-lived and may appear briefly in the wake of a new sexual encounter.

Other people, however, might find it difficult to enjoy a wholesome sex life because of it, and they may experience this type of anxiety with more regularity.

But how does sexual anxiety manifest? Well, according to sex therapist Claudia Six, it has different expressions among men and women, though in most instances, it is related to the fear that some aspect of their presence between the sheets may be disappointing for their partner.

In women, sexual performance anxiety can show up as difficulty getting interested in sex, difficulty getting aroused, or difficulty with orgasm. In men, we know what it looks like — difficulty getting an erection, keeping an erection, or coming too soon. I put all that under the umbrella term of ‘sexual performance anxiety.'”

Claudia Six

And why do we feel sexual performance anxiety? Here, the matters get a little more complex, but to simplify: we tend to become insecure about how well we do in bed or what we may look like to our partners, or we may simply be daunted by the idea of becoming so intimate with someone.

In some cases, sexual performance anxiety stems from a past traumatic experience — perhaps related to sexual violence. If that is your situation, please do not hesitate to seek out specialist advice. If you are based in the United States, your first port of call should be the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network hotlines.

But, in most cases — as sex educator Amy Jo Goddard explains — this response is conditioned by the way in which we were brought up to think about certain aspects of sex and our own bodies, and by social expectations that impact our relationship with our own sexuality.

Below, we give you some tips about how to tackle these moments of uncertainty and worry both before and during sexual encounters, so you can enjoy a happier, healthier sex life.

Own your body

Body image is often an important factor in achieving a healthy sex life. If we feel insecure about the way that our body looks, we may worry about whether or not our partner finds us attractive. This, needless to say, is not at all conducive to enjoyment.

couple smiling in the mirror

It’s important to take the time to learn to appreciate your body. Beauty comes in all shapes and forms.

Studies have noted that a significant number of men and women have body image issues, which might lead to all manner of anxieties when the time comes to slip between the sheets with that special person.

For instance, a study published in the Journal of Sex Research found that about a third of college women feel unhappy with how their body looks, and that this self-consciousness was detrimental to enjoying their time in bed with a partner.

Other research — that studied young men enrolled in the military — found that more than a third of the participants had a poor image of their own genitalia, which often led to erectile dysfunction.

So, what can be done if you’re worried that your body isn’t “supermodel quality,” whatever that may mean? According to sex educator and researcher Emily Nagoski, you should take steps to get comfortable in your skin by actively acknowledging everything you like about your body — repeatedly.

She advises doing the following exercise. “You stand in front of a mirror, as close to naked as you can tolerate. You’re going to look at what you see there, and you’re going to write down everything you see that you like.”

“And then do it again tomorrow, and then do it again the next day, and the next day.” The key, says Nagoski, is in repetition, so that you can begin to get comfortable with your body and love it for its unique beauty.

Learn more about (your kind of) sex

Another obstacle that may be contributing to your sexual performance anxiety — although you may not like to hear this — is simply a lack of appropriate sex education.

feet peeking out from under the sheets

Learn as much as you can about sex and what works — and doesn’t work — for you.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t yet know which bits go where, but perhaps that you haven’t been fully prepared for the realities of a sexual encounter. The reality is that everyone functions differently and has different needs.

Maybe you’re not sure about the techniques of achieving — or giving — pleasure. Or, perhaps you’ve heard myths about pregnancy, or how your body is “supposed” to react during sex.

Or, you may even be worried that your wants and needs aren’t “normal.”

If you have any worries at all about sex, it may be worth speaking to a healthcare professional to get reassurance, reading a book (or two) exploring this topic, or joining workshops led by sex educators.

As Goddard explains, “[A]dults need sex education, too. If we didn’t learn it somewhere, then how can we have the fulfilling sexual lives that we really want to have?”

Stop telling yourself how broken and unfixable you are, because you’re not. You just didn’t get the education that you need, you just didn’t get the resources that you need.”

Amy Jo Goddard

On that note, you may also find it helpful to self-educate simply by exploring your own body and what gives you pleasure. Take the time to learn what turns you on and how you like things done.

Despite the fact that masturbation is — unfortunately — still typically portrayed as a shameful or even dangerous act, research points to the contrary, explaining that it can actually improve our relationship with our bodies and with our sexuality.

Express what you enjoy

Once you know what you enjoy, it’s very important to learn to voice your needs when in bed with an intimate partner, and to explain what’s going through your head.

couple facing each other

Communicate openly with your partner about your sexual needs.

If you trust this person enough to want to get it on with them, why not tell them if something isn’t working?

You could also encourage them to do more of something that is.

Open communication may just be the best way forward if you are worried about taking a long time to orgasm, being unable to stay aroused, or being afraid that you won’t even become aroused in the first place.

A study published last year in the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy worked with 142 committed couples and found that intimate partners who freely communicate their sexual needs and desires have a more healthy and fulfilling sex life.

In their paper, the authors explain that “women who communicated about sex more reached orgasm more often,” and that speaking openly about sexual needs in a couple was linked to better relationship and sexual satisfaction among both men and women.

Six urges anyone who is experiencing sexual anxiety to reflect and embrace the awareness that they are “not a disappointment,” and that “there is room for [their] needs.” She also explains that everyone needs to “find [their] voice” in order to “have a good time in bed.”

“So how do we set ourselves up for success?” Six asks. “Gentlemen, please let go of ‘performing.’ ‘Performing’ is ‘entertaining an audience.’ And ladies, know your bodies and what brings you pleasure.”

To dispel any unwanted tension in the wake of a sexual encounter, she advises people to “[o]pen [their] mouth, say what’s happening in the moment, it takes the charge out of it.”

And remember: whoever you’re getting into bed with really wants to be there, with you, and that they are looking forward to the time you’re about to spend together.

So, take advantage of this moment of connection to acknowledge that your partner welcomes your presence and your sexual needs, and that they want you both to be comfortable and at ease with each other.

 

Can yoga improve your sex life?

he Internet abounds with wellness blogs that recommend yoga for a better sex life, as well as personal accounts of the practice improving sexual experience — often to an enviable degree. Does the research back up these claims, however? We investigate.

woman doing cat cow

Yoga can be a relaxing and enjoyable way to enhance our sex lives.

Modern research is only just starting to unpack the numerous health benefits of the ancient practice of yoga.

Some conditions that yoga reportedly helps with include depression, stress, and anxiety, as well as metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and thyroid problems.

Recent studies have also delved into the more complex mechanisms behind such benefits.

It turns out that yoga lowers the body’s inflammatory response, counters the genetic expression that predisposes people to stress, lowers cortisol, and boosts a protein that helps the brain grow and stay young and healthy.

On top of all its benefits, we must add, it just feels good. Sometimes — if we’re to believe the hype around the mythical coregasm during yoga — it feels really, really good.

Getting in touch with our bodies can feel replenishing, restorative, and physically pleasurable. However, can yoga’s yummy poses improve our sex lives? We take a look at the research.

Yoga improves sexual function in women

One often-referenced study that was published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine found that yoga can indeed improve sexual function — particularly in women over the age of 45.

woman doing triangle pose

The triangle pose was among those shown to improve sexual function — particularly in older women.

The study examined the effects of 12 weeks of yoga on 40 women who self-reported on their sexual function before and after the yoga sessions.

After the 12-week period, the women’s sexual function had significantly improved across all sections of the Female Sexual Function Index: “desire, arousal, lubrication, orgasm, satisfaction, and pain.”

As many as 75 percent of the women reported an improvement in their sex life after yoga training.

As part of the study, all of the women were trained on 22 poses, or yogasanas, which are believed to improve core abdominal muscles, improve digestion, strengthen the pelvic floor, and improve mood.

Some poses included trikonasana (also known as the triangle pose), bhujangasana (the snake), and ardha matsyendra mudra (half spinal twist). The full list of asanas can be accessed here.

Yoga improves sexual function in men

Yoga doesn’t benefit just women. An analogous study led Dr. Vikas Dhikav, who’s a neurologist at the Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital in New Delhi, India, examined the effects of a 12-week yoga program on the sexual satisfaction of men.

man doing bow pose

The bow pose may improve sexual performance in men.

At the end of the study period, the participants reported a significant improvement in their sexual function, as evaluated by the standard Male Sexual Quotient.

The researchers found improvements across all aspects of male sexual satisfaction: “desire, intercourse satisfaction, performance, confidence, partner synchronization, erection, ejaculatory control, [and] orgasm.”

Also, a comparative trial carried out by the same team of researchers found that yoga is a viable and nonpharmacological alternative to fluoxetine (brand name Prozac) for treating premature ejaculation.

It included 15 yoga poses, ranging from easier ones (such as Kapalbhati, which involves sitting with your back straight in a crossed-legged position, with the chest open, eyes closed, hands on knees, and abdominal muscles contracted) to more complex ones (such as dhanurasana, or the “bow pose”).

Yogic mechanisms for better sex

How does yoga improve one’s sex life, exactly? A review of existing literature led by researchers at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, from the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver, Canada, helps us elucidate some of its sex-enhancing mechanisms.

couple doing yoga

Yoga could help partners enjoy better sex.

Dr. Lori Brotto, a professor in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology at UBC, is the first author of the review.

Dr. Brotto and colleagues explain that yoga regulates attention and breathing, lowers anxiety and stress, and regulates parasympathetic nervous activity — that is, it activates the part of the nervous system that tells your body to stop, relax, rest, digest, lower the heart rate, and triggers any other metabolic processes that induce relaxation.

“All of these effects are associated with improvements in sexual response,” write the reviewers, so it is “reasonable that yoga might also be associated with improvements in sexual health.”

There are also psychological mechanisms at play. “Female practitioners of yoga have been found to be less likely to objectify their bodies,” explain Dr. Brotto and her colleagues, “and to be more aware of their physical selves.”

“This tendency, in turn, may be associated with increased sexual responsibility and assertiveness, and perhaps sexual desires.”

The power of the moola bandha

It is safe to say that stories about releasing blocked energy in root chakras and moving “kundalini energy” up and down the spine to the point that it produces ejaculation-free male orgasms lack rigorous scientific evidence.

However, other yogic concepts could make more sense to the skeptics among us. Moola bandha is one such concept.

“Moola bandha is a perineal contraction that stimulates the sensory-motor and the autonomic nervous system in the pelvic region, and therefore enforces parasympathetic activity in the body,” write Dr. Brotto and her colleagues in their review.

“Specifically, moola bandha is thought to directly innervate the gonads and perineal body/cervix.” The video below incorporates the movement into a practice for pelvic floor muscles.

Some studies quoted by the researchers have suggested that practicing moola bandha relieves period pain, childbirth pain, and sexual difficulties in women, as well as treating premature ejaculation and controlling testosterone secretion in men.

Moola bandha is similar to the modern, medically recommended Kegel exercises, which are thought to prevent urinary incontinence and help women (and men) enjoy sex for longer.

In fact, many sex therapy centers recommend this yoga practice to help women become more aware of their sensations of arousal in the genital area, thus improving desire and sexual experience.

“[M]oola bandha stretches the muscles of the pelvic floor, […] balances, stimulates, and rejuvenates the area through techniques that increase awareness and circulation,” explain Dr. Brotto and colleagues, referring to the work of other researchers.

Another yoga pose that strengthens the pelvic floor muscles is bhekasana, or the “frog pose.”

As well as improving the sexual experience, this pose may help ease symptoms of vestibulodynia, or pain in the vestibule of the vagina, as well as vaginismus, which is the involuntary contraction of vaginal muscles that prevents women from enjoying penetrative sex.

How reliable is the evidence?

While it is easy to get, ahem, excited by the potential sexual benefits of yoga, it is worth bearing in mind the large discrepancy between the amount of so-called empirical, or experimental, evidence, and that of non-empirical, or anecdotal, evidence.

frog pose

Bhekasana, or the frog pose, may strengthen pelvic muscles.

The Internet hosts a plethora of the latter, but the studies that have actually trialed the benefits of yoga for sexual function remain scarce.

Additionally, most of the studies mentioned above — which found improvements in sexual satisfaction and function for both men and women — have quite a small sample size and didn’t benefit from a control group.

However, more recent studies — which focused on women who have sexual dysfunction in addition to other conditions — have yielded stronger evidence.

For example, a randomized controlled trial examined the effects of yoga in women with metabolic syndrome, a population with a higher risk of sexual dysfunction overall.

For these women, a 12-week yoga program led to “significant improvement” in arousal and lubrication, whereas such improvements were not seen in the women who did not practice yoga.

Improvements were also found in blood pressure, prompting the researchers to conclude that “yoga may be an effective treatment for sexual dysfunction in women with metabolic syndrome as well as for metabolic risk factors.”

Another randomized trial looked at the sexual benefits of yoga for women living with multiple sclerosis (MS). The participants undertook 3 months of yoga training, consisting of eight weekly sessions.

Importantly, women in the yoga group “showed improvement in physical ability” and sexual function, “while women in [the] control group manifested exacerbated symptoms.”

“Yoga techniques may improve physical activities and sexual satisfaction function of women with MS,” the study paper concluded.

So, while we need more scientific evidence to support yoga’s benefits for our sex lives, the seeds are definitely there. Until future research can ascertain whether “yogasms” are a real, achievable thing, we think that there’s enough reason to incorporate yoga in our daily routines.

Trying it out for ourselves could prove tremendously enriching — and our pelvic muscles will definitely thank us for it.

Health benefits of sex

Type “sexual health” into a search engine, and it is likely that you will be bombarded with pages of articles covering anything and everything, from sexual norms and advice on relationships, birth control, and pregnancy, to information about STDs and how to avoid them. What is less often discussed, however, is the abundant physical and psychological health benefits of sex. We have put together a list of the top health benefits of sex, as backed up by science.

[man and woman in bed looking intimate]

Sex has numerous physical and psychological health benefits.

In exploring just how sex affects the mind and body, the list of potential benefits appears to be endless.

Aside from reproduction, pleasure, and intimacy, sex seems to have a positive impact on many life areas, including work, physical and cognitive performance, marriage, and happiness into our senior years. Sex may also have a positive effect on certain organs and conditions, as well as a preventive effect on some diseases.

For example, a recent study published in the Journal of Management found that maintaining a healthy sex life at home might boost job satisfaction and engagement at work.

Sex may also play a fundamental role in preserving a happy marriage, according to research published in Psychological Science. Partners are suggested to experience a sexual “afterglow” that lasts for up to 48 hours following sexual intercourse. This afterglow is associated with higher levels of long-term relationship satisfaction.

Sex is also considered a significant form of exercise. Sex burns around 85 calories, or 3.6 calories per minute, according to a study published in PLOS One.

These few examples are a drop in the ocean of the numerous health benefits of sexual activity and masturbation that are presented in studies from around the globe. Medical News Today provide the low-down on the top evidence-based health benefits of sex.

1) Improves immunity

Participating in sex one to two times per week appears to be the optimum frequency to boost the immune system, according to research published in Psychological Reports.

Scientists can test how tough our immune systems are by measuring levels of an antibody called immunoglobulin A (IgA) in saliva and mucosal linings.

Study authors Carl Charnetski, from Wilkes University in Pennsylvania, and his colleague Frank Brennan found that people who had sex once or twice per week had a 30 percent increase in IgA. However, the same results were not seen in individuals who had sex more or less frequently.

Clifford Lowell, an immunologist at the University of California-San Francisco, says that people who are sexually active are exposed to more infectious agents than individuals who are not sexually active. The immune system responds to these infectious agents by producing more IgA, which may protect against colds and flu.

For those of you who have sex more or less frequently than the optimal amount, fear not. According to another study by Charnetski, petting a dog can also significantly raise IgA.

2) Good for the heart

Physical activities that exercise the heart are good for your health, and this includes sex. Being sexually aroused increases heart rate, with the number of beats per minute peaking during orgasm.

[red heart and cardiogram]

Men who have regular sex are 45 percent less likely to develop heart disease.

Men, in particular, have been shown to benefit from the effect of sex on the heart. A study published in the American Journal of Cardiology, involving men in their 50s, suggested that men who have sex at least twice per week have a 45 percent reduced risk of heart disease, compared with men who have sex less frequently.

The American Heart Association say that heart disease should not affect your sex life. Heart attacks or chest pain caused by heart disease rarely happen during sex and, for the most part, it is safe to have sex if your heart disease has stabilized.

The heart’s response to sex is comparable with mild to moderate effort encountered in daily activities, according to research published in the European Heart Journal. If you can take part in activities that have a similar impact on the heart – such as walking up two flights of stairs – without chest pain, then you can usually assume that it is safe to have sex.

More research is currently needed to draw connections between specific cardiovascular conditions and sex, particularly for women and older adults.

3) Lowers blood pressure

Research conducted by Michigan State University and published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior found that sex in later years might reduce the risk of high blood pressure – at least for women.

Women in the study aged between 57 and 85 years who found sex pleasurable or satisfying were less likely to have hypertension. However, male study participants who had sex once per week or more were twice as likely to experience heart problems than men who were sexually inactive.

In another study published in Behavioral Medicine, researchers found that the act of hugging can help a person to maintain a healthy blood pressure.

According to the American Heart Association, high blood pressure increases the risk of heart attack and stroke and can also affect your sex life. High blood pressure has an impact on blood flow throughout the body and can prevent enough blood flowing to the pelvis.

In men, high blood pressure can lead to erectile dysfunction and in women, high blood pressure can lower libido and reduce interest in sex. It is considered safe to have sex if you have high blood pressure. However, if you are concerned or are having problems in the bedroom, seek advice from your doctor.

4) Relieves pain

headache may often be used as a reason to avoid sex. However, before you reach for the painkillers, neurologists have found that sexual activity can relieve head pain associated with a migraine or cluster headache in some people.

[woman in bed with migraine]

Sex has been shown to ease the pain associated with migraines and cluster headaches.

The research was conducted by the University of Munster in Germany and published in Cephalalgia. In individuals with a migraine, 60 percent of people reported an improvement in pain after sexual activity, while 37 percent of people with a cluster headache reported an improvement.

The University of Munster researchers explain that sex triggering the release of endorphins is the mechanism behind the pain relief. Endorphins are the body’s natural painkillers and are released through the central nervous system, which can reduce or eliminate pain the experienced with a headache.

In other research published in Pain, women were found to experience reduced pain sensitivity and had an increased pain tolerance threshold when experiencing pleasure through vaginal self-stimulation.

5) Reduces the risk of prostate cancer

Men who frequently ejaculate could be protected against prostate cancer, the most common cancer among men in the United States.

Research led by Michael Leitzmann, from the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, MD, and published in JAMA, discovered that men who ejaculated 21 times per month or more were a third less likely to develop prostate cancer than men who ejaculated between four and seven times per month.

Leitzmann and team have a number of theories as to why increased ejaculation may help to prevent prostate cancer.

The first theory is that frequent ejaculation may allow the prostate gland to clear out carcinogens, and materials that may orchestrate the development of carcinogens. Another theory suggests that regular drainage of prostate fluid stops crystalloid microcalcifications – which are associated with prostate cancer – from developing in the prostate duct.

Men who have more than 12 ejaculations per month may also benefit, although the researchers note that at this point, the research would not warrant recommending men to change their sexual behavior.

6) Improves sleep

Do you have trouble getting to sleep at night? Sexual activity could be just what the doctor ordered.

[woman sleeping on man's chest]

Some of the chemicals released during sex may help you to fall asleep more easily.

Insufficient sleep is a public health problem, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Around 50 to 70 million adults in the U.S. have a sleep disorder.

Sex could be the answer to help you achieve the recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night.

During sex and orgasm, a cocktail of chemicals are released in the brain, which includes oxytocin, dopamine, and a rush of endorphins. Oxytocin, also known as the “cuddle hormone,” facilitates closeness and bonding, and it surges during sex and orgasm in both men and women.

After orgasm, it is thought that the effect of oxytocin, combined with the release of the hormone prolactin (which is linked to the feeling of satiety and relaxation), makes you feel sleepy.

In women, a rise in estrogen levels during sex has been shown to enhance their REM cycle, according to a study published in the Journal of Women’s Health.

In men, the prefrontal cortex – the area of the brain associated with alertness, consciousness, and mental activity – “switches off” after orgasm. According to a study published in Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, this process is connected with the release of oxytocin and serotonin, both of which have sleep-inducing effects.

7) Relieves stress

Stress can cause all kinds of health problems, from headaches, problems sleeping, muscle tension, and upset stomach, to more severe conditions, including a weakened immune system and chronic depression.

Evidence published in Psychosomatic Medicine demonstrated that physical or emotional intimacy in couples is associated with reduced stress levels.

A study published in Biological Psychology found that people who engaged in penetrative sex experienced lower stress-related blood pressure when public speaking than individuals who had masturbated or had non-coital sex. Participants in the study who abstained from sex had the highest blood pressure levels triggered by stress.

Stuart Brody, a psychologist at the University of Paisley in the United Kingdom, hypothesized that the calming effect might be caused by the release of the “pair-bonding” hormone, oxytocin.

8) Boosts brain power

Research published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior suggests that frequent sex may improve women’s memory. Results from a computerized word-memory task found that women who had penetrative sex had better memory recognition of abstract words.

[man holding a lightbulb]

Frequent sex may improve a woman’s ability to memorize words.

The researchers note that at this stage, it is unclear whether sex improves memory or if better memory leads to more sex. However, they say that sex may improve memory by stimulating the creation of new neurons in the hippocampus – the region of the brain that is involved in learning and memory.

Another study, by the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands and published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, found that thinking about love or sex has different effects on our brains.

Thinking about love activates long-term perspective and global processing, which promotes creative thinking and interferes with analytical thinking. However, in contrast, thinking about sex triggers short-term perspective and local processing, which then promotes analytical thinking and interferes with creativity.

9) Increases lifespan

Do you want to live longer? Sexual activity could hold the key to a longer life.

A study published in The BMJ concluded that sexual activity might have a protective effect on men’s health.

The researchers tracked the mortality of almost 1,000 men aged between 45 and 59 over the course of 10 years. They found that risk of death was 50 percent lower in men who frequently had orgasms than men who did not regularly ejaculate.

Other research also concluded with similar results. A 25-year study published in The Gerontologistdetermined that in men, frequent intercourse was a significant predictor of longevity, whereas in women, those who reported past enjoyment of sex lived longer.

10) Boosts self-esteem

In addition to all the physical benefits, having frequent satisfying sex may improve emotional wellness.

[woman with arms open in the sunset]

People who enjoy casual sex tend to report higher self-esteem and well-being.

Research published in Social Psychology and Personality Science found that among college students, those who enjoyed casual sex reported higher well-being and self-esteem levels, compared with students who did not have casual sex.

On the other side of the coin, according to a study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, women with higher self-esteem reported having more satisfying sex, including having more orgasms.

These are just some of the many benefits that sex can have for your health. While sex can be a pleasurable and exciting activity, it is important to remember that practicing safe sex can reduce the risks of contracting STDs, as well as helping to avoid unplanned pregnancies.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: