Sex: even better for you than you thought

Turns out there is more to sex than just orgasms and regret; it also makes you healthier in a variety of ways. Sex can improve your sleep, immune system, diet, self-confidence and help manage stress, all while being the motivation behind some of your worst decisions.

First of all, sex counts as semi-vigorous exercise. To your body, it’s just a little more exhilarating than walking uphill, but not quite as intense as a light jog. This works out to men burning about four calories per minute during sex, while women burn around three.

On average, people report their sexual sessions to last about 25 minutes. What this tells us, besides the fact that we’re all filthy liars, is that you can expect to burn 75 to 100 calories per sexual escapade. So while you head home the next morning after, know you look slightly slimmer .

Next, sex actually makes you healthier. People who have sex once or twice a week have significantly higher levels of immunoglobulin A in their bodies, helping you fight off a number of common ailments.. These antibodies are your first line of defence against any unwanted organisms that find themselves somewhere they shouldn’t. If only they worked against Chlamydia.

But antibodies are only one part of being healthy. Another key health benefit of sex, and my personal favourite, is that it knocks you out cold. When you orgasm your body releases the hormone prolactin, which makes your eyelids feel heavy, and whatever bed you’ve found yourself on feels comfortable. So the next time your significant other says that they  can’t go for round two because they’re  ‘too tired’, they probably actually are. Don’t worry, they don’t think you’re ugly.

Last but not least, the absolute best thing about sex — besides the orgasm — is that it reduces stress. Please keep this in mind as we approach our favourite time of the year, midterm season.

Your brain is like a little drug dealing pilot, trying to operate a confusing and probably broken vehicle. To get you to better follow his orders, he turns to the only thing he’s got, oxytocin and endorphins. When you’re doing something right, he loads you up on drugs, and hopes you’ll create a positive association between listening to him and feeling good. What does this have to do with sex? Turns out that tiny pilot is just as horny as you, and sex makes him real generous with his stash. Your body’s natural ‘feel good’ drugs have the pleasant effect of lowering stress and helping to combat depression and anxiety.

But really, these benefits are all superficial compared to the real reason we love sex so much. For a few short moments, it allows us to feel truly connected to another human being, to share a deeply intimate and vulnerable few seconds with someone we cherish. It can make us better people, with greater capacities for compassion, empathy, tolerance, and love. All of which lord knows we can all use a little more of these days.

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