In the words of the great philosophers, Salt-N-Pepa, let’s talk about sex…

Sex is, and should be, fun. If it isn’t <insert PSA>, GET OUT—and I mean right now. It doesn’t change; things will stay bad—get out. Sex is and should be fun, respectful, not painful. It can be adventurous, playful, passionate, and even funny at times, but above all, a good time. And outside of adding life to your years, sex can add years to your life. It’s good for you!

  1. A romp in the sack can be decent exercise. A vigorous session can burn anywhere from 2-5 calories a minute, depending on your sex and what positions you are engaging in. So while this is not a lot of calories burned (60-150/30 minutes), it certainly beats sitting on the couch, or taking matters into your own hands, so to speak.
  2. Sex increases libido—having sex makes you want more sex. It teaches the body how to lubricate more effectively, and the body even learns how to improve future orgasms.
  3. Sex is good for your heart health. In one study, men who engaged in intercourse at least 2x/week were half as likely to die of heart disease as men with no, or little, sex life.
  4. “I have a headache” is not a valid excuse. When we orgasm, or even cuddle, a hormone called oxytocin is released which then triggers the release of endorphins. These wonderful hormones mimic the same feel-good effect as opiates, occupying the morphine receptors in the brain, easing pain. So if menstrual cramps, headaches and even nausea are bothering you, climb on top of your partner and enjoy the added effects of that orgasm.
  5. Men who ejaculated at least 21x/month are less likely to experience prostate cancer, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association. And women will experience improved bladder control due to the contractions that occur in the pelvic floor both during foreplay and orgasm.
  6. Sex improves sleep. What women doesn’t already know how fast a man falls asleep afterwards? Well, now, men (I’m helping you out here), you can blfeetame prolactin, a hormone that is released after orgasm that induces feelings of relaxation and sleepiness. Just tell your partner, it’s science!
  7. Decreased stress and blood pressure is also attributed to endorphin and oxytocin release. Who hasn’t ‘rubbed one out’ when they’re feeling the pressures of stress weighing down on them?
  8. Sex boosts immunity—yet another reason to cuddle up during those cold, winter months. Having sex 1-2/week can boost immunoglobulin A (IgA) as much as three times as normal! IgA is important in helping protect us from colds. Forget the chicken noodle soup and bury your face in your partner instead to keep you healthy this cold season.
  9. One Scottish study found that having sex every other day can make you look 7-12 years younger. Apparently, orgasms trigger a rush of endorphins and growth hormones, like DHEA, that aid in healing damage done to the skin by sun, smoking and cortisol buildup. Sex is definitely a lot cheaper than that oxygen facial you’ve been getting once a month.
  10. Sex without condoms—and here, I insist you educate yourself on STDs and having ‘safe ‘sex’—can be healthier for women. One group at the State University of New York has been studying the effects of semen absorption through the vagina. Vaginal tissue is highly absorptive. Semen contains mood-elevating hormones such as endorphins, oxytocin, serotonin and prolactin. When a woman engages in sex without a condom, her vagina is able to absorb some of these hormones, leading to improved moods, decrease in depression and even decrease in suicidal thoughts. This one may need some more study, because frankly, a healthy sex life in itself leads to these improvements, but maybe this could be part of the science behind it?
  11. And lastly, sex improves your relationship—not just because it brings you closer to your partner. There is, actually, science backing this. That magical little hormone that does so much: oxytocin, Couple holding handsplays a large part of this. Oxytocin is released even during a long hug, and encourages feelings of merging and bonding. There is a surge of oxytocin released after sex, which is why we often feel the need to cuddle once we’ve climaxed. This bonding hormone helps in building a stronger relationship from the inside out.

Communicate with your partner. Tell them what works for you and what doesn’t. If you are in a healthy relationship, your partner won’t mind you saying, “Um, yeah, please don’t stick your finger in my ear—that doesn’t do it for me.” Your partner will want to please you, and please you in such a way that you like. So speak up, have fun and explore each other now with the little bit of knowledge that there’s some science and improved health involved, too. Who doesn’t like a good experiment?