Anyway, there were a number of key points - mostly stuff we already knew - about why sex is good for us:
1. It's a natural pain reliever: Sex causes increased production of oxytocin, which is often referred to as the “love hormone". Before orgasm, oxytocin, released from the brain, surges up to five times the normal level. This increase then leads to the release of endorphins, our natural pain-killing hormones. (Given how much I enjoy my orgasms...I should be numb from any pain!)
2. It’s a stress reliever: The endorphins released during sexual intercourse and orgasms are natural mood-boosters and stress relievers. Regular sex can also boost your self-esteem and increase intimacy between partners. Studies have found that semen does contain several mood-altering hormones that can reduce depression, testosterone, oestrogen, follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, prolactin and several different prostaglandins. Some of these changes have been detected in a women's blood within hours of exposure to semen. (Funny, I couldn't find anything about swallowing semen ... but I'm still willing to bet that it's not bad for me!)
3. It boosts immunity: Endorphins released during intimacy have been found to stimulate immune system cells that fight disease. Researchers have found higher levels of Immunoglobulin A in individuals who have regular sex. Immunoglobulin A is a type of antibody that helps to protect us from infections. It is normally found in high levels in the mucous membranes of the digestive and respiratory tracts.
4. It’s good for your heart: Intercourse, depending on your level of enthusiasm, can be considered aerobic exercise, burning up to 200 calories per session. Among other benefits, women who engage in regular sexual activity with their partners have higher levels of estrogen, which protects against heart disease. Research has found that men who have sex two times per week have fewer heart attacks than those who do not. The hormones released during sex cause an increase in blood pressure and heart rate, and it engages almost every muscle in the body.(And if you do it right, well, the cardio benefits go on and on and on and on ...)
5. It turns back the clock: A 2002 study found a 50 per cent reduction in overall mortality in the group of men who said they had the most orgasms. As I tweeted about on Monday, orgasms for me between the ages of 20 and 50 are good for your prostate and can increase your life span. Every time you reach orgasm, the hormone DHEA increases in response to sexual excitement and orgasm. DHEA can boost your immune system, improve cognition, keep skin healthy, and even work as an antidepressant. Therefore, the added health benefit is that you will feel—and look—younger, longer. (If you need a prostate exam, I'm not a doctor but I'll be happy to tickle it for you!!!)
6. It gives you a glow: Women who have more sex have higher levels of estrogen, which is essential to enjoying healthier, smoother skin. This increase in estrogen also helps to protect us from heart disease, osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s disease. Not only that, but the more sex you have, the more your partner will want it; when we are more sexually active we give off more pheromones, the chemicals we produce to increase the interest of the opposite sex. It also promotes the production of collagen, which keeps the skin supple and gives you a healthy glow. (And attracting the opposite sex is key when one fantasizes about multiple partners in one go!)
So, just in case anyone disputes that regular sex is anything but good ... well, read yesterday's blog about masturbation and let me know if you need a hand ;-)