Sunday, July 24, 2011

10 health benefits of sex

10 health benefits of sex
Sex is more than just about hormonal discharge and momentary pleasure. In fact, sex has much more to it than most of us think and know. Around 300 AD a philosopher named Ko Hung wrote, "the more a man copulates, the greater will be the benefit he derives from the act...". However, modern science took a little time to come around to the fact that sex is good for both mental and physical health.

Sex is good for adults. Indulging on a regular basis, at least once a week, is even better. The obvious benefits like it can burn calories, relieve stress and help you fall asleep more easily are there, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. Given below are some more reasons why sex may help you live a longer, happier life:

1. Sex relieves pain: Immediately before orgasm, the level of the hormone oxytocin rises to five times normal levels. This in turn releases endorphins, which alleviate pain. So if your headache, arthritis pain, or PMS symptoms seem to improve after sex, you can thank those higher oxytocin levels.

2. Sex increases immunity: Sexual intercourse once or twice a week raises the body's level of the immune-boosting antibody immunoglobulin A (IgA). This secretion increases the overall immunity level of the body which keeps cold and flu away.

3. Sex reduces stress: Satisfying sexual activity can, of course, be an exhilarating mood lifter. Recent research revealed that people who have more sex reported that they felt more at ease, happier and learned how to handle stress better. During orgasm, there is a surge in oxytocin, which may account for both the stronger emotional connection between partners and tension relief.

4. Sex promotes longevity: Having an orgasm releases the hormone DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone), which works as an anti-depressant and improves immunity levels in the body. DHEA can repair tissue, improve cognition, keep skin healthy. Also, according to a british study of 1,000 men found those who had at least two orgasms a week had half the death rate of their countrymen who indulge less than once a month.

5. Sex increases blood circulation: Sex increases blood circulation, beneficial especially for the brain, due to increased heart rate and deep breathing. As fresh blood supply arrives, your cells and organs are saturated with fresh oxygen and hormones, and as the used blood is removed, you also remove waste products that cause fatigue and even illness.

6. Sex helps you sleep better: Not only does the oxytocin released during orgasm make you feel all coupled up, but research has shown it also helps you sleep. And getting enough restful sleep has been linked with a host of other good things, such as maintaining a healthy weight and blood pressure.

7. Sex improves cardiovascular health: In a recent study, scientists found the frequency of sex was associated with strokes in the 914 men they followed for 20 years. The researchers also found that having sex twice or more a week reduced the risk of heart attack or stroke by half for the men, compared with those who had sex less than once a month.

8. Sex reduces prostate cancer risk: Prostate gland-related disorders are known to be caused by or worsen as a result of the secretions from the gland. Regular sexual activity eliminates these harmful secretions and also helps protect the gland from cancer. According to researchers, frequent ejaculations, especially in 20-something men, may reduce the risk of prostate cancer later in life. Another study found that frequent ejaculations, 21 or more a month, were linked to lower prostate cancer risk in older men compared with less frequent ejaculations of four to seven monthly.

9. Sex helps in weight loss and overall fitness: While you might not want to hang up your gym shoes just yet if you're looking to lose weight, regular sex can help add activity to your lifestyle. Thirty minutes of sex burns 85 calories or more. It may not sound like much, but it adds up: 42 half-hour sessions will burn 3,570 calories, more than enough to lose a pound (or 0.45 kg). Sex also boosts production of testosterone, which leads to stronger bones and muscles.

10. Sex boosts testosterone and estrogen: Regular sexual activity boosts both testosterone and estrogen levels in both men and women. Testosterone is what makes the sex drive in men and women more aggressive. Besides boosting your libido, testosterone fortifies bones and muscles. It also keeps your heart healthy and good cholesterol high. In women, sex increases estrogen levels, which protects against heart disease. It is estrogen that makes a woman want to be touched and feel romantic, it is testosterone that evokes sexual arousal. Estrogen also plays a huge role in a woman's body scent.

Men's bodies also produce estrogen. Some estrogen helps a man to develop the softer, more nurturing, feminine side of his personality. As men age, the testosterone-estrogen balance begins to shift, with testosterone decreasing and estrogen increasing, and this is one reason why many men seem to mellow out as they get older.

Good, healthy sex with someone that you love has survival benefits. The caressing, hugging, stroking and cuddling promote feelings of love, nurture and care. Any expression of love and emotional intimacy encourages healing. Thus, sex with the touching and caressing related to being in love puts a smile on our face for health benefits as well.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Why do women have casual sex?

casual sex
A researcher upends traditional thinking and argues that both genders are looking for the same thing: Pleasure

Forget what you think you know about the sexes when it comes to hooking up: A new study claims that women are just as likely as men to accept an offer of casual sex. That is, so long as they are sexually propositioned by Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie, respectively.

OK, so that isn't terribly shocking -- but a study published in this month's Journal of Personality and Social Psychology raises some interesting questions about what it is that motivates no-strings sex. The University of Michigan's Terri Conley set out to replicate a classic 1989 social psychology study that found men were likely to accept an offer of casual sex, but women never did.

For ethical and legal reasons -- pshh! -- she wasn't able to reproduce the social experiment exactly. Instead of having students proposition unwitting subjects around campus, Conley presented fully informed participants with a hypothetical situation and asked how they would expect themselves to respond. So, a grain of salt would be wise.

Based on a survey of which famous people students found most attractive and unattractive, researchers asked straight male participants to either consider a fling with Angelina Jolie or Roseanne. Hetero women were asked to either mull the possibility of a hookup with Johnny Depp or Donald Trump. The result: Women and men were equally likely to accept the proposal of the "attractive" famous person as they were to reject the "unattractive" celebrity.

Conley writes that this is particularly interesting given the evo-psych view that women choose mates based on their good genes and capabilities as providers. "It is indeed difficult to imagine a better person to take care of a woman and her children than someone with the enormous resources of Donald Trump, yet women rejected him soundly," writes Conley. "This challenges the assumption that women are driven to choose mates with great resources."

What exactly is at play here is up for debate, though. "Perhaps the perceived gains in status afforded to individuals who have a sexual encounter with an attractive famous individual are so great that they offset any gender differences by reducing the stigma associated with casual sex for women," Conley considers. But she ultimately settles on a more controversial hypothesis, suggesting that the disparity between men's and women's likelihood of actually getting pleasure out of a sexual encounter might be responsible for gender differences in willingness to engage in casual sex.

In other words: Women are more discriminating about whom they sleep with in large part because they are much less likely to be sexually satisfied by the experience. There are countless other variables that I can't even begin to consider here -- but this study is at least fascinating as a conversation-starter and a kickoff for future research. I recently chatted with Conley about her findings, "pleasure theory" and the competing sexual pressures women face.

If you could summarize the importance of your findings in one sentence, what would it be?

Anticipated pleasure motivates both women and men to have casual sex and women would accept more casual sex offers from men if they believed that they would get good sex out of the encounter.

That brings up the "pleasure theory," which looms large in your research. What is it exactly?

The idea behind pleasure theory -- a theory developed by Paul Abramson and Steven Pinkerton -- is that pleasure itself is evolutionarily selected. If people are pleasuring each other in many different ways, enough procreative sex will occur to propagate the species.

If women are motivated by pleasure theory, why is faking orgasms so common? Any hypothesis as to what larger purpose "faking it" serves in casual encounters?

Sociologist Elizabeth Armstrong has shown that women do not feel entitled to sexual pleasure in casual heterosexual encounters. They seem to be more focused on providing the male partner with pleasure. If faking is common in casual sex encounters, it is likely because women are trying to do what they believe their male partner will like the best.

What's the motivator there?

Women are typically socialized to be more concerned about others' need than their own. They are also perceived negatively if they take the lead in sex.

Isn't the motivation to give men pleasure at odds with the general "pleasure theory," though?

Yes, I believe it is; women have competing pressures -- they want sexual pleasure but other social forces prevent them from asking for it.

Do we know whether women's perception of which men will bring them more pleasure actually bears out? In other words, using the example from the study: Is Johnny Depp necessarily a better lover than Donald Trump just because he's more attractive?

Women orgasm only about 35 percent as often as men do in casual sex encounters -- again, according to research by sociologist Elizabeth Armstrong. Therefore, women's estimations of the ability or willingness of the male partner to provide them with sexual pleasure seem to be accurate.

What does your research tell us about women and how they calculate the risk of a particular sexual encounter?

Pleasure is the motivating force for both women and men in sexual encounter. Risk -- for example, STI risk or risk of violence -- does not appear to affect whether they accept or reject a casual sex offer.

What weaknesses did your research reveal about the popular evolutionary view of how we choose whom we sleep with?

Sexual strategies theory proposes that women are motivated to accept sex because of the status of the potential sexual partner. I tested this possibility in several studies and it was never borne out. Moreover perceptions of status did not affect perceptions of the males' sexual capabilities, either. SST variables do not effectively explain gender differences in casual sex.

Everything we do, we do for sex

Importance Of Sex
Sex is everywhere. It's on television, in the movies, in your conversations, in your dorm rooms, and chances are, it's guiding most of your actions.

The fields of psychology, biology, anthropology and sociology are all busy attempting to explain just how much our desire for sex drives our actions. In my opinion, the importance of our sexual drives cannot be overstated. Whether you realize it or not, the majority of your actions and thoughts can eventually be traced back to a sexual origin.

Before you write me off as a Neo-Freudian, allow me to explain myself. Have you ever stopped to wonder how often you check yourself in the reflection of a window? How many times a day do you check yourself for unsightly stains, bad breath, messy hair or food stuck in your teeth? Chances are good that most of us are guilty of taking part in these actions several times daily. The reason for our obsession with a pleasant appearance? Sex.

If we did not have some desire for sex, there would be no point in looking nice. We spend enormous amounts of effort each day to present ourselves as a suitable mate. Girls have makeup, special bras, suggestive clothing and many other things at their disposal to make themselves noticeable to men. Men, who do notice these things, usually make a strong attempt to present themselves as being physically strong, competent and capable of protecting anyone willing to mate with them.

As a regular gym-goer, I will admit that I began my interest in fitness because I wanted to look more attractive to the opposite sex. I would guess that approximately 90 to 100 percent of all males in UD's gym either started working out for women, or are currently working out in an effort to impress women. Admit it. Women, why do you diet, exercise and worry about gaining a half a pound around the waist? It's because you want to be perceived as desirable. Men, why do you spend an average of $6 billion a year on nutritional supplements, and spend three to seven hours a week in the gym? If you are honest, it's for sex. Sure, it keeps you healthy, but you want to look good at the party on Friday, and you are fooling nobody.

I'm not saying that our habits are wrong. They are necessary, as reproduction is what keeps our species from becoming extinct. Subconsciously, sex is way more than just an outlet for pleasure. I would argue that we all have a hidden drive to reproduce. It is ingrained in the fiber of our being. We should not attempt to hide this primal drive.

It permeates our behavior and controls the way we think and act. I'm not advocating sexual promiscuity, infidelity and other risky behaviors. I consider myself to be staunchly opposed to all of these behaviors. But I do believe it is outrageous much of our society attempts to hide the fact that humans have sex, and we love doing it.

So the next time you go to the gym, do your makeup, look in a mirror or act like a fool in an attempt to impress someone, have a good laugh at yourself, and realize it's all for sex.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Marriage is bad for your sex life

Marriage seems to be bad for your sex life. Couples who have sex over four times a week before their wedding, barely have it once a week three years after tying the knot, a survey in Britain has found.

Researchers found that before marriage, couples can hope to have sex more than four times a week. But after three years of married life, there is a dramatic drop in their sex life and most couples have sex just once every seven days.

The survey was conducted among 3,000 married couple.

Six out of ten couples think that marriage has completely ruined the excitement of having sex, Daily Mail reported.

Another astounding result of the survey was that just below half of all married couples said that their relationship was more like friends than lovers.

“Unfortunately, while you can be deeply in love with someone and want to spend the rest of your life with them, it is also possible to want more from the relationship,” a spokesman for extra-marital dating service www.lovinglinks.co.uk was quoted as saying.

“A partner might be supportive, funny, intelligent, and kind, but if they don’t inspire confidence in the bedroom, or don’t meet expectations, sexually life can be frustrating,” he added.

He said: “It is at times like this when eyes start to wander, and folks start to think about having a no-strings affair with someone else…We have good reason to believe many relationships are strengthened by a little out-of-marriage activity.”

The survey revealed that 59 percent of couples think that their sex life had worsened after marriage.

Incidentally, eight in ten couples were in a sexual rut by having sex at the same time, in the same place and in the same positions every time they slept together.

As a matter of fact, 79 percent of the respondents were happier getting a good night’s sleep than making the effort to have spontaneous sex in the middle of the night.

Two thirds of the couples who had an affair admitted that sex was mind-blowing compared to the once-a-week sex with their husband or wife.

A fifth were ready to have a one-night stand if the opportunity presented itself or if their sex life with their partner didn’t improve. And nearly a quarter said they had a one-night stand to satisfy their craving for good sex.

The Loving Links spokesman said: “Modern marriages are becoming a little more open where sex is concerned, and these days we are quicker to forgive if someone has a little one-night stand.”

The results of the survey showed that almost two thirds of the respondents blamed their hectic lifestyle for their unhappy sex life and 80 percent were often too tired to bother once the day is over.

Importance of Sex in a Relationship

The importance of sex in a relationship is completely subjective. What one person might consider a crucial factor, another may dismiss altogether. How much sex matters within your own relationship is something only you can decide. Generally, the longer a couple has been together, the more important sex become - for a number of reasons. However, some women and men think it’s the key to a great connection.

While many women joke that sex is more important to men, this is not always the case. There are many, many women who are ready to go at any moment, willing to share an intimate moment with their partner whenever possible. If you and your partner have sex frequently, you may consider it a huge part of your lives. Sex is not just physical; it can also be an emotional and mental adventure that brings you closer to your partner.

On the other hand, if you and your partner rarely have sex, it may sit at the bottom of your priority list. If this works for the relationship, then there’s nothing to worry about. However, if infrequent contact is causing a problem, then sex may be more important to you than you think. Even though you may steer clear of the issue, it might be time to raise these concerns with your partner. In many cases, you may discover that something is bothering your partner, leading to a decrease in sexual contact.

Unfortunately, many women are pressured by peers and society to have sex x-number of times per week or per month. Imagine yourself among a group of friends, divulging your deepest of secrets. One friend reveals that she and her partner find time for intercourse at least once per day. You soon start to worry about your weekly adventure and go home with your timeframe weighing heavily on your mind. It’s a very common situation. Friends, authors, and experts all have their own ideas about what constitutes a healthy relationship, but their opinions are simply that: opinions.

If you’re happy with your sex life, then you have nothing to worry about. Even if you and your partner are practicing abstinence, or you are saving yourself for marriage, the choice is yours. While sex may not be a significant part of your life now, it will likely gain importance as time goes on. Let your own conscience be your guide. If you and your partner are content with the situation – no matter what that is – then you may have already found your answer.