We all know by now that sex is good for you in a medical sense. But we’re not done learning just how good it is, though. Here are several results from recent studies showing just how great it is to have frequent sex:
- Stress Reduction – Yeah, we already knew that sex reduces stress. But in a 2010 study, we learned that frequent sex produces lower blood pressure when engaging in stressful activities. And lord knows, Americans have plenty of need for reduced blood pressure. (By the way, sorry to report, but masturbation did not replicate the effect. It’s gotta be actual sex.)
- Happiness – Money may be a good path to happiness, but lots of sex is worth a lot of money. One study found that increasing sex from once a month to once a week produced an equivalent level of happiness to getting a $50,000 a year raise. So if you can’t manage to get that kind of a raise, get yourself some booty instead. (Wives, if your husband is really unhappy with his job, a once a week raise in his sex allotment is the best gift you can give…)
- Sex Cures Neuroticism (at least temporarily) – Of course, this raises an interesting question. Does celibacy cause neuroticism? (That was tongue in cheek, science geeks.) But seriously, neurotic individuals who get laid frequently reduce their neurotic tendencies almost to the point of non-neurotic.
- Reduce Prostate Cancer – Twenty one ejaculations a month reduces the risk of prostate cancer by 1/3. That’s an enormous benefit for doing something we like anyway.
It’s an interesting thing to me just how divided our psyches are in America. Our culture — based strongly on traditional Christian sexual mores — encourages us to abstain from sex as much as possible until and unless we find “the one.” Outside of the “sex positive feminist movement,” which takes a lot of flack for encouraging women to “act like men” sexually, most pundits and advice columnists encourage women to treat sex as something to be given judiciously and only as a return on sufficient investment.
On the other hand, women (especially younger women) in America are frequently involved in the “hookup culture,” where sex comes first, and a relationship may or may not follow. So lots of women are at least having one time sex relatively often. Men are generally encouraged by their peers to have casual sex while single, and there aren’t as many social stigmas attached to male “promiscuousness.” Even so, one of the most common stresses for single men is knowing when and if the next booty call is coming.
It’s a puzzle to me, both culturally and evolutionarily, why we Westerners try so hard to avoid sex when we are so much healthier when we have it frequently. Certainly there are emotional consequences that arise from “unwise sex,” and we must consider the stresses of STDs, unwanted pregnancy, negative social sanctions, and the like. But for both men and women, the evidence is clear — if there is a way to get frequent sex without incurring undue stress or risk, it’s better to get laid than not.