As it turns out, Marvin Gaye was on to something when he coined the term "sexual healing." Studies that say "sex will make you live longer" may hold some truth after all. The combination of the following health risks associated with not having sex affect the body mentally and physically, and more dramatically than you may have thought.
At the same time, they do not necessarily mean that not having sex will lead to an unhealthy life, as there are countless additional factors involved. But the following factors do imply that safe and consensual frequent sexual activity can be good for your body.
Here are seven things that can happen to your body in the absence of sexual activity for over two weeks:
1. You'll be at higher risk for a heart attack.
A study reported in the American Journal of Cardiology found that men who engaged in sexual activity 2-3 times a week had a 45% lower risk of cardiovascular disease than men who engaged in sexual activity once a month or less. Sex has proven to be great for blood circulation. The increase in heart rate during sex also keeps estrogen and testosterone levels in balance, which is helpful in the prevention of heart disease. The ability to have sex for a suitable duration of time in turn is also a sign of good cardiovascular health.
2. You will be more depressed.
Semen is an antidepressant. I REPEAT: SEMEN IS AN ANTIDEPRESSANT. At least this is what evolutionary psychologists at the State University of New York claimed in a study where they compared the sex lives of 293 females to their mental health. They came to the conclusion that women who didn't use a condom were less prone to depression and preformed better on cognitive tests. While unprotected sex is definitely not the answer to all your problems, semen is said to contain many mood-elevating compounds: endorphins, estrone, prolactin, oxytocin, thyrotrpin-releasing hormone, and serotonin. And the vaginal wall is known to be highly absorbent.
3. You'll be less fit.
On average, an intense 80-minute session can burn over 300 calories, which is the equivalent of running three miles. Ladies, if you can find a man who can last that long in bed, keep him around. Sex is surely a more fun way to get that booty workout in than a 3-mile run. The exact amount of calories burned during sexual activity varies between weight, gender and the sexual position or sexual act being performed. To accurately calculate how many calories you're burning you can use a Sex Calculator.
4. You'll get sick easier.
A study at Wilkes-Barre University in Pennsylvania has shown that sexual activity produces more infection-fighting antibodies. This antibody is called immunoglobulin A (IgA), and is the body's first line of defence against cold viruses. The more IgA present in your saliva, the less likely you are to catch a cold. The group of couples in this study who were having sex at least once a week had 30 per cent more IgA in their saliva than couples who had sex less often.
5. You wont sleep as well.
The hormonal changes that occur after sex can literally put you to sleep. First off, sexual activity decreases cortisol production, which in turn decreases stress and leaves you in a relaxed state. Additionally, the increase of estrogen in women can induce a deeper REM cycle and therefore a deeper sleep. In men, the prefrontal cortex of the brain slows down during the refractory period after an orgasm, which may be why men always seem to fall asleep after sex.
6. You'll look worse.
When both men and women orgasm, they release estrogen, which is known to improve the quality of hair and skin. Scientific studies have even proven that estrogen increases skin thickness and moisture therefore preventing skin aging. A 10-year-long study at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital showed that couples who had sex three or more times a week looked 10 years younger than their actual age. Sex not only makes you feel great—it makes you look great too.
7. You'll be less intelligent.
Researchers at the University of Maryland have proven that frequent sexual activity creates new neurons in the brain and improves cognitive function. Sex can also promote a better memory: a 2010 study on adult rats has proven that regular sexual activity causes cell growth in the hippocampus, which is the part of the brain that stores long-term memories. Sexual activity also increases blood flow to the brain—blood that is carrying oxygen and nutrients that promote healthy brain cells. In women, an orgasm lights up about 30 areas of the brain on an fMRI. This proves how a simple orgasm can have a huge effect on your most vital organ.