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Better than Botox: 7 reasons to have sex tonight
January 6th, 2011
11:24 AM ET

Better than Botox: 7 reasons to have sex tonight

I often write about the benefits of a healthy sex life in this column, and my colleagues and I at Good in Bed are big champions of the importance of sex in maintaining a healthy relationship.

But there are some more surprising benefits of having sex, many of which are just beginning to be explored. An intriguing theme is emerging from the research: Not only does being healthy support your sex life, but sex actually supports your health.

Look younger

A long-term study of 3,500 people between the ages of 30 and 101 found that regular sex may shave between four and seven years off your physical appearance. Researchers at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital in Scotland presented photos of the subjects to an impartial panel of judges, who were asked to guess their ages. The people who were judged to be the youngest were also those who had the most sex. What’s the connection between youthfulness and getting it on? In addition to boosting self-esteem and confidence, sex increases the production of human growth hormone, which is known to improve muscle tone.

Get happy

It goes without saying that sex can make you happy and contented, but a paper in the Archives of Sexual Behavior takes this idea one step further. Based on a study of 300 women that correlated condom use with depression, researchers concluded that women who never used condoms were the least depressed, while those women who always used condoms were the most depressed. One reason? The vagina may absorb the mood-boosting hormones and prostaglandins found in semen. It’s an interesting theory, but certainly no reason to advocate unprotected sex. Clearly, an unwanted pregnancy or STD would not increase anyone’s happiness.

Slim down

On average, sex burns about five calories per minute, depending upon your weight. Even engaging your partner in a hot kiss boosts your heart rate, which in turn increases your body’s caloric burn. Next time you’re too busy to work out, try getting busy instead.

Fight the sniffles

Sex may help fight off colds. In a study at Wilkes University in Pennsylvania, researchers found that college students who had sex once or twice per week had higher levels of immunoglobulin A, an antibody that boosts the immune system.

Keep the pressure down

Want to stress less? Sex could be just the thing to keep you calm. In a study by researchers at the University of Paisley in Scotland, 46 men women were asked to give speeches to an audience who, unbeknownst to the speakers, was told to act bored and disinterested. Afterwards, the participants’ blood pressure was taken—those who reported having sex within the last two weeks had the lowest readings.

Have a heart

A recent study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that erectile dysfunction (ED) is often an early indicator of poor cardiovascular health. Researchers followed more than 2,300 men for an average of four years and found that men with ED had a 58 percent greater risk of coronary heart disease. Another study showed that men who reported having three or more orgasms per week experienced 50 percent fewer heart attacks and strokes as compared with those who had less frequent orgasms. Sex may help the heart because orgasm triggers the release of the hormone DHEA, which helps with circulation and arterial dilation.

Live longer

For reasons that are still unclear, regular sex may even add years to your life. A study published in the British Medical Journal found that men who had sex less than once per month were twice as likely to die in the next 10 years than those who had sex once per week. And guys aren’t the only ones to benefit: Researchers at Duke University found that women who claimed to enjoy their sex lives lived seven to eight years longer than women who were indifferent to sex.

So forget about an apple a day. To feel healthier, look younger, and live longer, an orgasm or two a week may be an effective - and certainly enjoyable - remedy.

Ian Kerner is a sexuality counselor and New York Times best-selling author, blogs on Thursdays on The Chart. Read more from him at his website, GoodInBed.


soundoff (408 Responses)
  1. TK

    yes

    January 7, 2011 at 13:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. fishfry001

    Word!

    January 7, 2011 at 13:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. John

    I'm going to have fun with my fleshlight

    January 7, 2011 at 13:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Sutler

    There's an extra year added to my life...

    January 7, 2011 at 13:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sutler

      and another...

      January 7, 2011 at 13:44 | Report abuse |
    • Sutler

      Add two more years...
      I love minaj a twas!

      January 7, 2011 at 13:47 | Report abuse |
    • Sutler

      Add half a year for Rosey Palm. 😛

      January 7, 2011 at 13:48 | Report abuse |
    • Sutler

      At this rate, we can all live forever!!!!

      January 7, 2011 at 13:48 | Report abuse |
  5. Unhappy

    I guess I will always be unhappy, unhealthy, look older than my age, under stress, and have a short life.

    January 7, 2011 at 13:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mysti

      And how do feel when you're depressed?

      January 7, 2011 at 16:30 | Report abuse |
    • Unhappy

      Mysti, if you are a woman, please help me releive my stress. And to answer your question; when I am depressed, I don't feel like doin it but I still do it solo.

      January 8, 2011 at 03:03 | Report abuse |
    • Depressed

      Mysit, I have some stress I need to get off too. Please help?

      January 10, 2011 at 15:44 | Report abuse |
  6. fishfry001

    I don't think that works up as many calories, and as such would not give your heart the equivalent workout either.

    January 7, 2011 at 13:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Reason #8

    It feels good.

    January 7, 2011 at 13:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Marta

    I need to get me a one night stand!!!! ASAP!!!! I haven't done it in 2 YEARS!!!

    January 7, 2011 at 13:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. vic

    the study was on people from 30 to 101 old. I am wondering about the 101 yr old , how they can perform daily????

    January 7, 2011 at 13:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. jworn

    If I have to pay for both anyway, I think the Botox will last longer.

    January 7, 2011 at 13:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Hameed Hemmat

    This is essential. Love it.

    January 7, 2011 at 13:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. John1Galt

    Reason #8. Wife's on a business trip.

    January 7, 2011 at 13:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. vic

    give one good reason not seven to touch her???

    January 7, 2011 at 13:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. freetime1

    Now all I have to do is find some willing sheep.

    January 7, 2011 at 14:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Gregory Pierce

    7 reasons? I don't need ANY reasons 🙂

    All the benefits you list here are just a bonus.

    January 7, 2011 at 14:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Anna

    Not to sound raunchy, but does masturbation with devices or toys provide the same benefits? The article doesn't seem to address this. I have a fiancé whom I love very much, but I'm lucky if we make love twice a month. It would be nice to know that my solo exploration is making up the difference.

    January 7, 2011 at 14:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Unhappy

      Why would you need a toy when I am here available at your service.

      January 8, 2011 at 03:23 | Report abuse |
  17. Jim

    I'd love to.... but my wife usually has other ideas.

    January 7, 2011 at 14:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. maine bear

    do you need a partner

    January 7, 2011 at 14:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Darrin

    Then someone needs to explain this to my wife. I'd do it but she doesn't listen to me.

    January 7, 2011 at 14:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • chele

      Yes, we wives can be pretty unreasonable sometimes, Darrin. My husband agrees with you there.

      January 31, 2011 at 21:15 | Report abuse |
  20. Morgana

    #8: To be close to the person you love. (call me crazy)

    January 7, 2011 at 14:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. your psychic advisor

    let's get to work, quit just talking about it!

    January 7, 2011 at 14:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. angelfell

    obviously those women don't work full time and have a steady partner. which leads me to believe i'm going about life all wrong!

    January 7, 2011 at 14:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. crowfoot

    An orgasm a day, keeps the doctor away

    January 7, 2011 at 14:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Eric Talbott

    This explains why women out live their husbands. They cut off the husband and get it from someone else.

    January 7, 2011 at 14:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Me

    I Masterbate! :p

    January 7, 2011 at 14:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. sameeker

    Mom said I would go blind if I did that so I said I would quit when I needed glasses.

    January 7, 2011 at 14:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Jeffhttp://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/.element/img/3.0/1px.gif

    Everyone eventually gets the jungle fever.

    January 7, 2011 at 14:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Jeb

    All of you complaining about your wives, ever think maybe she doesn't want you to live longer or be happy?

    January 7, 2011 at 14:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Chris' Lover

    Only three hours and nineteen minutes baby 😉

    January 7, 2011 at 14:41 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Joe

      Better get the phone ready, cuz if it lasts for over 4 hours, you could have permanent damage to your junk.

      January 7, 2011 at 16:21 | Report abuse |
  30. Will

    Therefore, I guess my single ass better improve my left hand technique (I'm left-handed) and hit the gym even harder......or, according to this article, I'm going to look older, be unhappy, gain weight, catch a cold, stress out, have a myocardial infarction, and die young. Geez, any girl up for a quickie?

    January 7, 2011 at 14:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jeannie

      LOL!

      January 7, 2011 at 15:26 | Report abuse |
    • Unhappy

      I hear you brother. I am a lefty too. I don't have any prints left on my palm and fingers. Would love to have a chic for a night to add a couple of years to my life. Or my single ass would look very old. Any girl wanna look young and happy?

      January 8, 2011 at 03:09 | Report abuse |
  31. Catharsis

    Add another notch to the proverbial bedpost.

    January 7, 2011 at 14:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. AAW

    Thisshould be required reading for every married women in America.

    January 7, 2011 at 14:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. a slozomby

    reason 8) rent is due soon and your a couple hundred short.

    January 7, 2011 at 14:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. gadzilla

    I had been married once for a few years, and then had a long time (5 years) steady boyfriend before we broke up, and I met my current husband. Where my previous two mates had been very closed mouth and closed minded, previously it had been a quick few minutes in the dark, with no interest on their part if I had pleasure or not. It was not really fun or interesting at all. When I met my current husband, fireworks! Totally different scene. I have to admit I was at first amused by my husbands attention and interest in me. I thought it was so adorable and refreshing to have him care if I was having pleasure or not. I wondered how long it would be like that, when he would get bored and it would just be like the other two loves of my life. Nope, twenty years later and he still cares whether I have an orgasm or not. He was always for having release at least once a day. He truly gets out of sorts if he doesn't have some attention every day. He makes sure it's about me as well, so, how can I complain? And FranklySpeaking, right on little brother! Remember what I said, my current wonderful husband caring about my pleasure too has made all the difference in our 20 year love fest. Oh, and it's not wise to make a lifelong commitment to someone if you know the physical part isn't right for you, even if they are your dream partner in any other way. That's like choosing a lifetime of miserable physical relations.

    January 7, 2011 at 15:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. 2-n-A-row

    I do 2 rounds in-a-row.

    January 7, 2011 at 15:03 | Report abuse | Reply
    • gadzilla

      Lordy, don't tell my husband that. As a Capricorn, he is all into efficiency, he would be all over that. I on the other hand like my pleasure spread out through the day, and as such I prefer to pace myself. So, ssshhhhh.

      January 7, 2011 at 15:56 | Report abuse |
  36. iraqistan vet

    Well, at least I work out more than most. I have that right ;).....Dam dedication to work and school. I envy you guys.

    January 7, 2011 at 15:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • gadzilla

      Mr iraqistan vet, I am sitting here imagining you, working out, and the irony of how good you must look. Damn. You need to find some time to let somebody partake of the fine body you must have from all that hard work. Sincerely, Ms Cougar.

      January 7, 2011 at 16:05 | Report abuse |
  37. bigpimpin

    im short, fat, balding and have a crappy job probably have to rent a good movie

    January 7, 2011 at 15:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. momomiester

    I knew it! My wife says I look years younger and she couldn't figure out why? I said, it must of been the vacation I just got back from..To bad she couldn't go with me.:)

    January 7, 2011 at 15:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • jynx

      that was great

      January 7, 2011 at 15:27 | Report abuse |
  39. FRED

    THE MORE THE BETTER BE READY FOR TONIGHT BABY

    January 7, 2011 at 15:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Mysti's Next Door Neighbor

    Yup, just call if you need a third wheel!

    January 7, 2011 at 15:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. gadzilla

    @fishfry001, I personally run in place or do jumping jacks while flicking the bean, to add back the cardio element I would get from riding my husband like a cowgirl. Yeehah!

    January 7, 2011 at 15:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • God King of Web Coitus

      How on earth can you flick the bean and do jumping jacks? Something tells me you've got more talent than me.

      January 27, 2011 at 15:48 | Report abuse |
  42. Rob

    Great, I'm going to look old, have heart disease and die from it sooner. What a cheery way to start 2011.

    January 7, 2011 at 15:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Jeannie

    Cialis, baby! Makes my 50 year old man act like he's 25 again. I can't get enough of him (errr, it)....

    January 7, 2011 at 15:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • 23

      I'm 23. Won't that be much better?

      January 10, 2011 at 15:47 | Report abuse |
  44. cvcnn

    this is a very interesting article, i usually enjoy being with my bf but sometimes i want to be with him 3 x in an hour or two and he doesnt function that manytimes dont know if its me or him but i was use to the 3x in an hour with my ex hubby so i sometimes wonder if its normal for iit not to function as quickly =)

    January 7, 2011 at 15:28 | Report abuse | Reply
    • gadzilla

      I'm not an expert, but I would say that 3x to orgasm in an hour or two, especially frequently as in daily or every other day, would not be considered average. Most people need a cool down time between times, and it can vary. My husband and I used to do it sometimes three times a day when we first got together, occasionally when he was in his early twenties he might be ready to go again right away after we finished one round. Now twenty years later, I'd say it happens maybe three times a year. But as much as we've done it in twenty years, two times immediately in succession was never the norm.

      January 7, 2011 at 16:15 | Report abuse |
  45. Ray

    Gave up out of conscience fear or accidental reproduction. More people should cut down. We have too many people exhausting resources. The human race can afford a decline of at least half it's population at this point.

    January 7, 2011 at 15:37 | Report abuse | Reply
    • gadzilla

      I understand where you are coming from. I have never done it without using birth control for that very reason. But I believe if I had not met my husband, I would have remained single and probably celibate. People do engage in relations without truly thinking of the consequences. Look at all the abused and unwanted children of the world. And humans claim to be intelligent.

      January 7, 2011 at 16:19 | Report abuse |
  46. LMAO

    HA!! Goldfish you kill me

    January 7, 2011 at 15:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Jeannie

    Cialis and menopause, a great combination!

    January 7, 2011 at 15:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. DAVINCIKODE

    If you need an article like this or scientific studies to stimulate your self life, then you are either a eunuch by birth or a master retard. Childish article which reflects the absence of emotional maturity of mainstream society once again. Now back to facebook, before the children come home!

    January 7, 2011 at 15:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. unbelievable

    Gadzilla, go write a book somewhere else!

    January 7, 2011 at 15:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • gadzilla

      Hi.

      January 7, 2011 at 16:22 | Report abuse |
    • esmiranda

      Here's a hint – if you have a short attention span, skip the posts that are more than one liners.

      January 7, 2011 at 16:34 | Report abuse |
  50. moble 1

    OMG...lmao at some of these post. thanks guys for a great one.

    January 7, 2011 at 15:48 | Report abuse | Reply
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.