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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 (406 Responses)
  1. Mysti's burglar

    Shhhhh.....
    I'll be under the bed.

    January 7, 2011 at 15:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Mike

    Sounds like a plan to me 🙂

    January 7, 2011 at 15:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Joe

    This coming from someone who obviously has never been in an 'inter-racial relationship', since he's still using his hand. I guess you've never seen the result of Philippine and US parentage. Awesome beautiful kids, and sweet, mild, loyal, kind and loving women. I have and I wouldn't go back to the white on white for anything.

    January 7, 2011 at 15:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. finger

    Ich bekam mein Junk begräbt Ball tief in meine Frau, und Sie lassen mich chat mit meinem i-Pad... Sweeeeet!

    January 7, 2011 at 15:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Marie

    Thanks for the comments all. This lonely widow remembers the multiple orgasms and the pitcher of water we keep on the night stand. My wonderful partner is gone, but the sweet memories are very much alive.

    January 7, 2011 at 15:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Jeannie

    Seriously, I don't understand why women don't want it every day anyway. If it's not for the pleasure, then move on to somebody else. Besides, all I have to do is Google the latest Jenna Jameson BJ video, watch the pro, try it on my husband and I swear he cleans the bathroom floors for me.

    January 7, 2011 at 16:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MIKETY

      I think I love you.

      January 7, 2011 at 17:12 | Report abuse |
    • Janice

      Hahaha u must be really amazing with ur mouth for u to habe ur hubby do all that for u. But if thata true, then yeah i think that dude loves u! Haha

      January 7, 2011 at 18:37 | Report abuse |
  7. Robert

    Now I know why people are always telling me I look 4-5 years younger than my age! Gotta keep this up!

    January 7, 2011 at 16:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Eduardo

    Can this people write about something else? It's always something about calling Attention! Be smart there are other things in life to talk about...

    less inteligent people talk about the past.
    average people talk about the present.
    Wise people , talk about the future

    January 7, 2011 at 16:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. bostongye

    My partner and I were barely doing it then one night I gave her analingus and suddenly she wants to do it everyday, what gives.

    January 7, 2011 at 16:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • lovehurts

      @ bostongye-because it probably feels good to her, many girls like their privates and anus licked.

      January 14, 2011 at 00:27 | Report abuse |
  10. Mysti's Hubby

    Um.. Oh boy. Snotty sniffly love making. Can't wait to catch your cold as a result.

    January 7, 2011 at 16:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. LARGELY Celibate

    My wife and I do it THREE TIMES A MONTH on average and we're in out mid-40's. She lost her drive immediately after conceiving our third child. She wanted three and got them. Now I'm generally on my own until her hormones get the better of her once a month. That doesn't always happen, of course. Sometimes we go for nine or ten weeks without doing it. That makes the months when we do it 4 or 5 times seem like a marathon. So count your blessings and pray for my longevity.

    January 7, 2011 at 16:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Depressed

    I'm still a virgin 😦 .......

    January 7, 2011 at 16:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Hugh G Rection

      Not to worry, I can help. Call me 1-800-6969-6969

      January 7, 2011 at 16:34 | Report abuse |
    • Fabiola

      That's good girl, once you fall in love and get married you will see it was worth the wait, trust me 🙂

      January 7, 2011 at 19:40 | Report abuse |
    • Dr . D

      This condition is easily cured if you know the right Dr., PLEASE CALL TO SET UP AN APPOINTMENT! Follow up with regular visits.

      January 8, 2011 at 08:15 | Report abuse |
  13. Wilt

    I go wif as many hos as I can take in a day. Signed – Wilt C.

    January 7, 2011 at 16:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Eric

    Any women out there interested in helping me live longer? LOL!

    January 7, 2011 at 16:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. rosy palm

    would jackin off count??????

    January 7, 2011 at 16:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • esmiranda

      Now that my husbands gone, I certainly hope so. I can't even face the thought of dating yet, let alone being intimate.

      January 7, 2011 at 16:49 | Report abuse |
  16. LMFAO

    this article makes me wanna leave work and run home now LOL maybe I will use my "sick time" .. Hey, I am sick of work !

    January 7, 2011 at 16:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Buck Jackson

    My girlfriend, Donatella (nobody), would have it everyday, several times a day. The wife just gets in the way.

    January 7, 2011 at 16:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Briana

    Wish my husband felt this way

    January 7, 2011 at 16:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MacCleoud

      Well, if he doesn't, I have a solution. Call it a "Supplemental Health Plan". PLease send the message to JRMaccleoud care of Y@H00.

      January 7, 2011 at 20:38 | Report abuse |
  19. AbraCadabra

    why do they only ever tell one side of the story???

    January 7, 2011 at 16:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Edwin Torres

    Great! Now to improve the groove you got to be in the mood! TotalBodyYouth

    January 7, 2011 at 16:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Jimmynog

    #8. Your wife has left for a week to visit her mother.

    January 7, 2011 at 16:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Wade 'N' Georgia

    Hey im all (( Up )) for it,Or should I say I can be all (( Up )) for it when the time arrives!!! Being 40 isn't so bad....I still got IIIIIITTTTT !!!!!

    January 7, 2011 at 17:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Hey ladies

    You've got 3 holes, so stop being so stingy alright. Now get to work and make your man happy!

    January 7, 2011 at 17:09 | Report abuse | Reply
    • kishore

      even if they have 3 holes, they don't "get to work" if the man is an a.s.s.h.o.l.e.

      January 7, 2011 at 17:50 | Report abuse |
  24. Stlchicago

    Guess someone should post this story in all the women's books and magazines; women and they're hang-ups is the problem. Honestly, I think depriving men of the candy is a woman's way of killing off men; and it's been working. Look at the high reported cases of prostate cancer. All due to a lack of getting some candy.

    January 7, 2011 at 17:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Misti's Mailman

    I can get rid of this cold!!!

    January 7, 2011 at 17:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. kishore

    if masturbation doesn't count, then gay/lesbian love making shouldn't count either.

    January 7, 2011 at 17:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Amie

    Awesome article! Passion Parties are the Ultimate girls night in! We also have romance & sensual products to enhance your relationship and an awesome business opportunity as we an independent consultant.
    http://www.PassionPartiesByAmie.com

    January 7, 2011 at 18:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. guitarjunky

    I jack off once a day sometimes two.

    January 7, 2011 at 18:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. vic

    Imagine if 2 billion people in china will do it daily without birth control !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 7, 2011 at 18:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Lennie Ross

    I guess that explains why I look young, am happy and natural slim! Guess I'm gonna live long as well.

    January 7, 2011 at 18:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Janice

    Read this babe!!

    January 7, 2011 at 18:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. vic

    Once I was bidding my wife for doing it 6 time in one day and she miscounting ( 4 instead of five times that day). I said to her let us start from zero again.

    January 7, 2011 at 18:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. lark

    This flies in the face of the research showing how fricking long nuns live. Maybe they are keeping secrets from us.

    Five calories a minute, big deal. I don't do it for the exercise and my BF probably eats MORE afterward, alas. I'm 114# and he can't get down to 200. as for being happier and healthier, well, if I do it LOTS of times in 24 hours I nearly always end up with a UTI (yeah, I do the cranberry/wipe/probiotics blah blah)...but he never suffers because I love love love doing the Popsicle thing...

    I don't however love CNN or Gupta.

    January 7, 2011 at 18:37 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mister Forreigner

      You talk in strange riddles, lady. I wonder if I should have taken Chinese instead of English as my 2nd language, would I understand you better...?

      January 16, 2011 at 18:48 | Report abuse |
  34. fred eyram

    how good or bad is mastubation

    January 7, 2011 at 18:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Foxy

      Well, from trying to read this research report between the lines, it does look like single-sided self-pleasuring has some of those benefits mentioned, at least to some degree. But the Real Thing with an actual partner is certainly more efficient. I can confirm this by my own personal, anecdotal observation (and it also seems to appeal to my common sense).

      However, it still awaits confirmation by actual academic research.

      January 16, 2011 at 18:52 | Report abuse |
  35. Eric

    Eric from Nigeria...this is amazing that all these works to boost human health...

    January 7, 2011 at 18:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Adam

    Hey, I love this article. Put a ring on his or her hand and make it heavenly LEGAL. It will be much, much betta'.

    January 7, 2011 at 18:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Archie

    Thanks for the afternoon laugh everyone!

    January 7, 2011 at 18:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. mike k

    Once a week is more than enough.

    January 7, 2011 at 19:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Migg

    My demise is then impending.

    January 7, 2011 at 19:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Jack Howitzer

    I don't read these comments. But you do. Go to http://67.42.80.195 and click my ads, sucker.

    January 7, 2011 at 19:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. rach

    an orgasm or two a week?! Holy canoli!! Let's not get a head of ourselves. Sheesh.

    January 7, 2011 at 19:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • jimbo

      ...no pun intended

      January 7, 2011 at 20:08 | Report abuse |
  42. Laud

    Seriously??

    January 7, 2011 at 19:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. MichaelZ

    I'm a 47 year-old guy and still a virgin.
    Imagine my life...

    January 7, 2011 at 19:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MacCleoud

      Dude.... that's sad. Why would you post this kind of negativity here? Have you tried escorts? What about avenue "B" in New York? Worst case senario, you might want to get acqainted with Rosy Palm and Thumbalina.

      January 7, 2011 at 20:34 | Report abuse |
  44. Bernie

    Thank you so much Dr. Kerner. I never wanted to do it because I thought it is unhealthy. Now that I know that it is so healthy I will get on it right away. It's so much fun and sooo healthy – what more can you ask for.

    January 7, 2011 at 19:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Dan

    #1 Because you're in love

    January 7, 2011 at 19:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. ipisking

    Tell that to the old lady!!!

    January 7, 2011 at 20:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. jimbo

    Diggity...

    January 7, 2011 at 20:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Grovetucky

    I'm going to die! young.....

    January 7, 2011 at 20:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Jim

    Gotta chub just reading this....

    January 7, 2011 at 21:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Saralyn

    In that case....I'm going from 1x a day to 3x a day!

    January 7, 2011 at 21:39 | 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.