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 (1,080 Responses)
  1. Drew

    Like I need a reason. I had it last night though. I can wait until tomorrow.

    January 7, 2011 at 11:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • gadzilla

      Yes, but what about today Drew?

      January 7, 2011 at 15:39 | Report abuse |
  2. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    Just gotta love morning wood .

    January 7, 2011 at 11:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • gadzilla

      I have noticed that when I wake my husband up by humming his am wood, he is in a really good mood when he gets out of bed. Works like a charm, every time.

      January 7, 2011 at 15:43 | Report abuse |
  3. Rich

    Im ready. I just can't remember how.

    January 7, 2011 at 11:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Dang

    I am 55 and counting...my woman hates it when she does not get it everyday and many times more than once per day. The problem I have is that it usually go on for much more than an hour and it takes forever to climax. Dang...can't get it done in three minutes like many people.

    January 7, 2011 at 11:37 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MIKE

      your lucky

      January 7, 2011 at 11:40 | Report abuse |
    • Foxy

      If it does work in the end and you can afford the time, it should be really worth it for both of you. If not, you will need to negotiate a compromise. If 3 times a week is all you can afford to spend time on and she requires more, you can buy her appropriate equipment to assist her get it on solo on the days you are unavailable.

      January 16, 2011 at 19:11 | Report abuse |
  5. MIKE

    lol this is great. that is why my wife is sick all the time. once every 3 months is not enough lol

    January 7, 2011 at 11:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dang

      She has a mind thing...a mind blockage that is...she need retraining in the enjoyment of said subject. My EX was just the same but worst, sometimes a year pass and nothing...nada...

      Said thing is that she never got the memo and passed away without ever knowing the truth. Still, at 55; I am getting it one quite well with someone who knows what pleasure is derived from a good work out.

      January 7, 2011 at 12:16 | Report abuse |
    • gadzilla

      The way people hold out on their mate just boggles my mind. It makes no sense to me. Mostly because if I am holding out on him for whatever reason, that means I ain't gettin none either. Yes I could still flick my own bean, but with my mate right there every day, interacting. He would say something funny, I would laugh, that dam of resentment would break and I'd be all over him like syrup on a pancake. Female or not, I can't hold out when I like it too. It's my husband's fault, he makes it that good every time. Not that men who get deprived don't make it good, I'm just a gal who likes a good romp as much as the next guy.

      January 7, 2011 at 15:50 | Report abuse |
  6. Total Pig

    That time of the month last night so I had a little gravy on my meat. No biggie.

    January 7, 2011 at 11:40 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Joe

      Yeah, you are.

      January 7, 2011 at 15:45 | Report abuse |
  7. humor monitor

    finally good natured humor. there is life despite adversity.

    January 7, 2011 at 11:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. pizzaguy

    did anyone order pizza?

    January 7, 2011 at 11:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bill , San Diego ,califonia

      or beer?

      January 7, 2011 at 11:51 | Report abuse |
    • Homer

      mmmm beer

      January 7, 2011 at 13:07 | Report abuse |
  9. Chuck Norris

    I was very unhappy about Mysti's STD so I kicked her so hard she traveled back in time and shes alright now.

    January 7, 2011 at 11:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Chuck Norris' Dad

      Chuck, now you know how I met your mom.

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

      But Chuck Sr., with all due respect sir, didn't Chuck Jr. lose his virginity before you?

      January 7, 2011 at 18:46 | Report abuse |
    • Foxy

      Brixton, he found it again later.

      January 16, 2011 at 19:14 | Report abuse |
  10. Alan's Boyfriend

    But you told me we'd be together last night. LIAR!!!!! I HATE YOU!!!!!!!!!!

    January 7, 2011 at 11:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Frankly Speaking..

    Please help, I am a teenager..Its all i can think about. I am walking on the street BOOM! I am having lunch with my friend BOOM! In my dreams KABOOM!

    January 7, 2011 at 11:46 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Foxy

      Stop thinking so hard about bombs, and try to find a nice girl your age to play with... Shouldn't be too hard if you look at least half decent and can talk (about other stuff than bombs)...

      January 16, 2011 at 19:17 | Report abuse |
  12. bret

    You'll love this!
    I love You!


    January 7, 2011 at 11:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Nom Nom

    pu$$y rocks

    January 7, 2011 at 11:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Baba Doodlius

      are those like "kidney stones"?

      January 7, 2011 at 18:54 | Report abuse |
  14. Yobee Jabronee

    And I http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pXfHLUlZf4&feature=&p=C8D225A967F6286E&index=0&playnext=1

    January 7, 2011 at 11:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Bill , San Diego ,califonia

    Great, another article which shows how great it is for you YET the problem is getting someone to help out

    January 7, 2011 at 11:51 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Linda's Boyfriend

      Bill, My girlfriend wants to know if you are rich and good looking? Neighbors, we are.

      January 7, 2011 at 22:44 | Report abuse |
  16. Anne L (MD, Canine Proctology)

    Please be aware that bestiality is prohibited, via Federal Directive 69.

    January 7, 2011 at 11:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. PimmyZ's Parole Officer

    Looks like you're coming back to the Big House soon...we all missed you a lot, especially the guys in block 69.

    January 7, 2011 at 12:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Fricsaid

    I think the two biggest reasons to have s3x is the sun going up, then going down. 🙂

    January 7, 2011 at 12:03 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Foxy

      For most couples, the lunar cycle is far more relevant... xD

      January 16, 2011 at 19:19 | Report abuse |
  19. pizzaguy

    illl start enrolling to medical school..... that might work better!

    January 7, 2011 at 12:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Mysti's Biggest Fan

    Mysti, you're my hero. I want to be like you some day. Can you mentor me?

    January 7, 2011 at 12:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mysti

      Sure, no problem, I can mentor you tonite if you want...just need to clean-up my strap-on.

      January 7, 2011 at 12:18 | Report abuse |
    • mysti's Strap-on

      yeah... run..

      run far far away ><

      if you want to live and not be scarred for life..literally emotionall, and physically

      January 7, 2011 at 12:46 | Report abuse |
    • Mystis Bush Wacker

      Just remember to"explore her other side' as i did. just hold on for the ride of a lifetime. And just an FYI, thje marks on her hips is nothing to worry about. Its just finger marks from all those that came before you holdin on tight. its a ride. And bring ear plugs, she is a SCREAMER...Wait..maybe its b/c as she said, i was gigantic...Let me know 2morrow how it went.

      January 7, 2011 at 13:04 | Report abuse |
    • Mysti's Appointment Book

      Mystis Bush Wacker – don't see you in my appointment list...were you that stunted sidekick who had to make do with the alley cats outside while your friend & I were getting it on?

      January 7, 2011 at 16:17 | Report abuse |
  21. Duane W

    I was wondering why at 80 years old I still looked like I was 15, hrm

    January 7, 2011 at 12:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Foxy

      Perhaps because fictional characters and chronic liars never age

      January 16, 2011 at 19:21 | Report abuse |
  22. Dang

    Interracial is better than iinter-bred and makes fine looking people. Inter-racial childern are almost better looking and have better shape than so-called pure-bred. They are much more fun too...learn from each other and their culture.

    January 7, 2011 at 12:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. From the Inedumacated Department

    "Incouraging", Bob? Try "Inbred". Or (as you would spell it) "Inbecile"

    January 7, 2011 at 12:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. GuerillaGorilla

    And why would it not be okay to have an interracial relationship? Is everyone not human? Are african americans any different that caucasians in anything other than the color of their skin? What about asians? Keep your racist comments to yourself. "Interracial relationships" is a stupid term anyways. It is just a relationship, regardless of race, creed or ethnicity.

    January 7, 2011 at 12:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. PeekingInside

    I can honestly say that as far as this article goes, as I've always said........"It's what inside that counts", literally.

    January 7, 2011 at 12:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Broz

    an orgasm a day keeps the doctor a way.
    hahah. lets get it on, everybody to the pile!!

    January 7, 2011 at 12:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Mickety

    What about "going to the self service gas station"...does that help you live longer? We'd all prefer "full service", but sometimes the "self service" is the only one open.

    January 7, 2011 at 12:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. dogs rule

    GAG. since when do men need a reason? They just need a place...or a floor...or a wall....

    January 7, 2011 at 12:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Mickety

    Glad you noticed. Isn't it beautiful?

    January 7, 2011 at 12:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. george, phoenix

    to go together is wonderful ... but to come together is divine.

    January 7, 2011 at 12:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Souljacker

    Not surprised a man wrote this.


    January 7, 2011 at 12:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. stacy's mom

    let's GET IT ONNN!

    January 7, 2011 at 12:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Mysti's Bed Springs

    Squeak squeak squeak squeak!

    January 7, 2011 at 12:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. V Saxena

    Don't know much about this concept "$ex," as it's been 4+ years, but I sure do know a lot about self-$ex *two thumbs up with a cheesy smile*. In fact, it's helping me recover from a recent right-hand fracture by forcing me to bend the affected finger. It would be either just screw myself with 4 fingers, but there's no loving in this world quite like 5-fingered loving!

    January 7, 2011 at 12:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • V Saxena

      would be #better

      January 7, 2011 at 12:55 | Report abuse |
  35. Stats suck

    This is why I hate one-sided research.
    In the "Look Younger" section, did it ever occur to these geniuses that maybe younger looking people simply get lucky more?

    I bet the same people would look at photos of chemo patients, and conclude that baldness causes cancer.

    January 7, 2011 at 12:55 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jeff

      I wasn't as nice in my critique about the article, and it looks like it wasn't posted, but I completely agree with you. Carrying a lighter in your pocket causes lung cancer.

      January 7, 2011 at 14:33 | Report abuse |
  36. Palm Barber

    Just make sure you keep your palms shaved or people will catch on

    January 7, 2011 at 12:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. mihoda

    what does botox have to do with any of this?

    January 7, 2011 at 13:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Boehner

    Does slapping the monkey count as $ex and do you get the same health benefits?

    January 7, 2011 at 13:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Knucklehead61

    Can we now call it "working out?"

    January 7, 2011 at 13:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Knucklehead61

    I'm thinking about opening a "gym"....or a "health club"...

    January 7, 2011 at 13:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Tuyet

    Hey, check this out. I told you so. JZ

    January 7, 2011 at 13:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Hugh Hefner

    How do you think I made it to 85? Or is it 86?

    January 7, 2011 at 13:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Stev379

    Me thinks the women who are happier without condom use are so because they know – even if subconsciously – that they have a chance of getting pregnant. Those who always use a condom are more like to look forward to only using a condom and not likely getting pregnant. Duh... For men, reverse this theory. 🙂

    January 7, 2011 at 13:22 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Foxy

      No sir, there was no correlation between use of birth control pills and depression, unlike the use of condoms. So the possible pregnancy is not the answer. passage of hormones and prostigladiolas (whatever that is) probably is, though.

      January 16, 2011 at 19:27 | Report abuse |
  44. thumperf

    I dont need 7 reasons

    January 7, 2011 at 13:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. MikeyB

    Yeah, CNN. let's keep promoting how great s3x is and ignore the negative health aspects, e.g. uterine and anal cancer from HPV, HIV/AIDs, amongst all of the other transmittable diseases.

    January 7, 2011 at 13:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MikeyB's Parole Officer

      PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT : MikeyB has been apprehended and he is back in Cellblock 69. His extreme opinions are doubtless due to his painful experience with the guys in the cell block, especially Mr. Hugh G. Rection.

      January 7, 2011 at 16:22 | Report abuse |
  46. moninprogress

    Folks, have some mercy for those who fail to find a compatible partner................................... let do Yoga and cry!!!

    January 7, 2011 at 13:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Ridzenieks

    Well, Thank God there is Viagra and Cialis, 15 year ago that would be a problem

    January 7, 2011 at 13:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Jeb

    5 calories a minute that's like 7 calories a time not bad!

    January 7, 2011 at 13:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Roger Federer

    I left my condoms in Switzerland, they're the only one I can use because it has a Swiss chocolate taste on it... Does anyone know a shop in Doha that sells chocolate condoms?

    January 7, 2011 at 13:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. TK

    That just gives me more reasons to hump my man's bone tonight!!!

    January 7, 2011 at 13:39 | 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.