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. Ohlusheyel

    Thanks for this. More are expected from you, gud job!

    January 7, 2011 at 21:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. adam

    What a pathetic story CNN is going down that's I would never look again by CNN. Thanks for encouraging teen pregnancy

    January 7, 2011 at 22:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. GayJordan

    I only need one reason: to skeet

    January 7, 2011 at 22:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. zbzb

    Finally I got a good reason to lose my virginity! 22 and counting, well no counting any more. Its on tonight! whose with me? LOL

    January 7, 2011 at 22:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Ms. Marvel

    This is weak. I am 19 and my boyfriend is 21 and we are only intimate maybe once a week. Not enough for me, but what makes it worse is all these older folks, 40+ getting, more action than me! lol

    January 7, 2011 at 23:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • dhondi

      yes, rut away humaniods....your government has everything under control.

      January 8, 2011 at 00:24 | Report abuse |
  6. fenibo

    i love cnn

    January 7, 2011 at 23:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Leonard

    you forgot number 8....nothing on TV tonight.

    January 7, 2011 at 23:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. automagic

    I wish a woman would permit me to put my penis inside of her, for the stated purpose of this article. Forever alone.

    January 8, 2011 at 00:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. planet2012

    A facial???

    January 8, 2011 at 01:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. phill

    Don't listen to her, they are all lies, how is she able to know who will die and when

    January 8, 2011 at 01:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Kevin

    And there are three reasons not to get carried away: 1) S 2) T 3) D

    January 8, 2011 at 01:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Richard Parrilla

    So do any of these doctors talk about the health benefits about getting it on with yourself, or are there any benefits at all? I've given up on finding anybody to share this healthy experience with, and I hope it doesn't lead to a heart attack at 45 or something.

    January 8, 2011 at 02:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. jimmy

    Once a day, always a day..........once a nite is enough!!!

    January 8, 2011 at 02:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. nick maki

    haha saw this article this moring and said 2 myself "i need to get laid" and it happened haha

    January 8, 2011 at 03:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. littledebbieoatmealcookie

    ahh the explosion ... http://littledebbieoatmealcookie.wordpress.com/explosion/

    January 8, 2011 at 03:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Chris

    You mean this is the reason why people think im 12 but Im really 25?

    January 8, 2011 at 04:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Mysti's Body

    Did full 5 time course of "protein-biotics" . Bye-bye Cold.

    January 8, 2011 at 05:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Abdul-akeem

    Part of these I already know before but the rest were like a call for more actions to a more healthy life and happiness.

    January 8, 2011 at 05:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Keith

    I get Botox and the government has to pay for it. So for the benefit of conservatives everywhere, hahahaha.

    January 8, 2011 at 05:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. once a year

    If you are like me and have a spouse that only does it once a year and thinks I am happy, she's right. I get mine more than that and am totally happy with those I get it from. Get it – find it – and if that don't work, buy it.

    January 8, 2011 at 06:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. micheal

    wonderfu.it meks sense

    January 8, 2011 at 06:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. sammie

    its education on health sustainance & life longetivity. However, social cultural consequent should also be stressed. Good work & keep it up.

    January 8, 2011 at 08:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Bob

    Lemme call my baby, she better read this all. Told her many times one is not good enough.... Thanks CNN.

    January 8, 2011 at 12:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Strange Tributes

    um, yes please

    January 8, 2011 at 19:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Steve

    God I must be dead already

    January 8, 2011 at 22:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Leo89


    January 9, 2011 at 02:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. MCRAY

    Thank God I married a real redhead: She's a Libra, I'm Aquarius. THANK YOU ZEUS! !!

    January 10, 2011 at 01:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. 40's

    Boy I guess that's why people think I'm 10 years younger 🙂

    January 13, 2011 at 04:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. emunadate

    7 Top Reasons for Men to Get Married


    January 13, 2011 at 17:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Disgrantled

    Why can't people understand correlation doesn't equal to causation????????? By the same rationale, attractive people getting more dates is not because they are attractive, rather because more dates make a person more attractive. Come on, Gupta, come to some real scientific senses!!!!

    January 14, 2011 at 13:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Elizabeth

    8th reason – because you love the person you are with?

    January 14, 2011 at 21:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Hammad Aslam

    now that's what makes me happy :p...

    January 17, 2011 at 11:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Sarducar

    I will give you 7 reasons to have S@x :
    1. Send the kids to grandma
    2. Brake the vacuum cleaner.
    3. Brake the dishwasher
    4. Burn the laundry.
    5. Remove brooms and floor mops from the house
    6. Disconnect the cable TV (most important)
    7. Get rid of the Internet (skype facebook etc..etc.)

    January 20, 2011 at 11:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. love it

    better is 3 in a row in one day

    January 20, 2011 at 15:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. love it

    3 times in a row

    January 20, 2011 at 15:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. justme

    will flying solo counts?

    January 24, 2011 at 13:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. asword82

    SIGN OF JONAH – MATTHEW 12: 38-45, LUKE 11:44, MATTHEW 16:1-4, BOOK OF JONAH

    January 27, 2011 at 16:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. rhett


    January 28, 2011 at 16:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Jamie

    These comments are too funny!

    February 3, 2011 at 16:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. slacker

    Awesome read , I am going to spend more time researching this subject

    April 29, 2011 at 10:14 | Report abuse | Reply
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    Welcome Steinbach! We are so fired up to welcome you on the Fruit Share family we know you might be going to like it!

    July 23, 2013 at 03:04 | 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.