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8 Reasons to Have Sex Right Now

You can improve your health just by being intimate.

Updated on December 15, 2022

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Sex can be fun and relaxing, and can feel great. But did you know that having it regularly may also lower your stress levels, help you feel more confident, and improve your heart health? And that’s not all.

“Your sexual health is a really strong marker for your overall health,” says Christopher Starks, MD, a board-certified surgical urologist in Virginia. Here are eight ways being intimate can improve your health, plus easy ways to make more time for sex.

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Your relationship may get stronger

Perhaps the biggest potential benefit from regular sex is a more healthy, functional relationship. “Decreased sexual frequency is highly correlated with relationship deterioration and couples that are growing apart,” says Dr. Starks. Couples who have regular sex typically have a deep sense of closeness and are able to tighten their bond, adds Starks.

Sex may also spark a two-day “afterglow,” according to a 2017 review in Psychological Science of two independent studies of newlywed couples. The 48-hour afterglow promoted feelings of sexual satisfaction and greater overall relationship satisfaction down the road. 

So, try to make time to be intimate. Starks encourages people to think of their relationship as a bank account. "As we go through life, we’re always making withdrawals, asking our partners to do things or to help us. Well, regular sex may be one of the ways in which we can add positive currency back into that account,” says Starks.

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It can help your heart health

Regular sex doesn’t just help your love life; it may help your heart, too. The one-of-a-kind Caerphilly study in 2002 found that men who had sex twice a week had a lower risk of heart disease compared to men who had sex once a month. Sex provides light physical activity, better relationship satisfaction, and less inflammation, all of which contribute to better heart health.

It works both ways, too. “The arteries that help men get an erection are very closely related to the blood vessels that feed back to your heart,” says Starks. Anything you can do to make the arteries healthier—like getting regular exercise, eating a healthy diet, and paying attention to cardiovascular risk factors like cholesterol and high blood pressure—will help with erections, says Starks.

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It can help you start your day on the right foot

Waking up a little earlier for morning sex may benefit you later on. “We’re so stressed at the end of the day and our energy levels are really starting to dip,” Starks says, “so don’t forget about the whole other half of the day—your mornings.”

If your energy levels are higher in the morning, you may be able to enjoy being intimate a bit more than you would at night. “Having a chance to start your day off connecting with your partner will carry with you,” Starks adds.

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Your stress and anxiety levels will be lower

Stressing over a big presentation? Spending time between the sheets may help relax your mind before the big day.

“Sensory pathways hit when you’re in the process of having sex and during climax. Powerful neurotransmitters are released throughout the entire brain,” says Starks. Dopamine, one of the neurotransmitters that’s released during sex, helps reduce anxiety and depression.

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You could become a star employee

Not only could more sex lower your stress levels before a big day at work, it may actually help you enjoy your work more—and stay engaged while you’re there.

A 2017 study by researchers at Oregon State University followed the sex habits of 159 married employees for two weeks and found that both the men and women who made sex a priority in their home life were more likely to enjoy their tasks and responsibilities at work the next day. They were also more involved and engaged in work projects, and were more positive at work, too. 

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It may reduce aches and pains

If you have chronic pain conditions like migraines, fibromyalgia, arthritis, or back pain, one answer to your discomfort may be more time in bed. After you’ve climaxed, your body releases endorphins or chemicals that act as natural painkillers. The release of these “feel-good” chemicals may also help you feel more relaxed and content.

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You’ll likely sleep better

After sex, you probably feel like catching some ZZZ’s. And you’re not just imagining that sense of calm—there’s actually science behind it. Experts believe that sex soothes the brain, triggering the release of calming chemicals that relax the muscles. Post-climax, a natural state of sedation may set in.

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How to make time for sex

Finding time for sex is the hard part, but to reap all the health benefits sex has to offer, you have to set aside time for it.

“Try making Wednesday ‘hump days’ the day you and your partner get physical,” says Starks. “Or schedule a weekly at-home date night complete with candles, wine, and soothing music.” And maybe it’s not all about having actual intercourse. Other forms of pleasure like massages and foot rubs are enjoyable ways to connect with your partner, too.

“If there’s any way you can incorporate your intimacy lifestyle into some of those things that help you unwind, that can be beneficial,” says Starks.

Slideshow sources open slideshow sources

Meltzer AL, Makhanova, A, et al. Quantifying the Sexual Afterglow: The Lingering Benefits of Sex and Their Implications for Pair-Bonded Relationships. Psychological Science. 2017. 28(5). 587–598. 
Ebrahim S, May M, et al. Sexual intercourse and risk of ischaemic stroke and coronary heart disease: the Caerphilly study. J Epidemiol Community Health. 2002 Feb;56(2):99-102.
Cleveland Clinic. Heart Disease & Erectile Dysfunction. Reviewed July 17, 2019.
Zarrindast MR, Khakpai F. The Modulatory Role of Dopamine in Anxiety-like Behavior. Arch Iran Med. 2015 Sep;18(9):591-603. PMID: 26317601.
Maintaining an active sex life may lead to improved job satisfaction, engagement in work. Oregon State University. March 6, 2017. 
Leavitt K, Barnes CM, et al. From the Bedroom to the Office: Workplace Spillover Effects of Sexual Activity at Home. Journal of Management. 2019. 45(3), 1173–1192. 
Khajehei M, Behroozpour E. Endorphins, oxytocin, sexuality and romantic relationships: An understudied area. World J Obstet Gynecol 2018; 7(2): 17-23
FamilyDoctor.org (AAFP). Health Benefits of a Good Sex Life. Last updated May 8, 2020.
Cleveland Clinic. 5 Benefits of a Healthy Sex Life. June 10, 2022.
Oregon Health & Science University. The Benefits of a Healthy Sex Life. Accessed December 14, 2022.
AARP. 8 Reasons Sex Improves Your Health. Accessed December 14, 2022.
Lastella M, O'Mullan C, et al. Sex and Sleep: Perceptions of Sex as a Sleep Promoting Behavior in the General Adult Population. Front Public Health. 2019 Mar 4;7:33. 

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