(Safe) Sex Makes You Live Longer

(Safe) Sex Makes You Live Longer

“Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.” Thank you Groucho Marx for reminding us that these little guys, so important in the understanding of human genetics and biology, are always on the look-out for more potassium (bananas are loaded with it). And that’s a good thing. Potassium is essential for a healthy sex life and we certainly don’t want sexually frustrated fruit flies!

Here’s why. Research reveals male FFs die sooner when they’re aroused by pheromones from female drosophila, the scientific name for fruit flies, but unrequited in their ardor. In short, sexual frustration kills. But get the twosome together and the male lives a longer and -- we may be projecting -- happier life.

Related: Have great sex at any age.

What does this have to do with YOU? Genes in fruit flies are similar to humans’ and often serve the same function (for example, fruit flies produce insulin-like molecules -- lose them and their blood sugar rises, just as in diabetes). Now we seem to have similarities in our reproductive mojo as well. The Longevity Project found women who had more orgasms lived longer, while research from the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute showed men who had the most orgasms added about four years to their lifespan.

So, to achieve a younger RealAge, spend time with your honey exploring mutually enjoyable intimacy. You’ll flood your body with oxytocin, the bonding hormone, DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone), a precursor to estrogen and testosterone that reduces inflammation, and immunoglobulins that boost immune strength. The power of love!

Related: Is your sex life normal?

Medically reviewed in January 2020.

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