Sex Is Good For You

Studies over the Past 10 to 15 years have looked at health consequences and outcomes, says Herbert Samuels, Ph.D., president of the Foundation for the Scientific Study of Sexuality. “All seem to indicate that those who have healthy sex drives and frequency of sexual activities that lead to orgasm are much better off than their counterparts who do not,” explains the professor of human sexuality, Department of Human Sexuality, LaGuardia Community College in New York. “One study showed men who had orgasms two or more times a week lived longer. It didn’t seem to have the same affect on women. For women, it showed that past enjoyment of intercourse correlated with [their] longevity.” Samuels says another study found that those who had sex two or more times a week had a lower incidence of fatal coronary events compared with people who had sex less than that or not at all. “It had a protective effect upon the heart rather than a derogatory one,” he adds. “Other studies have shown that women who have more sex have a lower risk of breast cancer, and for men, having more frequent ejaculations is good for prostate health.”

Get Your Mind Right

Emotional wellness is defined as the deliberate management of your mind, body, spirit and emotions, according to emotional wellness expert Lawana Gladney, Ph.D., CEO of Emotional Wellness, Inc., based in Richardson, Texas. “This impacts your sexual life and how you feel about yourself, because it’s all in the mind, body and spirit as well as your feelings,” she says. “When your mind, body and spirit are not at peace, those are signs you’re not emotionally healthy,” reveals Gladney. “If you don’t feel good about yourself, you feel lost in some way. You don’t feel safety or security about life. This may translate over to how a person feels about his body and feeling unwanted or desired. You won’t feel like having sex because of lack of desire and pleasure.”

The Big “O”:  Nature’s Sleeping Aid

Orgasm leads to a release of a brain chemical called oxytocin, which makes you feel closer to a person. “You get a rush, and this keeps you connected with a partner to a certain extent,” says Samuels. “But with men, another hormone called vasopressin is released, and it has the opposite impact, causing men to fall asleep for a short period of time as a hormonal reaction to having an orgasm.” So the next time you want to brag —“The sex was so good he fell asleep”—you’ll know it was because of the vasopressin. Samuels cites another study that found women who masturbated on a regular basis had less problems going to sleep, because an orgasm also helps in this regard. “For some women in the study, the primary reason they masturbated was for this:
It was relaxing, and they fell asleep.” Ladies, consider having more than just a glass of wine to lull you to sleep.

How men and Women experience sex differently;

MEN...

> tend not to explore their bodies. “They think the universe revolves around the penis, so that’s their focus, not the total body,”  Samuels says.

 > are sexual beings by nature, says Gladney. “Their bodies react and respond to sex at a very early age, with little boys having wet dreams. Their minds and bodies are more geared toward sex. It’s more a physical need for them, so it can just be about sex. For men, that physical need helps release their stress.”

> “If they feel physically close," says Samuels, "then they start to feel emotionally connected to you later.”

WOMEN...

> explore their bodies through various touches and ways to stimulate themselves, says Samuels.

> tie sex to emotions and how men make them feel about themselves and the relationship, says Gladney.
“If a man makes her feel a certain way, her body will respond. Sex is a stress reliever for women, too, but they have to be there emotionally. ”

> need emotional closeness, says Tiffanie Davis Henry, Ph.D., a licensed psychotherapist and certified sex therapist. “This helps them open up to you sexually and want to have sex.”

Remember to Wrap It Up

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Foods That ramp up your sex drive

Dark Chocolate

 “Dark chocolate helps promote healthy blood vessels so they can dilate [open] properly and fill with blood easily,” explains Myeshia N. Price, a sexual development scholar at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “Sexual arousal is dependent on the ability of small blood vessels in the penis and vaginal area to fill with blood as completely and quickly as possible.”

Collard Greens

The leafy green vegetables are