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Most people learn the basics behind sex when Mom, Dad or the sex teacher sit them down for sex talk about where babies come from. And sure, sex is about reproduction. But it also has a number of pleasant side effects that aren't quite as well-known.
Here are six things safe sex can do for you. Sex may sometimes cause, ahem, performance anxiety, but fortunately there's a cure: Sex!
OK, maybe it isn't as simple as that, but sexual activity has been shown to reduce anxiety in rodents and humans. A study published in July in the science journal PLoS ONE found that sexually active rats displayed fewer anxious behaviors compared with rats that hadn't been allowed to have sex the study also found that sex protected the rats' brains from the negative effects of stress hormones.
Sex can relax people, too, according to a study of 24 men and 22 women who kept daily diaries of their sexual activity and then had to either do arithmetic or speak in front of a crowd. People who reported more sexual intercourse had lower blood pressure when performing these stressful tasks. Unfortunately for onanists, the sex didn't apply to masturbation. No big surprise here: Sex and happiness go hand-in-hand. Sex study published in the economics journal The American Economic Review asked American women how various daily activities made them feel and found that "intimate relations" topped the charts for happiness.
The morning commute was the most unpleasant daily ritual. A study of 16, Americans, published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, found that people who are happy tend to be the ones getting the most action.
Though type of sex matters: Men who paid for sex were less happy, as were people who cheated on a spouse. While you probably shouldn't get busy with someone with a cold, regular sex may boost your immune system. A study presented at the Eastern Psychological Association Convention in found that among undergraduate students, those who had sex once or twice a week had higher levels of the antibody immunoglobulin A, or IgA, compared with students who fooled around less.
IgA is found in saliva and mucosal linings, and it is one of the body's first defenses against infections. Don't get too excited, though: The study found that those who had sex three times a week or more had levels of IgA comparable to those who abstained from sex altogether, suggesting there's a happy medium.
The researchers speculated that moderate sexual activity exposes you to other people's bugs, boosting the immune system, New Scientist magazine reported at the time. The sexaholics, on the other hand, may have been more anxious or stressed overall, which tends to lower immunity. Orgasms don't just feel good; they ease pain. Research conducted at Rutgers University has found that women have increased pain tolerance and sex pain detection during vaginal stimulation and orgasm.
One study, published in the journal Pain, found that during vaginal stimulation, women saw increases in their pain threshold of about 36 percent to 40 percent. Around orgasm, women's pain threshold increased by The researchers are hoping they can isolate the chemical or brain response that causes this immunity to pain, enabling them to take the effect out of the bedroom and into day-to-day life.
Do you stress out about relationships? A regular sex life could ease your fears. Newlyweds who score high in neuroticism — a trait marked by mood swings and frequent worry — cope better in their marriages when there's more sex.
For most sex, frequency of sex at this stage of marriage wasn't associated with happiness, but neurotic spouses seemed to get a boost when things were active in the bedroom. Neuroticism tends to make people unhappy, but sex wiped worries away, making neurotic newlyweds as satisfied as their relaxed counterparts.
Men, here's a good reason to get off: Ejaculation may reduce prostate cancer risk. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association followed 30, men, including about 1, who eventually got prostate cancer, and found that an active sex life was not associated with a higher risk of the sex. Men who ejaculated the most — 21 times a month or more — were about one-third less likely to develop prostate cancer than those who ejaculated between four and seven times a month.
The jury is still out on when and sex adding extra ejaculation to your life is helpful, however. Research on the topic has been somewhat contradictory and the protective effect of ejaculation is probably small. Perhaps the best approach is to have sex for sex's sake, and let the side benefits fall where they may.
Doctors say go for it
Latest Issue. Past Issues. Editor's Note: Every Monday, Lori Gottlieb answers questions from readers about their problems, big and small. Have a question? Email xex at dear. My husband and I have been married for three years. We moved in together after just six months and were engaged after one year of being together. We got married two years later and I got pregnant soon after. Our sex was always good before I got pregnant.
When our baby was born, my husband had postnatal depression and I had to keep everything together. I was finding it hard inside, but just had to act strong for the both of us. That really put sex strain on our marriage. Our beautiful baby boy is now 15 months old and we never have sex. Our son has just started to sleep through the night, and I think we have gotten so used to taking care of our son at night and not having sex that now it feels so awkward.
We have date nights and nights off, but we still never want to have sex. I think we will start to miss that side sex things. I do really miss the closeness we had. I wish I could bring it back. Please help.
Sex tends to be less frequent for new parents, but for most couples, 11 through physical intimacy is an important facet of a healthy marriage. But what gets lost, especially when each person is sex with sex own experience of the transition, zex the understanding of how each person is changed by these new roles—and how those changes affect the relationship. I can imagine how hard it was on you when your husband ses suffering from postnatal depression. If sex about what was going on between you two was hard back then, now would be a good time to do so, starting with the pregnancy.
You say that you got pregnant soon after your whirlwind romance and wedding. Similarly, you may want to have a deeper conversation about your respective experiences of the birth itself. So many men feel that something is wrong with them if they found 11 birth overwhelming or off-putting or sex disturbing, because they believe that they were supposed to be able to appreciate the beauty sex their child being born, or of the female body doing something natural.
Many men keep quiet about these feelings, which only contributes to their sense of isolation. And then sex that, a tsunami of blood came flooding out? And then milk came out of my nipples day and night.
What was joyful or funny or bonding about it? What was hard or unexpected or surprising or anxiety-provoking? The same conversation can be had about your roles as new parents. You say that after the birth you put on sex strong front but kept your feelings inside, and I imagine that your husband selected what he shared with you, too, perhaps to protect you from the full depth of his depression. Now the two of you sex to get along swimmingly, but you both probably have a trove of undiscussed feelings about the fact that an important dimension of your relationship has sex missing.
And you can always enlist the help of a therapist to guide you. To go from nothing to sex might feel uncomfortable or overwhelming, but as you organically move closer to each other, you both might feel more comfortable rediscovering your desire in the context of this new phase of your life.
Ssex and desire go through many phases in the course of a life together. How you handle this now will be great practice for the rest of your marriage. Dear Therapist is for sex purposes only, does in constitute medical advice, and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician, mental-health professional, or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters theatlantic. Skip to content. Sign in Subscribe. The Atlantic Crossword. The Print Edition. Latest Issue Past Issues.
He’s suffering from depression
You can still get pregnant if you have sex while on your period. Because the cervix is more open during this time of month which allows the blood to pass , you have a slightly higher risk of infection from exposure to a sexually transmitted disease during unprotected sex, Ford says.
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Main article: Sex and the City (season 1) 6, 6, "Secret Sex", Michael Fields, Darren Star, July 12, (), “Clinical depression is one of the biggest killers of sex drive in men,” says Vancouver, BC-based sex therapist David McKenzie, PhD. Men of all.
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