Sex can be fun, pleasurable, intimate & actually good exercise! So how does it link to your wellbeing?
Sex is no longer an embarrassing, taboo subject. It’s something that needs to be embraced, enjoyed and openly talked about – after all, we all do it! The more we freely talk about sex, the more it can make room for happiness and wellbeing in the long run.
Are there any health benefits of sex?
As well as the pleasure benefits that sex can offer, there can also be positive health benefits that can be linked to our wellbeing. Any stimulation that exercises your heart is good for you and sex counts – depending how much you go for it!
Sexual arousal sends the heart rate higher, with the number of beats per minute reaching its peak during an orgasm – win-win! Having sex isn’t enough to keep most people fit and healthy however, you still need to try and get in the recommended 150 minutes of exercise a week, or 30 minutes a day five times a week.
If you’re struggling to find your fitness mojo, these at home workouts could help.
Can sex help relieve daily stress?
If you’ve had a stressful day (we all have them from time to time), you might find that intimacy or an orgasm can help you feel relaxed and help to relieve daily stresses. This is because the endorphins (feel good hormones released naturally during exertion) that are set free during an orgasm can help relax you.
Sex can also make you sleepy, so try keeping your bedroom just for sleep and sex!
How does sex affect wellbeing?
For many sexually active adults, sex with a partner can be something meaningful in our lives that makes us feel good about ourselves. Having an enjoyable, healthy sex life can help contribute to general wellbeing. To achieve this here are a few things that are key:
Make sure you’re communicating effectively with your partner by telling them what you like and don’t like. If they aren’t fulfilling your needs, approach the subject gently by suggesting new things you can try together. Just be as open and honest as you can with your partner and listen to each other.
Respect one another
To help maintain a happy and healthy relationship, make sure to respect one another’s needs and boundaries. You need to be able to trust the person you’re having sex with, and if you do, it can help with forming a positive relationship and positive wellbeing. Remember, 100 percent consent is essential – you’re allowed to say no to your partner and change your mind during sex.
If you’re sexually active, it’s important to practise safe sex by using a condom for all types of penetrative sex (and you may want to consider condoms for oral sex), as condoms are used to help prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. The more sexual partners you have, the bigger the risk of catching an STI. It’s also important to be tested for STIs before having sex with someone new, and advising them to get tested. Some STIs can have no symptoms, so speak to your GP if you’re concerned.
Other ways to be intimate
Intimacy doesn’t have to just be about sexual contact. Try some of these suggestions that don’t involve sex which can positively affect your wellbeing or make you feel relaxed:
If you aren’t in the mood for sex but you want to be intimate with your partner, massages can help you feel relaxed with one another, get to know each other’s bodies (or discover them again) and help reaffirm the intimacy between you.
Touch each other
You don’t have to leave the touching just for sex. Make a point of touching each other throughout the day, whether that’s stroking each other’s arms, running your fingers through each other’s hair and kissing. Take notice of what puts a smile on their face and keep doing it!
Physical contact such as hugging has been shown in studies to help keep your blood pressure healthy by lowering your heart rate, helping you to relax. It’s also a great way to be intimate with your clothes on and shows your partner you care.
Spend quality time together
Sharing interests and taking time out so just the two of you can spend time together can help you feel intimate with one another. Even if you live together and see each other every day, it’s still important to do activities one-on-one outside of the home. Exploring new things together is a great way to be intimate and can help improve your wellbeing, especially if you find new activities you can enjoy together.
Having regular sex with a loving partner can also make you feel sexy and good about yourself, having a positive impact on your overall wellbeing. As we know, feel good sex in a lot of cases is linked to love. So the emotional and social support you get from a loving partner – sex or no sex, can boost your sense of wellbeing. Also, don’t be scared to spice things up in the bedroom, like trying out different products such as orgasm gels, vibrating rings or vibrating bullets.
When it comes down to it, just do what works for you.