Many people are dissatisfied with their sex lives, and the majority of them report not being able to find time for sexual expression. Whatever the cause (fatigue, children, work, etc.), it is possible to find time to engage in sexual activity whether with a partner or alone. 

Unfortunately, our society tends to be alarmist about sex and emphasizes negative factors such as disease, unwanted pregnancies, or pedophiles. But sex is about pleasure. Sexual expression has many positive physical, intellectual, emotional, and social benefits. Below is a list of findings from the scientific literature.

Physical Wellness

  • One of the strongest correlations to youthful appearance is an active sex life.
  • Sexual activity burns calories and fat, and it has been suggested that people with active sex lives tend to exercise more frequently and have better dietary habits than those who are less sexually active. Likewise, physical fitness can improve sexual health.
  • People who remain sexually active live longer.

Disease Prevention and Management

  • Your chances of having heart problems decrease if you stay sexually active. This is due to higher levels of oxytocin, a neurotransmitter (brain chemical) that is produced during arousal and orgasm.
  • In men, high frequency of ejaculation (more than 21 times per month) is related to a decrease in the risk of prostate cancer.
  • Research has shown that sexual activity and orgasm may bolster the immune system in women and men.
  • Sexual activity and orgasm during menstruation has a potentially protective effect against endometriosis.
  • Studies have shown that the quality of sperm motility decreases with abstinence. In healthy men these declines can take effect after only five days of abstinence.
  • Women who continue to be sexually active after they reach menopause, with a partner or through masturbation, are less likely to have significant vaginal atrophy and are more likely to report sufficient vaginal lubrication.

Emotional Well-being and Relationship Improvement

  • Sexual experience and satisfaction are closely correlated with overall quality of life. They increase your sense of well-being and personal satisfaction.
  • Sexual activity is negatively correlated with the risk and incidence of psychiatric illness, depression, and suicide.
  • Sexual activity and orgasm reduce stress.
  • Consistent mutual sexual pleasure increases bonding within a relationship. It has also been demonstrated that coupled partners have increased relationship satisfaction when they fulfill one another's sexual desire.
  • Sexual satisfaction is also associated with the stability of relationships.
  • A study of young married women found that those who reported masturbating also reported greater marital satisfaction.

So the next time you hear something negative about sex, remember that there are far more positive and life-affirming truths.