Linda: Sex is a good cardiovascular workout, which increases oxygen supply to the brain and all other parts of the body. Sex reduces stress and keeps us in a state of deeper relaxation in our high-stress culture.
Sex releases hormones like oxytocin, which makes us feel good. Eve Shehilo, M.D., speaks of the love cocktail: “Love sets off a set of physiological events in the body, peptides and hormones are released including endorphins, oxytocin, dopamine, vasopressin, and nitric oxide. These lower anxiety, prompt relaxation, and create positive physiology.” Sex is amnesic, we don’t remember why we are angry with our partner. It is an analgesic, which can significantly reduce pain in our back, neck, menstrual cramps, or any part of the body. Psychologically, sex enhances our mood and builds self-esteem. It is an opportunity to practice being present for our experience to savor the moment.
People who have more sex receive health benefits and live longer. Healthy sex has a hugely positive effect on your general health, too. Stress reduction, lower blood pressure, improved immune function, reduced risk of prostate cancer, pain reduction, sounder sleep, a healthy heart, and better self-esteem top the seemingly endless list of reasons to put your sexuality front and center when prioritizing your life. In men, the frequency of sex is a predictor of longevity. In women, enjoyment of sex is a predictor of longevity. Michael Roizen, M.D., at the University of Chicago found that having sex twice a week can reduce age by two years. And if you have satisfying sex once a day, it can reduce your literal age to eight years less than the average person.
So much of staying interested and excited involves our belief system, the belief that we are attractive and sex even with our sagging, and wrinkles, the belief that we are deserving and worthy of taking the extra time required to stoke arousal.
It’s the love of sex that we intentionally hold in the forefront of our minds that keeps us alive. As we age, the insistent physical demands of the body for sex lessen, and the free choice of the mind can replace it. Making regular consistent choices to work out and stay fit helps us to keep our tissues and organs younger and the feeling of well-being, health, and strength contributes to arousal. Our emotional state and mental attitude spring forth from keeping ourselves occupied with pursuits that suit us: work, hobbies, and the people who light up our life. That passion that permeates our life in general spills over into the sexual, sensual part of our life, offering extra vitality.
And the partner’s influence is a huge factor. If our partner is also keeping themselves as fit and healthy as possible, as mentally alert and enthused about their life, they are bringing plenty of enthusiasm to the union. When both partners bring vitality to the joining, that multiplies and amplifies the connection. The slow build-up of erotic energy is a mindfulness practice. Paying attention to the sensations in the body, delighting in giving and receiving arousal, being fully present, coordinating the breath, enjoying the journey with non-attachment about the outcome allows for plenty of excitement at any age.
In a study about Happiness and Sex, conducted at Dartmouth by David Blachflower in conjunction with Andrew Oswald at the University of Warwich in England, drew a sample of 16,000 people. They found that sex enters so strongly and positively in happiness equations that they estimate that increasing intercourse from once a month to once a week is equivalent to the amount of happiness generated by adding an additional $50,000 in yearly income for the average American. The happiest folks are those getting the most sex. A lasting marriage equates to happiness generated by getting an extra $100,000 per year.
And sex is a good way to show love. When we fully comprehend how good sex is for us, we are motivated to go off on a romantic getaway right away. Go for it; enjoy a love cocktail.