Eat healthy or have sex? That's a tough decision.

Eat healthy or have sex? That's a tough decision.

SexOctober 08, 2012

It’s pretty simple: we have sex because we feel like it. While libidinous dolphins and humans might be the only animals that bang for sheer pleasure, there are a lot of reasons why you should have sex—and more of it.

Promote heart health
It’s easy to imagine an 80-year-old hustler getting a massive stroke while bumping uglies with his old lady, but research reveals that having sex at least twice a week lowers blood pressure and decreases overall stress levels. In a study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health that followed 914 men over the course of 20 years, researchers found that frequent sex played no part in causing strokes. The study also revealed that having sex frequently diminishes by half the likelihood of men having a fatal heart attack (compared with men who had sex less than once a month). Having a friend with benefits can have more benefits than you imagined. Light some candles and tell your honey you need to fortify your ticker.

Fight colds and boost immunity 
When psychologists recorded the amount of sex 111 undergraduate students had per month at Wilkes University in Pennsylvania, they discovered that the group that coddled their libido once to twice per week had a 30 percent spike of immunoglobulin A in their saliva, compared to those who remained abstinent or overindulged in the act. Immunoglobulin A, or IgA, is an antigen responsible for defending the body against colds and other infections. Dr. Clifford Lowell, an immunologist at the University of California explains, “Sexually active people may be exposed to many more infectious agents than sexually non-active people. The immune system would respond to these foreign antigens by producing and releasing more IgA.” Spend enough time with the infectious agents at the strip club and your IgA levels will shoot through the roof. So instead of stocking up on cold meds this winter, stockpile rubbers.

Sleep better (and be more intimate) 
Does your partner get livid when you roll off and pass out after sex? There’s a reason why you feel so exhausted after intercourse: orgasms release the hormone oxytocin (not to be confused with Oxycontin), which calms you down and induces sleep. If you suffer from sleep deprivation, which affects 60 percent of Americans these days, put the Tylenol P.M. down and make more love. Sleep has multiple benefits such as repairing the body, reducing stress and improving memory and mood. Plus, when oxytocin is released, endorphins blanket the pain of headaches, PMS symptoms and arthritis. Dubbed the “love hormone,” oxytocin also helps inspire tender feelings, allowing us to “feel the urge to nurture and to bond,” says Dr. Patti Britton, clinical sexologist and author of The Art of Sex Coaching.

Stay fit, feel better
Depending on how wild you get in the bedroom, you can burn 144-plus calories every 30 minutes. An average sex session doesn’t typically last more than ten minutes, so if you want to shed calories you’d better work on your stamina, you two-pump chump. When a woman engages in intercourse, her estrogen levels double which can make her skin softer, her hair more vibrant and glossy, and her vagina more moist. “Estrogen seems to be the fountain of youth for women,” says Dr. Britton. Sex can also build self-esteem and enhance it when already present, according to sex therapist Gina Ogden, PhD. And there are many experts, like Dr. Mehmet Oz, who claim that having sex on a regular basis can extend your life for years. Remember this mantra: