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If you don’t think you should be “doing it” as much as you get older, it’s time to rethink that proposition. The fact is, you can have more sex, you should have more sex, and to prove it we’ll give you seven healthful reasons to get back in bed immediately.
Sex is connected with more and better-quality sleep, a bonus when so many of us are fighting insomnia and night wakings. Arousal and orgasm release the hormone oxytocin (“the cuddle hormone”) and decrease cortisol (“the stress hormone”), shutting down areas of the brain linked to stress, fear and anxiety.
Couples who have sex three times a week look 10 years younger, according to research by neuropsychologist David Weeks of Scotland’s Royal Edinburgh Hospital. Why? Possibly it’s the hormones released during sex, or because people who have more sex pay more attention to their appearance, diet and exercise.
Sex can be painful for postmenopausal women with GD (genital dryness), but it’s treatable. Once the dryness has improved, having sex two or three times a week can keep GD away by increasing blood flow to the vagina, which helps improve lubrication and elasticity of the tissues.
Men ages 46 to 81 who ejaculated frequently (21 times a month compared to seven or fewer) developed much less prostate cancer, a study of 29,000 men found. Scientists theorize it’s because infrequent ejaculation allows carcinogenic secretions to remain in the prostate. In other words, “cleaning the pipes” helps.
Wavebreak Media ltd / Alamy
Even after 40 years of marriage, sexually active pairs consistently report higher levels of marital satisfaction, according to a 2014 study of 500 couples ages 58 to 85. And sex in this study didn’t necessarily mean intercourse. Cuddling, hugging and kissing all help, says University of Chicago sociologist Linda Waite.
Sex may help relieve migraine pain, a 2013 study found. Headache specialists at the University of Münster in Germany surveyed migraine sufferers who had sex during their headaches. Sixty percent said it reduced or halted the pain. For them, “Honey, I have a headache” was obviously a good thing.
The more sex people have, the happier they report feeling overall, says a 2013 Social Indicators Research report. Those having sex two to three times a week were 33 percent happier than those who’d had no sex in the past year, says sociologist Tim Wadsworth at the University of Colorado Boulder.
Dr. Pepper Schwartz | Relationship Expert
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