8 reasons for daily sex
Back in the 1940s, a renegade shrink named Wilhelm Reich recommended an orgasm every day to stay healthy. It was part of his reasons for sex he called the "sexual revolution." Unfortunately, folks were strung pretty tight back then, and they threw Reich’s ass in prison, where orgasms aren’t nearly as much fun.
But thinking this guy was onto something, we called some of the planet’s most renowned M.D.’s to find out if he was right. Guess what? He was. Unless you’re moving from girl to girl like Camryn Manheim moves through a sixpack of cling peaches in heavy syrup, a daily love session is just what the doctor ordered, for you and your partner in crime. Here are eight reasons to never get out of bed.
To get the body you want
When you cut your finger, does Ragú ooze out? Does the idea of exercising induce suicidal hollandaise binges? We can think of one way to have a blast and get in shape simultaneously. "Sex is a vigorous form of exercise," says Dr. Michael Cirigliano of the University of Pennsylvania. "The physiological changes in your body are consistent with a normal workout. Your heart and respiratory rates rise, and you burn calories." How many? Having sex three times a week for 20 minutes a pop for a year will burn some 7,500 calories (that’s the equivalent of a 4 1/2 pound wheel of brie). If you did it every day, you could shave off a pound of lard in two weeks. Of course, the more athletic the sex, the better the workout. See you in the emergency room.
Stay in the mood
Ever lie back after a good screw and think, Damn, the world’s a pit of misery. Why not end it all? Of course not. That’s because sex is an antidepressant. During the act your body’s producing pleasure-inducing fluids besides the ones that shoot out of your body. "You’re releasing endogenous opioids. They’re like drugs, but they’re manufactured internally," says Dr. Alice Ladas, a psychologist and one of the authors of The G Spot. In fact, studies show that merely touching someone can raise the level of serotonin in his brain, which is similar to what Prozac does.
Hurts so good
So she’s got a headache, huh? Arthritis? A fresh chain-saw wound? No excuse: Thanks to the endorphins released during sex, a rowdy belly dance can actually ease her suffering. "Pain threshold in women is elevated 60 to 80 percent during pleasurable stimulation," explains Dr. Beverly Whipple, a professor of neuroscience and president of the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists. In one recent study, Gina Ogden, author of Women Who Love Sex, experimented by attaching a clamp to a woman’s finger and squeezing, first while she was at rest and later while she was getting some. As her subject climaxed, Ogden pinched past the point at which the woman routinely howled, with no response at all. "In the midst of orgasm," Ogden noted, "she apparently feels no pain."
Controlling her hormones
Want to help ease those nasty PMS symptoms? Studies show that a woman’s overall reproductive system benefits from frequent penile insertions. "Sexual activity helps strengthen the pubococcygeus muscles (PC muscles), which in turn help keep the pelvic organs in shape and where they belong," explains Dr. Ladas. Regular love sessions can also postpone the onset of menopause, stimulate fertility, and regulate the menstrual cycle.
Keep it cumming
Fun fact: 52 percent of all men between the ages of 40 and 70 have trouble getting wood. But having more sex can better your chances. Frequent erections keep blood flowing through your capillaries, so the flesh in your bone stays nourished. And more important, an erection is an athletic reflex. "The more you train the coordination between nerve and muscle, the easier it is to perform," says Dr. Andre Guay, head of the sexual function center at the Lahey Clinic in Peabody, Massachusetts.
The gland of milk and honey
Yeah, the prostate’s a funny little gland. Not only is it a key component in your pleasure machine (and a male G spot, if you know how to find it), it tends to swell as we get older, causing agony for lots of guys. To keep it from bugging you, take saw palmetto (an over-the-counter herb supplement that relieves symptoms of prostate enlargement ), and keep ejaculating. "Most of the fluid you ejaculate comes from the prostate and the seminal vescles," says Dr. Guay. "When someone stops having orgasms, the fluids back up and the glands can become swollen." When prostatic congestion occurs, the gland squeezes your urinary tract; pain shoots through your guts and you have a hard time taking a leak. Talk about a spent fuel rod.
Bet you didn’t know that testosterone is responsible for sex drive in women as well as men. Yup, a lady with no testosterone will be drier than an AA meeting. Plus, testosterone is a steroid that regulates the body’s metabolism, letting it use energy efficiently. And the more sex you have, the more testosterone you’re producing. "A consquence is that your body is able to stimulate tissue replacement and bone growth, which, among other things, helps prevent osteoporosis," says Dr. Susan Rako, author of The Hormone of Desire. "Higher levels of testosterone can also promote an overall feeling of well-being."
Been a long time coming...
Want to live longer? Try adding a little spice to your diet. In 1997 an inquisitive British doctor published a study that followed 918 men between the ages of 45 and 59 for 10 long years to determine how sexual activity affected their life spans. Here’s what he found: Men who had two or more orgasms every week were half as likely to croak as those who averaged fewer than one orgasm a month. And, hey, guys never lie about this kind of stuff, so we’re sure the data’s right on the money.