You Could Have Sexual Problems Later
It may seem odd, but âuse it or lose itâ may apply here. For women at menopause, vaginal tissue can get thin, shrink, and dry out without regular intercourse. That can make sex painful and weaken your desire. And some research says men who have sex less than once a week are twice as likely to have erectile dysfunction as those who have it weekly.
Sex Makes You Look And Feel Younger
Our society places a great emphasis on youth and beauty. Few people over the age of 25 want to either look or feel older.
Billions of dollars are spent every year on the pursuit of youth.
One study reported having regular sex can make both men and women look between five and seven years younger than they actually are.
Looking younger carries with it a whole suite of benefits such as increased confidence, happiness, and enthusiasm.
When we look younger, we tend to feel younger.
Sexual activity has also been associated with longevity and general health.
There are a ton of benefits to exercise, both physical and psychological.
In an average sex session, men burn around 100 calories, but women expend only about 70.
Exercise not only makes you physically healthier, but is also known to improve mood, reduce and help you cope with stress, increase feelings of self-satisfaction, increase energy levels, and the list goes on.
Ryan Anderson is a PhD candidate in the School of Arts and Social Sciences at James Cook University, Townsville.
David Mitchell is deputy head and lecturer in psychology at James Cook University. He has conducted research in the fields of cognitive psychology and neuroscience.
Can An Orgasm A Day Keep My Stress Away
I tried it out for 365 days
Contains adult themes
Like most people, I always want to improve my health and wellbeing. Last year, I decided I really wanted better skin, less stress in my life and, ideally, an all-round glow. But instead of achieving my goals by hitting the gym, or improving my diet, I thought Id try a different technique: masturbating.
When you orgasm, your body releases the hormone oxytocin into the bloodstream. Oxytocin, typically known as the love or ‘cuddle’ hormone, can decrease stress. No wonder then that a 2006 book exploring the experiences of over 2,600 women found that 39% of them masturbated to relax.
I resolved to orgasm every day for a year. Id just split up with my long-term boyfriend. I was lost, broken-hearted, and my skin was a mess. Id taken up running and given up sugar. But everything just made me feel more stressed and tired – until I had a surprisingly good one-night stand and woke up feeling great – with glowing skin.
While others may rubbish this theory, I was sold. If orgasms do improve skin and stress levels, Id definitely be a different, better person after 365 of them.
The first few weeks were fun. While I dont always climax during sex, I know exactly how to do it alone. All I need is a fantasy and my fingers.
My orgasms have made me happier and feel healthier – which is all I ever wanted. Heres to another 365 days.
As told to Radhika Sanghani
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Stage Fright: Vicious Cycles & Self
Evaluating our performance while we are performing typically results in hurting our performance. This vicious cycle occurs in all sorts of social anxiety: making social conversation, speaking in groups, performing on stageor having sex.
Lets take an example of a true performance in front of an audience: an actor . Certainly it makes sense that the actor wants to please the audience. But if the actor is monitoring and critiquing her performance while she is performingand worrying about what the audience is thinking while she is actingshe is likely to perform less well due to distraction and self-consciousness.
The same is true for people making conversationor making love: monitoring and evaluating how we think we are doing, and worrying about the other person is reacting to us, tends to have a negative impact on how well the conversation or the sex goes, and how much we and our partners enjoy it. Ironic, isnt it?! Were doing all this self-monitoring and self-evaluation in an effort to make things go better, but that strategy backfires badly on us!
How Do Stress And Anxiety Affect Sexual Performance And Erectile Dysfunction
During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is completely normal and expected to feel a certain level of stress and anxiety. The current situation may impact our mental and physical health in different ways.
What is stress and anxiety?
Stress is the bodys reaction to any change that requires an adjustment or response to maintain normal function. The body may react to changes with physical, emotional or mental responses1.
Anxiety can be described as feelings of worry, nervousness or unease about something with an uncertain outcome. Anxiety is the most common mental health condition in Australia, and 20% of men will experience anxiety at some stage in their life2.
Feeling stressed is usually connected to your circumstances, and it is usually temporary . Anxiety, on the other hand, is more than feeling stressed, nervous or worried. Anxiety is continuing to feel stressed or worried after the source of this stress and/or worry has passed
Recent data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics 3 confirms that the coronavirus pandemic has a negative impact on the mental well-being of Australian men and women.
In the ABS survey, 1,028 Australians aged 18-64 were asked about their emotional well-being and the results showed there was an increase in the number of people experiencing issues with their mental health.
The survey showed that across the board, there was a significant increase in the number of people who reported feeling:
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Good Mood And Good Sex
The same study found that being in a good mood predicted more physical affection and sexual activity with a partner the next day, showing that the sex-stress management connection works both ways: sex can lead you to feel less stressed, and being less stressed can lead to more sex. This is further proof of the importance of effective stress management.
It Can Help Reduce Stress And Regulate Your Mood
Sex is a great way to reduce levels of stress. A recent study shows that emotional and physical intimacy, which doesnt have to be sexual, helps to lower the stress chemical cortisol in men and women.
Sexual intimacy can also help reduce feelings of anxiety and depression as it triggers the release of three mood-boosting chemicals dopamine, endorphins and oxytocin. Endorphins in particular are brain chemicals activated by exercise and sex with natural opiate-like properties that can help to reduce pain and regulate mood.
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It Promotes Better Sleep
That post-orgasmic wave of sleepiness you get is the release of the hormone prolactin, which induces a relaxing, soporific effect in both men and women after sex. Prolactin is produced in the pituitary gland and is usually associated with breastfeeding and lactation in women, but men produce it too in smaller amounts.
The combined effect of oxytocin, the lowering of cortisol and the increase in prolactin after an orgasm suggests that sexual activity may be part of an underlying neuro-hormonal mechanism that makes it easier to fall asleep after sex. A recent study shows that sex at bedtime can help women who suffer from insomnia feel more relaxed and get a better nights sleep.
Try Some Aerobic Activity
During periods of anxiety, your body is filled with adrenaline. Putting that adrenaline toward aerobic activity can be a great way to improve your anxiety. Exercise has numerous advantages for controlling your anxiety symptoms:
- Exercise burns away stress hormones that create anxiety symptoms.
- Exercise tires your muscles, reducing excess energy and tension.
- Exercise releases endorphins in your brain which can improve overall mood.
- Exercise is linked to healthier breathing.
- Exercise is a healthy distraction.
Aerobic activity, like light jogging or even fast walking, can be extremely effective at reducing the severity of your anxiety symptoms, as well as the anxiety itself.
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Can Sex Help With Anxiety
There, we said it. Although some cultures consider the topic of sex to be taboo in common parlance, the science is clear: sex is a basic biological drive that most humans need to be healthy and happy. In-fact, sex is documented to help with everything from your mood to your level of pain!
With all the positive effects of anxiety purported by study after study, we naturally thought that we should ask: can sex help with anxiety, too?
Learn To Avoid Procrastination
Another way to take control of your stress is to stay on top of your priorities and stop procrastinating.
Procrastination can lead you to act reactively, leaving you scrambling to catch up. This can cause stress, which negatively affects your health and sleep quality .
Get in the habit of making a to-do list organized by priority. Give yourself realistic deadlines and work your way down the list.
Work on the things that need to get done today and give yourself chunks of uninterrupted time, as switching between tasks or multitasking can be stressful itself.
Prioritize what needs to get done and make time for it. Staying on top of your to-do list can help ward off procrastination-related stress.
Yoga has become a popular method of stress relief and exercise among all age groups.
While yoga styles differ, most share a common goal to join your body and mind.
Yoga primarily does this by increasing body and breath awareness.
Some studies have examined yogas effect on mental health. Overall, research has found that yoga can enhance mood and may even be as effective as antidepressant drugs at treating depression and anxiety .
However, many of these studies are limited, and there are still questions about how yoga works to achieve stress reduction.
In general, the benefit of yoga for stress and anxiety seems to be related to its effect on your nervous system and stress response.
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Orgasms Regulate Breathing Patterns And Nervous System Responses
Tiana GlittersaurusRex, a polyamorous educator and co-founder of the Sex Work Survival Guide, a nonprofit organization advocating for the rights and safety of sex workers, tells TheBody that orgasms can help to regulate breathing, which in turn brings down anxiety levels. Think about what happens when youre anxious. Your breathing starts to become irregular and shallow. This amps up all the other symptoms and can send you into a full-blown panic. Focusing on pleasure and orgasm can help to soothe these feelings.
Orgasm is defined as the involuntary release of tension at the height of the sexual response cycle, so once you get there, your whole body relaxes. This, in turn, regulates the nervous system and breathingbringing about that afterglow we often experience post-orgasm.
Taylor Sparks, an erotic educator and founder of Organic Loven, one of the largest BIPOC-owned online intimacy shops, sees this as a learning opportunity, one that can help you become more aware of your anxiety and thus have better control over it. Here is an opportunity to self-soothe that doesnt need a pill to get you re-centered within yourself, she tells TheBody. You will take on the pleasure of better understanding how you can control your anxious emotions by discovering … you.
Look After Your Physical And Mental Health
You may find yourself drinking too much or overeating when stressed, but a balanced diet will make you feel happier and more confident inside and out.
Additionally, people who exercise regularly have increased stamina and enjoy better sex lives. All forms of exercise boosts your endorphins, feel good hormones, which can increase your libido and reduce stress levels.
It can also improve your circulation, increasing blood flow around the body, especially to the genital area, boosting sexual function and quality of orgasms too.
Relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga and having a hobby you really enjoy can help too.
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Why Anxiety Increases Sex Drive In Some People
Have you ever received bad news, and all youve wanted to do was have sex? Or, perhaps sex is literally the last thing you want to do when you have anxiety?
As a sex therapist trained in affect-focused therapy, I know that emotions, anxiety, and sex are connected. Here’s why sometimes they mix and sometimes they dont.
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What exactly are emotions?
Emotions are basic evolutionary processes that have developed to keep us alive. They act like compasses, telling us what our needs are in all situations.
In their rawest state, feelings have specific purposes. And if we listen to them and do what theyre telling us to do we feel better.
Positive feelings usually urge us toward connection with others, whereas negative ones work to keep us safe.
Generally speaking, negative emotions such as worry and fear dampen our sex drive because their prime goal is to save us from potential threats.
Hormones are spurred by emotions.
When something dangerous happens, like someone pointing a gun to our head, our body springs into action, creating the stress hormone cortisol, getting us ready to fight, flee, or freeze.
This is a good thing, because getting horny when someone wants to pop our head off, could potentially lead to our death.
The thing is though, worry and fear can also be ignited by things that arent actually dangerous at least, not on a physiological level.
Can emotions affect your sex drive? Most definitely.
Make Time For Each Other
Many of us find ourselves busier than we ever thought possible. Being constantly busy means having little downtime, which can drain your energy and make sex unappealing.
A busy schedule can also mean a busy mindand having a lot on your mind can make it difficult to relax and “get in the mood.” Packed schedules can even present difficulties in finding the time for sex or make it feel like just one more chore on your mile-long “to-do list.”
If a busy lifestyle is behind your stress and low libido, you may consider making a plan for intimacy or sexual experimentation.
While scheduling sex may not seem like the most romantic notion, you can get creative and make it exciting.
Begin flirting first thing in the morning and do your best to pick up the phone midday to let your partner know that you are looking forward to your “sex date” with a quick text or phone call. Adding a little music or aromatherapy can also help set the tone for relaxation and romance.
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Sex Hormones And Neurotransmitters
Now that we have a baseline understanding of how sex affects us, lets look at what happens inside the body during intercourse. This will get us one step closer to examine the effect of sex on anxiety.
The first stage of sex is arousal, also known as being turned on. In this process, your limbic system the part of your brain that handles your emotions experiences increased stimulation. In this stage, your body releases a flood of nitric oxide to relax your blood vessels. This molecule increases your overall sensitivity and encourages blood to flow closer to the skin.
Additionally, your body releases several different hormones and neurotransmitters . These include:
- Adrenaline, which is responsible for your fight-or-flight response
- Norepinephrine, which affects happiness and anxiety
- Oxytocin, or the love hormone, extends pleasurable release and encourages human bonding
- Serotonin, which is responsible for regulating social behaviors, sleep, mood, and appetite