When we talk of health and wellbeing, sex is often left out or forgotten about. Most likely due to how uncomfortable talking about sex and sexual health can be for most people. However, sex is an extremely important part of both our physical and mental health. And sex is much more than jumping in the sack with someone! So let's take a look at some ways sex can improve our overall health.
Studies have shown that engaging in sexual activities can help your physical health in many ways. Some of those being lower blood pressure, increased heart health, strengthening your muscles, relieving pain, strengthening your immune system, increased energy, and help you get a better night sleep. And if these benefits aren’t awesome enough, the mental benefits are just as amazing! Reports have shown that sex can reduce stress, improve mood and help fight depression, and can even be used in a therapeutic setting to work through trauma.
Now, much of these benefits depend on HOW you're having sex. For example, are you mentally present or is your mind somewhere else completely? Is there a sexual connection between both/all partners? Are you fully participating or are you laying there like a dead fish? Are you voicing your needs? If you're not actually enjoying what is going on, sex will just become stressful and anxiety producing. Literally reversing all the good stuff you could be getting out of it! Of course there will be times during sex where your mind wonders a bit or you get tired half way through, and thats totally okay. Sex does’t have to be perfect nor be a magical experience every single time. However, never being present or truly enjoying the experience can lead to negative thoughts and feelings around sex.
Now we often think of sex as involving two or more people, but you actually don’t need another person to be involved to achieve these same effects! Yes, we’re talking about masturbation. Masturbation is the safest and easiest way to get these benefits since you don’t need to worry about any “performance anxiety” or pregnancy or STDs. It’s also the best way to learn what you do and don’t want out of sex. I mean, how can you expect someone else to pleasure you if you don’t even know how to pleasure yourself? Masturbation has gotten a bad rap for many years. It’s been looked at as shameful, dirty, and even considered a sin in many religions. Yet it is the safest form of sex you can have and the ultimate method of self-care. We’ll definitely take a deeper look into masturbation and all its wonders in another post but for now I’ll just say yes, masturbation is normal and okay and yes I think you should masturbate more.
Another reason sex is so important is because it’s simple apart of who we are. We are all sexual beings. Even if you identify as asexual. Whether you feel connected to your sexuality or not. None of us would be here without sex. Period. From a reproductive standpoint and from a human connection one. It’s really a beautiful thing. That fact that we as human beings have the ability to form intimate and spiritual connections with each other is one of the things that make us so unique! AND to be able to create life through that connection and intimacy is just even more amazing!
Sex is’t something you can hide or escape from. That is why programs like absent-only education programs have failed time and time again. Telling people not to have sex or to only have sex to procreate goes against our natural human nature. In order to have happy, healthy sex we need to talk about it more and educate each other more and be more comfortable exploring sex and all it has to offer. The importance of sex and sex education will always be there. Let’s put that shame behind us and start talking about it!