Sex Ed

6 Reasons to be Thankful for Sex Today

November 24, 2016 by Justin Lehmiller

For those of you celebrating Thanksgiving today, one of the many things you might consider giving thanks for is sex. Why? Here are six good reasons, all supported by science.

1. Sex is a multi-purpose activity that allows us to meet a wide range of needs. In fact, scientists have identified at least 237 distinct reasons for having sex! Not only is sex a fun and pleasurable way to pass the time, but it’s also a potential way to reproduce, to demonstrate love and affection, and to find relief (indeed, research suggests that having sex can potentially relieve stress for couples). In other words, sex can do a lot for us.

2. Frequent sexual activity is linked to better health. In fact, several studies have found that the more frequently people experience orgasm, the better their physical and psychological health tends to be. Other research has found those who orgasm frequently tend to live longer, too! This research doesn’t allow us to say for sure whether having sex more often necessarily improves health; however, it does suggest is that sex is probably more likely to help your health rather than hurt it.

3. Sex is a form of exercise. Research has found that, on average, young men burn 101 calories while young women burn 69 calories during the act. Of course, at this rate, it would take a LOT of sex to burn off several plates of turkey and pie. Sex clearly isn’t the equivalent of going to the gym (at least it isn’t for the vast majority of people), but it does count for something.

4. Research suggests that having sex might be good for your brain. As some evidence of this, rat studies have found that frequent sexual activity is associated with more neuron growth. In addition, research on older adults has found that more frequent sexual activity is linked to maintaining better cognitive functioning as we age.

5. Sex is something you can enjoy for pretty much your entire life. Research has found that many adults age 70+ still have active sex lives. Of course, we tend to slow down a little and experience more sexual difficulties as we age. Fortunately, however, there is no definitive end point when it comes to sex.

6. If you don’t have a partner, research suggests that even solo sexual activities might have potential benefits. Check out this video for a look at the research on self-love and health.

Have a happy and sexy Thanksgiving!

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Image Credit: Chatzilidis

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Written by
Dr. Justin Lehmiller
Founder & Owner of Sex and Psychology

Dr. Justin Lehmiller is a social psychologist and Research Fellow at The Kinsey Institute. He runs the Sex and Psychology blog and podcast and is author of the popular book Tell Me What You Want. Dr. Lehmiller is an award-winning educator, and a prolific researcher who has published more than 50 academic works.

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