Sex Ed

5 Sexy Things To Be Thankful For In 2023

November 23, 2023 by Merissa Prine

Happy Thanksgiving! Since many of us are currently in the season of giving thanks and are reminded of all of the wonderful things we are thankful for, we wanted to highlight some of the sexiest things we are thankful for this year.

Research has shown that engaging in sexual activity, both solo and partnered, can have a wide range of physical and psychological benefits. With new technologies starting to shift the sexual landscape, additional possibilities to tap into these benefits are on the horizon! In this post, we’ll explore five sexy things to be thankful for in 2023 and beyond.

1. Virtual Reality is Opening Up New Sexual Opportunities

Rapid developments in highly sophisticated technology that would not have been feasible (or even imaginable) just a few years ago have opened up new sexual possibilities. This technology offers a unique opportunity to engage our sexual fantasies in a way that might not have previously been possible. For example, virtual reality (VR) has created a new way of viewing pornography that gives users the experience of “being there” and feeling immersed in the experience in a way that 2D pornography cannot. We have also seen the development of sex toys that can be paired with this VR experience so that users can experience physical stimulation while immersed in the virtual experience. Researchers have begun to explore the benefits and possibilities for such technology and have found that VR increases feelings of immersion, sexual desire, and feelings of empathy toward the performers [1]. While VR pornography is in its early stages, the opportunities for sexual fulfillment are endless! To learn more about the possibilities for VR, check out our podcast episode!

2. Sex Seems To Have Physical Health Benefits

Engaging in sexual activity has been shown to have a wide range of physical health benefits. While it is important to acknowledge that there is no definitive cause-and-effect relationship established between sex and physical health (because we can’t randomly assign people to sex and no-sex conditions!), there are promising associations between sexual activity and a wide variety of positive health outcomes. For example, one study of over 30,000 US men found that those who reported higher levels of orgasm frequency were less likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer [2]. In another study, researchers found that sexual activity can help alleviate certain forms of pain. In this work, the researchers found that, on average, patients who suffered from migraines or cluster headaches reported that sexual activity reduced pain or completely alleviated their headaches/migraines [3].

3. Sex Also Has Psychological and Mental Health Benefits 

Sex is good for more than just our bodies—it also appears to be good for our brains. Sexual activity both with a partner or via masturbation appears to have positives influences on our psychological health and emotional wellbeing. Among other things, research has found that masturbation is associated with improved self-esteem, better sleep quality, reductions in stress, and a better understanding of oneself as a sexual person. In a recent study about sexual behavior during the COVID-19 pandemic, it was found that individuals who engaged in more sexual activity were less likely to experience anxiety and depression, which suggests that sexual activity may buffer against psychological distress [4].

4. High-Tech Sex Toys are Creating New Ways To Connect

In recent years, there has been significant development in technology aimed at improving people’s technology-mediated sexual experiences. A wide range of toys (for all genders and orientations) have been designed, and many of these toys can be operated wirelessly from a distance using a mobile app. This technology can really spice up long-distance couples’ sex lives or function as a unique and novel experience for people who are looking to try something new. This technology removes geographical restrictions on partnered sexual activity and provides new opportunities for intimate connection. For more information, listen to our podcast episode where we will cover the ways sex toys can revolutionize your sex life!

5. Sexual Mindfulness is Making Our Sex Lives Better

In the last decade, there has been increasing emphasis on sexual mindfulness, which encourages a deeper understanding of your own desires and preferences, promoting a more fulfilling sexual experience. This awareness not only enriches relationships but also contributes to overall well-being, empowering individuals to embrace their sexuality with confidence and authenticity. In a recent study of married couples, participants reported that engaging in mindfulness was related to relational flourishing, sexual harmony, and orgasm consistency [5]. If you find yourself reflecting on the things that you feel most grateful for this week, maybe try reflecting on what types of sensations bring you the most sexual fulfillment and enjoyment.

During this season of gratitude, let’s celebrate the physical and psychological benefits of sexual activity, along with these advancements in sex research and technology. There are so many reasons to be thankful for sex!


[1] Evans, L. (2023). Virtual reality pornography: a review of health-related opportunities and challenges. Current Sexual Health Reports, 15(1), 26–35.

[2] Rider, J. R., Wilson, K. M., Sinnott, J. A., Kelly, R. S., Mucci, L. A., & Giovannucci, E. L. (2016). Ejaculation frequency and risk of prostate cancer: Updated results with an additional decade of follow-up. European Urology, 70(6), 974–982.

[3] Hambach, A., Evers, S., Summ, O., Husstedt, I. W., & Frese, A. (2013). The impact of sexual activity on idiopathic headaches: An observational study. Cephalalgia, 33(6), 384–389.

[4] Mollaioli, D., Sansone, A., Ciocca, G., Limoncin, E., Colonnello, E., Di Lorenzo, G., & Jannini, E. A. (2021). Benefits of sexual activity on psychological, relational, and sexual health during the COVID-19 breakout. Journal of Sexual Medicine, 18(1), 35–49.

[5] Leavitt, C. E., Maurer, T. F., Clyde, T. L., Clarke, R. W., Busby, D. M., Yorgason, J. B., Holmes, E. K., & James, S. (2021). Linking Sexual Mindfulness to Mixed-Sex Couples’ Relational Flourishing, Sexual Harmony, and Orgasm. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 50(6), 2589–2602.

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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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