Sex positivity is a great thing.
In a time when we’re constantly working to undo decades of sexual guilt or shame,
being sex-positive can be an educational balm for many people and their partners.
Sex is as necessary as eating right.
We all go through dry spells in the bedroom for all kinds of reasons.
Maybe we’re busy, or maybe we’re single. Or we might just decide that we want a break.
If that break goes on long enough, though, it can have an effect on our body and some parts of our life.
But it’s important to remember that there’s no “right” amount for everyone.
What’s key is that you find what works best for you.
Not being sexually engaging affects your body varies based on your health, how old you are, and even what kind of sex you were having.
Anxiety and Stress
If you don’t have sex with your partner often, that may make you feel less connected to them,
which can mean you don’t talk about your feelings much or get a lot of support in managing day-to-day stressors.
And sex makes your body release hormones, like oxytocin and endorphins, that can help you manage the effects of stress.
Oxytocin has the added benefit of helping you sleep.
People who have sex often are better at recalling memories.
Having sex regularly helps the brain grow neurons and work better in general.
Regular sex helps you feel emotionally closer to your partner, which opens the door to better communication.
Couples who have sex more often tend to say they’re happier than those who get less of it.
But it doesn’t have to happen every day –at least three times a week.
This seems to be true no matter your age or gender, or how long you’ve been in the relationship.
Regular sex helps your body fight off illness, so having it less often might lead to more colds.
Studies have shown that persons who have sex one to three times per week were shown to have higher levels of a certain antibody (called immunoglobulin A)
that plays an important role in the immune system.
If you’re a woman who’s gone through menopause, you have another reason to keep having sex.
Without regular intercourse, your vagina can tighten and its tissues can get thinner and be more likely to get injured, tear, or even bleed during sex.
This can be so uncomfortable that women with these symptoms avoid having sex, which can make it worse.
Regular intercourse is important for vaginal health after menopause.
Older women who are not having intercourse are more likely to have thinning and drying of the tissues.
A big part of this is blood flow, and we know increased activity increases blood flow.
For men, how often they have sex may be linked to their chances of prostate cancer, but the evidence is mixed.
But it has been documented, that men who ejaculated more than 21 times a month on average
had lower chances of prostate cancer during their lifetimes, compared with those who ejaculated four to seven times a month.
You may feel more down in the dumps
Sex is part physical, part mental.
“When people have sex, they’re usually having skin-to-skin contact, and this kind of contact is the first primal way we as humans get comforted.
The sexual connection gives partners loads of skin-to-skin caressing and touch and can help to regulate one another’s moods,
through the release of the feel-good hormone oxytocin.
Sex can also boost your spirits through mood-elevating endorphins.
Without the benefit of these natural pick-me-ups, you might be prone to feeling low—but that doesn’t mean you’ll become clinically depressed.
Although studies have shown that depression and a lack of sex are linked, this reflects an association, not cause and effect.
If you are a healthy person and you stop having sex, you’re not going to become depressed because of it.
You might be depressed because your partner cheated on you and your life is in the toilet,
but the specific lack of sexual activity is in no way going to cause [clinical] depression, even though there’s a high correlation.
Your vaginal walls may weaken
Not having vaginal penetration can be a “use it or lose it” type of thing.
Without regular frequency of intercourse as you get older the walls of your vagina thin out and can lead to painful sex when you finally get back into the sack.
You may have worse menstrual cramps
Surprisingly, sex may help alleviate cramps during your period.
The uterus is a muscle and many women will actually have a uterine contraction when they orgasm,
which will cause the blood to expel more quickly, which will in turn decrease menstrual cramps.
Also, there may be an increase in endorphins, which also will help with menstrual cramps.
This is an unexpected benefit you lose if you’re not having sex—but fortunately, this one doesn’t require a partner to remedy.
You may become less intelligent
OK, not exactly, but studies have found that having sex improved brain function and the growth of brain cells.
Maintaining a healthy relationship that includes a healthy sex life will help you to stay happy and engaged.