The Incredible Health Benefits of Orgasms

It turns out we have more inspiration than ever to get frisky on the regular. While I’ve obviously always known that orgasms are amazing, it wasn’t until recently that I learned just how powerful they are. More than a way to improve an otherwise humdrum day, orgasms are powerhouses that can boost our immune systems, revitalize our minds – and even help us live longer.

I know, I know. Not many of us needed the extra motivation to shoot for the stars and achieve that Big O several times a week, but it turns out our favorite little death packs more perks than just feeling oh, so good.

The ultimate mood booster

If you ask anyone to think about how they feel after an orgasm, prepare for stars in their eyes. The fact that orgasms lead to happiness is etched into our bones. But scientists are never satisfied with anecdotes, so they did some vital research to see just how incredible orgasms are for your emotional health. While we already knew the answers, the stats on how it happens may delight you.

Your brain will thank you.

Next time you knock out the crossword puzzle after some morning canoodling, you can thank your orgasm. When the dam breaks, blood flow to the brain increases, exposing that essential organ to much-needed oxygen and nutrients. By feeding your brain, you’re helping yourself get ready to conquer the world (or at least your work for the day). We all could benefit from some sharpened thinking, so call up your partner or whip out that vibrator and start playing, especially since that increased blood flow isn’t the only reason you’ll be feeling more like a go-getter...

You’ll sleep better.

It’s not exactly breaking news to those of us who orgasm at least semi-regularly, but scientists finally agree on this delicious factoid we’ve known since the dawn of humanity: sex helps you sleep better. 

Unfortunately, some of us sleep better than others. After an orgasm, folks with XY chromosomes enjoy a rush of prolactin, a hormone that suppresses dopamine and helps them get nice and drowsy.

While not everyone gets to enjoy nature’s sleeping pill, all of us (even those without XY ‘somes), get flooded with serotonin afterward. Serotonin fills us with positive feelings and eases up our anxieties, making sleep much easier to achieve. When your worries feel far away, those forty winks are just around the corner. And if you believe the 32% of women who masturbate to help themselves fall asleep, it works wonders.

Oxytocin to the rescue

The benefits of a good orgasm run deep. Our brains are fed, are sleep is deep – and oxytocin is coursing through us. Known as the love hormone, oxytocin does a lot more than just help you bond with someone. It’s a vital piece of the puzzle in our overall psychological well being and relaxation. 

But the benefits may ripple out beyond your own life. Recent research suggests oxytocin even helps you feel more generous, forgiving, and trusting. In this divisive time, maybe we all could use a morning orgasm before clocking into social media.

Orgasms are good for your whole body.

If you weren’t convinced oxytocin was a miracle elixir, just wait. That hormone does more than just boost your mood and make you feel generous. It has been shown to combat the negative effects of cortisol and help you better manage your stress. That stress reduction keeps your blood pressure low in even the most stressful of situations. As if that weren’t enough, oxytocin also gives you some welcome assistance by improving digestion – which is essential when you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed by life. 

When you think about it, this orgasmic power isn’t surprising. Sure, you may have a lot of work on the docket, a budget to balance, and big plans coming up for your creative life – not to mention taking care of children or maintaining a social life. The stress can be overwhelming. But a good orgasm has a way of slapping a smile on your face and letting you believe you can tackle most of the day. 

Boost that immune system

It seems like we’re all scrambling from task to task every day. When we’re so busy, we need something to keep our immune system boosted. Orgasms to the rescue, once again!

If you’re looking to fight off a cold or flu, consider bolstering your Emergen-C intake with some good old fashioned orgasms. By having sex at least once or twice a week, you’re actually increasing the presence of immunoglobulin A by up to 30%

If you’re wondering what in the world that is, here’s the short of it: immunoglobulin A is an antibody you naturally produce that helps your body fight off sickness. A deficiency in it is linked to problems with asthma, allergies, bronchitis, and sinusitis. But just by having sex a few times a week, you are upping your body’s production of that powerful antibody, and can have more fun in the process. 

While it’s not directly linked to orgasms – just to the thrill of blood rushing through your body – you may as well go for the gold and enjoy all the perks while you’re at it. If you ask me, this is a much more exciting way to stay healthy than taking extra vitamins. 

Nature’s pain reliever

I know, your head’s already spinning with all the things an orgasm can do for you. But we’re not even close to wrapped up. Those of us with chronic pain conditions or other aches and pains, rejoice! 

When an orgasm floods your body with good feelings and luscious hormones, it does more than just boost your mood. It dulls our pain receptors for a bit, as well. Apparently, the power of the orgasm is so intense, it can reduce arthritic pain, help in surgery recovery, and more. 

The verdict isn’t out yet on exactly why this happens, but the culprit may just be oxytocin hard at work again. And while the pain relief after an orgasm may only be ten minutes long, for those of us who face chronic pain, the relief from our suffering could just be worth it – and buy us some sweet time while we wait for that ibuprofen to kick in.

There is one devastating caveat. If you’re prone to eating spicy foods (guilty as charged), you may not see the pain-relieving perks of this new favorite wonder drug. That’s because capsaicin in chili peppers blocks the pain-numbing powers of the orgasm – at least according to Dr. Beverly Whipple, who’s a sex educator, researcher, and the coauthor of The G Spot and Other Discoveries About Human Sexuality

While that counts me out of the pain-relieving equation, anyone who can’t handle the heat (or at the very least isn’t a hot sauce fiend like me), is in for yet another amazing perk. Lucky for the rest of us, capsaicin isn’t kryptonite to all the wonders an orgasm offers...

Kiss your headaches goodbye

Finally, a study that’s truly been made for me. Anyone who’s ever spent time with me knows I’m very tragically migraine-prone. Just writing this down makes me afraid I’ll somehow conjure one up, like saying “Beetlejuice” three times. 

Until recently, I thought my problem could only be solved by the maximum dose of ibuprofen and total darkness. It turns out I was wrong. This unfortunate plague has has a surprising cure: sexy times. 

While the last thing you want to do is even breathe too loud when a migraine comes on – I know I spent my last one hidden under a wet washcloth in the dark – it turns out that an orgasm can help you find your happy place in more ways than one. One study conducted on people suffering from migraines and cluster headaches found some shocking results. With migraine sufferers, 60% reported an improvement in their symptoms after having sex. Cluster headaches saw less relief, at 37%, but hey – when these bad boys are in full swing, I know I’d try just about anything to kick that pain for the night, and there are worse ways to try and work through it than some top notch sex.

Orgasms and your period

If you needed any more reasons to get frisky, here’s one that will get about half of us ready to jump in the sack: orgasms help your cycle – and in more ways than one. For starters, if you want to get your period over and done with, an orgasm can help you start a few days early. In theory, it could help you finish early, too. That’s because these delicious additions to our day cause muscle contractions, which help you shed the blood a little faster.

And not only is it totaly cool to have sex during your period, but some people say doing so can even help you have a more predictable menstrual cycle. I don’t know about you, but back when I had a period, I was game to try anything that made my periods more predictable. 

And I think we’ve all heard of those legendary badasses who alleviate cramps by doing a bunch of planks and crunches, but did you know you could skip the gym and still reap those benefits? An orgasm can achieve the same goal – specifically when they’re vaginal. That kind of orgasm is so intense that it even loops your spinal cord into the business, and the muscle spasms can help move blood through your body and ease up on cramping. 

Think of it like a deep massage that has one hell of a happy ending. If I were you, next time I had cramps, I’d skip cardio and get it on instead 

The confusing link between orgasms and prostate cancer

I have some good news and some bad news, and both of them are a little perplexing. Scientists are hard at work studying the puzzling bond between orgasms and prostate cancer. In one study, when men were asked about their sex lives, scientists found shocking results.

Those who had more sex and masturbated more often in their 20s and 30s had an increased risk for prostate cancer. On the other hand, having sex or masturbating more frequently in their 40s and 50s actually reduced the risk of prostate cancer. The link between the two isn’t quite understood, but there are other studies that likewise suggest orgasms are great for your prostate health.

For example,one Australian study looked at over 2,000 men and found that those who orgasmed 4.6 to seven times a week were actually 36% less likely to get prostate cancer (under the age of seventy) than those who orgasmed less than two times a week.

While we don’t know exactly why, it seems like having fun as you age is good for your health. And if fighting cancer doesn’t encourage you to have a little more fun between the sheets (or in the shower, or out in your backyard), then I’m not really sure what will.

The fountain of youth?

Way sexier than a silly colonizer in a metal helm hunting for the fountain of youth in the wilds of Florida, the key to staying young may just spring forth from your own sweet loins. It turns out sex could be the rejuvenating serum you’ve been looking for. Not only does it make you look younger, but regular sex helps you feel younger and more alive. 

Once again, science is here to back uus up. The Terman Longevity Project has yielded some fascinating results about the ways that orgasms help people live longer – specifically those of us with XX chromosomes. In instances where these people (all women) had highly satisfying sex lives, this long-term study revealed that women lived longer when they were sexually satisfied. 

Another study done in Wales showed similar benefits for cisgender men. After interviewing 1,000 men across six villages, scientists found that men who enjoyed at least two good orgasms a week “died at a rate half that” of the poor fellas who orgasmed less than once a month.

What’s more, one doctor, Michael Roizen, chair of the Wellness Institute at the Cleveland Clinic, says that the more orgasms an XY chromosome honey has, the better. According to him, ejaculating 350 times a year can add four years to your life. And beyond that, they will feel a whopping eight years younger than their peers. He goes so far as to suggest that a mind boggling 700 orgasms a year “could add up to eight years to your life.” 

While I don’t know how many of us will necessarily have the time for all that, I know a great many of us will take it upon ourselves to try. 

So far, the link between orgasms and longevity isn’t totally understood. It could have something to do with all that immunoglobulin A we’re producing, the magic of heightened intimacy, or the health benefits of just feeling sexy. Whatever it is, it works. 

You’ll look good doing it, too.

The incredibly evocative image of the fountain of youth may have been enough to tempt you, but between fighting cancer, boosting your immune system, and making you happier, it feels like there isn’t much else an orgasm can offer you.

But the icing on the cake is that you’ll look good doing it, too. I know we should all be brushing off beauty as something that’s only skin deep, but dang it, don’t we want to look like our most angelic selves as often as possible? It turns out our ticket to Smoothsville may just lie in our ability to orgasm.

One study of people between forty and fifty carried some shocking implications for the cosmetic power of orgasms. Scientists found that the people they studied who looked younger had sex 50% more often than their peers. 

That could be because, on top of all the other good things an orgasm fills you with, they also make you release DHEA, a naturally-occurring hormone that helps us combat the traditional signs of aging, up our libidos, and build lean muscle mass. We produce it without orgasming when we’re young, but its production starts declining as we enter our thirties (what a bummer). Thankfully, the more sex we have, the more of it we continue to produce..

It looks like I have yet another thing to add to my nightly beauty routine – not that I’m complaining.

Like a fine wine…

I have to clear up a serious misconception here. 

For some younger people, it may seem like a catch twenty-two: the health benefits you need as you age only come from having sex, which TV tells us older people have none of. But don’t believe what the media says. Sex isn’t only for the young. Not by a long shot.

In fact, sex by and large improves with age. Orgasms become better, longer, and more intense. The time when you really start to need some immune systems bursts and cancer-fighting properties just so happens to be when the sex gets so much better.

That’s because older people generally have a better grip on what they want – and have had more practice in the sack, to boot. You’re a better driver than you were at sixteen (I hope), so why wouldn’t someone be a better lover when they have decades of experience under their belts? 

As our bones and bodies start to hurt here and there, we deserve a little somethin’ somethin’ that leaves us feeling tip top. And since most people agree that sex only gets more delicious as you age, those of us still under thirty have a lot to look forward to in the years ahead.

Your orgasms don’t have to be partnered

While it’s easy to equate a lot of these orgasmic benefits with partnered sex, it doesn’t have to be that way. You still get a rush of hormones released with each orgasm, and many of these studies were performed on people having solo sex. 

Flying solo can be just as beneficial as going at it with a lover (or two), especially if you make it fun. Embrace the idea that you can be sexy, or even romantic, when playing by yourself. A lot of times, we’re fed the idea that masturbation has to be something you do in a hushed, rushed environment, only to not talk about it again.

Instead, to make the most out of your solo game, turn it into a capital E Event. Put on your sexiest tunes or read your favorite erotica scenes. Light some nice candles and pour yourself a glass of wine. Bring all your favorite accessories, like that pair of used panties, and put on an outfit you feel yourself in (even if that’s your birthday suit). 

While oxytocin may have special perks in partnered sex, like bonding and trust-building, you can still enjoy all the benefits of an orgasm by yourself. With just a little conscious effort, you can have an unforgettable night without inviting anyone else along for the ride.

Have some fun!

It’s in your very literal hands to revolutionize your health regimen in a sexy and fresh way. If you know you want to enjoy these health benefits, and that you want to have more sex in general, but just aren’t often in the mood, don’t sweat it. Your sex drive is like a muscle. The more you exercise it and get sexy, the more often you’ll find yourself craving it.

Set yourself up for a sexy solo date, or invite your partners along for the journey after you clue them in on the amazing benefits of several orgasms a week. This illuminating insight could just be the boost you needed to up your sex life for the long haul.