According to science, you should be having sex, and lots of it!
Spicing things up in the bedroom can do your health wonders and is more beneficial for your mind and body than you may think.
While it's important to maintain an active lifestyle beyond the bedroom, sexual health and exercise professors from Curtin University in Perth say having sex is vital for your physical and mental wellbeing.
Whether you’re after clearer skin, more muscle definition, less stress or happiness, these experts say sex is the answer.
"A regular sex experience with our partner, that's positive, is going to facilitate a connection," sexual health lecturer Matt Tilley told Science Network Western Australia.
When we have a sexual encounter with our significant other, our brain release hormones, which Tilly says "assist to reduce stress, and of course endorphins specifically might act like a natural anti-depressant." While oxytocin (aka the love hormone) he says "can help facilitate people's love and trust of one another."
Here are five health benefits of sexy time in the sack:
1. It does wonders for your skin
When you’re feeling the love, endorphins and serotonin are released, both of which help clear skin.
Endorphins help to minimise wrinkling and scarring by triggering the growth of collagen and new skin cells.
When you have sex, your heart rate and blood pressure increases, your body heats up and as a result you sweat. Perspiration is great for clearing out your pores, especially when followed by nice and steamy shower.
2. Improved Immunity
Having sex is like getting a booster shot. If you have sex one to two times a week, it can trigger the release of the immunoglubin A antibody, which is your body’s first line of defense for when you get sick.
3. You get a whole body workout
According to Kevin Netto, director of research at the university’s School of Physiotherapy and Exercise Science, having sex is as beneficial “as doing a full body cardio workout.”
The average person has sex for about 17 minutes and burns anywhere between 60-100 calories says Netto, but unfortunately for women, it’s the men that are on the right side of that spectrum.
However, Netto says for sex to be as effective as a moderate cardio workout, you need to stay in the act long enough and “for most people it’s not long enough and it’s not often enough.”
You heard the man… get sex-ercising!
4. Boosts your self-esteem
Having consensual sex is the best thing you can do if you want to boost your confidence. Tilley says the release of feel-good hormones during intimacy has been linked to an increased self-esteem, better mood and calmer mind.
“Those feelings are likely to increase our sense of who we are and hence our self-esteem, and more broadly improve our mood or maybe just help maintain our elevated mood,” Tilley says.
However, mood-boosting benefits will only be experienced if the sexual encounter is positive, otherwise Tilley says, if “it’s full of emotional blackmail or betrayal or it’s a coercive or assaulting experience…it’s going to be an absolute minefield of difficulty.”
5. Sleep better
Post sex, the relaxation hormone prolactin kicks in, which naturally helps you get to sleep more quickly. Unfortunately again for women, men produce more sleep-inducing chemicals when they ejaculate, which makes them more likely to be the one to fall asleep first. Which explains a lot!