How Much Sex Does it Take to Get Benefits?
A “healthy” amount of sex is different for everyone. Sexual desire and attraction exist on a wide spectrum, and it’s possible to be healthy (or miserable) at any level of sexual activity. What’s important is that you have supportive relationships in your life, and you feel satisfied with the quality and quantity of sexual events that you experience.
Research has linked some specific health benefits to different types of sexual activity. For example, one study found that college students who had sex with a partner 1–2 times per week had more antibodies in their saliva than those who had more or less frequent encounters. This result may indicate that regular sex strengthens your immune system, but it needs to be explored further. Another look at partnered sex found that for older women, feeling satisfied with their sexual relationships made them less likely to develop cardiovascular disease.
However, some of the benefits of sex don’t depend on a partner. Researchers in Boston found that men who ejaculated the most often (at least 21 times per month) were almost 20% less likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer than those who only experienced release 4–7 times per month. Most of the men in the lowest-risk group were not in a relationship during the times measured, and it is assumed that a large number of their orgasms were achieved solo. Another study on sex and pain found that women got significant relief of pain during masturbation.
No matter what type of sex we’re having, we can count on some physiological payoffs each time we get down and dirty. Experts agree that almost every satisfying encounter releases endorphins, dopamine and prolactin into our bodies, which are associated with lowered levels of stress and for some, better sleep. Another hormone that surges during post-coital bliss is oxytocin. This compound makes us feel happy, relaxed and emotionally bonded. If masturbation makes us feel lonely, studies show we can get all the stress-reducing oxytocin we need from non-sexual expressions of intimacy. This underscores the importance of developing multiple sources of emotional support as well as multi-layered romantic relationships that remain supportive even when sex is disrupted.
How Do You Create Better Sex in a Busy Life?
If too much stress is your biggest barrier to bliss, the two best things you can do are to set aside time (no matter how little) away from your obligations and take the pressure off yourself to reach a certain outcome. One sex therapist describes a program where anxious or traumatized women spend 15-minute sessions in a relaxed, comfortable place while their partner gently stimulates their clitoris. There is no expectation of intercourse or orgasm. She says participants report that the program helps them become aroused more easily and experience more pleasure.
Another factor that improves the quality of sexual health is awareness and expression of your sexual preferences. Many online programs, like OMGYes, offer specific and practical education on what types of stimulation tend to arouse women and bring them to orgasm. Women can explore the material on their own or with their partner, and experiment with the recommendations to discover what works best for their bodies. Another source of playful, yet pragmatic sex ed is HappyPlay Time. This app gives info about female sexual anatomy and awards points when users do their homework.
Is Cannabis a Good Tool for Enhancing Sex?
As with most aspects of sexuality, the effects of cannabis on arousal vary from person-to-person. Some find that being high makes them feel too drowsy or too “out of their body” to enjoy sex. But a 2019 study found that most women who consumed before intimacy reported an increased sex drive, more satisfying orgasms and less pain during intercourse.
Women who enjoy incorporating bud in the bedroom say it helps them relax and bond with their partner. Courtney (32) says, “My fiancé and I use cannabis together regularly. Most nights you can find us in bed with the bong, chatting or catching up on a show.” Although not every cannabis session leads to sex, experts agree that getting mellow and playful with your partner regularly can strengthen your relationship and improve your sexual connection.
For all you single ladies, if you find that CBD or THC help you feel more relaxed and connected to your sensations, a lightly dosed self-love session might be the full-body health plan you’ve been waiting for.
Are You Yearning for a Romantic Night with Edibles?
This Infused Strawberry Shortcake recipe from Chef Travis Petersen at The Nomad Cook was made especially for an evening of sweet, sensual surrender. Bet you can’t read it without picturing yourself laying soft mouthfuls of cake on your lover’s tongue.
 Liu H, Waite L, Shen S, Wang D. Is Sex Good for Your Health? A National Study on Partnered Sexuality and Cardiovascular Risk Among Older Men and Women. J Health Soc Behav. 2016; 57(3): 276-296.
 National Sleep Foundation. Is Sex Helping or Hurting Your Sleep? Sleep.org. https://www.sleep.org/articles/does-sex-affect-sleep/ Accessed on 7 February 2020.
 Ditzen B, et al. Intimacy as Related to Cortisol Reactivity and Recover in Couples Undergoing Psychosocial Stress. Psychosomatic Medicine. 2019; 81(1): 16-25.
 Lynn BK, et al. The Relationship between Marijuana Use Prior to Sex and Sexual Function in Women. Sex Med. 2019; 7(2): 192-197.