The Health Benefits of Sex

Coral Gables Counseling Center - Wednesday, October 28, 2020
By Nicole Herdocia-Oria , RMFTI, MS

So, this month’s topic is women’s health. Naturally, I thought, what better way to be able to identify easy health-improving habits for women while still managing to make my parents uncomfortable? Sex!

couple in bed

Our fast-paced lives make it difficult to balance work, family life, social life, to-do lists, traffic, household chores, appointments, events, and who can forget the occasional global pandemic.  No wonder anxiety levels among individuals, families, and relationships. are so high.  Due to the lack of connection, stress, and exhaustion, sex is one of the first things that fall to the bottom of the list of priorities. Who has the time? Unfortunately, when our sex life suffers, so can our health, our relationships, our confidence, and our general well-being.

The many health benefits of good sex life can be both physical and psychological for women.  Sex can improve your general health as well as that of your relationship by reducing tension as well as creating more intimacy and bonding with your partner, increasing a sense of security in yourself and in your relationship.

Health Benefits of a Good Sex Life:

  • Raise your heart rate which reduces your risk of heart disease (what fun cardio);
  • Keep your estrogen and testosterone levels in balance which helps to avoid osteoporosis (take care of your bones…throw yourself a bone);
  • Lower your blood pressure;
  • Improve your self-esteem (what better way to feel sexy);
  • Release tension (self-explanatory);
  • Burn calories (again, more fun than the gym);
  • Reduce anxiety and depression;
  • Natural pain relief (who remembers what was hurting?);
  • Improve sleep (like a baby);
  • Reduce emotional and physiological stress (yes);
  • Increase intimacy and connection with your partner (often improving the relationship); and
  • Increase sexual desire (sex leads to more sex!).

According to studies conducted at the University of Pennsylvania, researchers found that people who have sex once or twice a week had higher levels of antibodies when compared to people who were having sex less frequently.  Basically, more sex means fewer sick days.  You’ve heard the phrase: “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”? Well, let’s tweak that to: “a romp in the sack keeps your health on track”. Stay healthy, get saucy.

That doesn’t mean that you neglect other things that are necessary to uphold a good immune system.  You still need to eat well, sleep well, and stay active.

Doctor’s Office Consultation:

Doctor: So, you say you’ve been more sexually active recently?
Patient: Yes, my therapist says it’s healthy to have sex frequently.
Doctor: Did your therapist say anything about wearing a condom?
Patient: No…
Doctor: Well Karen, you have gonorrhea.

Note: Practicing safe sex is a crucial component of preserving your healthy well-being.

How to be present and enjoy the moment:
It can be difficult getting in the moment when you have a million things buzzing around in your head, like: did I pick up the dry cleaning, what time is my first meeting tomorrow, did I schedule my bikini wax? and so forth. We have to make it a point to be fully present at the moment by tuning out the noise to be able to enjoy yourself. These thoughts are distracting you from enjoying the connection with your partner.  Breathe, relax, and bring yourself to the present by focusing on your partner and what you’re feeling.  Remind yourself to let go of the other stuff, they’ll still be there in 2 minutes. Could be the best 2 minutes of your life.

Positive body image and improved self-confidence lead to an increased libido.
When a woman is self-conscious about her body the likelihood of her enjoying sex or even wanting to have sex is significantly reduced. There is a direct correlation between concerns about body image and reduced sexual satisfaction in women according to a study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.  Seeking help or therapy to improve one’s self-confidence and body image will then increase sexual desire and sexual enjoyment.  The sexier you feel the more sex you want to have.

Sex increases emotional security and connection with your partner:
Feeling disconnected from your partner can lead to reduced sexual activity, and a decreased sense of security in yourself and within the partnership that can negatively affect the relationship.  Frequent romps with your partner increase the connection between you, creating more intimacy and desire for each other.  Sex is another way to cultivate the relationship and keep that connection alive.

Schedule sex appointments:
For many long-term relationships, it’s easy to collapse in bed exhausted after a long day and say, “we’ll do it tomorrow.” But more often than not, tomorrow never comes. < HA!

It’s important and yet so difficult to establish or reintegrate a healthy sex life in your relationships. Which is why I’m a big proponent of scheduling sex. That means actually sitting down with your partner and putting times and dates on your calendar based on what works for you both and your preferences in times too.

For example, some individuals may feel particularly more ready in evenings while others in the mornings or afternoons. Compromise to meet each other’s needs or take turns choosing times. Choosing a time that you’re more likely to be mentally and emotionally engaged can also go a long way.  It could be a regular weekly “afternoon delight” or naked Sundays,  As long as it’s taken seriously and respected as a time to connect and be intimate in whatever way that means to parties involved. It’s referred to as “maintenance sex” because it nourishes your bond and upkeeps your intimacy.  It can be what is needed to keep that satisfaction and connection alive! Hopefully, you’ll keep “doing it and doing it and doing well.”

I know for many women, scheduling sex seems unromantic or lacking in spontaneity mostly due to the myth that surrounds sex.  Movies and society have put forth this idea that sex shouldn’t be planned and should happen organically at a moment or it’s not as meaningful. Why? What’s more romantic than setting time aside on your hectic day to intimately connect with your partner.

Call it something fun and treat it like a fun appointment. It’s not the dentist, so don’t treat it like it is. The likelihood of making this sex appointment actually happen is much higher because it’s been set on both your calendars and you’ve blocked time specifically for “Bom Chicka Wow Wow”.

Doesn’t that sound doable? Now go do it!

Stay healthy my friends.


                                                       “Sex is an emotion in motion.” – Mae West