Deborah is a writer, healer, and teacher. Her goal is to help people live their best lives every day by sharing her joy and love of life.
Not Tonight, Honey. I Have a Headache,
People come up with a variety of reasons not to be intimate: We don't have time, I'm too fat, I'm too tired, the kids might hear us, I'm not in the mood, I have a headache, I'm still mad at you. The list could go on and on. The sad fact is, couples don't always make time to be intimate.
An article in Everyday Family discusses the "normal" number of times couples have intimate relations.
One of the hardest things for any relationship is determining when and why to have sex. Once you've been in a relationship for a while, you're not always in the mood, like in the early days of a relationship. And there hardly seems time, after you've been together. There are bills to pay and arguments to resolve and myriad other excuses that ruin intimate moments in relationships. Being in a long-term relationship can spell disaster for physical intimacy.
To make intimacy easier, think of any time as a good time for a little fun. In the morning before the kids wake up, and before you jump out of bed. In the shower. A quickie at lunch. Before the kids get home from school. After the kids have gone to bed. There is plenty of time to be intimate with your partner. Stop making excuses and start looking for reasons to get up close and personal with the person you love most.
The bigger question is often why? Why should we? What's in it for me? There are lots of reasons to enjoy intimate relations with your partner. Usually, after you've had sex, you are really glad you did. The most difficult obstacle to overcome usually involves the mind. Mentally, you just don't feel like it. You don't feel like getting in the mood. You don't feel like getting your spouse in the mood. It's easier to watch TV and fall asleep. With just a small investment of time, and a mental switch, you can enjoy the following benefits of having sex with your spouse.
Proven Health Benefits of Intimacy
1. Having Sex Is Good for Your Health
According to recent studies, sex once a week produces 30% higher levels of hormones that boost the immune system, such as immunoglobulin A (IgA), an infection-fighting antibody that helps fight infection and illness. Besides boosting your immune system, sex is also a natural antihistamine. It can help combat hay fever as well as asthma.
2. Physical Intimacy Helps You Lose Weight
Passionate sex burns about two hundred calories, the same as running on the treadmill for fifteen minutes. British researchers have determined that the equivalent of six Big Macs can be worked off in a year by being intimate three times a week. If you had a choice, and you do, wouldn't you rather crawl between the sheets instead of taking a long run? Maybe you could run together, out into the woods, and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine, followed by a few intimate moments. And if you are busy getting busy, you won't likely have so much time for a Big Mac.
3. Intimacy Leads to Emotional Well-Being
During orgasm, the parts of the brain governing fear, stress and anxiety are switched off. Oxytocin is released, which has an amnesic effect on the brain. (Read... You will forget, at least temporarily, why you were mad!) Endorphins are also released, producing a relaxing and calming effect, a sense of well-being and euphoria. Sex is ten times more effective than Valium, without the negative side effects, although it can be addictive! According to Neuroscientist Adam Safron, in his paper Socioaffective Neuroscience and Psychology, the sensory absorption that comes with rhythmic stimulation can put you in a meditative state. It's relaxing for the brain as well as the body.
4. Having Sex Helps the Bladder and Prostate
For women, sex strengthens the pelvic floor muscles, which gives greater control over pesky bladder leakage. This can be a problem for women, after having children, and as a natural side effect of aging. Being intimate can help decrease the frequency of those issues, and will help you feel less self-conscious. For men, there is a link between infrequent ejaculation and prostate cancer. The answer seems to be, more sex. This simple step will keep bladder and prostate problems at bay for longer periods than doing nothing.
Read More From Pairedlife
5. You Will Look Better
Extra estrogen in women, a result of orgasm, makes hair shinier. Sweating during sex cleanses pores and gives your skin a healthy sheen. Serotonin produces a sexual afterglow. You will look younger and healthier, and you will feel better after being intimate with your partner. In addition, men and women who had intimate relations on a regular basis were perceived to be five to 10 years younger than their actual age, in a clinical study at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital in Scotland.
More Benefits of Intimacy
6. Sex Improves Muscle Tone
Regular sexual relations can firm not only the abdominal muscles, but also the legs and gluteus. And for those of you who are extra adventurous, you can firm your arms, chest and back muscles. Intimacy also increases muscle tone, helps with flexibility and elasticity of muscles, and improves cardiovascular conditioning. While it may not replace your daily trip to the gym, regular physical relations with your partner will definitely enhance your physique.
7. Having Sex Slows the Aging Process
Sex lowers cortisol levels in the bloodstream, which reduces stress and slows the aging process. These lowered cortisol levels keep you healthy and younger looking. Not only that, but intimacy helps you feel younger too. And the mood lift you get from having sex keeps you happy, engaged and productive in the rest of your life.
8. Regular Intimacy Fights Disease
Women who have more sex have higher levels of estrogen, which protects against heart disease. It also protects the body against Alzheimer's disease and osteoporosis. There are a number of health issues related to low estrogen levels, including a more difficult time during menopause. Regular intimacy and orgasm helps regulate those hormones and eases the transition. In addition, according to one study, 60 percent of migraine sufferers felt a reduction in pain during or after sex. Nineteen percent reported feeling completely pain free following an intimate encounter.
9. Physical Intimacy Transforms Your Relationship
Every time you have an enjoyable experience with your partner, your brain associates that person with pleasure. Increasing the number of pleasurable associations improves your relationship. When you have a positive experience with your partner, you begin to view him or her in a more positive light. No longer will the small irritants seem so significant, when you know you're in for a good time. Not only will you see your partner in a better way, but they will also view you more favorably. Overall, regular sex improves relationships and might even keep you from the brink of divorce. When you get the sex worked out, everything else seems less significant.
10. It Feels Really Good
Physically and emotionally, bonding with your spouse on this level creates an intimate bond. This bond is unlike any other. Your body feels good, your mood rises, you feel loved, and your spirit soars. Really, you need no other reasons to have sex.
Pick any of the above reasons to surprise your sweetie with a romp between the sheets. You will both be glad you did.
Finding Balance and Intimacy
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Questions & Answers
Question: Is being in a relationship both pain and pleasure?
Answer: I'd say yes, all of life is a dichotomy of painful and pleasurable experiences. It all comes back to suffering. Once we learn to release our attachments, then we can cease suffering, no matter what the circumstances.
© 2010 Deborah Demander