Did you know that sex can help your mental health?
May is Mental Health Awareness Month and we want to tell you 6 ways that sex (and masturbation!) can help improve your mental health and overall wellbeing.
Sex and Mental Health
Sex and mental health go together like pb&j. There are MANY ways that sex can help alleviate stress, anxiety, and improve overall relaxation. While this is not an extensive list, check out how sex and your mental health are more connected than you may believe…
PS – Improving your mental health is oftentimes a solo act, so don’t forget this applies to solo masturbation as well!
- Sex can make you HAPPIER
Did you know that sex can make you a happier person? Who doesn’t want to be happier?! A 2015 research study found that having sex makes you happier, especially if it was GOOD sex! (Cheng, 2015)
- Less stress? Yes, please!
We ALL want (and honestly, need) to be less stressed in our daily lives. Between balancing work, kids, pets, partner, friends, and yourself, it can oftentimes get overwhelming. Once again, sex is here to save the day! Sex can dramatically influence your stress levels, especially if you’re having quality sexual relations that you enjoy (Mollaioli et al., 2021). So this is your queue to take a step back from your daily stressors and worries, find yourself a cozy spot, and have some fun with a certain toy (or two).
- Give me more endorphins
Endorphins (or the lack of) can dramatically influence your mental health. They are one of the many chemicals released in the brain during sex. Endorphins are the neurotransmitters associated with the feeling of happiness, causing your mood to brighten overall as it helps lift depression.
Endorphins are hormones that are naturally released in your body, especially during sex. These “feel good hormones” are known to improve your mood, thereby boosting your happiness levels, and helping you to stay emotionally healthy. The cuddling and physical intimacy of sex also gives a boost to your happiness.
During sexual pleasure, your body releases serotonin (the “happiness hormone”) and oxytocin (the “cuddle” hormone), and these chemical responses of hormones are known to create feelings of relaxation and intimacy (Khajehei & Behroozpour, 2018).
- Better slumber
Sleep is, oftentimes, the most common cause of decreased mental health and overall wellbeing. To be more specific, the lack of sleep. Sleep is crucial to all parts of your life and not getting enough sleep can impact your mental health in negative ways. A 2019 study found that having sex increases your quality of sleep, especially if you orgasm (Lastella, 2019).
Stereotypically, sex is in bed and right before you fall asleep – in this case, I recommend that you jump on this bandwagon! You may find that sex before bed may actually help you fall asleep faster and have a better slumber throughout the night.
Wellbeing can often be analyzed by the feelings towards yourself, your mental state, and other factors that play into your feelings and thoughts. Sex has been found to leave you feeling good about yourself and your overall wellbeing (Sakaluk, 2020). Similar to meditation, sex gives us a good, overall feeling of being happy and fulfilled.
- Self esteem
Did you know that sex can make you feel better about yourself? We all could use a little boost of confidence and more self-love in our life. Sex has the ability to increase your self-esteem (Sakaluk, 2020), helping you feel better and sexier than you did before! Who knew sex could be so pleasurable and SO rewarding!
Remember that good sex and mental health should be an all-year practice, though feel free to celebrate a little extra this month 😉
Oh! A little fun fact to leave on… benefits are even greater if you orgasm 😉
Don’t forget it’s Masturbation May!
Did you know that you can benefit from masturbating?!
Here is a list of some masturbation benefits you want to know about! (Mintz, 2014)
- Ability to learn your body & what you find pleasurable
- Enhances sex with partners, both physically and emotionally
- Increases the ability to have orgasms
- Improves your relationship
- Increases your sexual satisfaction
- Increases self-esteem
- Improves your body image
- Reduces stress
- Releases sexual tension
- Cheng, Zhiming, and Russell Smyth. “Sex and Happiness.” Journal of economic behavior & organization 112 (2015): 26–32. Web.
- Khajehei, M., & Behroozpour, E. (2018). Endorphins, oxytocin, sexuality and romantic relationships. World J Obstet Gynecol, 7(2), 17-23.
- Lastella, M., O’Mullan, C., Paterson, J. L., & Reynolds, A. C. (2019). Sex and Sleep: Perceptions of Sex as a Sleep Promoting Behavior in the General Adult Population. Frontiers in public health, 7, 33. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2019.00033
- Mintz, L. (2014, January 28). A touchy subject: The health benefits of masturbation. Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/stress-and-sex/201401/touchy-subject-the-health-benefits-masturbation
- Mollaioli, D., Sansone, A., Ciocca, G., Limoncin, E., Colonnello, E., Di Lorenzo, G., & Jannini, E. A. (2021). Benefits of Sexual Activity on Psychological, Relational, and Sexual Health During the COVID-19 Breakout. The journal of sexual medicine, 18(1), 35–49. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsxm.2020.10.008
- Sakaluk, J. K., Kim, J., Campbell, E., Baxter, A., & Impett, E. A. (2020). Self-esteem and sexual health: a multilevel meta-analytic review. Health psychology review, 14(2), 269–293. https://doi.org/10.1080/17437199.2019.1625281