There is power in pleasure. So much so, in fact, that there are untold numbers of folks hell bent on limiting the freedom that comes with coming. Even though orgasms are good for your health — both mentally and physically — and they play a role in propagating our species, we don't nearly praise their benefits as much as we should.
It has taken centuries to counter twisted fictions that correlate masturbation with illness and suggest that there is only one "proper" way to experience orgasm, but more and more scientists are on the sex positive tip these days. Just a brief Google search about the benefits of climactic bliss will offer up a bevy of studies, and as the data extolling the beauty of knocking boots is mounting, some doctors are even prescribing sex as a cure for certain patients in need of increased physical fitness. (Cue the porno clip of a gorgeous GP unpinning her hair as she writes you an X-rated prescription.) We are indeed living in an age where an orgasm might be listed right alongside diet and exercise as a preventative step to counter disease.
Here are five health benefits of orgasms, in case you need a reminder why the "little death" can give you life:
1. Orgasms Can Ease Anxiety
If you're looking for a quick fix to shut down a spiral of anxious thoughts, get yourself an orgasm, post-haste. According to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, activity in the amygdala and hippocampus (the parts of the brain involved in alertness and anxiety) falls to much lower levels in women during arousal and climax than in a resting state.
2. Orgasms Can Improve Your Complexion
As orgasms decrease anxiety and stress hormones, they also decrease inflammation in the body, which is caused by those very hormones. And the more orgasms you have, the more it's written all over your face. Dermatologist Elizabeth Tanzi told Refinery 29: "I can always tell how often a person has sex or masturbates when they come into the office."
3. Orgasms Can Help You Sleep Better
Falling asleep after sex may be a cliche, but it's one for a reason. Oxytocin decreases stress hormones which keep you awake, and endorphins help make your eyelids heavy as you drift off in your sedated post-sex stupor. But even if an orgasm doesn't work to cure your insomnia, it's still win-win giving it a shot.
4. Orgasms Can Strengthen Your Bond With A Partner
There has been a lot written about the love and bonding hormone oxytocin which floods our systems post-orgasm. Although sex itself can bond you to to your partner, one study found that the conversations that happen post-sex as a result of oxytocin can be just as bonding. According to Cosmopolitan, participants were tasked with answering questions about their post-sex behaviors over the course of two weeks. The results showed that those who had reached orgasm were more likely to feel positively about disclosing intimate thoughts with their partners in bed than those who didn't. The takeaway? Orgasms help you communicate both physically and um, orally.
5. Orgasms Can Lead To Longevity
Orgasms don't have to happen for sex to be fantastic, but they might help us live a bit longer if they do. According to Dr. Howard S. Friendman's Longevity Study which surveyed 672 women and 856 men over a period of 20 years, women who reported more orgasms and more pleasure tended to live longer than their peers who weren't so satisfied.
The bottom line of all these health-related stats? Orgasms matter, and your life might even depend on them.