Sex & Relationships

The Sexy Path to Good Health

Healthy doses of sex with yourself and others is good for you.
There's been wide coverage of a study showing that man-masturbation prevents prostate cancer. But before you take your hotdog in hand (if you happen to be of the schlong persuasion), let's expand the conversation and declare: hot sex is good for humans.


There, I've said it. But looking around, I'm certainly not the only one saying it. In fact, the bigwigs at Forbes Magazine -- premiere reading for the wealthy and their admirers -- devoted pages and pages to the benefits of sex. Among other treats, they relate that in a 2001 study at Queen's University (Belfast), higher rates of bonking produced half the risk of heart attack and stroke.

A parallel German study at the University of Tubingen reinforced the belief that the quantity of sex directly impacted on both blood pressure and heart strength in the 51 men they followed. Quantity seems to bring a particular glow to men, whereas some researchers, such as Dr. Gina Ogden, find that for women it's all about quality.


Women and men alike enjoy assuming that active ardor leads to a slender silhouette -- and they're not half wrong, as long as you do plenty of it. There's wide agreement that you can burn at least 150 calories in an average session (of course "average" is here an elastic concept), which is equal to a game of squash or a quarter-of-an-hour on the treadmill. Strangely enough, that same Forbes article insists that:
"British researchers have determined that the equivalent of six Big Macs can be worked off by having sex three times a week for a year."
The Brits have got to get their cuisine together.

You don't need an expensive study to tell you that a good workout is a good workout. In fact you even know that the opposite is true: if you've neglected your humping, when you return to your passions you'll find your muscles -- from your thighs to your jaw -- complaining the next day.


Lots of studies indicate that the various hormones connected with arousal and excitement -- so intoxicating that people are now said to become "addicted" to sex -- are fabulous pain relievers. Migraines? Arthritis? Why, just get laid. Dr. Beverly Whipple from Rutgers University says that even whiplash can be relieved by the oxytocin surge -- leading to the release of morphine-like endorphins -- that people often experience during serious groping.


A study from Pennsylvania's Wilkes University, "claims that individuals who have sex once or twice a week show 30% higher levels of an antibody called immunoglobulin A, which is known to boost the immune system." In short, no more sniffles and sneezes for those who are busy wearing out the sheets. Or the kitchen tabletop. Or the back seat of a Studebaker.

Prostate health

Okay, I've teased you long enough. Here's the news about how stroking the rod seems to reduce men's prostate cancer. In Australia, 1,000 men with prostate cancer and 1,250 without were questioned about their masturbatory practices and according to the BBC:
"They found those who had ejaculated the most between the ages of 20 and 50 were the least likely to develop the cancer ... Men who ejaculated more than five times a week were a third less likely to develop prostate cancer later in life."
Screwing isn't as efficacious as the one-hand cuddle because of the diseases one can pick up (raising the statistical vulnerability to cancer). Apparently, cumming helps rinse away any little nasties that are nestling into the balls, according to this "prostatic stagnation hypothesis."
Sue Katz has published journalism on the three continents where she has lived; her topics range from Middle East peace movements to the impact of ageing on sexuality. Visit her blog at
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