In the 21st century, it’s a well-known fact that sex is a basic need, just like food, water, clothing, shelter, and WiFi. Some people believe that one’s need for sexual satisfaction depends on their gender and that men need sex more than women. That’s not always true. Sexual preference is a highly personal affair, influenced by upbringing, self-esteem, hormones, society, fitness levels, and many other factors.
A healthy sex life is one where all partners feel that their needs are being met and respected. It is built on acceptance, trust, and compromise. If any partner feels pressured, coerced, or guilted into pleasing the other by having less sex, more sex, or a type of sex they’re uncomfortable with, the situation is not a healthy one.
Sex can take many forms, and not all of them are good for your psyche. Healthy sex should be pleasurable for both partners, and sometimes, there are issues that can get in the way of that. Lack of interest, limited libido, early ejaculation, female dysfunction, or a basic lack of sexual safety can all influence mutual satisfaction. A healthy sex life addresses these issues before, during, and after intercourse.
Now that we’ve described what a healthy sexual relationship looks like let’s explore some of the reasons why it’s important. Healthy sex fosters intimacy. To be naked (or partially naked) with another person creates a chemical connection. Under the right circumstances, this chemistry can evolve into a deeper bond. Sexual partners don’t necessarily have to fall in love, get married, and have babies. But the chemistry between them leads them to associate pleasure with each other.
If this sex happens in an unhealthy or inappropriate setting, then those pleasurable sensations could end up causing psychological unease. Getting intimate with someone you shouldn’t be with leads to all kinds of stress, and that’s bad for your health, and for your interactions not just with that sexual partner, but with everyone else. For this reason, a healthy sex life begins with choosing your partners – and your context – wisely.
In its best form, sex relieves stress rather than causing it. It burns a few calories, which has the same de-stressing effect as less intimate physical exertion, and it’s way more fun. Its physical advantage is less celebrated in regular people. While we all think athletes, dancers, and professional performers get a lot out of working up a bedroom sweat, everyday people benefit too. Sex uses muscles and tendons that can’t be exercised any other way, so after a good bedroom romp, our bodies often feel limber and energised in the most unexpected places.
Healthy sex also releases endorphins that include dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and norepinephrine. If you’ve been sexually active for a while, then you know the experience of sex with a partner is different from solo excursions. The physical, chemical and psychological response differs, as does the length and quality of orgasm. Similarly, unhealthy sex falls way off the mark regarding feel-good hormones.
You know the myth about not having sex because you have a headache? Well, good sex is probably the best answer to a headache, since it relieves pain and is even good for menstrual cramps. Of course, this is restricted to healthy sex. The headache that arises from not wanting to connect with a partner probably means the relationship isn’t in the best place at that particular moment, which means the sex wouldn’t be healthy.
Having the right kind of sex is a big influence on your mood. If you’re consistently receiving the reassurance and confidence boost that comes from good bed-xercise, you’re likely to be peppier. There’s a smile on your face, a bounce in your step, and a calm in your spirit. Life’s little hassles don’t bother you as much.
If you’re not getting any, or if you’re not getting it in the way you want, you’re likely to drag a dark cloud around and rain on everyone else’s parade. Plus, good sex makes your skin glow, pumps your heart more efficiently, and as long as it’s safe sex, it boosts your immunity as well. For the sake of world peace and harmony among men (and women), we should all get it on more frequently.
Remember though; sexual health is less about quantity and more about trust, intimacy, and quality. And sometimes, safe sex with a stranger can include all these factors while sex with your long-term partner might not. So as you work on your sex life, don’t just focus on lasting power and wild positions. Make sure that your heads, as well as your bodies, are in a safe, healthy space.