Sex Health Benefits

Caitlin Restelli

Condoms are passed out at events, Kent holds a sex week at the end of October and hookups are talked about from the previous weekend.

Let’s face it; we’re not in high school anymore, where we tiptoe around the topic of sex. For the most part, students are taught the negatives about sex, such as STDs, but if it is used under the right circumstances, there are some health benefits from it.

“We’re sexual beings, and I think we need to approach sex as a healthy thing,” said Diane Kerr, associate professor and program coordinator for health education and promotion. “We’ve seen male babies in wombs having an erection. As sexuality educators, we like to say people are sexual beings from womb to tomb.”

During intercourse, women tend to orgasm less frequently than men.

When an orgasm does occur, oxytocin and endorphins are released from the brain and go directly into the blood system and continue to travel throughout the rest of the body.

This creates a sense of exhaustion, leading to relaxation and a better sleep. The heart rate can increase, which creates a calming sensation, depending on the intensity of the sexual activity.

“Folks equate (orgasming) to feeling like methamphetamine, the chemical reactions that happen in your brain,” said Dr. Laurie Wager, health education and promoter.

Sex can also help to prevent prostate and cervical cancer.

“For women, cervical mucus is discharged during an orgasm and it increases cervical health,” Wagner said. “Ejaculation for men increases prostate health because the ejaculatory duct is inside the prostate gland and the prostate expands and contracts slightly during orgasms and ejaculation.”

There are also studies that link frequent orgasm and ejaculation to sexual reproductive health.

“There is some truth to the more you interact with your sexual response cycle the more it will hang around,” Wagner said.

Dr. Wagner gave an example of a long term couple claiming their “sex life” had died out.

“Their sexual response takes longer like it’s out of shape,” Wagner said. “ So if you want to still be sexual when you’re older, it’s a health benefit.”

People have stress from every day lives, and it can be relieved through sex.

Also, depending on how physical the sex is, about 85 calories are burned per half hour.

For women, pelvic muscles can be strengthened. For better orgasms, the Kegel exercise is recommended.

This exercise involves women concentrating on urinating and then stopping the pee right before it comes out. This helps to tone the pelvic muscles as well as give women more pleasurable orgasms.

Also if men are sexually frustrated, masturbation is healthy because it releases sexual energy.

“Whether (sex) is with someone else or by yourself, it’s still a beneficial thing for you physically,” Kerr said.

Contact Caitlin Restelli at [email protected].