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National Orgasm Day: Six reasons (plus one bogus one) why they're good for us

And they get better as we get older

National Orgasm Day is like Christmas to a sex toy brand (or, arguably something a marketing department made up, like Christmas), but to celebrate, LELO have compiled some reasons why orgasms are good for us.

Orgasms are a natural stress relief and can relieve pain

When we orgasm the hormone oxytocin is released from nerve cells in the hypothalamus (a region of the brain) into the bloodstream and this molecule, affectionately known as the “love molecule”, helps people feel warm and fuzzy and induces feelings of optimism, increased self-esteem and trust. Studies have also shown that a rise in oxytocin levels can relieve pain including from headache, cramps and overall body aches.

Orgasms get better with age

The LELO Global Sex Survey shows only 4% of women are fully satisfied with their climax and only 31% orgasm during intercourse. But the older women get, the more satisfaction they report, with more than 75% of those over 60 claiming their satisfaction is better than ever before, and more having an orgasm during intercourse. Whether it’s just from having more practice and knowing your body better, or the fact that older couples are more comfortable mixing it up in the bedroom, it’s definitely something to look forward to about getting older.

People who orgasm 4 or more times a week look up to 7 years younger

Dr. David Weeks, a British consultant clinical psychologist and former head of old age psychology at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital, surveyed 3500 people and found those who had more orgasms looked younger. A vigorous sex life, Weeks says, was the second-most important determinant of how young a person looked. Only physical activity proved more important than sex in keeping aging at bay.

They can help you sleep

While (anecdotally) sleepiness after orgasm is more associated with men than women, it can actually similarly affect both sexes. As stated above, our brains release a cocktail of chemicals upon climax, which include oxycotin and vasopressin. These chemicals are associated with releases of melatonin, which help regulate your sleep. And, of course, orgasms can soothe anxieties and better prepare you for a solid night’s rest.

Orgasms boost the immune system

According to the British Medical Journal, those who orgasm two times a week or more can add up to eight years on to their life. Why? Apparently it boosts the immune system. According to an American study of 3000 people there also seems to be a link between sexual activity and your sense of wellbeing. The study showed those who were having sex rated their general health higher than those who weren't.

You can train yourself to have a better orgasm

The muscles that contract during orgasm are called PC muscles, a hammock-like structure that supports your pelvic organs. Kegel exercises train this set of muscles, and offer well-known benefits such as better bladder control. However, in both men and women, performing regular Kegels can increase the intensity and frequency of orgasms as well. Dr Ian Kerner, author of She Comes First says: “Your intimate muscles are like any other muscle: their power and efficiency improve with a regular work out. It doesn’t need to be a long, tiring, training regimen. You can begin right now, wherever you are: just squeeze your Kegel muscles for 10 seconds and release, then start again as many times as you want throughout the day.”

Semen apparently has antidepressant properties…

So this one has been widely reported (unsurprisingly), but many dispute the authenticity of the research. A 2002 study from the State University of New York found that women who regularly have unprotected sex are less depressed. Why might that be? Well apparently semen contains a hefty cocktail of molecules including mood-elevating estrogen and oxytocin, cortisol, melatonin, anti-depressant prolactin, thyrotropin releasing hormone and serotonin. The NHS points out the study is full of holes, and we should doubt the reliability of the results: ‘if the report is taken seriously it could be seen as a green light for unsafe sex, leading to unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections – neither of which are normally associated with feeling more cheerful.” So perhaps take that one with a pinch of salt.

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