Surprising benefits of a healthy sex life

1. Helps Keep Your Immune System Humming
“Sexually active people take fewer sick days,” says Yvonne K. Fulbright, PhD a sexual health expert.

People who have sex have higher levels of what defends your body against germs, viruses, and other intruders. Researchers at University found that college students who had sex once or twice a week had higher levels of the a certain antibody compared to students who had sex less often.

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You should still do all the other things that make your immune system happy, such as:

Eat right.
Stay active.
Get enough sleep.
Keep up with your vaccinations.
Use a condom if you don’t know both of your STD statuses.

2. Boosts Your Libido
Longing for a more lively sex life? “Having sex will make sex better and will improve your libido,” says Lauren Streicher, MD. She is an assistant clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.

For women, having sex ups vaginal lubrication, blood flow, and elasticity, she says, all of which make sex feel better and help you crave more of it.

3. Improves Women’s Bladder Control
A strong pelvic floor is important for avoiding incontinence, something that will affect about 30% of women at some point in their lives.

Good sex is like a workout for your pelvic floor muscles. When you have an orgasm, it causes contractions in those muscles, which strengthens them.

4. Lowers Your Blood Pressure
Research suggests a link between sex and lower blood pressure, says Joseph J. Pinzone, MD. He is CEO and medical director of Amai Wellness.

“There have been many studies,” he says. “One landmark study found that sexual intercourse specifically (not masturbation) lowered systolic blood pressure.” That’s the first number on your blood pressure test.

5. Counts as Exercise
“Sex is a really great form of exercise,” Pinzone says. It won’t replace the treadmill, but it counts for something.

Sex uses about five calories per minute, four more calories than watching TV. It gives you a one-two punch: It bumps up your heart rate and uses various muscles.

So get busy! You may even want to clear your schedule to make time for it on a regular basis. “Like with exercise, consistency helps maximize the benefits,” Pinzone says.

6. Lowers Heart Attack Risk
A good sex life is good for your heart. Besides being a great way to raise your heart rate, sex helps keep your estrogen and testosterone levels in balance.

“When either one of those is low you begin to get lots of problems, like osteoporosis and even heart disease,” Pinzone says.

Having sex more often may help. During one study, men who had sex at least twice a week were half as likely to die of heart disease as men who had sex rarely.

7. Lessens Pain
Before you reach for an aspirin, try for an orgasm.

“Orgasm can block pain,” says Barry R. Komisaruk, PhD, a distinguished service professor at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. It releases a hormone that helps raise your pain threshold.

Stimulation without orgasm can also do the trick. “We’ve found that vaginal stimulation can block chronic back and leg pain, and many women have told us that genital self-stimulation can reduce menstrual cramps, arthritic pain, and in some cases even headache,” Komisaruk says.

8. May Make Prostate Cancer Less Likely
Going for the gusto may help ward off prostate cancer.

Men who ejaculated frequently (at least 21 times a month) were less likely to get prostate cancer during one study, which was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

You don’t need a partner to reap this benefit: Sexual intercourse, nocturnal emission, and masturbation were all part of the equation.

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It’s not clear that sex was the only reason that mattered in that study. Lots of factors affect cancer risk. But more sex won’t hurt.

9. Improves Sleep
You may nod off more quickly after sex, and for good reason.

“After orgasm, the hormone prolactin is released, which is responsible for the feelings of relaxation and sleepiness” after sex, says Sheenie Ambardar, MD. She is a psychiatrist in West Hollywood, Calif.

10. Eases Stress
Being close to your partner can soothe stress and anxiety.

Ambardar says touching and hugging can release your body’s natural “feel-good hormone.” Sexual arousal releases a brain chemical that revs up your brain’s pleasure and reward system.

Sex and intimacy can boost your self-esteem and happiness, too, Ambardar says. It’s not only a prescription for a healthy life, but a happy one

Introducing sex toys into your relationship

1. How do I bring up the idea of using a vibrator during sex without offending my guy?
Since sex toys are everywhere from www.indecentobseasion.co.za, tell him that you saw something on TV or read an article (like this one!) about enhancing your sex life with a vibrator and ask him if he’d want to try it out, suggests sex therapist Lori Buckley, Psy.D. That way he knows the vibrator isn’t replacing him and he’s not doing anything wrong; you’re simply curious.

2. He’s on board. Now what?
Suggest going to buy a vibrator together, in person or from an online shop such as Babeland.com or GoodVibes.com. (Or just invite him to use yours on various parts of your body.) Your words, moans, and sighs will teach him what feels good where.

3. Can we use the toy back and forth on each other?
“If you feel that you need to keep using condoms with your partner to avoid infection, don’t share unprotected sex toys either,” says WH sexuality advisor Debby Herbenick, Ph.D. Put a condom over the vibrator, and always clean it or put a new condom on it before using it in different orifices to prevent the transfer of bacteria. A love glove will also protect you from germs that lurk on hard-to-clean materials like rubber.

4. Do I need one of those special cleaners for my vibrator?
Nope. Warm soapy water does the trick. (Just remember to remove the batteries before cleaning!) Sex-toy cleaners (you can find some at pureromance.com) are good to keep by your bed, but wait until the vibrator is dry before inserting it back into your vagina. “You want to keep chemicals out of there,” says Herbenick.

5. My batteries give out so quickly. Any way to make them last longer?
Always remove the batteries when you’re done playing. It’s the best way to conserve power and to prevent the toy from accidentally switching on, says Herbenick.

6. Does a vibrator desensitize a woman to the real deal?
No one has really studied this, but as long as your sessions last minutes, not hours, you’re fine. Vibration can temporarily desensitize any part of your body. But in Herbenick’s studies, the few women who reported pain or numbing from vibrator use said it was mild and went away within an hour. And while women’s genitals become less sensitive with age, “lower sensitivity isn’t linked to poorer sex,” says Herbenick. Whew!

Keeping Sex Active

One widely acknowledged challenge of long-term relationships is keeping the sexual spark alive. There are so many things that get in the way: careers, routines, health problems, kids and even just lack of interest. Over time, what used to be several times a week becomes maybe once or twice a week, then a few times a month until sometimes, couples aren’t getting down to it at all. Ever.

And that, for one partner or the other, can be a deal-killer.

The truth is that we aren’t horny teenagers forever. Many long-term partners struggle with a loss of desire or sexual drive at some point in their relationship. And that’s normal. Unfortunately, many also break up because they aren’t able to openly discuss this issue and find a solution together.

Sex is a game for two. That means if you aren’t getting any, both you and your partner have to get involved in the solution. Here are some tips on what to do if the sex in you relationship dries up.

Open Up

The issue of lack of sex never goes away on its own. Keeping quiet and allowing frustration to build only makes matters worse; nothing kills the mood more than anger and silent brooding.

To avoid this vicious cycle forget about touch for a minute and start talking. You need to open up to your partner about how you feel. If lack of sex is affecting your life and your feelings for one another, you need to acknowledge it. Talking about the fact that you don’t have sex isn’t always sexy, but neither is not having sex. If you want to get back to bed, you’ll have to buck up and speak up.

Of course, bringing it up isn’t easy. Our sex lives tend to be a soft spot, especially when things aren’t going well. We tend to react, to be hurt, or to feel attacked when our partners bring up the problem. If you’re going to make the first move, choose your words carefully. Talk about how you feel. And do not, in any circumstances, accuse your partner of anything.

Say, “I feel frustrated that we don’t have sex as often as we used to.”

Not, “You never have sex with me anymore.”

Say, “I feel sad that we aren’t connecting.”

Not, “Why did you stop putting out?”

Say, “I miss you.”

Not, “I’m tired of how you’re treating me.”

See the difference? If you open a discussion you’re more likely to make progress. If you blame the problem on your partner without being willing to listen to how he or she feels, you’re setting yourself up to fail.

Dude, Where’s My Sex Drive?

Loss of libido can happen for many reasons. It can be linked to physical illnesses, childbirth, stress or depression. It can be a side effect of medication, such as birth control or antidepressants. In other words, just because you aren’t having sex doesn’t mean your partner’s lost interest; it might just mean his or her body isn’t allowing all that sexual energy to fire up. That’s why it’s important to discuss your sex life, and what may have caused it to slow down.

That said, a lack of sex drive can also have roots in the relationship. How is your communication? Do you still feel attracted to each other? Was there a recent event – infidelity, breach of trust – that made one partner angry with the other? When lack of sex drive is a symptom of another problem, you’ll have to deal with that before you can get back on track in the sack.

How to Get Your Sexy Back

Our bodies tend to change relatively slowly. That means that no matter what turned off your sex drive, it isn’t going to turn back on like a light switch. It will take time and require work. The good news is that the work can be fun. Just know that anything is possible for two people who love each other. Here are some tips to start feeling sexy again:

Have a frank discussion about your sexual needs. Is the problem a discrepancy in desire? Does one want it more than the other, making one partner scared of disappointing or not performing?
Plan for sex. It sounds silly; after all, the myth of good sex says that it must come spontaneously. But planning a date – just like you used to do before you lived together – is a great way to build desire. You end up looking forward to this time, which makes sex more fun.
See a couples’ counselor. There’s no shame in asking for help. Sometimes, you just need an outside perspective to help you figure out how to move on with your sex life. Just be sure to choose a reputable counselor with the appropriate credentials! (You can get more libido-boosting tips from our sexpert, Jessi Fischer here.)
Up the flirting game. Living together for a long time can cause two people to take each other for granted. Start looking at your partner with a new eye. Leave sexy notes in his or her briefcase. Send a hot text during lunchtime. Welcome him or her home with a deep kiss. There are many ways to reintroduce physical intimacy and sexual desire in your daily life. The trick is to keep it up! (Get more tips in Flirting: Where Subtle Meets Sexy.)
If At First You Don’t Succeed ….

If you aren’t having the sex life you want to have, it often seems easier to just settle and get used to it. The truth is, you won’t. Sex is a basic human need, and not fulfilling this need will only lead to more tension, frustration and anger down the road.

Fortunately, the secret to keeping your sex life sexy is simple: Have faith. Have faith that your partner loves you and cares for you. Believe that he or she still wants you, even when it’s not that obvious. Know that if you had a steamy sexual connection once, you can have it again – or even for the first time. Finally, have frank and open communication, learn to listen and put in an effort. The results are totally worth it

Introduction to BDSM

BDSM is one of several overall names given to a collection of behaviors that involve bondage, spanking, domination, and other activities that are done in a safe, consensual, non-abusive manner and in an erotic context. BDSM is a form of erotic play that involves significant physical and emotional risks, and thus requires instruction in order to do so with reasonable safety. Accordingly, we make the following recommendations for beginners. Please understand that the tips below do not provide, nor are they meant to provide, complete instruction.

    1. Do BDSM only with people you know well and are on good terms with, and when both of you are in a good mood. Trying to do it with strangers, or when either of you is tired or upset, dramatically increases the degree of risk. Avoid significant use of intoxicants. If you’re not in condition to drive, you’re not in condition to do BDSM.
    2. Keep “reality” out of it. Unless both of you specifically agree to it ahead of time, BDSM play is not a proper occasion to “punish” someone for a “real world” offense. Unpaid parking tickets, dirty dishes left in the sink, and so forth get handled outside the BDSM play.
    3. The more empathy you have, the better you’ll be at this. If you reasonably and safely can, experience something yourself before you do it to another person.

Virgo

  1. Prepare for emergencies. Have needed supplies close by, including a first aid kit, a fire extinguisher, and flashlights. Take training in First Aid and CPR at least once a year.
  2. Play with a “silent alarm” in place. When you play with somebody new in private, tell a trusted friend where you’ll be and who you’ll be with. Make sure, diplomatically, that you tell your prospective partner ahead of time that you will be doing this, and encourage him or her to do the same.
  3. Negotiate what you’ll do ahead of time. This is not the time to have a mismatch of expectations. Handle such matters as sexual behavior, safer sex precautions, type and degree of bondage, physical and emotional limits, and so forth before you play. Stay within these limits while you play. If your session goes well, there’s always next time. Check in with each other afterwards, perhaps the next day. Discuss what did and what didn’t work, and what you might do next time.
  4. Agree upon a safeword or two. These are special phrases used to indicate that the activity “really” needs to be slowed, changed, or stopped. Refusal to honor a safeword is very serious misconduct; it can even be a crime.
  5. It’s a good idea for the dominant to “check in” with the submissive several times during the session. (Sometimes submissives find it difficult to use their safewords, even when they should.) One good non-verbal check-in is for the dominant to give the submissive’s hand two light but firm squeezes. If the dominant gets two squeezes back, it means that the submissive is basically all right.
  6. Avoid toys that have sharp edges or corners. Instruments used for spanking, whipping, and so forth should be carefully rounded off.
  7. Start lightly and build slowly. A too-rapid increase in the physical or emotional intensity of the play is the direct cause of many problems.
  8. The submissive can use the “one to ten” technique to indicate they’re ready to feel a paddle or whip stroke, and its intensity. “One” is a feather-light touch; “ten” is a full-power stroke.
  9. As a rule, strokes from whips and paddles are delivered to fleshy, muscled body areas such as the lower buttocks and the “lower half of the upper half” of the back. It’s very dangerous to strike your partner over their kidneys, liver, spleen, or tailbone.
  10. Use only soft, plain paraffin candles for hot wax play. Harder candles, such as beeswax candles, have a melting point high enough to cause burns.
  11. Spring-loaded wooden clothespins can work well as erotic clamps on the nipples, the genitals, and other locations. Various clamps found in office supply stores can also work well. Keep in mind that clamping an area shuts off its circulation. Experts vary regarding how long clamps can be left on, but most express their opinions in terms of minutes. Clamps hurt most when coming off. Self-experimentation is recommended here.
  12. Do not attempt to do piercings or other activities that involve breaking the skin unless you have studied under, or are being supervised by, an knowledgeable individual.
  13. Bondage creates dangerous vulnerability. We recommend that you let someone tie you up, blindfold you, or gag you only after you have first done at least two successful BDSM scenes with them that involved no bondage.
  14. There is never any need to tie some part of your partner’s body so tightly that it “goes to sleep.” If this happens, loosen the bondage.
  15. Do not leave a bound person alone. As a general rule, stay as close to a bound person as you would to an infant left in your care. (If you gag them, stay even closer.)
  16. Another general rule is that you should be able to free a bound person within one minute of an emergency occurs, even if they have fainted. Wise BDSM players keep special “paramedic scissors” or similar items handy to help with this.
  17. We advise caution when playing with any form of self-bondage. See point # 18 above.
  18. After extensive medical consultation, we have been unable to discover any form of suffocation or strangulation play that is not unpredictably life-threatening.