There has always been scientific evidence that sex is good for you because it improves health and wellness, but what has surprised me lately is recent research saying that sex can actually make you look younger! It may only be about seven years younger, but as someone who is at an age where this makes a considerable difference, my interest was piqued! Sex could possibly make me look younger? I needed to read on. And after checking on the research, I’m ready to share a few ways in which sex and orgasms might truly be the fountain of youth.
Dr. David Weeks, a clinical psychologist and former head of Old Age Psychology at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital, presented his research at the British Psychological Society’s annual conference in mid 2013. After conducting a 38-year study with a related 10-year study, he found that older people who look and feel younger than their chronological age also had a healthy sex life. It appears the key to looking younger is not only staying active as we get older, but also staying active sexually. His research shows that people between the ages of 40 and 50 who had sex 50% more than the others in the study looked anywhere from 5-7 years younger. This is due to the release of human growth hormone during sex that makes the skin look more elastic thus less likely to wrinkle, along with other health benefits that give one a more youthful appearance. Interestingly, not only is quantity important, so is quality. Dr. Weeks found the pleasure from sex is also a crucial factor.
There have been many studies that have come up with the same conclusion: sex is an important factor in longevity of life. In the Caerphily study in Wales in 1997, men with more frequent orgasms were shown to have lower mortality risk. Research at Wilkes University in Pennsylvania by Dr. Carl Charnetski of the Department of Psychology found that people who have sex twice a week have better immune systems and boosted longevity potential. Howard S. Friedman, PhD conducted a study called “The Longevity Project” that found women who had a higher frequency of achieving orgasm during intercourse tended to live longer than those who didn’t. A study in the British Journal of Urology International reports men cut their risk of prostate cancer by a third if they ejaculate five times a week. Sex provides many things to contribute to better health, not just the growth hormone release. There is the release of endorphins and oxytocin, increased blood circulation, and the boosting of the immune system. This also helps make us feel happier, sleep better, relieves pain, reduces anxiety and combats depression.
A Youthful Investment
There are many ways to apply this research. You can think of sex as part of your health regimen, like meditation, yoga or an exercise routine. Sex in of itself only burns about 150- 300 calories an hour but, like regular exercise, you get more out of it than just calorie burning. Sex may also help you feel more focused, improve your memory and boost brainpower. It’s more than just having more orgasms; the connectivity of sex can also improve your health. Physical contact like cuddles and hugs significantly contribute to better health. Be aware that enjoying sex is what improves your health so try to avoid sexual situations that bring about anxiety or stress. Overall, keeping a healthy attitude towards sex into your golden years is a major factor. Studies have found older people have fantastic sex lives into their 80’s. There’s a long road of pleasure ahead of you, enjoy every bit of it!
Nothing New Under The Sun
Dr. Weeks’ book “Secrets of the Superyoung” came out in 1999, so the findings are not new. But in his recent presentation, his focus had shifted to presenting sex in older people’s lives as something important to discuss and to stop pretending it doesn’t exist. He also reminded us that longevity and youthfulness isn’t something to only work on only when you’re older but something to work on throughout life. Dr. Weeks is quoted as saying, “When people contemplate aging their thinking is driven with negative stereotypes and ageist myths – those who are most prejudiced against older people know them least. And misconceptions of this kind generate irrational prohibitive feelings, making sexual experiences less enjoyable for both partners within a relationship.” Dr. Weeks wants to remind everyone that good quality sex is possible in older adults and is often a predictor of good health and well being. We should have a more positive attitude toward sex. Dr. Weeks said, “More positive attitudes towards mature sex should be vigorously promoted… Sexuality is not the prerogative of younger people and nor should it be.” A healthy attitude towards sex that starts young and is maintained throughout your life just may be a cornerstone to a younger looking younger and enjoying a longer, and healthier life.