The benefits of orgasms are crazy: Not only can they help you sleep better, orgasms can also boost your immunity, promote bone health, and clear your skin—and that’s just a few of their benefits.
“The brain manufactures and releases substances called neurotransmitters and neuropeptides during sexual stimulation and orgasm. These substances are wonderful for your overall physical and emotional wellbeing. They can reduce stress, improve sleep, enhance immunity, and boost mood,” explains Nan Wise, a certified sex therapist, neuroscientist, author of Why Good Sex Matters and Glamour’s sex column Ask Dr. Nan.
HELPFUL: Understanding the Female Orgasm
Better mood, better sleep, and a better immune system? If there was ever a time we needed to reap the benefits of orgasms, it’s now. Here’s exactly what you stand to gain from prioritizing your pleasure.
Clearly, we don’t need to convince you to have sex. It’s hard-wired into our brains to propagate the species. And anyway, it feels pretty awesome. But here’s more good news: Having an orgasm could help improve your health.
One of the main reasons orgasm feels so good is because your brain releases the pleasure hormone oxytocin when you climax. Oxytocin is also called the “love hormone” because of its important role in facilitating social bonding between humans. Most of the following points revolve around the release of oxytocin. Read on to discover eleven ways achieving an orgasm can make your life so much better…
1. Orgasms relieve stress.
In sexologist Beverly Whipple’s book, “The Orgasms Answer Guide,” she cites a study done by Carol Rinkleib Ellison in 2000, in which Ellison interviewed 2,632 women between the ages of 23 and 90 and found that 39 percent of those who masturbate reported that they do it in order to relax. Whipple says this is all because of oxytocin. When someone orgasms, she explains in her book, “the hormone oxytocin is released from nerve cells in the hypothalamus (a region of the brain) into the bloodstream.”
“Orgasm relives tension as oxytocin stimulates feelings of warmth and relaxation,” Ellison herself wrote in an informational report compiled by Planned Parenthood.
Additionally, research gathered in a study by scientists at Groningen University in the Netherlands found that when women experience an orgasm, the amygdala, the part of the brain associated with fear and anxiety, shows little to no activity.
2. Orgasms can increase body confidence.
Having orgasms can actually help you feel better about your body. “When we focus on how much pleasure our bodies can give us, we can learn to associate being in our bodies with pleasure,” says Wise. “The women who were courageous enough to participate in my orgasm studies reported that getting more comfortable with their bodies was a big factor in their enjoying their sex lives more fully.”
The best part is that the more sex the women in Wise’s study had, the better they felt about their bodies and the more sex they wanted to have.
3. Orgasms promotes healthy sleep
Having a good time in the sheets helps you fall asleep when you get between them. Better sleep is, in fact, one of the biggest health benefits of sex. Here’s why: the post-sex rush of the hormone prolactin helps you doze off quicker, and the oxytocin and vasopressin that orgasms release make you sleep more soundly.
4. Orgasm exercises your brain
“I conducted research on how the brain responds to sexual stimulation and orgasm,” says Wise. “We found that orgasm increased blood flow to so many brain regions, that the brain lighted up like a Christmas tree. Increased blood flow means that the brain is getting a wonderful and nutritious workout.”
5. Orgasms lead to healthier hairs
The same improvement in circulation you get from orgasming which helps your complexion also goes to your scalp—intimacy will leave you with stronger, shinier, and longer-looking locks.
6. Orgasms boost estrogen and collagen, and give you a more youthful appearance
Since orgasms help keep your blood pressure low, they slow down the aging process. They also boost your estrogen levels, increasing collagen, which is what helps keep your skin looking plump and youthful. Plus, the improvement in your sleep diminishes the appearance of wrinkles and lines.
7. Orgasms boost your immune system
Orgasms release the chemical DHEA, which helps balance your immune system, promotes bone health, and assists in repairing tissues.
8. Orgasms make you feel happier
The oxytocin released during orgasm literally makes people happier. It’s called the “feel good” hormone for a reason.
9. Orgasms bonds you with your partner
Orgasms can help promote our ability to bond with our partners, explains Wise. “Having a regular and rewarding sex life is one of the most wonderful ways to lubricate our relationships—and having good relationships is associated with improved well-being across the board,” she says.
10. Orgasms relieve pain and cramps
“Sexual stimulation and orgasm release your bodies’ own natural painkillers,” says Wise. In addition to making you feel happy, oxytocin also can help to relieve everything from headaches to arthritis. They also relieve menstrual cramps (all the more reason to give period sex a try).
11. During orgasms, your breasts get bigger
Who knew? “During sexual stimulation and orgasm your breasts get fuller,” says Dr. Wise.
12. Your lips get fuller post-orgasm.
And it’s not just your breasts—your lips aren’t exempt from the boost in blood flow to your face resulting from orgasm, so they tend to look thicker and plumper, post-romp.
13. Orgasms strengthen your pelvic floor
The same muscles that engage during Kegel exercises are engaged during orgasm. A study published in the Journal of Women’s Health, Issues and Care argued that with routine orgasms, the pelvic floor will be stronger and healthier.
14. Orgasms keep breakouts at bay
Since orgasms release oxytocin (a hormone that accompanies pleasure) and decrease cortisol (which signals stress), you’re less likely to break out or get rashes if you’re enjoying regular orgasms over time.
There are also some immediate skin benefits to the big O. Orgasms give you a radiant flush by increasing blood and oxygen flow to your face.