Is it really that important?! The honest answer is ‘no’.
Sex is not the most important thing in a relationship. There are many people who are having healthy and fulfilling relationships without having sex or only having sex once in a while. Factors like low libido (or ‘sex drive’), underlying illness like chronic pain, and even personal or religious choices have led people to have sex-less relationships as well.
Asexual people are those who feel little-to-no sexual attraction toward their partner. They mostly do not have any sex with their partners and still lead a healthy relationship.
However, most people believe that sex is an important factor in a relationship. Many think of sex as a way to get closer to their partner. It is a way of showing affection to your partner. Some find it fun and pleasurable, while others do it in the hope of having children. In a monogamous relationship, sex helps to increase the level of commitment and emotional connection between the partners.
Other than these individual benefits, there are also many psychological and emotional advantages. Here are some of them.
Psychological benefits of sex
Some of the important emotional and psychological benefits of sex include:
Our self-image is what we think about ourselves. It is shaped by many psychological factors including our insecurities, desires, past experiences, and our notions. Sex can be helpful in boosting your self-esteem and making you feel more confident. It helps to reduce feelings of insecurity and to achieve a better perspective of ourselves.
Having a sex life is strongly linked with having a better quality of life. It increases your level of happiness and your overall attitude towards life. According to a study conducted in 2015, it was found that people engaging in better quality sex, will have a much happier married life and a lower divorce chance.
Lower sex frequency can contribute to chronic stress. Sex is an effective stress management technique and it is proven to decrease levels of stress creating hormones like cortisol and adrenaline (epinephrine).
Prolactin is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland when you have an orgasm. It helps to induce sleep and improve your sleep quality.
Multiple brain chemicals are released during sex. Endorphin is one of those chemicals and it helps to decrease irritability and feelings of depression. Oxytocin is another hormone that is released during sexual activities. It is known as the love hormone and can create a sense of calmness and contentment. The combined actions of these chemicals can heighten the bonding between individuals making love.
Physical benefits of sex
Not only does sex increase emotional health, but it also offers many physical benefits. Some of these are as follows:
Greater physical fitness
The American Heart Association says that sex can be considered a form of moderate physical activity. It is actually equivalent to brisk walking or climbing two flights of stairs. The physical motion during intercourse can tighten and tone abdominal and pelvic muscles. In women, it can improve the tone of their muscles and increase bladder control.
Positive cardiovascular effects
Recent studies have shown that penile-vaginal intercourse can reduce the level of systolic blood pressure. It also dilates blood vessels and increases the flow of oxygen into the body. With the reduced blood pressure and higher oxygen supply, sex has the power to minimize the risk of cardiac problems.
Improved brain function
Frequent sex is known to increase cognitive brain function and also even create new brain cells. A recent study has also revealed that adults having frequent sex have better memory performance after the age of 50.
Regular sex is noted to have an influence on our immune functions. People who make love often have lesser chances of getting a cold or the flu.
Helps in weight loss
Active sex life can help you burn more calories than you now. Studies are showing that having sex for more than 30 minutes can help burn up to 200 calories. The brain chemicals released during sex can subdue food cravings for a long time and it also helps in the weight loss process.