Benefits of Sexual Expression

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While growing up many of us were told that sex was something we should stay away from — or at least not talk about! Sensuality is an innate part of our being. Sexual pleasure comes with many emotional and physical health benefits. In 1994, the 14th World Congress of Sexology went forward with that and adopted the Declaration of Sexual Rights. This document of “fundamental and universal human rights” included the right to sexual pleasure. This international gathering of sexuality scientists declared, “Sexual pleasure, including autoeroticism, is a source of physical, psychological, intellectual and spiritual well-being”. Most of us know that sexual activity can be a gateway to deep pleasure, intimacy, and in some cases, shared ecstasy. But regular safe and loving sexual activity can also help foster peak mental and physical health, while helping calm your soul. Unfortunately, in today’s society the attention on sex is always pointed at the risks and dangers. Public information is limited when it comes to the physiological and psychosocial health benefits of sexual expression. The discussion are absent about how pioneering researchers have found that there are various benefits associated with sexual expression; physical, intellectual, emotional, and social dimensions. There have been many studies conducted that were focused on the relationship between sexual activity and physical health. These studies have found that both masturbation and partnered sexual activity can benefit our well-being: happiness, immunity, longevity, pain management and sexual and reproductive health. There has even been evidence that sexual activity can be attributed to the reduction in two leading causes of death in the United States – heart disease and cancer. A study done in Wales with a 10 year follow-up examined the relationship between the frequency of orgasm and mortality. From 1979 to 1983, almost 1,000 men between the ages of 45 to 59 were observed. The men were given a physical examination that included their medical histories, blood pressure, electrocardiogram and cholesterol screenings. Information about the frequency of their orgasms was also recorded. After 10 years, the researchers found that the mortality risk was 50 percent lower among the men who had orgasm more frequently (two or more a week) than the men who had orgasms less than once a month. Even when the factors were controlled (age, social class and smoking status), there was a significant relationship between the frequency of orgasm and the risk of death. The researchers concluded that “sexual activity seems to have a protective effect on men’s health”. Another research program was conducted in North Carolina over a period of 25 years to determine what circumstances come into play in determining lifespan. Three of the considerations were the frequency of sexual intercourse and the levels of enjoyment from past and present sexual intercourse. In the men studied, the frequency of intercourse was indicative of longevity. For women, however, the frequency of intercourse was not a significant predictor. Women were found to have increased longevity based on their past enjoyment of sex. Even though there was no explanation associated with this study, it does imply that there is a positive association between sexual intercourse and pleasure and longevity. An interesting survey was conducted in early 1980’s regarding longevity among America’s elderly population. More than 800 adults over the age of 60 were studied and 92.7 percent of the men and 70.4 percent of the women were still sexually active. Seventy-five percent of the participants believed that their continued sexual activity was a positive force with regard to their current health status. Research has also looked at the relationship between physical health and sex – focusing on heart disease, stroke and Type-2 Diabetes. A research study known as the Caerphilly study reviewed the relationship between sexual activity and...
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