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Here is an article I found on Web MD. Sometimes its not all about pain and dieting, but pure pleasure! Remember: ALWAYS PRACTICE SAFE SEX!!!!!

 

10 Surprising Health Benefits of Sex

The health benefits of sex extend well beyond the bedroom. Turns out sex is good for you in ways you may never have imagined.

By Kathleen Doheny
WebMD Feature

Reviewed by Marina Katz, MD

When you’re in the mood, it’s a sure bet that the last thing on your mind is boosting your immune system or maintaining a healthy weight. Yet good sex offers those health benefits and more.

That’s a surprise to many people, says Joy Davidson, PhD, a New York psychologist and sex therapist. “Of course, sex is everywhere in the media,” she says. “But the idea that we are vital, sexual creatures is still looked at in some cases with disgust or in other cases a bit of embarrassment. So to really take a look at how our sexuality adds to our life and enhances our life and our health, both physical and psychological, is eye-opening for many people.”

Sex does a body good in a number of ways, according to Davidson and other experts. The benefits aren’t just anecdotal or hearsay — each of these 10 health benefits of sex is backed by scientific scrutiny.

Among the benefits of healthy loving in a relationship:

1. Sex Relieves Stress

A big health benefit of sex is lower blood pressure and overall stress reduction, according to researchers from Scotland who reported their findings in the journal Biological Psychology. They studied 24 women and 22 men who kept records of their sexual activity. Then the researchers subjected them to stressful situations — such as speaking in public and doing verbal arithmetic — and noted their blood pressure response to stress.

Those who had intercourse had better responses to stress than those who engaged in other sexual behaviors or abstained.

Another study published in the same journal found that frequent intercourse was associated with lower diastolic blood pressure in cohabiting participants. Yet other research found a link between partner hugs and lower blood pressure in women.

2. Sex Boosts Immunity

Good sexual health may mean better physical health. Having sex once or twice a week has been linked with higher levels of an antibody called immunoglobulin A or IgA, which can protect you from getting colds and other infections. Scientists at Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., took samples of saliva, which contain IgA, from 112 college students who reported the frequency of sex they had.

Those in the “frequent” group — once or twice a week — had higher levels of IgA than those in the other three groups — who reported being abstinent, having sex less than once a week, or having it very often, three or more times weekly.

3. Sex Burns Calories

Thirty minutes of sex burns 85 calories or more. It may not sound like much, but it adds up: 42 half-hour sessions will burn 3,570 calories, more than enough to lose a pound. Doubling up, you could drop that pound in 21 hour-long sessions.

“Sex is a great mode of exercise,” says Patti Britton, PhD, a Los Angeles sexologist and president of the American Association of Sexuality Educators and Therapists. It takes work, from both a physical and psychological perspective, to do it well, she says.

4. Sex Improves Heart Health

While some older folks may worry that the efforts expended during sex could cause a stroke, that’s not so, according to researchers from England. In a study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, scientists found frequency of sex was not associated with stroke in the 914 men they followed for 20 years.

And the heart health benefits of sex don’t end there. The researchers also found that having sex twice or more a week reduced the risk of fatal heart attack by half for the men, compared with those who had sex less than once a month.

5. Sex Boosts Self-Esteem

Boosting self-esteem was one of 237 reasons people have sex, collected by University of Texas researchers and published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior.

That finding makes sense to Gina Ogden, PhD, a sex therapist and marriage and family therapist in Cambridge, Mass., although she finds that those who already have self-esteem say they sometimes have sex to feel even better. “One of the reasons people say they have sex is to feel good about themselves,” she tells WebMD. “Great sex begins with self-esteem, and it raises it. If the sex is loving, connected, and what you want, it raises it.”

6. Sex Improves Intimacy

Having sex and orgasms increases levels of the hormone oxytocin, the so-called love hormone, which helps us bond and build trust. Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh and the University of North Carolina evaluated 59 premenopausal women before and after warm contact with their husbands and partners ending with hugs. They found that the more contact, the higher the oxytocin levels.

“Oxytocin allows us to feel the urge to nurture and to bond,” Britton says.

Higher oxytocin has also been linked with a feeling of generosity. So if you’re feeling suddenly more generous toward your partner than usual, credit the love hormone.

7. Sex Reduces Pain

As the hormone oxytocin surges, endorphins increase, and pain declines. So if your headache, arthritis pain, or PMS symptoms seem to improve after sex, you can thank those higher oxytocin levels.

In a study published in the Bulletin of Experimental Biology and Medicine, 48 volunteers who inhaled oxytocin vapor and then had their fingers pricked lowered their pain threshold by more than half.

8. Sex Reduces Prostate Cancer Risk

Frequent ejaculations, especially in 20-something men, may reduce the risk of prostate cancer later in life, Australian researchers reported in the British Journal of Urology International. When they followed men diagnosed with prostate cancer and those without, they found no association of prostate cancer with the number of sexual partners as the men reached their 30s, 40s, and 50s.

But they found men who had five or more ejaculations weekly while in their 20s reduced their risk of getting prostate cancer later by a third.

Another study, reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that frequent ejaculations, 21 or more a month, were linked to lower prostate cancer risk in older men, as well, compared with less frequent ejaculations of four to seven monthly.

9. Sex Strengthens Pelvic Floor Muscles

For women, doing a few pelvic floor muscle exercises known as Kegels during sex offers a couple of benefits. You will enjoy more pleasure, and you’ll also strengthen the area and help to minimize the risk of incontinence later in life.

To do a basic Kegel exercise, tighten the muscles of your pelvic floor, as if you’re trying to stop the flow of urine. Count to three, then release.

10. Sex Helps You Sleep Better

The oxytocin released during orgasm also promotes sleep, according to research.

And getting enough sleep has been linked with a host of other good things, such as maintaining a healthy weight and blood pressure. Something to think about, especially if you’ve been wondering why your guy can be active one minute and snoring the next.

I love summer. You get to trade in those dreary winter clothes for bright and light festive frocks. Plus, you can spend more time outside because you don’t have to worry about freezing your buns off. I love summer because I get to be more active outside. The only problem is, when I have date night with my boyfriend, he only wants to stay inside. He is not what you would consider an outdoorsy person. But neither am I. I don’t do camping or hiking, but I still enjoy being outside.

Also, the added problem with staying inside all the time for date night is it is pretty limiting and repetitive. We don’t live in a big city so the only options we have to us are going out to eat, go to the bar, and go to the movies. These are all fine, but when I am trying to watch my portion control and caloric intake, these can be tough mentally. I love eating out, but to order your food to somewhat match your nutritional needs; you have to create a laundry list of don’ts. Sauce on the side please, no butter, can I have it grilled instead of fried? When you bake it, does it have to have the cream sauce on it? Where is the fun in that? Yes I know a lot of restaurants offer the lower calorie options, but some just don’t taste that good, or, the portion is so small, your left hungry. I’m sorry but 5 cocktail shrimp, half a cup of rice, and a cup of broccoli is not gonna satisfy my hunger pangs for very long. Plus you see all the servers walking pass with the sizzling skillets smelling oh so good, and you look at your plate and turn into “Bitter Bitch” for the evening.

If you spend an evening at a bar, there is nothing to do but drink. That is nothing but empty calories. It’s not a nightclub so you can’t fill your time with dancing; only drinking. You can end you consuming more alcohol than you planned to without even knowing it because you are filling the time, and let’s face it, trying to get tipsy.

And don’t get me started on the deliciousness that is known as the movie theatre butter popcorn. Doesn’t having that just making your moving watching experience complete?
Well, since it is summer, and I want to be more active outside, I am flipping date night upside down. Here are a few ideas to revamp your date, and maybe ignite some passion that you can finish later. (wink, wink)

1- Picnic in the park

This is a classic idea. Pack up your picnic basket with goodies like chicken salad sandwiches or roast beef, pretzels, sodas, and a Frisbee and head out to the green. If you have a trail there, walk the trail. Hold hands and talk about anything and everything. It’s a nice chance to silence the world around you and reconnect.

Great recipe for chicken salad sandwiches:

Shredded or cubed cooked chicken (8oz should be enough for two)
2-3 table spoons light mayo
Black pepper
Cumin
Curry powder
Salt
½ cup chopped celery
½ slice grapes
½ chopped apples
Romaine lettuce leaf or Arugula
Tomato Slice
Whole Wheat Bread or 6’ baguette

Combine chicken, celery, grapes, apples, and mayo in a bowl. Spread on bread and top with lettuce and tomato.

Caprese Salad

8oz fresh mozzarella (sliced)
1 red tomato sliced
Extra virgin olive oil
Balsamic vinegar

Alternate cheese and tomato slices on a plate. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar for taste.

2- Bahamas staycation

Since you can’t afford to get to the islands with this economy, why don’t you turn your local beach into an island getaway? Wear a sexy bathing suit, something you know will catch your partner’s eye. No matter what your shape and size, we all have something that fits us light a glove, and make us catch our reflection in the mirror and say, “Damn!” Wear a colorful sarong to walk around in. Pack a lunch. Something you think you would have in the Bahamas’. Grilled salmon, tuna, or mahi mahi are good ideas with grilled pineapple. Fresh strawberries to feed each other, and since there are no outlets to blend the perfect tropical drink, buy one that is premade from your local liquor store and place in the freezer before you leave to make sure it is nice and chilled. Friday’s makes great ones like Bahama Mama, Hurricane, and Rum Runner. To make extra festive, place little umbrellas and an orange slice on the rim of your cup. If you want to watch your calories in your cocktail choice, try these quick recipes:

1 part orange juice (Try Tropicana 50 to save even more)
1 part pineapple juice
1 shot light rum (Malibu coconut rum is great)
Drizzle of cherry juice

Or something with more fizz:

2 parts brut champagne
1 shot vodka
1 part mango or peach juice

Now just enjoy laying out in the sun, sipping your cocktail, and splash around in the water.

3- Amusement park fun

This is the best for summer. Walking around a theme park is great exercise. You will probably log five or more miles during your day. Make your goal to see who can ride the most rides without throwing up. (Laughing) Let him / her win you a giant teddy bear. Grab snow cones as the perfect hot summer day treat. A lunch of a hot dog, small bag of chips, and an apple is a healthy alternative to funnel cake. If you want cotton candy or a candy apple, share with your sweetie. Don’t forget to end your day with a water ride to cool you off. Extra bonus for guys, if your girl gets wet, free wet t-shirt!

4- Adventures boot camp style

What I mean by this one is that there are family fun parks that feature obstacle type course for you to play on. For one, the rock climbing wall. This is fun, but tough. It will be a great bonding activity to do with that special someone. If there is a maze, run the maze. The goal is to find your mate and win a big kiss. Go karts are great for the uber competitive couple. Harness your inner Rick Bobby and put the pedal to the metal!

5- Midnight rendezvous at the playground
Now this is my favorite to do on a hot summer night. Meet up like strangers in the night at your local playground when it’s nice and dark. Around 10 or 11p is good. Even later, even sexier. Swing on the swing set stealing kisses whenever you meet in the middle. Duplicate that scene from Spider the Movie on the monkey bars. One of you hangs upside down and engages in a sexy upside down kiss. Fool around on the picnic table. All this kissing and horsing around in the dark, waiting to see if you get caught, is great foreplay.

7- Love and Basketball
Now who doesn’t love this movie? So romantic. Now make it your own. Lace up your Nike’s and challenge your boo to a game of one on one.


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