Lack of sex could affect everything from your heart to how old you look. Check out these important—and surprising—health benefits of sex for men.
Last Updated: 07/30/2022
Men who haven’t been spending much time doing the deed under the sheets are missing out—not only on pleasurable moments but also on some significant health benefits of sex. For example, frequent sex can make you look younger, boost your immunity, and protect against heart disease—to name just a few of its benefits.
Maybe your lack of sex is due to low confidence in the bedroom, a decline in your sexual function, or a low sex drive. Whatever the reason, it’s in your best interest both mentally and physically to solve the problem and start having sex once again.
In this blog post, we’ll take a deep dive into all the ways that having sex can make men healthier.
Orgasms trigger the release of sleep-promoting hormones such as oxytocin and prolactin. They also block the production of cortisol, a stress hormone that can make you feel alert and awake. Any man who has fallen asleep right after climaxing has experienced sex’s ability to promote a restful night’s slumber firsthand.
Getting a good night’s sleep is linked to health benefits like more concentration and focus and better immunity.
As we mentioned earlier, sex followed by a climax lowers levels of the stress hormone cortisol. The boost in oxytocin during sex causes a drop in cortisol and leads to calm and relaxation. Researchers have found that having sex has the same stress-reducing effect as eating “comfort foods.”
When stress hormone levels are too high, it leads to anxiousness and also can cause physical problems like weight gain around the abdomen. By lowering cortisol, sex can make you feel more relaxed and healthier physically.
Although men who rarely exercise might have a slightly increased risk of having a heart attack after sexual exertion, men who are physically active and have a lot of sex have a reduced risk of having a heart attack. In these men, there’s a lot of research to suggest that frequent sex leads to a healthy heart.
For example, even after adjusting for age and other risk factors, researchers found that having sex twice or more per week was linked to less chance of having a fatal coronary event.
After following the men in the study for 10 years, the researchers found that men who reported having sex less than once a month had twice the rate of fatal coronary events compared to men who had more sex.
Another study suggests that the increased levels of the hormone dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) that the body produces after orgasm might help protect the cardiovascular system. The Massachusetts Male Aging Study found that men with higher levels of DHEA had a reduced risk of heart disease.
Studies show that in most cases, people who have more frequent sex have better blood pressure. Evidence also indicates that men who recently had penile-vaginal intercourse had a better blood pressure response to stressful situations such as public speaking compared to people who masturbate, participate in other sexual activity with their partner, or have no intercourse at all.
Another health benefit of sex? Keeping the immune system healthy. For example, a study of 112 college students looked at the students’ levels of immunoglobulin A (IgA), an antibody and protein critical to fighting off viral infections. The researchers divided the students into four groups: no sex, infrequent sex (less than once per week), frequent sex (one to two times per week), and very frequent (three or more times per week).
The study authors gathered saliva samples from the students and measured their levels of IgA. The students who had frequent sex had significantly higher IgA levels than the other three groups.
Another study of 16,000 people from 33 different countries divided the participants into two groups:
People who had sexual intercourse more than three times per month.
People who had sex less than three times per month.
People who had sex more than three times per month were less likely to have contracted COVID-19, and even if they did develop the disease had a more mild case than those who had sex less than three times a month.
One way that sexual activity boosts immunity is by ramping up the numbers of natural killer (NK) cells in men’s bodies. NK cells are immune cells that seek out and destroy viruses and tumors.
By improving sleep and reducing stress—two factors critical to strong immunity—sex also indirectly supports the immune system.
Increased longevity is another reason to have sex more often - especially for men. Researchers in one study followed 918 men aged 45 to 59 for 10 years. Men who had two or more orgasms per week had a 50% lower risk of dying than men who had orgasms less than once a month. This connection persisted even after the researchers controlled for other factors such as age, social class, and whether the subjects smoked or not.
The study authors concluded that sexual activity seems to have a protective effect on men’s health.”
In another study, researchers surveyed 166 men who were 70 years old and 226 women. Five years later, the scientists checked the participants’ records to see which of the study subjects died before their 75th birthday. Men who had stopped having sexual intercourse at earlier ages were more likely to have died, an effect not noticed in women.
Sex may shave years off your appearance. One preliminary study conducted by a psychologist in Britain over 10 years surveyed 3,500 men and women between the ages of 40 to 50. A panel of judges observed the participants through a one-way mirror and then guessed the age of each subject.
The men and women whose age the judges underestimated by seven to 12 years were considered “superyoung.” These superyoung people were more likely to have an active sex life—on average three times per week—compared to the control group’s average of twice a week.
Sexual activity doesn’t burn as many calories as moderate-intensity exercise. But it does burn some calories, and if you add it to an otherwise physically active lifestyle, it all adds up. Since studies show that sex burns 3.5 to 4.2 calories per minute, it’s to a man’s advantage to last longer in bed.
Although there’s mixed research on this topic, a review of the medical literature found that men who had more penile-vaginal intercourse had a lower risk of developing prostate cancer.
Another study concluded that men who had an average of 21 or more ejaculations per month were less likely to develop prostate cancer than men who ejaculated only four to seven times monthly. The study included 31,925 men who answered questions about their ejaculation frequency on a questionnaire administered in 1992. The study administrators followed up again with the participants in 2010.
Having a headache is no longer a reason to tell your partner, “not tonight, dear.” That’s because research shows that sex can relieve cluster headaches and migraines for some people.
In one study, of the patients who had sex during a migraine attack, 60% reported an improvement, and 70% of these people had moderate to complete relief. About 33% reported a worsening of their migraine during sex.
In people who had sex while suffering from a cluster headache, 37% experienced an improvement, and most of those people (91%) reported moderate to complete relief. In contrast, half of the participants experienced worse headache pain during sex. Some of the patients in the study, especially the men, used sexual activity as a migraine therapy.
A study of men from four different cultures found that greater sexual satisfaction is linked to a reduced rate of depression. The study also found that sexual pleasure corresponds to an increased frequency of sexual intercourse. In other words, more sex equals greater sexual satisfaction, which in turn improves mood.
Another study of men with mental health conditions concluded that having sexual intercourse decreased the need for psychiatric medications.
Having satisfying sex can increase your self-esteem, and this increase in self-confidence is often more true in men than women. Sexual activity can also enhance your body image since if you feel as if you’re desirable to a partner, you’re also more likely to feel good about how you look. On the other end of the spectrum, if sex isn’t going well, it can impact your self-confidence in the bedroom and in life.
During orgasm, the body produces oxytocin, a hormone linked to increased feelings of bonding and intimacy with your partner. Over time, mutual sexual pleasure increases the feelings of connectedness within a relationship.
As you can see, there are plenty of health benefits of having sex every day—or at least a few times per week. You may have a stronger heart and immune system, be in a better mood, and even look younger—to name just a few of the health benefits of sex.
Your life could even depend on your ability to have great sex, based on the research supporting the connection between living longer and having more sex.
These are all great reasons why men should maximize their sexual function and have more sex today.
Being sexually active can improve men’s health in many ways, both physically and mentally. Here are some of the ways sex may make you healthier:
Enhances heart health and lowers blood pressure
Makes you look younger
Decreases the risk of prostate cancer
Reduces depression and improves mood
Increases connectedness with your partner
Reduces headache pain in some people
Many studies have found that men who have more frequent sex—at least a couple of times or more per week—have a reduced risk of a fatal coronary event. Scientists believe sex protects the heart because of the hormone DHEA, released during sex. Men with higher levels of DHEA have a reduced risk of heart disease.
One study suggests that sex may act like a fountain of youth. In this study, men and women who had the most sex—on average three times per week—looked seven to 12 years younger compared to people having less sex.