When women have an orgasm, our pain tolerance threshold increases by up to 74.6 per cent. The endorphins released during sex make us feel less pain in the moment, and they’re also a long-lasting natural mood-booster and stress reliever (winter blues sufferers, take note). Sex’s impact on our individual health is BIG and, also, side note: it’ll keep your relationship healthy, too.
Prioritizing this free and totally accessible (depending on um, your relationship status) feel-good activity is one easy way to boost your physical and mental health this year—without setting foot into a gym. Here’s what to do to get max health benefits out of your sex life now.
Make sex a priority
You can’t make “better” or “more” sex happen just because someone’s telling you they want more of it, or even because you “think you should.” You have to decide—mind and body—that it’s a priority for you and that you’re going to focus more on it this year. What would that look like in your life and in your relationship? You know your body and your life best. It’s up to you to really set that intention and get into it.
Hence, a little education goes a long way in finding out how you can really enjoy sex. Check out books (like Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha or The Ethical Slut: A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships and Other Adventures, by Dossie Easton and Janet W. Hardy) or podcasts that will help expand your mind and boost your sex smarts.
Get down with some more #realtalk in the bedroom and help your partner help you
Sexologist Dr. Carla Olson advocates for talking more in the bedroom—and not just dirty talk—as a way to enhance the sex you’re already having: “We need to be okay with expressing our fears, desires and boundaries. What are your fantasies? What feels good? And stop faking your orgasms! It’s my nightmare when I hear that women fake their orgasm—80 per cent of women have faked it. We feel this shame or guilt in the bedroom and have a hard time expressing what we want to experience intimately.” Don’t settle for that. Talk about it and find out how you can help your partner help you. Go team.
Love your body
You can’t expect someone to make you feel amazing in your body if you don’t already feel good in it. If there’s anything standing in the way of you being on friendly terms with your corporeal self, great sex will take some work. One way to support yourself in loving your bod is to simply start listening to it. We spend so much time in our heads, it’s important to get out and be in touch with our bodies. Movement is helpful, here. Any movement that feels good (dancing, yoga, etc.) is a handy practice to adopt and practice doing on the daily. (Also, ICYMI: here are 6 reasons you should go masturbate RN—just saying.)