Most of us have sex because it feels great. However, there are plenty of health benefits that come along with physical intimacy that we never even think about. From increased immune function to decreased anxiety and calorie burning, getting it on is good for us. However, it might also keep us younger for longer. According to a study published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology, sex might even slow down the aging process… so long as we’re having it often enough.
What’s the connection between sex and aging?
According to the study, having sex at least once a week was found to lead to having longer telomeres. What are telomeres, you ask? They’re the structures at the end of a chromosome that protect it from degrading. In other words, as the telomeres shorten, signs of aging become more apparent. Once-weekly sex kept those telomeres longer and stronger, therefore holding back the signs of aging and prolonging our life expectancy.
To make this determination, researchers looked into the sex lives of 129 women in relationships who also had children. They self-reported their intimacy levels and also gave blood samples. The study’s authors found that the mothers who had sex in the previous week had longer telomeres, indicating better cell health. This indicated an association between sex and aging that was pretty noteworthy.
While it’s a bit premature to say that weekly sex will help preserve your youth, it’s certainly an interesting premise. If even a once-weekly roll in the hay can have a positive impact, it’s worth a try!
More sex = happier relationships = better overall health
You could also look at things another way. While sex isn’t everything in relationships, it is a vital way to stay connected and increase the intimate bonds in relationships. According to a 2017 study published in Archives of Sexual Behavior, most adults were having sex about once a week. That seemed to be a happy medium, and a separate study confirmed that sleeping together more often than that didn’t have a noticeable impact on relationship satisfaction. Once every 7 days was enough to do the trick for most people.
So, if having sex once a week keeps your relationships strong and happy, that’s good news. That’s especially true since multiple studies over the years have proven that people who have happy relationships, both platonic and romantic, live longer and experience fewer health problems.
In other words, even if having sex once a week can’t stop you from aging — nothing can do that — it can certainly keep you feeling young, and that’s what it’s all about.