Sex. Everyone has it – some more than others. It is, of course, the giver of life, while also being a pleasurable and enjoyable experience. Many people, however, feel that they don’t get enough sex for a variety of reasons. Some don’t feel the desire to have sex at all!
We’re often told that sex is important. But, how important is it really? Well, believe it or not, sex is intrinsically linked with overall health, including your mental health. Sex can be a real healer when it comes to mental health struggles and issues that many people have. Let’s take a look at how sex and intimacy affect mental health.
Sex Statistics in the USA
The General Social Survey asks thousands of Americans every year a variety of questions; some of these questions are about sex. Some 39% of US adults reported that they had sex weekly or more frequently than that. Meanwhile, 37% responded saying they have sex monthly.
If you feel like you’re not having much sex, you’re not alone. In the 2019 edition of the survey, 23% of Americans reported having no sex at all, with 1 in 4 of those adults being in the youngest age range, 18-29. If so many people are abstaining from sex for a year or more, what could this be doing to their mental health?
How to Improve Your Sex Life
Assuming you are in a celibate relationship, there are many ways to improve your sex life. If you or your partner feels stuck in a rut sexually, it may be due to some of the issues discussed below. Issues like anxiety, low self-esteem, or poor sleep can be affecting your sex drive. While sex can “cure” many of these issues, it could also help to seek medical advice. Whether from a psychiatrist, counselor, or therapist – addressing these issues can help to boost your healthy sex life.
If you feel a lack of sex has sprung from boredom or tiredness within your relationship, it can be interesting and helpful to add new ideas into the bedroom. As the intimacy superstars over at www.theadulttoyshop.com regularly discuss, sex toys can be a big help, “whatever the mood in your relationship, there’s something perfectly suited to everyone.” With such a wide variety of toys and ideas available to improve your bedroom life, it’s definitely something worth exploring!
Sex in Relationships
The first mental health issue to discuss is one of the most obvious and most regularly posed questions: are you happy in your relationship? This is a question many people find themselves asking on a regular basis. Sometimes, a lack of sex can lead to these sorts of feelings.
Believe it or not, even if the rest of the relationship is objectively perfect, some people find that lack of sex is enough to drive them away from their partner. They start to put their partner in a box of friendship with no sexual desire. If you feel your relationship heading this way, sex definitely can be the cure!
It goes without saying that sex will help bring a couple closer together. The intimacy involved in sex can dramatically increase feelings of love and desire. Sometimes, you just need to put romance front and center. Choose a night to have a date, just like you did at the beginning of your relationship. Romance, dinner, candles, and see where the night takes you!
Sex and Anxiety
Anxiety is a problem that many people deal with. Sadly, it is extremely common that people spend many long months of their lives feeling worried and anxious. Anxiousness can lead to erectile disfunction or a feeling of disconnectedness during sex. However, believe it or not, sex and intimacy can help reduce feelings of anxiety. Simply, the feeling of being touched – whether you are expecting sex to follow or not – can reduce anxiety. This is referred to as sensate focus and it helps increase feelings of being connected, loved, and happy.
Sex and Depression
Another common mental health issue is depression. It is estimated that over 40 million adults in the US suffer from some form of depression, which is quite a staggering number. There are, of course, many treatments for depression including various therapies and medications.
Sadly, depression can lead to feeling disconnected or leave you with no sexual desires whatsoever. However, arousal – much like exercise – releases serotonin. How often do you hear that regular exercise can help tackle depression? If that’s true, sex, intimacy, and orgasms can certainly do the same!
Sex and Self Esteem
Low self-esteem is a terrible thing. People of all sexes and genders feel lost about their bodies at times. Often, people feel so down about their appearance that they don’t feel comfortable having sex at all. But, what greater feeling could there be for your body and mind than the feeling of someone else loving your body?! If you can learn to love yourself enough to let someone else jump into bed with you, you can be certain that this person will make you feel awesome and wholesome about your body once again. Keeping up the practice of sex and intimacy can eradicate feelings of low self-worth.
Sex and Sleep
There are millions of people around the world who struggle with their sleep. Whether it’s the inability to fall asleep or the fact that you wake up tens of times throughout the night, know that you are not alone. In fact, over 70 million Americans struggle with getting regular sleep.
Sex is almost like a magical sleeping pill for many people. Why? Because after having sex your body naturally releases a hormone called prolactin. Prolactin helps you feel relaxed and rested, meaning you’ll likely fall asleep easier and sleep better. If you’re struggling to sleep, you can bet your bottom dollar that you’ll be tired enough to rest after sexual activity.
Sex and intimacy are clearly very well linked to a whole host of mental health issues and physical issues. If you need any help, there are thousands of doctors and sexual therapists available across the country who can help you work through your issues, feel sexy again, and have a great mental health state.