Ever feel that life gets so crazy busy that it’s hard to find time to connect with your mate? The pulls of job responsibilities, kids activities, outside commitments all seem to stretch you to the max, to the point where finding the margin in your schedule to nurture your marriage seems like an uphill battle.
Your sexual relationship can become just another task or an oasis in the midst of the demands of life. If it’s become a box to check off, you may have lost sight of the important benefits of your physical connection. What does sex have to offer our otherwise busy lives? Four things come to mind.
- Bonding. Sex bonds you to your mate and creates an experience of intimate closeness like no other aspect of your relationship. When we have sex our bodies surge with oxytocin. This is known as the loyal bonding hormone as it physiologically creates a sense of connection to our mate. It’s the same hormone that surges through a woman’s body when she has a baby, causing her to emotionally attach to her newborn. Women, typically, have ten times the amount of oxytocin as men. Only after sex, does a man have an equal amount. It would seem a man has a hormonal motivation to stay emotionally connected to his wife!
- Stress Reduction. We all know that exercise reduces stress. Strenuous exercise releases endorphins which are the body’s natural “feel good” chemicals. Researchers have also found that laughter and orgasm release endorphins into the blood stream, elevating mood and lowering stress. Sexual arousal also releases dopamine that revs up the brains pleasure and reward system. One study found that with orgasm, there is a flood of dopamine in the brain for both male and female which shuts down the areas of the brain that have to do with anxiety or fear (amygdala). The most surprising finding was the enormous deactivation of all anxiety centers of the brain for women, whereas for men most are shut down while other parts of the brain remain alert (good for slaying that hyena that has just entered the cave!) Women, evidently, can really let it go! Also, after orgasm, the hormone prolactin is released which is responsible for our feelings of sleepiness and relaxation. Having sex is way better than a massage!
- Boosting libido. Turns out having sex increases the desire to have sex. Perhaps that’s why long periods of no or low sexual activity tend to decrease interest. For women, having sex increases vaginal lubrication, elasticity (comfort), and blood flow, all which make it feel better when having sex and helps you crave more of it.
- Pleasure. So this is what sex was created for! Pleasure for both husband and wife. Women were given a clitoris for a reason. It is the only organ (male or female) that was designed solely to enhance sexual pleasure. Seems God had our mutually enjoyable lovemaking in mind.
So staying proactive in your lovemaking is a great thing- great for your body, great for your mind, great for your marriage!
Michael Le Page, “Women’s Orgasms Are a Turn-Off for the Brain,” New Scientist, June 22.2005.