Studies have shown that men think about sex an average 19 times a day. That’s probably a lot less than most are actually doing it (unless you’re unemployed or, you know, a gigolo.) But hopefully not too much less, if these health experts are anything to go by.
Prepare for the best prescription you’ve ever had, because science is clear on this one: sex is one of the healthiest things a man can do. We’ve rounded up six of the most reliable studies to guide your sexpeditions. Go forth and get at it – doctor’s orders.
It Turns Your Immune System On
Adults typically get around three colds a year. That’s three weeks of blocked up misery that scientists believe could be prevented by regular sessions between the sheets. In a 2004 study published in Psychological Reports, people who have sex more than once a week have higher levels of salivary immunoglobulin A, a protein that acts as the body’s first line of defence.
To supersize your dosage, do it in the morning, says Dr Debra Herbenick. The associate professor at the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University found that getting jiggy early doors has greater immune-boosting powers than waiting until the evening. And people say skipping breakfast is bad for you.
You Burn More Calories
When the alarm goes off, spending an extra half hour in bed is much more appealing than leg day. And now you can, guilt free.
According to a study by the University of Montreal, 30 minutes of sex burns around 100 calories for men and 69 for women (yes, 69). While it might not sound a lot, it does mean that getting down and dirty three times a week adds up to almost half a stone in a year without altering any other aspect of your life. Better than spin class.
Your Heart Is Stronger
Being sexually unsatisfied has many negative consequences, but perhaps one of the less obvious ones is that it can increase your chances of having a heart attack. Dr Paul Pearsall, director of Behavioural Medicine at Detroit’s Beaumont Hospital, found a common pattern in sexual frustration and heart attack patients.
Queen’s University Belfast followed up on Dr Pearsall’s suspicions and found that having sex three times a week can halve the risk of having a heart attack or stroke. The American Journal of Cardiology went one step further and followed 1,100 men over 15 years, and found that blokes who got some three times a week had not only a lower risk of heart attacks but also a significantly lower risk of heart disease. Get (that heart) pumping.
You’ll Look Younger
All hail Dr David Weeks. The Royal Edinburgh Hospital’s resident clinical neuropsychologist is responsible for a study that’s sure to get you laid on the regular. Following a 10-year, in-depth study for his book Secrets Of The Superyoung, Weeks found that men and women who reported having sex around four times a week looked five-to-seven years younger than they in fact were.
This is because the naturally occurring steroid DHEA, known as the ‘anti-ageing hormone’, rocketed to five times its usual level post-orgasm. However, it’s not just a case of swiping through Tinder to wind the clock back. The study also found that quality was as important as quantity, with the anti-ageing effects more potent in a ‘loving relationship’.
It Relieves Pain
Oxytocin isn’t just one of The Weeknd’s favourite ways of getting high; it’s also a naturally occurring chemical in the body that helps block out pain. According to a 2013 study by scientist Carter V Multz, sex boosts the body’s production, helping relieve pain, swelling and inflammation, especially that related to arthritis.
It can help headaches, too, if a study by the University of Munster is anything to go by. Their research found that more than half of migraine sufferers experienced an improvement in symptoms following getting frisky. One in five patients actually left without any pain at all. So much for those ‘I’ve got a headache’ excuses.
Your Prostate Will Thank You
No, not like that. Studying 32,000 men on the subject of ejaculatory frequency might sound like a job for Pornhub, but it was actually the basis of some serious scientific research by the Boston University of Public Health.
Researchers were looking into the relationship between the prostate and its, ahem, chief export. They found that men aged 20-to-29 were 19 per cent less likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer if they ejaculated 21 times or more each month. And the benefits only increased as they got older: men aged 40-to-49 were 22 per cent less likely to be diagnosed. The relationship was initially discovered after several studies had shown monks were more likely to develop prostate cancer than most. So remember, sinning’s winning.