Good lovin’ is more than mere fun. Scientists find that it also offers tangible health benefits, both physical and emotional.



A couple’s act of love starts well before orgasm. The interlude might open with flirtatious looks or a kiss on the back of the neck. It might continue with a massage or a foot rub. The next step … well, this is a family publication.



Anyway, both partners end up feeling better and maybe living longer. We did a little checking – discreetly – and found these reasons why.

Good lovin’ is more than mere fun. Scientists find that it also offers tangible health benefits, both physical and emotional.

A couple’s act of love starts well before orgasm. The interlude might open with flirtatious looks or a kiss on the back of the neck. It might continue with a massage or a foot rub. The next step … well, this is a family publication.

Anyway, both partners end up feeling better and maybe living longer. We did a little checking – discreetly – and found these reasons why:

1/3 More protection from colds

A 1999 study by two Wilkes University psychology professors found that the antibody immunoglobulin A rose about a third in college students who had sex once or twice a week compared with those who did it not at all or less than once a week. The bad news: When frequency increased beyond twice a week, IgA levels dropped, according to the study at www.scienceagogo.com.

3 Brain systems get worked

Helen Fisher, Ph.D., an anthropologist and author, says three brain systems interconnect when humans fall in love, mate and bring up children.

The first is lust: the craving for sex associated with testosterone in men and women. The second is romantic love, the obsessive, infatuated kind that Fisher says is associated with dopamine and norepinephrine. The third is long-term attachment with a partner.

The first two help us with mating, and the third helps us maintain that bond while our children mature. Orgasm brings a flood of chemicals associated with bonding. Oxytocin is a big one, according to researchers. As Fisher advised in a 2008 online interview at www.onlinepersonalswatch.com, “Don’t copulate with somebody who you don’t want to fall in love with” because attachment hormones are serious glue.

Friendly hormones are activated

Regular sexual activity raises levels of testosterone and estrogen. Testosterone helps strengthen bones and muscles. In women, estrogen helps protect against heart disease, according to askmen.com.

An orgasm a day keeps doctor away

Dr. Michael F. Roizen, chief wellness officer and chairman of Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute, told Men’s Health, “The typical man who has 350 orgasms a year, versus the national average of around a quarter of that, lives about four years longer.”

We checked with Roizen to make sure he really said “typical man who has 350 orgasms a year,” and yes, he did.

Along the same line, but maybe less exuberantly, a 1997 study in Wales focused on 918 men ages 45 to 59. It found that those who had “high orgasmic frequency” also had a mortality rate that was half that of the “low frequency” group. The British study abstract on www.longevity-herbs.com did not say how many orgasms were required for “high” status.

The life-prolonging effect of DHEA?

Experts disagree on the benefit of dehydroepiandrosterone. Some call this steroid a “fountain of youth” that contributes to longer life. Roizen disagrees: “That is a fiction,” he told us. DHEA is naturally produced by the adrenal gland and is a precursor to sex hormones.

85 calories burned

A 30-minute roll in the hay uses up about 85 calories, according to WebMD.com. The site does the math for you: 42 sessions would add up to 3,570 calories – a bit more than enough to vanquish a pound.

Sexy exercise increases blood flow and breathing, which are good for your cholesterol levels and lungs. And, naturally, the combination of endorphins and exertion helps ease the stresses of life.

It feels good!

Endorphins are compounds produced during orgasm and strenuous exercise (also during pain and death, but those are topics for another time).

Endorphins act as natural pain relievers and bring on a sense of well-being. Athletes call it a runner’s high. And remember the beautiful airhead in “Postcards from the Edge” who said she had sex for “the endolphin rush.” Ditzy, but right on target.