Erectile dysfunction or ED is one of the most common sexual difficulties experienced by men. As with most sexual difficulties, there are numerous potential causes, including some that are biological, psychological, and social. However, a growing amount of research suggests that, in many cases, ED is a function of lifestyle. Moreover, simply by getting more exercise, men may be able to reduce their risk of developing ED and resolve existing erectile problems at the same time.Read More
For all of my readers celebrating Thanksgiving today, don't forget to give thanks for sex! Why? Research suggests that sex is good for us in many ways, both physically and psychologically. Below, I've pulled together a list of seven reasons to be thankful for sex today—and pretty much every other day of the year.
1. Sex is a multi-purpose activity--one that allows us to meet a wide range of needs. Believe it or not, scientists have identified at least 237 distinct reasons/motivations for having sex! Not only is sex a fun and pleasurable way to pass the time, but it's also a potential way to demonstrate love and affection and to find relief (studies have found that, among couples, having sex on one day is linked to feeling less stress the following day). As you can see, sex has the potential to do a lot for us.Read More
A few years ago, I came across some research reporting that the way a child is born appears to have consequences for their health. How so? Scientists believe that the bacterial composition of a woman’s vagina changes during pregnancy in order to allow certain bacteria to coat the child as it passes through the birth canal during delivery. These bacteria are thought to promote healthy development and functioning. If a child is delivered via Caesarean section (i.e., C-section), that child does not have the benefit of being exposed to those bacteria and, as a result, could potentially experience worse health outcomes than those born vaginally. However, some doctors believe there may be a way to remedy this and boost the health of C-section babies.Read More
The state of sex education is poor for American adolescents—but you probably already knew that. However, what you may not have realized is that the state of sex education for US medical students isn’t all that great, either. This is both surprising and sad, given all of the important implications (good and bad) that sex can have for our health.Read More
Scientists have found that sex seems to be good for us in many ways. For example, sexual activity has stress-relieving properties: when couples in a good quality relationship have sex on one day, they report feeling less stressed the next day. Moreover, having sex increases people’s sense of meaning in life and leads to a boost in positive mood states. Beyond these psychological effects, some research suggests that having frequent sex might also have benefits for your heart health.Read More
We’ve long known that there’s a link between sex and headaches. In fact, we can trace this all the way back to Hippocrates, who is thought to be the first to point out a connection between “immoderate venery” and headaches (if, like me, you aren’t familiar with the term “venery,” I’ll save you the trouble of Googling it—it refers to “the practice or pursuit of sexual pleasure”) . However, it wasn’t until the late 1960s and early 1970s that physicians really began formally documenting this in medical case reports .Read More
Research on both humans and animals increasingly suggests that being sexually active just might benefit the brain. Here's an overview of the evidence that has accumulated so far:
A 2010 study on male rats discovered a link between sexual activity and neuron growth . Specifically, rats that were allowed to have sex daily over a two-week period demonstrated more neuron growth than rats that were only allowed to have sex once during that time.
It’s not uncommon for guys to experience fertility problems—even guys who are in the prime of their lives. Just consider that some health organizations claim that as many as 1 in 5 young men have a low sperm count.
Male fertility issues have multiple causes, with medical conditions being a major contributor, from genetic anomalies to hormone imbalances to certain sexually transmitted infections.
However, several lifestyle factors are also linked to the quantity and quality of men’s “swimmers.” This is important to highlight because it means that medical intervention isn’t always necessary for guys to improve the health of their sperm.
There are a lot of do-it-yourself tricks that can potentially improve a man’s sexual potency; however, some of the most popular DIY tricks aren't be as effective as previously thought. So which lifestyle changes do (and don’t) enhance sperm quality? Here’s a look at what the research says.Read More
Sexual minority individuals—that is, people who identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual, or who otherwise report same-sex attraction or behavior—are at increased risk for developing a number of physical health problems relative to people who are exclusively heterosexual. As some evidence of this, consider a new study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, which analyzed the health of sexual minorities in the United States using a nationally representative sample of more than 30,000 Americans .
No matter what measure of sexual orientation was utilized in this study (LGB identity, same-sex attraction, same-sex behavior), sexual minorities were at increased risk of various health problems compared to heterosexuals.Read More
Incest, usually defined as sex between close blood relatives, is one of the most pervasive sexual taboos across cultures. Many different theories have been advanced to explain this taboo, but perhaps the most common is that we evolved to avoid incestuous relations because inbreeding increases the odds of health problems in any offspring produced.
So just how risky is incest anyway?Read More
Most people think of orgasms as a positive experience—one they look forward to repeating time and again. However, this isn’t true for people who experience something known as post-orgasmic illness syndrome, or POIS for short.
POIS is a rare medical condition that, for the most part, seems to affect men and involves getting sick for up to one week after each orgasm.Read More
Sex has the potential to benefit us in numerous ways. Among other things, research suggests that it may be good for our physical health (it is a form of exercise after all). In addition, sex relieves stress, it increases our sense of meaning in life, and it may even improve our memory. A new study published this year in the Journal of Management suggests yet another potential benefit: sexual activity just might make us better at our jobs—at least on days following sex.Read More
For all of my readers celebrating Thanksgiving today, don't forget to give thanks for sex! Why? Research has found that sex is good for us in numerous ways, both physically and psychologically. In this post, I've pulled together a list of seven reasons to be thankful for sex today (and every other day of the year).
1. Sex is a multi-purpose activity--one that allows us to meet a wide range of needs. Believe it or not, scientists have identified at least 237 distinct reasons/motivations for having sex! Not only is sex a fun and pleasurable way to pass the time, but it's also a potential way to reproduce, to demonstrate love and affection, and to find relief (studies have found that, for couples, having sex on one day is linked to feeling less stress the following day). As you can clearly see, sex has the potential to do a lot for us.Read More
I received an email from a reader the other day who read an article chastising a lot of popular magazines and websites for pushing the narrative that we should be having sex more often because it’s good for our health. The point of this article was to say that when sex becomes a utilitarian activity, it takes all the fun out of it—it becomes something we think we need to do instead of something we want to do. The reader asked what I thought about this idea, and my answer is simple: I completely agree. And here’s why.Read More
The human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection. In addition to genital warts, it has the potential to cause a wide range of cancers, including cancers of the cervix, anus, and throat. A vaccine that can prevent HPV (and its associated cancers) has been around for nearly a decade; however, it continues to be widely underutilized in the United States.Read More
Sex stands to benefit us in many ways. For example, research has found that being sexually active appears to be good for our physical health—not only does having sex burn calories, but frequent orgasms have been linked to better immune function and longer life expectancies. In addition, sex has been linked to enhanced cognitive functioning (including better memory), which suggests the provocative possibility that having sex just might make us smarter. As if that weren’t enough, a new study published in the journal Emotion reveals that sex also seems to be good for our mental health and well-being.Read More
As a sex educator, one of the topics I get asked about most often is anal sex. Given how curious people seem to be about this activity, I thought it would be worth putting together a brief guide that addresses some of the most common questions people have about anal sex. So, here goes:
1.) Anal sex is a very popular sexual activity in the United States today, with CDC research suggesting that close to one-half of men and about one-third of women have had anal intercourse before.Read More
In the United States today, most male infants are circumcised. Many in the medical community strongly support this practice, pointing to research finding a link between circumcision and better health outcomes. Specifically, studies suggest that men who are circumcised have a lower risk of developing urinary tract infections, contracting STIs, and developing penile cancer.
On the surface, that might sound like a pretty convincing set of reasons to support routine male circumcision. However, a closer look at the evidence reveals that the story isn't quite as simple as that.Read More
Several studies have found that when laws permitting same-sex marriage are passed, the health outcomes of sexual minorities in the local area seem to improve. This holds true for indicators of both physical and psychological well-being. Here's a review of the most provocative evidence to emerge so far supporting this idea:
First, a 2012 U.S. study found that, in the state of Massachusetts, there was a significant decrease in the number of visits made by gay and bisexual men to healthcare providers for both medical and mental health issues in the year after same-sex marriage was legalized in that state .Read More
A reader submitted the following question:
"Is it OK to have sex if you're pregnant? Especially during the later months?"
You're not alone in wondering about this. In fact, survey studies have found that 25-50% of pregnant women and 25% of their partners are concerned that sex could potentially hurt or "traumatize" a developing fetus . Such concerns have the effect of causing many pregnant couples to have sex less often than they'd like, or perhaps to have sex that is less satisfying than usual because they are anxious or worried. Fortunately, research suggests that these concerns are largely unfounded.Read More