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
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
Earlier this year, a study published in the Journal of Sex Research reported that gay men, on average, tend to be shorter than their heterosexual counterparts (click here to read a summary of the findings). This study had an important limitation, though, in that it wasn’t based on nationally representative data. Because all participants were either college students or attendees at an LGBT pride event, some concern was raised about how reliable the findings might be.
A new study that just appeared in the Archives of Sexual Behavior would appear to put this concern to rest. In it, the same group of researchers successfully replicated their height finding in a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults.Read More
Before a scientific study is carried out, researchers usually need to receive approval from an Institutional Review Board (IRB), a body of fellow scientists who evaluate a given study’s potential risks and rewards. In the name of protecting research participants, IRBs often given studies focusing on “sensitive topics” heightened scrutiny.
Sex is often considered to be a sensitive topic, and many researchers (myself included) have encountered difficulties at one time or another in getting certain studies approved because their IRBs are concerned that students might be traumatized by certain kinds of sex questions (e.g., how would students who have been sexually victimized feel if they were asked questions about prior experiences with rape and sexual assault?).Read More
One of the keys to a healthy, long-term relationship is maintaining physical intimacy. I’m not just talking about sex, though—for many reasons, non-sexual physical intimacy is just as important. For one thing, touch is a form of communication. It can reveal everything from your partner’s current mood state to their stress level. In addition, touch stimulates the release of oxytocin, a hormone involved in feelings of bondedness. Touch can therefore bring you closer to your partner both physically and psychologically.Read More
In this TEDx video, Northwestern University psychology professor Eli Finkel explains how the nature of marriage has changed dramatically over the last few decades. In particular, people today have fewer close social connections outside of their marriages than ever before, which has led us to expect more and more of our spouses in order to compensate. The end result is that we are putting a lot of extra stress on our relationships, which leads to a seemingly inevitable decline in satisfaction over time. But is there anything we can do to stem the tide and keep our relationships strong and healthy?
Every Friday on the blog, I answer people’s questions about sex, love, and relationships. This week’s question comes from a reader who wanted to know whether substance use can lead to problems “keeping it up” during sex.
What does it mean when men in college can't stay hard during sex? If you smoke a lot of weed, does that make it more difficult to stay hard in the same way alcohol does?
Every Friday on the blog, I answer people’s questions about sex, love, and relationships. This week’s question comes from a female reader who is frustrated by the fact that she wants to have sex more often than her boyfriend.
So I am 20, my boyfriend is 23, and I have a MUCH higher sex drive than him. We have been together for 3 years, and he took my virginity when I was 17. Almost every time I want to have sex and I "put the moves on him" he pushes me away and tells me he's not in the mood and I'm starting to get frustrated. Is there any way you could help me or point me toward some helpful literature even?
Makes me feel so fine, helps me relieve my mind, sexual healing baby, it’s good for me. – Marvin Gaye
The idea that sex can relieve stress for couples is pervasive in popular culture. For example, most of you have probably heard the classic song Sexual Healing by Marvin Gaye. Many of you have probably also seen television shows and movies that feature storylines about the wonders of “makeup sex” following a couple's argument (which, according to Jerry Seinfeld, is the second best type of sex you can have after “conjugal visit sex”). So is there any truth to this idea? Is sex really a stress-reliever? According to a new study, yes—but only for couples who are in satisfying relationships to begin with .