Modern life is a minefield of superficially gratifying things that are also terrible for us. Like industrially-produced convenience foods, endless scrolling on social media, binge-watches that leave us wondering where weeks of our lives went…. we’re sure you can think of plenty more.
But orgasms – rushes of transcendent sensation created by our own remarkable bodies – are good for us, and they’re not just superficially gratifying, either. Quality orgasms and plenty of them – solo or with a partner – have real wellness benefits.
Orgasms can help with everything from headaches to period cramps to anxiety. They can help you sleep, and they can even give your skincare routine a boost! It might sound too good to be true, but science supports the health benefits of orgasms – and there may be more that are still undiscovered.
A Brief History of Orgasms
We might think of the past as puritanical and repressive, especially of women’s pleasure – and it often was. (So is the present, unfortunately. We’re working on it.)
But even in the most puritanical and repressive times, people knew that the female orgasm must have been good for something. They were just a little off-base about exactly what it was – or maybe a lot off-base.
According to numerous texts from the 1100s onward, medieval European scientists believed that conception couldn’t occur unless the woman, as well as the man, had an orgasm.
This idea may have arisen as a way to explain why women don’t always get pregnant after intercourse, in times when that whole “ovulation” deal was still confusing. It was also grounded in some pretty wrongheaded ideas about female anatomy.
We still like the thought that medieval husbands did their best to please their wives, even if the purpose was producing an army of stout sons to till the soil.
Much later, in the Victorian era, scientific thought had advanced quite a bit – but still resulted in some pretty idiotic ideas, like how women (primarily middle- and upper-class women) were prone to a vague constellation of mental and emotional maladies known as “hysteria”.
We think that being a woman in the Victorian era would have been enough to make anyone a little unbalanced, but the great minds of the time concluded that orgasms were an effective way to subdue the menace – leading to the invention of the vibrator.
Today, we have evolutionary psychology – and a plethora of clever explanations for why the female orgasm exists, from pair-bonding (sounds reasonable to us) to orgasmic muscle contractions “sucking” sperm towards the cervix (okay) to males proving themselves worthy partners by providing orgasms and therefore being more likely to propagate their genes (it’s not ALL about you, guys).
And as much fun as it can be to contemplate the “why” of the female orgasm, we think it’s MUCH more fun to contemplate the “what” – and what your orgasms can do for you.
What Are The Benefits of Orgasms?
Not every wonderful thing has to exist for self-improvement purposes, of course! The benefits of orgasms are the cherry on the pleasure sundae – but they are real, and if you needed an excuse to have more orgasms, here’s a whole buffet.
Orgasms can help with sleep.
We have a whole big, fat, juicy blog on this subject, but in a nutshell – orgasms produce a rush of relaxing hormones, like oxytocin, dopamine and prolactin, which can help make those elusive, restorative “zzz”s easier to access. Women can take longer to wind down after sex than men, but post-climax sleep is likely to be deeper and more restful.
Orgasms can help you achieve great skin.
In addition to releasing de-stressing hormones, orgasms actually reduce the presence of stress hormones like cortisol – a common cause of breakouts. That characteristic “sex flush” that accompanies climax is an expansion of genital arousal, an indicator of improved circulation throughout the body. Great circulation helps with that healthy glow. And orgasms lead to a spike in estrogen, which improves collagen production – a bonus for hair and nails as well.
Orgasms can help your immune system.
Orgasms reduce stress, and reduced stress improves immune health. Additionally, orgasms engage with your endocannabinoid system by elevating levels of neurotransmitters that are necessary to achieve internal balance. And as if that weren’t enough, orgasms release a hormone called DHEA, which also supports immune health and cell repair.
Orgasms can help relieve pain – including menstrual cramps.
The endorphins released during orgasm are the same ones your body uses as powerful natural painkillers. And if you’re troubled by menstrual cramps, the rush of blood to the entire pelvic area that’s caused by arousal and orgasm improves oxygenation to the area, helping to provide relief. (We’re in favor of period sex in general, and we’re always happy to provide a little help.)
Orgasms feel good… and they can help you feel good about you.
“Body positivity” is a hot term that usually applies to loving how our bodies look, no matter what anyone says. We think that’s a wonderful thing, and it’s about time. But another dimension of body positivity is loving what your body can do – and the head-swimming power of a righteous orgasm can make you feel like a superhero.
Just think about it for a second – your body is made to give you pleasure, and it belongs to you! Even if orgasms didn’t have amazing health benefits, setting aside day-to-day stressors and truly appreciating the marvel that is your body would be more than enough.
Glowing skin, cheerful mood and healthy sleep are just a bonus.
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