Whew – I was beginning to wonder if I’d ever fall in love again. But now, scientists in Britain say kissing and having more sex will make you live longer.
Not trying to brag, but it looks like I’m going to live forever:
The Daily Mail says whether you call it sex, intercourse or making love, we all know what happens when we slip between the sheets.
But how does the act of coitus change our brains and bodies? And why does it hurt so much when we are rejected after a fling?
The act of sex sets off a cascade of hormones, which trigger pleasure, happiness, and bonding, scientists reveal. A plethora of studies now shows intercourse is good for our health, from protecting against heart disease and osteoporosis, to staving off dementia and improving mood.
Below, they describe exactly how sex can help us live longer, and why sexual rejection breaks our hearts..
WHY LOVE HURTS
A key hormone released during sex is oxytocin, also known as the ‘cuddle hormone’. This lowers our defences and makes us trust people more, says Dr Arun Ghosh, a GP specialising in sexual health at the Spire Liverpool Hospital.
It’s also the key to bonding, as it increases levels of empathy. Women produce more of this hormone, although it’s not clear why, and this means they are more likely to let their guard down and fall in love with a man after sex.
However, the problem is that the body can’t distinguish whether the person we’re with is a casual fling or marriage material — oxytocin is released either way. So while it might help you bond with the love of your life, it’s also the reason you may feel so miserable when a short-term relationship ends.
Men, on the other hand, instead of getting a surge of bonding hormone receive a surge of simple pleasure.
‘The problem is that when a man has an orgasm, the main hormone released is dopamine — the pleasure hormone. And this surge can be addictive,’ says Dr Ghosh.
That’s why so many more men tend to suffer from sex addiction…
STAVING OFF DEMENTIA
Many of us are all too aware that our brain cells decline with age. In fact, it’s said we lose 7,000 brain cells a day by the time we’re 35, which makes rather depressing reading.
The good news, however, is that having regular sex may help us grow new brain cells, according to scientists from Princeton University in the United States.
And the more sex you have, the more cells you can grow, it seems. Animal studies, published in the journal PLoS ONE, suggest that sex stimulates the growth of brain cells in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for memory and learning.
SMOOCHING MEANS BETTER SEX
The lips are packed with nerve endings — 100 times more than the fingertips.
As a result, kissing kick-starts multiple mechanisms in the brain, releasing chemicals that lower stress and boost mood, says Dr Ghosh.
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