when you know what it takes to make yourself orgasm, you may increase
your emotional confidence and intelligence. "When you understand how
your body works and ... [that it] is capable of pleasure on its own,
regardless of your partner status, you make much better decisions in
relationships," says Logan Levkoff, Ph.D., a sexologist and certified
sexuality educator. "You don't look to someone else to legitimize that
you're a sexual being."
Gives You A Healthy Glow
There actually might be something to the idea that we "glow" after sex. The hormone DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone), which shows increased levels during sexual excitement, can actually make your skin healthier.
It Relieves Stress
Most of our lives are so hectic that it's hard to even imagine being relaxed. However, it turns out that sexual release can double as stress
relief. Not only do the hormones help with this task, Berman says that
being sexual also gives our minds a break: "When we're stressed out and
overextending ourselves, [we're] not being in the moment. Being sexual
requires us to focus on one thing only."
It's A Natural Painkiller
One thing that Victorian practitioners may have been onto is that
orgasms can work to soothe certain aches and pains -- namely migraines
and menstrual cramps. (So now you know what to do next time you have a
headache if you don't feel like popping an Excedrin.) According to
Berman, the contractions that make up an orgasm can actually work to
evacuate blood clots during your period, providing some temporary
Keeps Your Brain Healthy
Having an orgasm not only works out your heart, but also your head. Barry Komisaruk, Ph.D. told Cosmopolitan
that orgasms actually nourish the brain with oxygen. "Functional MRI
images show that women's brains utilize much more oxygen during orgasm
than usual," Komisaruk says.
Helps You Sleep
A little pleasure may go a long way towards a good night's rest. A
recent survey of 1,800 women found that over 30 percent of them used
sexual release as a natural sedative.
Lifts Your Mood
Feeling down in the dumps? An orgasm might be just what you need to pick
yourself up. In addition to endorphins, dopamine and oxytocin are also
released during orgasm. All three of these hormones have what Berman
terms "mood-enhancing effects." In fact, dopamine is the same hormone
that's released when individuals use drugs such as cocaine -- or eat
something really delicious.
It's A Form Of Cardio
Although it can't be considered an alternative to daily exercise, having
an orgasm is a cardiovascular activity. "Your heart rate increases,
blood pressure increases [and your] respiratory rate increases," says
Berman. And because it's akin to running in many physiological respects,
your body also releases endorphins. Sounds like a pretty fun way to
work your heart out.
Keeps Your Blood Flowing
According to Dr. Jennifer Berman, co-founder of the Female Sexual
Medicine Center at UCLA, orgasms increase your circulation, keeping the
blood flowing to your genital area. This in turn keeps your tissue