Like most of you, I’ve long been in the pursuit of achieving and optimizing my ideal health and well-being. It is often by being ill and out-of-sorts that we come to see how important it really is, right?
The various illnesses and injuries I experienced have been some of my greatest teachers, for which I’m truly grateful (read more here). In order to harvest the wisdom my body was trying to show me by breaking down, I have investigated many different modes of healing as well as enhancing my well-being, performance and creativity.
The studying of them was foundational knowledge, the beginning of mentally understanding. But it was the integration of this new information into my day-to-day life that truly had the learnings land in my body, in my bones: it’s only when I chose to embody the new beliefs, perspectives and ways of living by altering my daily habits that the knowledge has become wisdom.
The most recent practice I’ve been exploring is orgasmic sex, including both partnered and solo. And wow, the benefits are many! Physiological advantages conferred by frequent orgasmic sex include:
A More Robust Immune System
College students who engaged in sex 1-2x per week showed significantly higher levels of salivary immunoglobulin A (sIgA) than other study groups who had less sex, no sex or more frequent sex (3+ times per week; their lower sIgA response was attributed to additional stress, which causes IgA to decrease) (Charnetski, 2004). sIgA is an indicator of a robust immune system: it’s a mucosal membrane antibody that acts as our first line of defense against invading pathogens by binding to and neutralizing them at the mucosal sites in of entry into our bodies. I was delighted to learn about this; they never mentioned it in immunology class!
Women who feel physically pleasured and extremely emotionally satisfied with their sexual relationship have significantly lower odds of developing cardiovascular risk (Liu, 2016). Sexual activity in general has a protective effect on men’s health: men with high orgasmic frequency (>2x per week) had a 50% lower mortality risk than those with low orgasmic frequency (Smith, 1997). Good reasons for us all to include a vigorous sex life in with all our other pro-health habits.
Public speakers who had penetrative sex with a partner before their speech experienced lower stress-related blood pressure (BP) than individuals who had solo sex and both had lower BP than speakers who had no sex at all (Brody, 2006). Definitely a good pre-speech tip to try! And over the long term, reducing stress in general will have cumulative benefits.
Better Mental Health
Women reporting a good quality sex life (having sexual satisfaction) experienced greater happiness and satisfaction with life in general (Dogan et al, 2013), and greater psychological health, including mood, positive well-being and vitality (Davison et al, 2009) and men reporting high sexual satisfaction (namely frequency) demonstrated a decreased rate of depression (Nicolosi, 2004). Solo sex / masturbation in both sexes has been associated with decreased risk of depression (Catania & White, 1982). Psychiatric patients having sexual intercourse exhibited a reduced need for psychiatric medications (Stiefelhangen, 1994). Even in just a few short weeks of this daily practice, I have noticed in myself a greater sense of self-confidence, openness and radiance, so these studies seem on point with my felt experience; it’s also fantastic to learn about this natural way to treat mental illnesses.
Chronic sexual experience has been shown to promote neurogenesis in the hippocampus (the part of the brain associated with memory) as well as stimulate the growth of dendritic spines and architecture, and reduce anxiety (Leuner, 2010). This is excellent news: we can add great sex to the list of ways to keep our brain young and healthy!
Natural Pain Relief
Release of oxytocin as a result of orgasm provides a reduction of both acute and chronic pain during sexual arousal and continuing on after orgasm, including via both penile-vaginal intercourse and solo sex (Komisaruk, 2012; Whipple 2010; Caruso, 2018). In women, significant increases in pain threshold were observed when study participants applied pressure stimulation to their anterior vaginal wall or pleasure stimulation to their anterior vaginal wall, posterior vaginal wall or clitoris, demonstrating an analgesic effect (vs distraction effect) of pleasurable genital stimulation (Whipple, 2010). Next time I’m in acute pain, will be trying this technique out – wish I knew about it a year ago, would definitely have helped with knee surgery recovery!
Orgasm induces the release of prolactin, which promotes a feeling of satisfaction and relaxation, and oxytocin, the “cuddle hormone”, which collectively has people who’ve just engaged in orgasmic sex feel peaceful, relaxed and sleepy, leading to better quality sleep (Kruger, 2002; Charnetski & Brennan, 2001). This study reflects my personal experience in terms of drifting off to sleep more quickly and easily after orgasm, especially with a partner; in the quality of my sleep thru the night (as measured by waking up ready to start my day well before my alarm and alertness thru the day); and even in the needing of less sleep overall (provided it’s of good quality).
Sheesh, all these benefits, just from engaging in frequent, satisfying, orgasmic sex!
And consider the downstream effects: for example, we all know experientially that when we get a good night’s sleep we have superior physical performance, greater mental acuity, a better mood, and it helps us regulate our body composition. Imagine the combined results of having that good night’s sleep plus an outstanding immune system, feeling more calm, and an excellent memory because you’re having frequent orgasmic sex (the fond memory of it probably doesn’t hurt either 😉
And, it gets better. Way better!
I mean, all this is already pretty fantastic. But we all want to not only function well (be healthy) but also to feel and look good (be well) and even excel – including in our work!
Guess what? Sex can help us with that too: it is the original fountain of youth, access to a greater spiritual connection and a source of powerful creative energy!
We all know these things because we experience them somatically, we feel it in our bodies. But to satisfy those of us left-brained, logical folks (myself included!), science shows us the data supporting what our bodies know already, including:
Higher Self-Esteem and Confidence
Young women and men who had more penetrative and oral sex and spent more college semesters in romantic relationships had higher sexual esteem (a key component of self-esteem) than students who had sex less frequently, with fewer partners or spent more semesters without romantic partners. Healthy sexual esteem, sexual self-efficacy, sexual competency and sexual subjectivity are all integral to developing a positive view of one’s sexual and thus whole self, and an essential part of emerging adulthoood (Maas and Lefkowitz, 2015; Weeks and James, 1998). I can attest to greater confidence due to an increase in all these measures of my sexual and thus whole self. Just goes to show that regardless of how much we did or didn’t develop our sexual selves in young adulthood, we can always learn more and go deeper, at any age!
Women judged to be 7-12 years younger than their actual age report engaging in sexual intercourse 3+ times per week compared with the control group’s average of twice per week, as well as reported being very confident and comfortable in their own sexual identity (Weeks and James, 1998). This is usually where people place me, so my own evidence aligns with this study.
Sex causes a surge in prolactin, which induces neurogenesis in the brain’s olfactory bulb as well as the cerebral cortex, hypothalamus, hippocampus and amygdala (Cabrera-Reyes, 2017). This is very exciting: I’m always “stopping to smell the roses” and such in the effort to immerse my self via my senses in the world around me, so to increase this ability via enhanced senses sounds amazing.
As Leonardo da Vinci stated, “all our knowledge has its origin in our perceptions” meaning that sensually engaging as much as possible in the present moment helps us take in more of our immediate environment, which enlivens our experience and deepens our understanding of the world around us (Gelb, 1998). More good sex will only enhance this experience, leading to greater enjoyment of life in general as well as deeper levels of artistic insight and ability – so exciting!
Both men and women who associated their sexual experiences with their spirituality reported better relationships and a higher quality of life – this finding was consist across sexual identities (heterosexual, homosexual and bisexual) and across a range of relationship statuses (long-term monogamy, serial monogamy, non-monogamous and single) (Ogden, 2001). Another study that verifies my felt experience: when I directly tap into spirit during my sexual experiences, they take on a depth of connection, sense of timelessness and transcendence that does not occur otherwise.
How can we access this extraordinarily potent – and free! – creative, spiritual energy source?
Well, duh, by having more orgasmic sex!!
But it’s not just the quantity, it’s the quality that counts. Just like getting more sleep is helpful, but getting more deep, restful sleep is amazing; getting more sex is good, but getting more good sex will give us all these benefits (and many more)!
My mentor Kim Anami asserts that we can also be harvesting that potent sexual energy we’re experiencing and channeling it into our work. Just like it’s beneficial to learn something new; but it’s the application of that new idea to our work that creates breakthrough results!
Sounds pretty f*cking spectacular right? Yup, it is!
And yes, I’m speaking from experience: am currently engaged in integrating and harvesting my own sexual energy into my daily creative practices and (art)work. Only a few short weeks into this adventure I’m already finding it brings a far greater sense of flow, grace, certainty and radiance to my sense of self and consequently to my paintings.
Even as I write this, I’m astonished at the multitude of creative new ideas – for more paintings, for follow-up articles, and for new sexual experiences to try out – that are coming to me now and on-goingly.
I’m equally surprised and delighted by the deep, visceral energies that I continue to feel coursing thru my whole body right now, zinging thru every single cell. Yes, during my sensual and sexual practices and when I’m painting, but also off and on all day, every day! Now that, my friends, is an immediate example of how turned on it feels to be living day-to-day in the flow of this enlivening and intoxicating sexual energy!
It’s like plugging yourself directly in to source before starting your day and/or sitting down to do your work in the world, whatever it is: that book you’re writing, intricate spreadsheet you’re designing, gorgeous resort you’re building, amazing child you’re raising, yummy meal you’re preparing… ALL forms of creation can be infused with sexual energy!
And of course, for me that includes painting! Right now I’m deep in the throes of a 30 day daily painting devotion using a new creative process, where orgasmic sex is one of the key components. At the end of that 30 days, I’ll be back in touch with a followup post to share with you how it all went down and what were my creative results, i.e. paintings.
But for now, back to the bedroom… then the easel!
Hopefully this note has inspired you to include more orgasmic sex into your own life and/or creative process! Or at least piqued your curiosity to learn more?
Drop me a comment with your questions below! Including: what else do you want to know – both in general, and specifically about what I’m up to!
Or if you’re already incorporating sexual energy into your own daily practices, share your experiences with us – we can all always learn more!
* Brody S, “Blood Pressure Reactivity to Stress is Better for People who Recently had Penile-Vaginal Intercourse than for People who had other or no Sexual Activity”, Biol Psychol, 2006 Feb;71(2):214-22
* Caruso S, et al, “Oxytocin Plasma Levels in Orgasmic and Anorgasmic Women”, 2018 Jan;34(1):69-72
* Charnetski, CJ and Brennan FX, “Sexual Frequency and Salivary Immunoglobulin A (IgA)”, Psychol Rep, 2004 Jun:94(3) Pt 1:839-44
* Charnetski and Brennan, “Feeling Good is Good for You: How Pleasure can Boost Your Immune System and Lengthen Your Life” 2001, Emmaus, PA; Rodale Press, Inc
* Gelb, MJ, “How to Think like Leonardo da Vinci”, 1998, New York, NY; Random House, Inc
* Davison SL, et al, “The Relationship between Self-Reported Sexual Satisfaction and General Well-Being in Women” JSM, 2009, Oct 6(10): 2690-2697
* Dogan T, et al, “The Relationship Between Sexual Quality of Life, Happiness and Satisfaction with Life in Married Turkish Women”, Sex Disabil, 2013, 31:239-247
* Kruger TH, et al, “Specificity of the Neuroendocrine Response to Orgasm during Sexual Arousal in Men” Journal of Endocrinology 2003 Apr;177(1):57-64
* Leuner B, et al, “Sexual Experience Promotes Adult Neurogenesis in the Hippocampus Despite an Initial Elevation in Stress Hormones”, PLoS One, 2010 Jul 14;5(7)
* Liu H, et al, “Is Sex Good for Your Health? A National Study on Partnered Sexuality and Cardiovascular Risk Among Older Men and Women” J Health Soc Behav. 2016 Sep; 57(3); 276-296
* Maas M et al, “Sexual Esteem in Emerging Adulthood: Associations with Sexual Behavior, Contraception Use, and Romantic Relationships”, J Sex Res. 2015; 52(7):795-806
* Nicolisi A, et al, “A Population Study of the Association between Sexual Function, Sexual Saisfaction and Depressive Symptoms in Men”, Journal of Affective Disorders, 2004, 82,235-43
* Ogden, G, “Spiritual Passion and Compassion in Late-Life Sexual Relationships” Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality, http://ejhs.org/volume4/Ogden.htm, 2001 Aug14
* Persson G, “Five-year Mortality in a 70-Year-Old Urban Population in Relation to Phychiatric Diagnosis, Personality, Sexuality and Early Parental Death” Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 64, 244-53
* Smith DG, et al, “Sex and death: are they related? Findings from the Caerphilly Cohort Study”, BMJ, 1997 Dec20-27;315(7123):1641-4
* Weeks DJ et al “Sex for the Mature Adult: Health, Self-Esteem and Countering Ageist Stereotypes”, Sexual and Relationship Therapy, 2002 17(3),231-40
* Weeks D and James J, “Secrets of the Superyoung”, 1998, New York NY; Berkley Books