Okay, hear me out. (Or watch me explain this over on YouTube.) So far, 2020 has been a flaming shit show inside a Dumpster fire, and it shows no signs of letting up. This year I’ve dealt with a lot of ups and downs, like most of us. But just recently I’ve noticed a marked uptick in my anxiety level. I can’t say exactly what caused it—maybe I’m just worn down, maybe it’s the looming election, maybe it’s the uptick in Covid cases in my area. Who knows? But it’s been tough. Then, today, while doing some deep breathing exercises to try to calm myself the hell down, it occurred to me…
Am I getting off enough to combat this stress?
I know. It’s a weird question. Especially in a week during which the only bright spot of news has been a literal fly landing on the literal head of our literal vice president during a televised debate. In times like this, “Are you having enough orgasms?” can feel frivolous. Especially in comparison to: “Will our democracy survive the election?” or any of the other highly triggering queries that cross our minds daily.
But. And this is a big, important but.
Sexual pleasure has never been more important.
Our mental health has been difficult to hold on to in 2020. But sexual pleasure is really, really, really good for mental health. Sure, so is yoga. And running and deep breathing and petting a cat and a whole lot of other things. But sex is more fun than pretty much any of those things, and it packs a startling number of health benefits.
(You can watch my YouTube video about this if you’re not into reading lists! It’s over here.)
And I’ve got the links to prove it.
- Orgasms relax you. They trigger the release of oxytocin, which is hella good for chilling you the fuck out. They also calm down the amygdala—the center of fear and anxiety in the brain. The release of oxtyocin and endorphins that orgasm triggers is so strong that it can help you fell asleep. And sleep is a precious commodity for both mental and physical health.
- With a global pandemic still on the loose and flu season approaching fast, we can all use an immune boost. And guess what! Sex can do that for you.
- From headaches to back pain to whatever else ails you, an orgasm can probably help. Studies have suggested that orgasms act like an analgesic, meaning that they suppress pain in the body.
- Sexual activity is good for your heart and body, as it raises your heart rate and burns calories. A good workout plus an orgasm or two? Sounds pretty good to me.
- Orgasms are good for your skin. Seriously. You know how pretty much every bodily ailment gets worse when you’re stressed? That includes a lot of skin problems, like acne, psoriasis, and rosacea. Guess what helps reduce stress? You got it: orgasms.
- Feeling less stressed and more healthy—because of all that pleasure you’re experiencing—is good for your mood, which can boost your self-esteem and body image. In other words, sexual pleasure helps you be your best self.
With all the above in mind, you might agree with me that it pays to make some time in this difficult world for sex. And I know that can be tough. But the benefits of getting off can really help to alleviate that stress…and a lot of other problems that come along with it.
So schedule getting off you have to.
Scheduling looks different for different folks—some set alarms on their phones, others make elaborate plans. Whatever works is okie-dokie. Just get that pleasure, baby!
And, hey, it’s important to remember that you can get the benefits of sexual pleasure from a huge variety of different activities. You don’t necessarily need to set aside several hours for a full-on sex sesh with all the bells and whistles. Quickies are fine! Masturbation is great! Watching porn (or whatever helps you speed up the process) is a-okay! Using toys is fabulous. Fantasizing about your celebrity crush is normal as hell. Or, hell, taking a mental health day during which you just try to pack in as many orgasms as possible? Totally acceptable.
And not everybody is able to orgasm—that’s fine, too! Experiencing sexual pleasure is great for you whether you end on a high note or just have a good time without hitting the big O.
Just get that oxytocin!
Whatever works for you, in your current situation, is perfect. The point is releasing some of those happy chemicals in your brain, taking some time away from the world to focus on your needs, and just feeling good for once. This year certainly isn’t giving you many opportunities for feeling great, so you need to take care of your damn self. And sex is self-care to the absolute max. Bonus points if you eat well, drink lots of water, and get a decent night’s sleep afterward.