A Quick Disclaimer on COVID-19 and Sex
In light of the seriousness of Coronavirus, we felt the need to begin this blog post with a serious disclaimer:
This post is not medical advice. Please do not have sex with someone who may be infected with COVID-19. And definitely do not have sex with others if you think you may have contracted the virus. If you feel ill or have a fever, contact your local health authorities and self-quarantine immediately.
Okay, with that out of the way, there are some known health benefits to having a healthy sex life with your household partner. And since we’re all locked up in self-quarantine for the foreseeable future, what better way to pass the time with some hot, kinky, and healthy sex?
Before we begin, just to reiterate one more time:
- COVID-19 is spread through close personal contact, primarily through airborne particles on droplets of water (and there is evidence to suggest fecal matter as well).
- This article will be implicitly talking about sex with your regular household partner (RHP). Do not risk going outside in infected areas seeking sex. We don’t care how many Tinder matches you have.
- Do not have sex with someone who may have had exposure to the virus, even your RHP.
- If you have questions, read this formal summary on best practices for sex and COVID-19 from the NYC Health Department.
- Please respect your local guidelines on social distancing and shelter in place, for the greater good of you and your close contacts.
Health Benefits of an Active Sex Life
Ok, with that serious stuff out the way, we wanted to have some fun with this blog post and try to look at one of the bright sides of being quarantined in your house with nothing to do. Well, nothing to do other than your significant other, that is. For those of you not currently in a relationship, just use your favorite sex toy or left hand instead.
We’ll be looking at several reasons why you need a healthy sex life now more than ever. Keep in mind this is all backed by good, clean science and is not just our opinion on the matter.
One last thing before we begin: it’s important to understand the major risk factors for COVID-19. We’ll go into these more in-depth throughout this article, but here’s a quick summary:
- Age over 60
- Underlying health factors
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Diabetes and obesity
- Lung or cardiovascular disease
Alright, enough with the preamble. Here are 7 ways that sex can improve your health and possibly reduce the risks associated with Coronavirus.
Reason #1: Sex Strengthens the Immune System & Produces Anitbodies
Aside from the host of other health benefits we’ll get into below, multiple studies have shown that sex directly boosts the immune system. One study on found that young adults having sex 3 or more times per week saw a significant increase in immunoglobulin A, a key antibody in the immune system.
You don’t need to have a partner to reap the benefits either. Yet another study found that masturbation and orgasm directly increased the levels of leukocytes (white blood cells) compared to individuals who did not masturbate.
Another interesting finding:
Sexually active people take fewer sick days. (source)
Keep in mind that the scope of these studies is still fairly limited, and the body’s hormonal response to stimuli is a really complicated thing to understand. But these early studies show a very promising connection between sex, orgasms, and the overall strength of your immune response.
Other ways to strengthen the immune system:
- Eat a healthy diet and avoid overly processed foods and sugars
- Get regular exercise several times a week
- Drink lots of water
- Reduce stress (more on this below)
Reason #2: Sex And Intimate Contact Lowers Blood Pressure
You ever have a really rough day, where you’re feeling physically and mentally exhausted, and then someone you care about gives you a good, long hug and you immediately start to feel better?
It’s not magic – close physical contact has been proven to reduce blood pressure. Another study found that penile-vaginal intercourse reduced systolic blood pressure by an average of 14 mmHg – which is 10% of the levels of what’s considered “high blood pressure” (usually 140 mmHg).
And it just so happens that high blood pressure is yet another risk factor for COVID-19. It’s also one of the most common risk factors faced by Americans, as more than 100 million Americans have high blood pressure.
The jury’s still out on the effects of masturbation on blood pressure, but it can’t hurt to give it the ‘ole college try’!
Reason #3: Sex Reduces Stress
If you’re anything like us, you’re probably pretty stressed out from all the doom-and-gloom everywhere you look. News outlets are (rightfully) talking about the virus nonstop. Your social media feeds are probably alight with constant activity and opinions on the state of the world.
It’s hard not to be stressed out right now. And, in a twisted sense of irony, stress is linked with higher blood pressure and other risk factors for COVID-19.
So in order to be you best, stress-free self, you should seriously consider having some mind-blowing sex with your RHP.
One 2007 study on middle-aged women “determined that physical affection or sexual behavior with a partner on one day significantly predicted lower negative mood and stress and higher positive mood on the following day”.
All that means is that having great sex today means you’ll be much less stressed tomorrow.
There are also a number of mechanisms for good sex to reduce stress including:
- Endorphins: Sex releases tons of chemicals called endorphins, which can have a wide range of positive impacts on mood, stress, and overall physical well-being.
- Social Bonding: Sex creates closer connections between you and your significant other. These feelings of love and support are also correlated with lower levels of stress.
- Deep Breathing: A good orgasm promotes healthy deep breathing, one of the major health benefits associated with activities like meditation and exercise (more on this in the next section).
Reason #4: Sex is Good Exercise
Yet another major risk factor of Coronavirus is being overweight and out of shape.
It’s been proven that people who live more sedentary lifestyles are far more likely to get colds or other infectious diseases. (source)
And, guess what – sex burns around 100 – 200 calories per hour according to several studies. Specifically, in the course of your average 25-minute lovemaking:
- Men burned roughly 100 calories
- Women burned 69 calories (niiiiice)
When you extrapolate that out to an hour time frame, you get roughly 150-200 calories burned. Compare that to this chart of calories burned by different forms of exercise by Harvard Health:
By our calculations, sex is right on par with “moderate cardiovascular activity” which sounds about right.
Looking at the risk factors listed above, regular exercise helps alleviate many of the risk factors including diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, and lung and cardiovascular disease.
While sex doesn’t have the same impact as other traditional forms of exercise, it’s better than nothing. Especially considering that many people are stuck inside and without access to a gym right now.
Might as well get a workout where you can, right?
Reason #5: Sex Gives You Better Sleep
Perhaps one of the best things you can do to strengthen your immune system is to get adequate sleep.
Sex and orgasm releases a hormone called prolactin, which promotes feelings of sleepiness and relaxation. How many times have you ever had a mind-blowing orgasm and immediately rolled over and slept like a baby?
And that deep, restful sleep has been well-correlated with general immune function and a reduction in inflammatory signals in the body. Specifically, sleep:
- Promotes production of T-cells that are key in your body’s first line-of-defense when dealing with infections.
- Increases levels of cytokines, which have a large impact on your body’s response to inflammation and infection.
- Reduces cortisol, otherwise known as “the stress hormone.”
Reason #6: Sexy Massages Further All of the Above
All the health benefits we’ve talked about so far aren’t strictly limited to sex. Research shows that there are many positive health benefits of massage. Specifically, regular massages offers a wealth of benefits from boosting the immune system, better interpersonal bonding, and reducing blood pressure and stress levels.
Massage is one of our personal favorite forms of foreplay: it warms up the body for more rigorous activity and is a great way to show sensitivity to your partner’s needs in both an emotional and physical sense.
Massage also helps the entire body to relax, which can help with achieving better orgasms. It can also loosen up the muscles involved with activities like anal sex.
Reason #7: Sex Can Improve Your Relationship
One silver lining of quarantine is that it forces couples who might work disparate hours to spend more quality time together. Now, with one or both partners forced to stay home the majority of the time, couples can focus on their home life and relationship.
There are numerous studies that correlate the quality and frequency of sex with a healthier relationship. Keep in mind that’s both quality and frequency. You don’t need to be having sex every single day. Most adult couples average about once per week.
But as long as you’re both stuck at home with nothing to do but each other, why not pad the numbers a little bit?
And even if you’re not currently in a committed relationship, there’s nothing wrong with giving yourself some additional TLC while you’re stuck at home with nowhere to go.
Besides – sex is fun.It feels good. The hormones involved increases bonding between partners, as we’ve discussed above.
Sex and COVID-19: In Conclusion
Okay, look: we know sex isn’t going to cure this pandemic. That will be up to the brave, hardworking doctors and nurses on the front lines of it all.
But everything we’ve seen on the internet has been so negative all the time, we wanted to focus on perhaps the only good thing to come of all of this: if you’re stuck at home in quarantine with your significant other, why not have some bonus sex?
It’ll make you feel better, might boost your immune system, and it will certainly take your mind off of all the bad things going on, which can only be good for your mental health.
And, just as we started this blog with a disclaimer about COVID-19, we thought it appropriate to end with a disclaimer as well. So, given everything we’ve written above:
This blog post is not medical advice and should not be construed as such. Having sex will not prevent you from catching Coronavirus. But it might just help you stay sane (and a bit healthier) in the meantime.
If you think you or someone you have been in close contact have contracted the virus, please do the responsible thing and contact your local health authorities and place yourself into isolation. Keep yourself safe and healthy in these trying times.