Any dedicated Cosmopolitan magazine reader is familiar with the idea that sex is good for our health. Issue after issue expounds on its beneficial properties: a calorie burning, cardio workout that helps you to manage feelings of stress, sleep better and even boost your immune system. More legitimate sources also indicate the beneficial impacts that the flood of hormones prompted by sexual activity has on the body, both physiologically and emotionally. The power of these natural chemicals is truly transformational, certainly warranting our attention when it comes to intimacy decisions. Just like any mood altering activity, if relied upon as an escape from reality, engaging in sexual activity can be hazardous rather than helpful to your relationship.
Every relationship goes through ups and downs, and everyone has different methods for coping with fluctuations. Often after a disagreement we instinctually crave a boost in mood-improving hormones. Perhaps this can be satisfied by exercising, a hobby, or conversation with other friends, but many times we desire close contact, comfort and reassurance, and the effects of hormones released during intimacy. In many situations, reconnecting through physical interaction allows a couple to heal emotionally as well. The potent hormones that surge in the body can also temporarily cover up any previous negative sentiments, allowing for the happy glow of post-coitus activity.
One of the main hormones scientists study is oxytocin, a powerful chemical released in both men and women's brains during sexual activity. Oxytocin is sometimes called the hormone of love, or the “cuddle” hormone, as it induces feelings of contentment and security around a partner. It is also associated with the bonding that happens naturally between mother and child after birth, a physiological message that helps to ensure secure emotional attachment.
After orgasm, women’s bodies are awash with oxytocin, which, when combined with estrogen, amplifies this sense of connection or attachment. Basically, after sexual activity, a woman feels happier, more connected to her partner, more relaxed and more willing to forgive and forget.