Written by Tunde Ajaja
~Punch Nigeria. Sunday, December 4, 2016.
For an activity that is both intensely pleasurable and medicinal, it seems understandable that people are paying more attention to it.
Sex has numerous benefits, including the fact that it boosts immune system, lowers blood pressure, it's a good form of exercise, helps to reduce the risk of prostate cancer in men, lowers risk of heart attack, improves sleep and brings about the release of feel good hormone (dopamine), love hormone (oxytocin), pain-killing hormone (endorphin) and many others which have positive effects on the body.
Being something that could take place anytime and in any (reasonable) place where the man or the woman feels like having 'it', one could think timing is not a factor when it comes to having a romp in the sack. But according to some scientists, there are specific times sex is good for the body, especially married couples, who do it without apprehension of being caught or the fear of pregnancy.
Given that the hormones influence how people feel anytime they are released, it seems pertinent to point out that sex can be more helpful at certain times than some other times, and some of the good times you should consider having 'it' include:
In the morning: It is a norm for men to want to have sex in the morning, because even by the time they wake up, their testosterone level is at the peak, usually at about 50 per cent more than any other time of the day, which explains why they usually wake up with an erection. But beyond the pleasure derivable from the response to stimuli, studies have shown that sex in the morning is good for the body. According to an American research scientist, Dr. Debby Herbenick, having sex in the morning makes couples feel more upbeat - positive and making them feel that good things will happen - throughout the day and it boosts their immune system. She also revealed that the endorphin hormone released boosts the mood of such persons, which could make their day exciting. She added, "Having sex in the morning also releases the feel-good chemical oxytocin, which makes couples feel loving all day long." This is perhaps more instructive for women who rarely want sex in the morning because their mind is not prepared for it, but prefer it at night.
After a day gone bad: Ordinarily, when people are depressed or frustrated about certain situations, keeping to themselves and being a recluse is usually the commonest response, and so sex could be the last thing on their minds, say when they get home later in the day, but according to experts, that is a good time to have sex. A Toronto-based sexologist, Jessica O'Reilly, told Women'sHealthMag that from holding hands to touching, hugging and getting down to the real thing with their partners could boost their mood at such times. She said, "Studies show that sex and other forms of physical affection, even holding hands, significantly improve your mood and lower stress levels for days to come. As long as your lover is not the source of the anger, such sex can be red hot." In other words, the release of love hormone, feel good hormone and other hormones that improve mood would relieve the person of such stress. It is however worthy of note that a man may not be in the mood for sex when he's down, more so that stress is one of the causes of erectile dysfunction, but findings have shown that men who pull themselves out of that distress and are receptive to the touch of their wives, tend to feel better after the sexual activity because of the hormones that would have been released. In fact, it has been argued that looking at romantic partners or having sex itself could reduce pain.
When in need of sleep: How multifunctional sex can be! Studies have shown that sex is one activity that makes people want to sleep, after reaching orgasm. This implies that married couples who have difficulty in sleeping or insomnia, which is habitual sleeplessness, should resort to sex anytime they need sleep. The studies show that after men ejaculate or women reach orgasm, a torrent of hormones, including serotonin, prolactin, oxytocin, norepinephrine, vasopressin and nitric oxide are released into the system, thereby creating a deep sleep-inducing effect and reducing stress levels, which result in relaxation and sleepiness. This (sleep) effect is applicable to both sexes but it is much more in men and that of women is almost negligible, which explains why men are not good for pillow talks after sex. A group of scientists led by a French neuroscientist, Serge Stoleru, had in a study scanned some men's brains before and during orgasm and found that the cerebral cortex, which is the thinking area, shuts down almost immediately after orgasm, and straight afterwards, two other areas - the cingulate cortex and amygdale - direct the rest of the brain to deactivate from sexual desire and shut down. They also found that after the exercise, the prefrontal cortex, which is the part of the brain associated with consciousness, information processing, mental activity and responding appropriately, would experience decreased activity after orgasm. So, to fall asleep, go for a romp in the sack.
After an exercise: Doing exercise is no doubt a stressful activity but it comes with its benefits as well. Coupled with those benefits, scientists have advised that having sex after a workout is good as such persons tend to enjoy it more, given that exercise boosts libido. A study found that as much as men experience more and better sex when they do exercise, women also experience increased genital arousal - up to 169 per cent more - after 20 minutes of cycling. In addition, the release of testosterone, the sex hormone, tend to rise after an exercise, thus, sex at such a time would be more enjoyable. In the same vein, O'Reilly pointed out that when a person's adrenaline is high, the body is already in a state of arousal and the person's sexual response is often heightened. The effect is even more when the man and the woman do the exercise together, just as a study by Kristin McKinne points out that there is a major positive correlation between adrenaline and attraction. According to a medical doctor, Rotimi Adesanya, exercise is relaxing, thus a person could be in the mood to have sex because of the adrenaline and other hormones that would have been secreted during the workout.
The 14th day in a woman's cycle: According to a study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, due to changes in hormone levels, women tend to be more aroused and more likely to enjoy sex some more around the day 14 of their respective monthly cycle. Adesanya also said the day 14 is women's heat (ovulation) period, and by that time a lot of hormones are released.
He said a woman enjoys sex at that time because of the hormones.
According to findings, the increased sexual enjoyment is also because the ovulation tends to make their clitoris bigger (about 20 per cent) due to increased blood flow to the region. At this time, a woman is more likely to enjoy sex more and the man is also likely to enjoy it, due to adequate feedback from the woman and the fact that women's breasts are usually bigger at such times, which excites most men and make the sexual experience more satisfying. Some medical experts have discouraged (penetrative) sex during menstruation, while some are of the opinion that those who can't endure should use protection, like condom, to avoid infection. The abstinence at this time is even more important as the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States warned that there could be virus in the menstrual blood. Adesanya also said, "There is high risk of infection at that time because of the blood flow and the risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases are based on blood contact. The blood could even cause friction. So, there are risk factors but it doesn't stop people.
When you have public presentation: It sounds like a joke when people advise that pastors should try having sex with their wives before going to church to mount the pulpit, but in reality, experts have found that when people, like public speakers, have sex before such an event, they tend to be more calm, have lower blood pressure and reduced stress level. Adesanya said, "Sex is relaxing, after a man has reached orgasm. So, it may help the person, if the sex is not stressful and it was done with consent." A study published in the Journal of Biological Psychology found that persons who have penile-vaginal intercourse (in recent times) do have better stress response than persons who didn't have, and that blood pressure reactivity to stress is better for people who recently had intercourse than for people who did not. So, beyond the superlative excitement, sex can be medicinal.