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19 Healthy Reasons To Choose Sex With A Partner (Or Self)

Written by: Dr. Stephanie Bathurst, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 
Executive Contributor Dr. Stephanie Bathurst

Human bodies are built for sexual connection. There are so many healthy and fulfilling reasons to engage in sex, providing a variety of physical, mental, and relational benefits to each participant. Sexual motivation is more multi-dimensional for each individual than the binary presence or absence of sexual desire.

Happy couple at the beach

When teaching sexual health and wellness as a Board-Certified Clinical Sexologist and Relationship Therapist, I find a common misconception in the reasoning for sex is the need for a precursor of physiological arousal. That is, there is an assumption by some partners that if their bodies do not yet feel aroused, they have no valid interest or reason to engage in sexual play. As we will overview below, some of the healthy reasons for sex actually involve a preceding desire or bodily response, while other reasons to initiate sexual play may not be initiated by any physical cue of interest.


Let’s dive in


1. Have fun and be playful with your partner(s)


2. Exercise or increase physical stamina with sexual fitness


3. Enhance spiritual connection and enlightenment with self or others


4. Deepen the emotional bond with your partner(s) through the release of Oxytocin during touch and orgasm


5. Naturally maintain or improve sex hormone production to ward off aging

Studies show that regular sexual activity prolongs the onset of menopause and andropause and naturally increases testosterone production.


Our bodies are built to respond to the environment that we are accustomed to. If our body frequently uses reproductive processes, it communicates the need to continue producing sex hormones. If we experience extended periods of absence from sexual touch, our body communicates the discontinuation of sex hormone production to redirect energy usage to other necessary processes in the body, leading to an earlier onset of menopause or andropause. In layperson terms, ‘use it or lose it’.


6. Pain alleviation through endorphin release


Studies show that sex and orgasm can be as effective as prescription migraine medication in relieving pain associated with migraines.


Looking for an all-natural (and fun) way to relieve temporary physical pain in the body is a great reason to engage in sex. The endorphins released are said to be equivalent to the effects of morphine in the body as it pertains to pain management.


7. Fulfill your creative intimacy needs by exploring new types of movement, sensation, music, energy expression, positioning, etc.


8. Compersion: emotional joy in seeing a partner satiated. Desire to help yourself or your partner feel pleasure.


9. Mood-boosting and anti-depressant properties of orgasm through the abundant release of serotonin


10. Conception of children


11. Reduce stress-induced inflammation in the body


12. Boosting your immune system

Studies Show: Saliva tests show significantly higher antibodies in those who engage in sex twice a week than those who do not. Participants had more lymphocytes in their system 45 minutes after reaching orgasm.

Frequent sexual engagement is also scientifically linked with higher increases in immunoglobulin levels in the body, which allows you to fight off disease or sickness more easily.


What better than a completely free and science-backed approach to bolstering your immune system in preparation for the upcoming cold season or travel dates? Whether through partner-based sex or self-pleasure, both dopamine and oxytocin are released during orgasm. A flood of these two hormones at climax helps to reduce the level of cortisol in the body. Cortisol is a neuroprotective chemical that creates inflammation to keep us safe, although too much can be harmful. Sex-released hormones help balance the amount of cortisol in the body to a healthy level, allowing its immune system to do its job.


13. Work with a partner to overcome/adapt to sexual dysfunction (under the direction of a medical doctor, physical therapist, sexologist, or occupational therapist).


14. Releasing sexual energetic buildup that, when unmanaged, can compound to manifest as agitation, brain fog, pelvic pressure or discomfort, emotional repression, relational disconnection


15. Work with a partner to adapt to a physical disability (under the direction of a medical doctor, physical therapist, psychotherapist, or occupational therapist).


16. To initiate a more restful sleep

Studies Show: Sex releases neurochemicals like oxytocin and prolactin which can induce pleasant and relaxing feelings in the body. Sex also reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which can disrupt a person’s sleep-wake cycles with too high levels in the body.


17. Deepen your mind-body connection by practicing “sexual dance” and improving proprioception.


18. Expression of spontaneity to feel a rush of excitement that combats the monotony of the day-to-day


19. Tap into an emotional release through your sacral chakra.

Understanding arousal


Personal choice and consent are needed by each partner before all play moments. The interest in these play moments may not actually be activated by bodily urges. Even without your body communicating desire first, initiating play can still be a healthy and consensual expression of sexuality.


Rosemary Basson’s multi-decade research into sexual arousal has confirmed that, particularly for women, sexual interest is a non-linear activation process. This non-linear evolution of arousal can onset from external motivation, sexual stimuli, a non-sexual partner connection, or a general willingness to be receptive to the initial stages of touch.


If we opt to engage in sex but our body is not yet experiencing arousal responses, we can encourage it through sensory stimulation on our skin. This stimulatory effect will initiate biochemical and circulatory responses to create physiological arousal in the body which informs our body that we are interested. While we relearn the ways of identifying and expressing sexual interest and motivation, it is incredibly important to first consider our reasoning for choosing sex.


Be aware


Self-awareness of the reason for desire enables effective communication of expectations and needs from each sexual experience and enhances the probability of finding a synchronous flow state during play. Without awareness of expectations and communication, it’s possible for a single sexual experience to be messily comprised of multiple motivations for sex among partners. Of the 19 aforementioned reasons for sex, the expression, duration, or styles of touch may widely differ, which is why it’s important to proactively communicate your sexual motivations with a partner(s).


Discover


In addition to 1-1 client sessions, Dr. Bathurst offers resentment repair online Relationship Programs and all-inclusive Hawaiian Couples Retreats.


What energy type do YOU exchange in romantic relationships? Take your free quiz or share MyFlowTypes.com with your friends for some fun!


A note of thanks to line editor Kellie Supplee


Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!

Dr. Stephanie Bathurst Brainz Magazine
 

Dr. Stephanie Bathurst, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Dr. Stephanie Bathurst is an expert Clinical Sexologist, Relationship Therapist, and Holistic Healer who applies evidence-based techniques that blend holistic and traditional therapies. As a provider, she aims to energize relationships, unblock barriers in the 8 forms of intimacy, and treat the whole system for clients to see long-lasting effects. Acknowledging the heaviness in our world, Dr. Bathurst strives to lead unhappy partners toward better sex, effective communication, and release of resentment so that together we can create a more loving, more stable connection. With her primary office in Oahu, HI, Dr. Bathurst offers coaching to clients across the globe, couples retreats, and hybrid relationship programs for immersive healing. Dr. Bathurst is the CEO of Bathurst Family Therapy, LLC., and has won numerous awards of excellence in her fields. Her integration of degrees in counseling and sexology combined with certifications as an Integrative Medicine Specialist for Mental Health and Pelvic Floor PFilates instructor makes Dr. Bathurst a truly unparalleled provider.

 

References:

  • Basson R. (2005). Women's sexual dysfunction: revised and expanded definitions. CMAJ : Canadian Medical Association journal = journal de l'Association medicale canadienne, 172(10), 1327–1333. https://doi.org/10.1503/cmaj.1020174

  • Horstman, A. M., Dillon, E. L., Urban, R. J., & Sheffield-Moore, M. (2012, November). The role of androgens and estrogens on healthy aging and longevity. The journals of gerontology. Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3636678/

  • MediLexicon International. (n.d.). Does sex relieve or trigger migraines?. Medical News Today. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/sex-and-migraines#summary

  • Ramadhan, M. A., & Hashim, H. T. (2021, September). The effects of sexual frequency and immune boosting mineral intake on immune status in COVID-19 susceptible individuals. Fertility and Sterility. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8446874/

  • Charnetski, Carl & Brennan, Francis. (2004). Sexual frequency and immunoglobulin A (IgA). Psychological reports. 94. 839-44. 10.2466/pr0.94.3.839-844.

  • Suni, E., & Singh, A. (2023, February 8). The relationship between sex and sleep. Sleep Foundation. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/physical-health/sex- sleep#:~:text=Sexual%20activity%20can%20often%20contribute,which%20is%20associated%20with%20stress

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