And for that reality, we can thank the many natural upsides of pleasurable sex and orgasms. “When we have sexual activity, we’re releasing a lot of feel-good and good-for-you neurotransmitters and neurohormones, such as dopamine, internal opioids, and oxytocin, which work to make us feel alive and connected,” says sexologist and neuroscientist Nan Wise, PhD, author of Why Good Sex Matters. The same goes for masturbating, which can have similar effects, she adds.
“Daily intimate activity can improve mood, boost body image and self-esteem, lower stress, and even increase your sexual motivation and desire.” —sex therapist Shannon Chavez, PsyD
Beyond these in-the-moment feelings, though, having sex every day can deliver lasting benefits. “Daily intimate activity can improve mood, boost body image and self-esteem, lower stress, and even increase your sexual motivation and desire,” says Shannon Chavez, PsyD, sex therapist for K-Y. That is, the more sex you have, the more you may want to have sex, mostly because sexual activity can boost testosterone levels in both males and females, adds Dr. Wise—which, rather than desensitizing you to good sex (as popular myth may have you believe), can actually support a healthy sex drive and contribute to what Dr. Wise calls a balanced emotional system.
Meanwhile, the more often you engage in sex, the more opportunities you have to explore what facets of sex give you the most pleasure—whether it involves penetration, outerplay, or some combination of both. “I love the idea of expanding the notion of sex from genital things like oral sex and intercourse to a larger menu of all sorts of fun things to do with your bodies and each other,” says Dr. Wise. “Finding our bodies to be places of pleasure [however that comes about] is a very healthy thing.”
That journey of sexual exploration can also help reignite a spark, if you’re embarking on it with a partner. “Daily sex can keep a partnership interesting, loving, and caring, and increase intimacy and spiritual connection through touch,” says sexologist Gerhard Poppel, co-founder of sexual-education organization The Swann Center. To wit, as you get more comfortable communicating with a partner in a sexual context, your communication skills and elevated confidence can trickle into other arenas of your partnership, too, boosting your overall sense of connectedness.
- Gerhard Poppel, Gerhard Poppel is a clinical sexologist and co-founder of The Swann Center, an organization offering inclusive sexual education and training across diversity, inclusion, and sexual harassment.
- Nan Wise, PhD, licensed psychotherapist, cognitive neuroscientist, and certified sex therapist
- Shannon Chavez, PsyD, licensed psychologist and certified sex therapist
- Shula Melamed, MPH, relationship and well-being coach
- Valerie Poppel, PhD, Valerie Poppel, PhD (she/her), is a clinical sexologist, co-founder of sexual-education institution The Swann Center, professional dominatrix, radio host of Brown Sugar Confessions, and author of Black Females Sexual Myths, exploring the challenges and influences of the "Jezebel" myth, its...
Considerations to keep in mind if you’d like to have daily sex
Even though the benefits of sex—and daily sex, specifically—are plentiful, there’s no need to rush or force it to happen. Doing so could easily turn sex into a chore or obligation, says relationship and well-being coach Shula Melamed, MPH, and that’s essentially the antithesis to the pleasure you’re seeking in the first place. “Feeling like there’s too much routine around sex can also lead to boredom,” she says—which is, needless to say, far from the goal.
To that end, rather than obligate daily sex, it's important to first consider how you’ll take care of your needs and recognize your physical and mental limits, says Dr. Chavez: “Make sure you are honoring your body and respecting your boundaries.”
Physically, that might mean taking a day off from sex if you’re feeling sore from overstimulation, or incorporating additional lubricants or sex aids into your sessions, says Dr. Chavez. And while it's certainly possible that you might improve your muscle strength over time by tackling advanced sex positions on the regular, it’s also possible to strain or pull a muscle if you’re ramping up the frequency. (To get ahead of that, practice some post-coital stretching.)
From an emotional standpoint, recognizing your limits might also mean dropping any preconceived notions from pop culture or the media about what sex can or should look like, and coming to that definition via some positive play of your own. “Set aside a daily practice of touch,” says sexologist Valerie Poppel, PhD, co-founder of The Swann Center. “Spiritual and emotional intimacy is the foreplay to sexual intercourse, after all.”
In that realm, Gerhard Poppel recommends embracing some creativity: “Experiment, practice, fantasize, and mix it up using toys, massages or lubes; watching porn; or incorporating group play.” The idea is to have fun with it while you figure out what kind of sex—and what frequency of sex—really works for you.
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