The Blue Zones refers to the regions where people often live up to triple digits relatively free of diseases. That’s why we pay attention to the food they eat, the wine they drink, and a certain activity that keeps them, uh, lively. Yes, there seems to be a link between sex and longevity of life.
In the Blue Zones region of Ikaria, Greece, for example, more than 80 percent of people between ages 65 and 100 are still having sex. Eighty percent! That’s twice as much as one 2018 study that suggested only about 40 percent of seniors aged 65 to 80 are getting busy. But what is it about sex that fuels a well-balanced (and well-lived) time on Earth?
Well, for Blue Zoners specifically, good health seems to inform a longer sex life which in turn informs a longer life in general; it’s a very uplifting loop. For example, one of the secrets of these long-lasting folk is that they maintain a diet that’s 95 to 100 percent plant-based, which is obviously a solid lifestyle switch, but it’s thought that it could make sex better, too. There’s even research pointing out that men who eat less red meat and lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains have less erectile dysfunction. Neat.
Likewise, research has previously revealed the benefits of sex when it comes to the health of people past middle-age. A 2016 study on partnered sex and cardiovascular risk revealed a connection between lowered mortality rate and frequency of orgasm in women. And take this with the tiniest grain of salt, but a small study of college students noted that those who had sex two times a week had an overall higher immunity than those who were “socializing” far less.
Although a lot of research leans towards heterosexual sexual intercourse, your climax in general can be a boon for your longevity. After all, the benefits of orgasms include lowered stress due to feel-good oxytocin release, a quicker and deeper night’s sleep, and yes, good heart health. Seeking your pleasure by any means is probably a boon to your sexuality and lifespan.
Still, it’s especially sweet to consider this life hack (is that what this is?) if you’re looking to spend your golden years with a special someone. Having a strong, close and happy union with someone can lead to a longer life, and a healthy sex life is a solid means to tighten that bond.
“When you have sex, you release a chemical called oxytocin, which has some very powerful effects,” says sexologist Sadie Allison, PhD. “It’s actually has been scientifically proven to make you feel closer to your mate. It also has been shown to dissuade you from interacting with other mates, encouraging exclusivity.”
Dr. Allison points out that research shows we actually become more emotionally vulnerable, allowing you to share and converse in a way that you wouldn’t be able to do otherwise and enhancing intimacy between partners. More sex means more pillow talk, which furthers person-to-person bonding.
And while long passages of time with a person might diminish arousal, there are plenty of ways to diversify your sexual experience so you and your partner can keep on going (and going and going). So if you’re extremely pro-orgasms, you want a beautifully long life, and you want to get there with your significant other, keep sex as a regular part of your wellness routine.
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