The new normal for the majority of the world has included adjusting to life during COVID-19. Social distancing, coupled with social isolation, has made us become closer to our partners than ever. Along with other methods of self-care, like finding a hobby you enjoy, taking a warm bath, or getting exercise, sex is important for your mental health and is important as a way of connecting with your partner (or yourself, if you like playing solo).
Different people have sex for a variety of reasons, and two of those reasons are to improve and boost your mental health. With that in mind, here are just a few of the ways that sex benefits your mental health, and ways it will help benefit your self-care during the time you are tucked away from the goings-on of the world.
Strengthens Your Well-Being
Even though society as a whole is apart and separate (with only the internet to connect us and keep us informed), the connection between you and your partner at home can flourish. Interactions of any kind can boost your overall mental health and well-being, and intimate interactions with your partner can make you happy and healthy. In turn, this enhances your emotional connection with them on a deeper level and opens up that vulnerable part of you that you maybe have been afraid to share with someone else.
Helps with Communication
A surprising aspect of sex is that it helps you strengthen communication with your partner and when your communication is stronger, you won’t be afraid to talk about your wants and needs. For instance, if you want to try a new position or add some sex toys to your routine, having an open and honest conversation with your partner helps make your bond stronger and helps enhance passion and desire in the bedroom. You can even do fun little activities with your partner to help you lighten the mood!
There are several types of intimacy, and some of the main types of intimacy expressed during sex are emotional intimacy and physical intimacy. Emotional intimacy is the feeling of closeness and caring you feel with a person, and physical intimacy is sensual touch or closeness between people. You can foster emotional and physical intimacy with your partner with sex and promote trust and empathy. In turn, your stress levels will lower!
Improves Your Body Image and Self Esteem
Whether you choose to explore sexual delights with your partner or go solo, sex helps to improve the way you view your body and helps to improve your self-esteem. Flying solo and exploring new and unique experiences with your partner allows you to understand your own body and what you like, along with increasing orgasms and sexual satisfaction.
Stress can have serious effects on both your physical and your mental health and can cause problems like mild headaches and difficulty sleeping. Sharing intimate experiences with your partner on a physical and emotional level releases all sorts of feel-good chemicals that help you fight stress, help you feel more relaxed, and put you in a bonding and cuddling mood. Here are just a few of the chemicals released that help aid in strong mental health:
- Oxytocin: Triggers feelings of compassion, also affectionately known as the cuddle hormone
- Dopamine: Increases motivation and reward-based behavior, which is why it feels good to cuddle after sex
- Endorphins: Natural pain and stress reliever and helps to improve your mood
Helps You Sleep
Catching z’s are more important than ever now, not only for your physical health but also for your mental health. The release of oxytocin (as mentioned above) and prolactin (which leads to general relaxation) during intimate times will help calm you and help you to get a good night’s sleep. And a good night’s sleep can also help you raise your libido!
So, the question we will leave you with is this: Is there a magic number of times you should have sex with your partner during this time of social isolation? There are studies that show couples who have sex once a week have a better and closer relationship than couples who have sex less than once a week. But there is truly no magic number, and it comes down to what works the best for you and your partner. Even cuddling with your partner will greatly benefit your mental health.