Long term sexual relationships can improve mood

Have you ever noticed how your mood changes after sex? Whether guy or gal, there is a markedly altered chemical shift that occurs post-O regardless of how you felt before; and its effects can be pretty significant. You and your partner may even feel like you’re high on something other than each other — and you are; it’s called Dopamine.

You’re feeling good because the act itself feels good (and you’re the world’s best lover), but you also feel great because sex releases a cocktail of chemicals, endorphins and hormones that can dramatically boost mood. Oxytocin is released when we touch other people. Its effects create bonds, whether between mother and baby, lovers or friends (thus the bro hug), and regular release of oxytocin can make you feel happier.

Like eating chocolate or winning an all-expense-paid trip to Bali, sex can cause an instantaneous mood lift, and it can also sustain a longer, healthier life. A study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior showed that women in long-term sexual relationships were less likely to suffer from depression than sexually inactive women. Couples who regularly have mutually satisfying intercourse tend to be prone to more exercise, healthier weight and are generally happier people than those who have less frequent sexual activity.

And here’s something interesting: Men who do not have regular sex can find it more difficult to do so or lose their ability altogether compared to men who do it regularly, leading to lower testosterone levels and depression.

Need help getting in the mood for love? Skip the alcohol and go for the vitamin C, which has been linked to improving interest in sex (among a million other health benefits). And now that we’re in the final countdown to holiday mayhem, you may want to insure an impenetrable good mood with a quickie before your in-laws arrive for Christmas dinner. You’re welcome.

You’ve just conquered sex article number 2 of our series. If you missed last week’s, check out Sexual Healing for Cold & Flu Prevention here

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Photo: CourtneyCarmody.com