ColumnYou meditate, practice yoga, eat organic quinoa, sip green juice and even shop sustainably. But there’s one more thing that you can (and you should, you really should) do regularly, one that’s more fun than all of the above: have an orgasm. When is the last time you had one?
Recent studies show that an orgasm a day can truly keep the doctor away. From pain relief to cardiac protection, the almighty orgasm is your new vitamin C – let’s call it vitamin O.
Here are just a few of the benefits of regular orgasms:
- Increases pelvic floor strength. (I’ll take that over a Pilates mat class, thank you very much.)
- Prevents cervical infections and helps relieve urinary tract infections.
- Helps combat insomnia by releasing dopamine and oxytocin.
- Increases cardiovascular health.
- Cure for menstrual pain, again, thanks to oxytocin.
- Burns up to 100 calories.
- The ultimate stress-reliever.
Here’s what Dr. Pooja Lakshmin, a Stanford-trained neuroscientist, says about the power of orgasm:
“Orgasm is a naturally powerful physiological process. In orgasm, essentially all systems of the brain are highly activated, including the insula, amygdala, and somatosensory cortex. The limbic system, a full one-third of the brain that feels visceral sensation seems to facilitate human connection – reading faces, interpreting tone of voice, picking up non-verbal cues – it also becomes activated… As the entire nervous system, from brain to peripheral nerves becomes activated, the parasympathetic and sympathetic divisions of the nervous system are simultaneously activated. Through orgasm, you can feel “gut responses” at a deep, physiological level.”
But, you’re saying to yourself, I haven’t been able to have an orgasm during sex with my new (or old) partner. Or, wait a second – I’m totally single right now. Yes, it’s true that having an orgasm during vaginal penetration or other forms of partnered sex isn’t possible for all women (we’ll work on this perfectly normal, common issue in a future column). Your relationship status doesn’t mean you can’t have regular orgasms, dear. You have hands, don’t you? You may even have a sex toy in your night table drawer (vibrators, incidentally, will also be covered soon in this space). Everyone jumps to the conclusion that sex requires someone else in the room, but all a good session requires is a stimulating tool and your own imagination. Solo sex is still sex, and it can be great sex, according to the legendary Betty Dodson, author of Sex For One: The Joy of Self Loving.
Yet knowing that orgasms are the ticket to good health shouldn’t be a source of stress (to be checked off next to “buy goji berries” on your to-do list). They’re more like a nice hot bath, a glass of Pinot, or a handful of dark, luscious chocolate. All of these health-boosting activities are the sort of thing you look forward to all day, especially when busy with other, much less lovely tasks. That said, if having an orgasm every single day feels like too much to start, why not aim for one a week?
We’ve just scratched the surface of physiological benefits of orgasm here. But just like exercise, even if you have to make yourself do it at first, masturbating regularly can improve your self-worth over time. Much of sex, and masturbation in particular, carries a patina a shame, even if it’s deeply buried in your subconscious. So for now, if you must, tell yourself you need to have an orgasm, just because it’s easier than Pilates. But down the line, your overall sexual health, in partnered sex, is bound to improve. Claim your pleasure, and join the Sexual Revolution 2.0 – because it’s happening whether or not you choose to participate.
Whether or not you’re currently involved, and hell – if your lover is sleeping next to you, but you didn’t receive an orgasm from him or her tonight – go get your own, girl. It’s in your own hands.
Speaking of the power of orgasm, check this out:
THE ORGASM EXPERIENCE: ONETASTE PRESENTS LARGEST CONFERENCE ON FEMALE ORGASM: AUGUST 2013 IN SAN FRANCISCO
On August 9th,10th, and 11th one-thousand orgasm enthusiasts from all over the world will come together at the Regency Center in San Francisco to learn about, discuss, and discover the medical benefits of female orgasm. In particular, presenting medical doctors, authors, and conference participants will focus on a fifteen minute ‘practice’ that is rapidly gaining popularity in the US and abroad named ‘Orgasmic Meditation’ or ‘OM.’ Orgasmic Meditation (OM) has been featured in media outlets such as Cosmopolitan, the New York Times, Playboy and South By South West. http://thetimefororgasm.us/
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Image: lotus carroll