Health Benefits of Sex Include Heart Disease Prevention

The health benefits of sex are clear… A recent study in the American Journal of Cardiology finds men who said they had sex once a month (or less) had a higher risk of cardiovascular disease than men who had sex two times a week (or more).

While there has been work in the past to look at the link between erectile dysfunction (ED) and heart disease, this most recent study is the first to investigate the frequency of sex as it might relate to heart health.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States.

For this latest work, researcher Susan A. Hall, Ph.D. of the New England Research Institutes and her colleagues analyzed men who took part in the population based Massachusetts Male Aging Study.

This study looked at erectile dysfunction plus other sexual function variables – Things like libido, for example. The work included 1,165 men (in their 50’s on average) who had no history of heart disease at the beginning of the study, though 213 did have ED at the start of the research.

The participants were followed, on average, for 16 years.

The team found that there was a higher risk of cardiovascular disease as the frequency of sexual activity decreased. When compared to subjects who had sex at least 2 to 3 times a week, men with sexual activity of once a month (or less) had a 45% higher risk of heart disease during the study.

These findings do account for things like age and ED status.

“Our results suggest that a low frequency of sexual activity predicts [cardiovascular disease] independently of [erectile dysfunction] and that screening for sexual activity might be clinically useful,” the researchers write.

As part of the study, the team also investigated the role of sexual desire and the subjects’ capacity for sex as other possible factors in heart disease risk. Hall explains to online medical resource WebMD, “Men who are sexually active likely have libido and the capacity for physical activity. So the ability to have sex might be a marker for overall health.”

Of course a man who’s having regular sex is more likely to be in a supportive, intimate relationship with a regular partner, and experts do agree that this could also be responsible for an improvement in health.

The idea behind the study is that your doctor could get information about your cardiovascular condition, and risk for disease, just by asking some personal questions about your sex life, interest in sex and how active you are on a regular basis.

Of course talking about sex with a doctor or healthcare professional who seems rushed and preoccupied might not be the easiest thing you’ve ever done, but you can’t let this stop you.

Instead, plan what you’ll say…if you have a question, try to keep it to one or two sentences. You might also do some research online (using reputable sites as sources, of course) on your own to get you familiar with the basics.

Most important of all, remember that a doctor is a person, and while he (or she) might be uncomfortable with the topic, this does NOT mean you can’t raise it and get help with your problems.

In fact, expect a bit of awkwardness, feeling embarrassed when you start out, and you’ll be better prepared to face it in the moment, rather than back down and not get the answer you need.

The thing for men, and the women who love them, to take away from this research is that sexual health may have a lot more to do with heart disease prevention than medical science has realized.

Sex and Drugs: Effects of Addiction on Sexuality

Sex and drugs always seems like a hot topic in the media and in nearly all social circles, but the reality of the situation is that sex and drugs can pose serious, lifelong consequences to those who engage in such behaviors simultaneously. There are always inherent risks associated with drug abuse, and unfortunately there are also serious risks involved with sex. This is true of each behavior independently, and it is a significantly exacerbated truth when the two are combined.

Some people might claim that sex and drugs “feel good” together, and for some this might be temporarily true. However, the fact of the matter is that this suggestion involves using drugs – a significant moral, health and legal dilemma in the United States. Additionally, most drugs of abuse are highly addictive, posing a serious problem for the short term and long term sexual health of the addict.

Ultimately, when drug abuse leads to addiction and sex is involved, the already inherent risks of both actions are greatly amplified, and could have lifelong consequences for those who engage in these behaviors. This can include unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases, rape and sexual assault, prostitution and other violent crimes. If you’re having sex and you have a drug problem, then you’re at serious risk and should take immediate action to get help now. Sexuality is far too important of a human function to risk damaging permanently.

Libido – the Primary Impact of Sex and Drugs

Think using drugs will boost your libido? Think again.

One of the most common misconceptions about sex and drugs is that a person’s libido can be increased by abusing various substances. While this might be true of certain supplements and pharmaceutical drugs, it is not at all true of street drugs – including ecstasy. (Ecstasy deserves special mention because many people see it as a sex-enhancing drug, but these effects generally wear off quite quickly and leave the user uninterested in sex or incapable of performing or achieving orgasm.) There are three primary reasons that drugs negatively affect a person’s libido:

1.) Emotional Distress and other Substance Abuse Related Stress

When occasional drug use or drinking leads to addiction, sex is almost always affected. People with drug or drinking problems often struggle with emotional disorders such as depression or bipolar. While drug use appears to allow a way to self-medicate, it actually only worsens pre-existing conditions. Additionally, because drug abuse has moral, professional and legal taboos associated with it, there is a great deal of stress attached with using drugs.

Because stress decreases the average person’s libido, it’s perfectly logical to argue that drug and alcohol abuse will ultimately have a negative effect on human sexuality.

2.) Drug Seeking and Using is Exhausting, Time Consuming Behavior

Most people who are addicted to drugs or alcohol spend a significant portion of their time – perhaps all their time – finding drugs, actively using, hiding their drug use, and generating income (often illegally) in order to support their habit. All of this is extremely time consuming, and unless the drug user’s partner is also using drugs, most of these behaviors will necessarily need to occur away from any non-using partner. And because drug use itself is so exhausting and often leads to “passing out,” the opportunity and desire for sex may be significantly decreased.

3.) Physical Effects of Drugs can Cause Sexual Problems

Some drugs cause physical problems that may make it difficult or impossible to have sex. This can be something as benign as being unable to achieve erection as a result of alcohol consumption, to a complete lack of physical sensation, to other serious problems like pulmonary distress associated with use of opiates, or paranoia/fear associated with marijuana use. Severe issues like these can make it impossible to function normally from a sexual standpoint.

Sex and Drugs Lead to High Risk Sexual Behavior

Addiction and alcoholism are often breeding grounds for dangerous sexual behaviors

Just attend any AA or NA meeting, and you’ll hear countless horror stories related to sex and drugs. Because the drive for sex is nearly as powerful in a non-addicted person as the drive for drugs in some drug abusers, the two behaviors can often mix with damaging consequences including:

*Unwanted Pregnancies

Lowered inhibitions as a result of drug or alcohol abuse often coincide with reckless sexual decision making, such as the choice to not use a condom or other contraceptive. And when women who are addicted to drugs get pregnant, the person who suffers the most is often the unborn child. This is evidenced by recent reports that babies born addicted to drugs have skyrocketed in the United States in the last several years. This is because many women who are addicts do not seek out prenatal care and instead continue using drugs throughout their medically-unassisted pregnancy. Ultimately, women in this situation who successfully carry their babies to term (they often don’t) put their child at risk of being born addicted.

In many cases, babies born addicted to drugs are taken from their mother and placed in state care. Mothers can face criminal charges that may result in years behind bars.

*Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Sexually transmitted diseases spread rapidly through addict and drug abuser communities. Lowered inhibitions, desperation, unsanitary conditions and more can lead to an environment where drug users are significantly more prone to contract an STD than people who do not use drugs and have sex. And because many STDs are incurable, even one occasion of mixing sex and drugs or sex and alcohol can lead to a lifetime of medical complications.

*Prostitution

Drug addiction is expensive. Many addicts spiral down into a hole created when they exhaust their savings, sell their belongings and then begin stealing from others in order to support their habit. But for some people, these actions either aren’t an option, or there’s nobody left in their lives to steal from. This makes it all too easy to turn to prostitution in order to continue to purchase and use drugs.

Prostitution also comes with a naturally increased rate of transmission of STD, unwanted pregnancies and sexual and drug related crimes.

Sex, Drugs and Violence

It happens. A lot.

When people mix sex and drugs or sex and alcohol, things often go terribly wrong. While this could be any of the things discussed earlier, it could also be any number of violent sexual acts or behaviors. This is especially true for addicts who engage in promiscuity or prostitution in order to feed their drug addictions.

People who use drugs are much more susceptible to rape and sexual assault. Because drugs are involved, it’s easy to become incapacitated and taken advantage of. And as a result of the illegal nature of drugs, many victims are too scared to report the crime because they fear repercussions themselves. Additionally, there is an unfortunate tendency by law enforcement and others to discount or dismiss reports of sexual crimes against drug addicts or alcoholics.

In a large number of cases the sexual damage from a rape or other sexually-related assault can present complications for years – or even permanently. This is important for current drug abusers to consider, because these problems are likely to still be present long after they’ve stopped using drugs and achieved sobriety.

Sexual assault and sexual violence against drug users isn’t gender specific – both men and women become promiscuous, practice prostitution and possibly become the victims of sexual attacks. If drugs are involved, the dangers are always much more significant.

Long Term Consequences of Sex and Drugs

If you engage in these behaviors, you could affect your sexual health for life

When it comes to sex and drugs, the risks simply do not justify what vague benefits are sold to people in order to continue this type of lifestyle. In effect, a person could ruin their sexual health permanently – even if they only used drugs for a short time. The following are the four most prominent long term consequences of sex and drug abuse:

1.) Disease

Sexually transmitted diseases like Herpes, Hepatitis and AIDS cannot be cured. Addicts who contract these diseases will be forced to cope with them for the rest of their lives. This is a serious consideration for people who are addicted now and keep saying that “one day” they’ll quit. That one day could be one day too late.

2.) Injury

Sexual assault and other sexual violence can result in permanent injuries that can impact a person’s sexuality.

3.) Sexual Disconnection

Years of drug abuse and sex may desensitize a person to the point that sex while sober isn’t appealing anymore. Additionally, sexual trauma or other bad experiences during active drug use periods may cause severe emotional damage that may make it hard for a person to become close to another person in a healthy sexual manner.

4.) Loss of an Important Relationship

Promiscuity, prostitution and infidelity during active drug use can lead to the loss of an important romantic and sexual relationship that you might not be able to repair once you’ve become sober. Additionally, drug use alone is often enough to end a relationship, so if you have someone that you care about now and you’re still using drugs, perhaps it’s time to stop, before you lose them…

Just Sex Vs. True Love

Opinions vary greatly on the topic of the difference between true love versus just sex relationships. How do you know when the physical sensations and desires you are feeling are the result of being in love with someone and not just the result of being attracted to them sexually? Which is better – just sex relationships for the sake of sex or true love that leads to a sexual encounter?

Is It Just Lust or Is It Just Pleasure?

The difference between lust and pleasure is so thin that it is nearly non-existent. Lust refers to the existence of a strong sexual desire, craving, or longing. Its presence in the sexual relationship can lead to passionate love making. Lust encompasses every aspect of the sexual experience starting with the desire to have sex with a specific person, even if this individual is someone you have just met, and ending with the denouement or final climax.

When you have sex for pleasure, it is usually just a means to an end – having sex to achieve an orgasm. It is more likely to occur as a random encounter with no particular partner in mind.

Pros and Cons of Just Sex Relationships

The basic premise of just having sex rather than being in a committed relationship based on love is the ability to avoid all emotional entanglement. Casual sex, particularly as experienced in a series of one night stands, avoids the need to form an emotional attachment, pretend to lust your partner, feel guilty over not satisfying the sexual needs of your temporary lover, or practice a monogamous relationship. Plus, anyone who is having casual sex rather than participating in a relationship based on true love can avoid having to answer to someone else, call home when running late, or buy gifts for birthdays or anniversaries. This is a “winning” situation for anyone who simply isn’t ready to settle down with one individual.

Casual sex, as experienced in the friends-with-benefits scenario is a bit trickier since some type of emotional bond clearly exists. Keeping the relationship strictly on a friendship level is only possible when neither participant begins to fall in love with the other half of the equation. This kind of it’s-just-sex relationship can blow up on a person unexpectedly, especially if a pregnancy occurs. It can lead to the dissolution of the friendship, leaving you feeling lonelier than ever.

When an individual dabbles in casual sex only, avoiding true love at every turn, it really is a costly experience when it goes on for too long. If you never form an emotional commitment, then you can wind up living the rest of your days out alone. You never have anyone to invite as a guest to important functions, and you might find your desirability as a lover begins to fade as your hair thins, skin wrinkles, and tummy sags. This scenario might have you searching for sex in all the wrong places, simply because the “right” places are no longer suitable for a person of your age or stature.

Pros and Cons of a Relationship Based on True Love

True love is often defined as the feelings held between two people who put the partner’s well being first and foremost. It refers to the ability to love someone no matter what they say or do. True love is everything good and nothing bad. A relationship based on true love includes a healthy dose of patience, kindness, loyalty, caring, and compromise, distinguishing it from lust, a feeling which disappears until the next time that you become sexually aroused by your partner. True love involves a lasting bond that continues to grow, whereas lust dissipates the moment that sexual climax is fully reached.