A good orgasm makes you vibrate from the top of your head to the tips of your toes and every little cell in between. There has been a lot of debate on the physiological purpose of orgasms. Is it so that the spasms help the sperm find the egg? Is it to bond a woman to her partner after he helps her find pleasure? Truthfully, who cares as long as it feels good? And not only does it feel good physically, but it's doing something good for your mental health. Yup, there are mental health benefits of having orgasms that will make you wonder why you're not indulging yourself more often.
The mental health benefits of orgasms are plentiful and can be as satisfying as the physical benefits, from improving your self-esteem to lowering anxiety. Dr. Michael Aaron, a licensed psychotherapist, sexologist and certified sex therapist, tells Romper that orgasms are a potent form of stress relief, bringing calm and relaxation. Much of this is due to the release of oxytocin, a hormone that is sometimes referred to as "the love hormone" for the feeling of well-being and bonding that it brings.
Orgasms can be achieved while having sex with your partner, but don't rule out taking care of yourself. Whether you're single, married and madly in love, or just don't see your partner much, it's not a bad idea to take matters into your own hands. Literally. Or get a vibrator to help you out. Fun fact: Vibrators were invented by doctors in the 19th century who were seeing so many women who had what they called "hysteria" (from the Greek for "uterus"), which included anxiety, nervousness, sleeplessness, erotic fantasies, pain in their lower abdomen and wetness between their legs. As Psychology Today described it, the doctors were unsure how to treat these women with hysteria, but realized that putting some vegetable oil on their hands and rubbing them on their clitoris seemed to give the women some relief. Umm, what? This was exhausting for the midwives and doctors, so they figured out how to create a little hand held machine that could massage their patients for them. Hence, the invention of the vibrator and the improvement in the mental health of many female patients.
Whether you climax with your partner, yourself, or with the help of an electric device, there are many ways you will mentally benefit from the Big O.
1. Orgasms Calm Your Mind & Help You Sleep
Do you find yourself drifting off right after sex? It could be all the wonderful hormones and chemicals your body releases after orgasm. Oxytocin reduces cortisol levels, calming your mind so you can sleep better, according to Mind Body Green. Orgasms also release vasopressin, which accompanies the release of your neuroprotective hormone melatonin. In addition, your body and brain release chemicals like serotonin and dopamine during an orgasm. These chemicals promote healthy REM sleep, and people who are well-rested have much better mental health outlooks.
2. You Feel More Connected To Others
Dr. Aaron says that the oxytocin that is released after orgasm serves as a bonding chemical and enhances the feeling of connection to others.
3. You'll Feel Younger
A British neuropsychologist named David Weeks believes that regular orgasms can actually make you look and feel some 10 years younger, and told Consumer Health Digest, that this is all thanks to the stress-reducing hormones released through orgasm. He also said that couples who had frequent sex worked harder to stay in shape for each other, which assisted their physical health.
Mind Body Green touted the value of the hormone dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) which, according to a 2014 British study, "improves muscle strength, bone density, body fat, sexual satisfaction, and overall well-being." Unfortunately, the production of DHEA in your body starts to decline as you leave your 20's, but there's great news — orgasms help increase DHEA levels.
4. You're More Focused
Some people report enhanced mental focus after orgasm, making them feel less distracted and irritable, says Dr. Aaron.
5. You Feel Happy
All of the physical benefits you get from going to the gym that transfer over to your mental well-being are also present when you have sex and orgasm, Limor Blockman, a sex and marriage counselor told HER. Sex itself increases your heart rate and uses your muscles in the same way that exercise does. In addition, your mental health is affected in a good way when you work out — all those endorphins are released, and they trigger feelings of positivity, according to WebMD.
6. Your Self-Esteem Increases
In some cases, even your self-esteem can improve after having successful sex and achieving orgasm.
“Self-esteem can be easily boosted by the ability to surrender to pleasure and ... brag about it,” Blockman said. “Not necessarily to an outsider, but to ourselves; the fact that we allow ourselves to be exposed and enjoy it is a definite, well-proven self-esteem enhancer.”
7. Orgasms Reduce Anxiety
After sex, things are way more relaxed and anxiety is much lower. A study at Ohio State University in 2014 showed that a rat injected with oxytocin can remain calm even when surrounding rats are anxious.
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