Turns out bad sex can actually affect your physical and mental health

Bad sex is not just a big mood killer—it can have some big affects to your overall health

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(Image credit: Getty Images / Tara Moore)

Sex is really important: it can be a form of expression, a stress release, or a way to really connect with your partner. We all want that after-sex glow, to feel satisfied, and for someone to get our legs shaking—but what happens if the sex is bad?

Obviously, it can take some time to click with someone, and learn each other's likes and rhythms, but sometimes the chemistry simply is not right, and there’s no tip, trick, or secret to having better sex.

Dr. Blair, Founder and clinical director of The Clinic and co-founder of app Lover explains how bad sex can actually affect so much more than your enjoyment, it can impact both your physical and mental health.

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(Image credit: Getty Images / Cavan Images)

Dr. Blair says: “It affects our confidence, and our ability to connect with ourselves and our partner. Prioritizing your sex life and your sexual pleasure may very well help you move through the world happier, healthier, and more satisfied in your relationship.”  

Blair has outlined six key ways that bad sex spells bad news for our health and happiness.

Sex and illness

An orgasm a day keeps the doctor away. Orgasms are amazing, not only do they feel incredible they also boost your immune system—yes really! 

In a study from Psychologist Reports, it was found that having one or two orgasms a week, can boost your resistance to infection but up to 30%.

Dr. Blair says: “Studies have shown that sexual arousal and orgasms activate parts of the innate immune system.”

So if you’re having sex and not reaching orgasm, or not feeling very aroused, your body’s immune system is not being activated, and you’re not benefiting from it.

More sex, better sleep

Sleep problems have been very prevalent thanks to the Pandemic, we’ve all been searching for the ultimate sleep hacks—but the answer according to Dr. Blair, is very simple.

Sex can aid your sleep. Sex releases a hormone called prolactin, which can help facilitate a good night’s sleep, both in sex with your partner and during masturbation. So if your partner is not getting you there, or you’re single, you can still get the benefits of better sleep through sex—So treat yourself to the best hands-free vibrators asap.

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(Image credit: Getty Images / Westend61)

 Sex for socialising 

This one may surprise you, Dr. Blair suggests that sex can actually boost your sociability. Having sex, cuddling, hugging, and kissing releases Oxytocin, known fondly as the ‘cuddle drug.’ This happy hormone is linked to warm feelings and lower anxiety levels. 

Oxytocin can lead to stronger bonds with others, both in your friendships and relationships because it boosts your mood, and regulates your emotions. 

More Sex = Less stress 

Stress can be a killer for your libido, but likewise, sex can be an incredible stress reliever.

According to a study in Scientific Reports, physical touch lowered the stress hormone cortisol in a way that receiving emotional support from a partner didn’t. 

Dr. Blair says, “too much cortisol can be attributed to decreased bone density, decreases in muscle tissue, high blood pressure, more fat around the tummy, even wounds on the body healing more slowly.

“A healthy amount of sex can go some way in decreasing cortisol in the body, resulting in a decrease in stress levels, and an overall sense of wellbeing.”

Feeling less stressed will also help you sleep, so it’s a win-win.

It’s good for your heart 

Good sex may protect females from cardiovascular issues according to a study published in the Journal of Health and Social Behaviour. In the study, women who described their sexual relationship as ‘extremely physically pleasurable’ had lower odds of undiagnosed and uncontrolled hypertension.

Dr. Blair says, “the report findings suggested that regular sex could mean having a better relationship with a supportive partner, which contributes to lower stress levels and overall wellbeing.”

Better Sex boosts your mood

Our favorite hormone is back again, Oxytocin lifts your mood, makes you feel more relaxed and emotionally stable.  Having mutually pleasurable sex will boost the amount of Oxytocin in your system, promoting a sense of bonding, warmth and happiness.

Naomi Jamieson
Lifestyle News Writer

Naomi is a Lifestyle News Writer with the Women's Lifestyle team, where she covers everything from entertainment to fashion and beauty, as well as TikTok trends for Woman&Home, after previously writing for My Imperfect Life and GoodTo. Interestingly though, Naomi actually has a background in design, having studied illustration at Plymouth University but lept into the media world in 2020, after always having a passion for writing and earned her Gold Standard diploma in Journalism with the NCTJ.

Before working for Future Publishing’s Lifestyle News team, she worked in the Ad production team. Here she wrote and designed adverts on all sorts of things, which then went into print magazines across all genres. Now, when she isn’t writing articles on celebs, fashion trends, or the newest shows on Netflix, you can find her drinking copious cups of coffee, drawing and probably online shopping.