If you have existed in the world for a long enough period of time, you’ve probably come to realize that there is a lot of hype about sex. It’s in books. TV shows. Movies (even though movie sex isn’t exactly like IRL sex. But whatever). People talk about it all the time–what it’s like, who they’re doing it with, and the rate and frequency at which they are able to do it.
But, beyond maybe pregnancy, people don’t really talk about what happens after sex. Or, to be more specific, people don’t really talk about what happens when you start having sex then, for whatever reason–a breakup, conflicting schedules, just not really feeling it–you stop having sex. You know. Going through a dry spell. But here’s the thing: just as your body goes through changes during sex, it also changes a little in the time when you aren’t having sex. Obviously, none of these are life-threatening, and, as far as I can tell, they aren’t anything that can’t be combated by, you know, doing it yourself. But, if you’re curious, check out these weird things that happen to your body once you stop having sex:
Your Immune System Gets WeakerOn one hand, having sex less frequently exposes you to fewer germs. But, according to this study from Indiana University, having regular sex can actually increase your levels of salivary immunoglobin, which is a chemical increases your immune system's performance. Image source:iStock
You Might Feel DepressedTalk about a bum deal, right? According to this study done at the Georgia State University, people are more inclined to negative thoughts and feelings when they aren't having sex regularly. It should be noted, though, that this only applies for people who are involuntarily celibate. The participants expressed frustration and sadness over not having a relationship, which doesn't always have to mean sex. So, if you're skipping out on sex for your own reasons, that won't automatically make you depressed and anxious. Image source:iStock
Your Risk Of Getting A UTI Gets LowerGood news! Considering that about 80 percent of UTIs occur as a direct result of sexual activity, not having sex makes your risk for a UTI go way, way down. This is because bacteria can get pushed up the urethra during sex, which can (unsurprisingly) cause an infection. So, not having sex? Not so horrible. Image source:iStock
You Feel More AnxiousSex, unsurprisingly, is a great stress reliever. This study done in Scotland found that people who were undergoing periods of abstinence dealt with stressful situations worse that people who had had sex more recently (at least once over a two-week period). This is because your brain releases endorphins and oxytocin during sex, which make you feel good and more at ease for a longer period of time.Image source:iStock
Your Libido DropsThis sounds counterintuitive, but the less sex you have, the less you want it, apparently. Who knew? According to sex therapist Sari Cooper, it's a sort of "out of sight, out of mind" situation, which means that your desire to have sex can increase if you're having it more frequently, and vice versa. So, if you're not having sex, you start to think about and want it less. Image source:iStock
It Gets Tougher To Lubricate NaturallyThey don't call it a DRY SPELL for nothing! (I will see myself out.) But, anyway, your vagina's lubrication process benefits from regular use, meaning that not having sex for a while can make it take longer for you to get wet when you do want to have sex. I would take this with a grain of salt, though--if you're young, lubrication isn't really something that you need to worry about. Plus, this isn't something that a little self-care here and there (i.e. periodic masturbation) won't be able to fix. Image source:iStock
Your IQ Might DropYou know how lots of old myths and books have this weird trope about people who gain a bunch of clarity and wisdom after going through a period of abstinence? Yeah. As it turns out, that's not even a little bit true--according to a study done at the University of Maryland, sexual activity increases both cognitive and hippocampal function. Still, though, as I said before--this is an easy fix. Just do it yourself. Image source:iStock
Were you surprised by any of these facts? Which ones? Let us know in the comments!
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