Great sex is hard work but it can make you smarter!

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Most people do not have to be convinced that having more sex is a good idea. For many, the problem is finding the time to have it, getting in “the right” mental space to want it, finding someone to have it with, or perhaps just wanting to make the sex a little…well… sexier. This blog concerns the evolving science on sex, relationships, and health. For those who are thinking, “I don’t have any sexual complaints. My sex life is great so why should you read this?” Firstly, congrats! I am stoked for you. Most people like to read about what they are good at so dive in. Reading about the science of sex and relationships is always fun, keeps your sex life great and maybe gives you some new ideas to take it up a notch. Research shows that if you think about sex more, you are going to have more sex. If you are not having any sex-related thoughts in a given day, the chances that you are going to seduce anyone later are pretty low so thinking about sex (by reading about it, for example) can improve your odds. In fact, many therapeutic books about how to improve the sexual lives of couples recommend techniques that involve building in more sexual thoughts between you and your sexual partner (e.g., sexting is encouraged).

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So, reading about the sex-related science is yet another sexy trick to infuse your life with seductive thoughts. Sending sex blogs to your partner (if you have one) is encouraged. You want to be on the same page. If you’ve been thinking about sex all day and your partner hasn’t, she/he will have to play catch up which might be frustrating for you both. Research suggest that 70% of men think about sex everyday while only 34% of women do. Thus, women may have to work more proactively to conjure sexy thoughts. Help her out…. under the ruse of sharing some interesting scientific tidbits that just happen to be about sex.

For some, the problem is finding time in your busy schedule to have sex with your partner. You are already have sex on the brain but there is so much other shit to do. The priority list is just too damn long (e.g., work, laundry, kids, exercise, Netflix) so sex just doesn’t get a proper ranking. For those who are thinking of re-ranking those priorities, let this new sex study motivate you to carve out that partner time. It turns out that sex might help you tackle that priority list better by keeping you sharp! A recent study published in June (Wright, Jenks, & Demeyere, 2017) has found that sexual activity can increase your cognitive functioning. What does that mean exactly? Well, having sex more often was associated with better performance on tests of verbal fluency (e.g., word-finding skills) and visuospatial ability –both of which are tied to working memory and executive function. Specifically, the results suggested that weekly sexual activity is a boost to cognitive skills relative to monthly or no sexual activity. It may not be easy for some to have sex weekly. Maybe you would love to have more sex but the trouble is either an unwilling (or non-existent) partner for sexual activity. No partner, no problem! This study suggested that self-love (a.k.a. masturbation) achieves the same effect.

For some couples, they just want their sex lives to be a little hotter, i.e., you’d like a little more spontaneity in the bedroom. BTW, it’s okay to admit this desire. You are not alone. According to Willoughby & Vitas (2012) most individuals (63%) experience discrepancies between how much they’d like to have sex and how much sex they are actually having. And to admit that you’d like to work on your sex life might be exactly the mindset you need to achieve it.  Like anything, working at it is the only way to get better at it but people often think of their sex life as a matter of compatibility (i.e., a couple is destined to be good at it or not). Moreover, some may assume that having to work hard at your sex life is a red flag when, in fact, the opposite is true according to a study by a group of researchers in Toronto (Maxwell, Muise, MacDonald, Day, Rosen, & Impett, 2016). They found that the key to having a healthy sex life was maintaining a “sexual growth mindset”. A sexual growth mindset is believing that satisfying sexual lives are achieved through effort and hard work. It turns out great sex is cultivated and discovered.  People who endorsed ideas like, “In a relationship, maintaining a satisfying sex life requires effort,” and “Even satisfied couples will experience sexual challenges at times” had greater relationship satisfaction and sexual satisfaction, and their partners were more satisfied too.

Bottom line, work hard to have more sex; it’ll make you smarter and frankly, we all know it will make you happier. 

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