Exam cramming? Fight cortisol with coitus

Galo de Barcelos e a sua Galinha de BarcelosPublished in the University of New Mexico’s student newspaper, the Daily Lobo, on May 6, 2010

What’s the best kind of study break you could possibly take? The kind where you get laid.

Taking a break in your bed might actually help you in your studying and final-taking efforts.

An Arizona State University study showed that women who had regular satisfying sex and were given physical affection showed lower levels of stress and were able to be more positive the next day. And it also showed that women who were less stressed had more satisfying sex on a regular basis. What a lovely, vicious cycle.

Another study done in the UK cited a relationship between men’s mortality rates and having frequent orgasms (two or more per week). The study followed up on participants 10 years later and found that men who had frequent sex had a lower risk of death. There weren’t many details about the study, but it doesn’t surprise me that the more sex you have the happier you are.

Sex has a powerful effect on the human body. It releases oxytocin and DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone), among other hormones, which help reduce stress and make you feel damn good. An article in Men’s Health Magazine titled, “A Healthy Sex Life: 10 Reasons to Make Love,” said that DHEA levels can rise up to five times their natural level just before an orgasm. Sex also helps lower your cortisol levels. Cortisol is the hormone that causes us to feel stressed. It’s released in higher levels in the morning so that is just one more reason to wake and shake … your bed.

So here is my proposition. For every  final exam that you have, have sex at least once within 24 hours of that final. And if you really want to reap the benefits, make it two sexy sessions for each final. Then if you add in the finals that your partner might have, that’s bound to be a satisfying week for everyone involved. I’m not saying that you should forsake your studying, but know when you’re brain has had enough, and then exercise a different muscle.

Since we are all sleep deprived around this time of year, make a deal that if you go to bed 30 minutes earlier than normal you can spend some of that extra time having a good night orgasm. It will help you go to sleep faster because sex also releases melatonin — the sleepy hormone.
Another reason sex helps reduce stress is because of the physical activity. There are some games you can play to make sex last longer for a more intense workout.

This is a technique sometimes used in sex therapy to help men who ejaculate prematurely. This can also be done solo.
Start the way you would any other session, with foreplay, of course. Then keep going just like you would, until one of the two partners feels that they are about to climax. Then stop all movement, take the penis out of the vagina if need be. Wait for about 30 seconds and then you can start again. Do this as many times as you can stand. By the time you have stopped and started a couple times you will be so anxious to come it will feel like all that sexual energy is building up and then finally released at the end of the “game.” You might want to try this out by yourself first so you can become familiar with what it feels like just before you come, so you know when to stop.

You don’t have to have a sexual partner to reap the benefits of stress relief through orgasm. Masturbation is a great way to blow off some steam, although some studies suggest that it isn’t as powerful as having sex with a partner.

But make sure that in the midst of all this sex you will hopefully be having, be safe, wear condoms, take your birth control, drink water and use lube. And finally, dear readers, remember that sex should be a fun, positive thing, and if it’s not, you should sit down and have a little chat with your partner about what is ailing you.

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