Good news! Sex doesn’t just feel great, it’s also good for you, especially for Black women.
There was a point in history when all women were denied access to their bodies and pleasure, but it definitely did not end the same way for all women. An enslaved woman had no right to her body, or the offspring of her body. She could be raped and beaten in the morning and watch her children sold on the auction block that same afternoon. We do know that a common coping mechanism for sexual trauma is disassociation. This technique allows you to remove yourself emotionally from the things you can’t control. The 1960s birthed the “free love” movement, one of the biggest sexual revolutions of America’s time.
It’s difficult to care about sexual pleasure and “free love” when people are threatening your livelihood, loved ones, and overall existence because of your desire to have basic civil rights. Now, we’re in a mind-blowing state of sexuality right now. Society is finally starting to grasp the importance of sexual education and the failure of abstinence-only sex ed.
But where do Black women go to thrive sexually?
Let’s admit it, sisters. With all the responsibilities and roles we juggle in midlife, a lot of us would choose extra sleep over lovemaking. Maybe we put off intimacy until the weekend. You may deny yourself pleasure if you are currently without a partner. Well, there are several surprising bedroom benefits you may get from sexual activity (which includes self-pleasure). As if you needed an excuse, here are healthy reasons to grab your partner or a perfect tool and get it on.
Relieves headaches and other forms of Stress
Sex can help relieve stress by raising endorphins and other hormones that boost mood. In addition, a study published in the journal Biological Psychology found that sexual activity prevents increases in blood pressure during stressful events. While this effect was more pronounced in people who had sex with penetration, nonpenetrative sex and masturbation can also help you stay serene. Christine Egan, a certified health coach and author of the book “The Healthy Girl’s Guide to Breast Cancer,” says studies have shown that the body’s stress hormone, cortisol, is reduced by physical and emotional closeness.
Sculpts and burns
Personal trainer Charlene Ciardiello, founder of Shut Up & Move, advises that squeezing and thrusting during sex sculpts the muscles in your abs, back, butt and thighs.
Good for your skin
Melissa Piliang, a dermatologist at Cleveland Clinic, told Insider.com that sex improves the overall look of your skin. The sex afterglow “provides an oxygen boost to the skin.” Also, the boost of estrogen levels helps to “plump” collagen.
Reduces pain and inflammation
In a study performed at Stanford University, anesthesiologists showed participants photos of their romantic partners or photos of attractive strangers, or asked them to engage in a word game. They found that looking at romantic partners significantly dulled the experience of pain. So even though you might think pain is a barrier to sex, consider this a sex benefit worth the time and effort: Take a moment to really look at your lover. Other studies have found that women may get some relief from menstrual cramps through a good orgasm.
In a study published by the Journal of Gerontology, regular sex was linked to better cognitive ability in older people.
Sex uses about three calories per minute. As a form of exercise, it can also help calm you down.
Sex before bed can improve sleep quality thanks to the hormones released. The brain chemicals ease anxiety and help you relax. According to the National Sleep Foundation, orgasms release the hormone prolactin, which can help you feel sleepy and relaxed. So don’t be too surprised if you and your partner doze off shortly after a satisfying session — and wake up feeling refreshed. This sleep connection also works in reverse: According to a study published in May 2015 in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, getting enough shut-eye can improve your sexual response and may increase the chance that you’ll engage regularly in sex.
Keeps his prostate strong
Based on a 2016 study, men who reported frequent ejaculations (at least 21 times a month — but don’t worry, that includes him masturbating!) lowered the chance of prostate cancer by 20 percent compared to those who did it four to seven times a month.
Boosts confidence and your libido
For women, having sex ups vaginal lubrication, blood flow, and elasticity, all of which make sex feel better and help you crave more of it. Researchers discovered that when women slept for longer periods of time, they reported greater sexual desire the next day.
Unlocks your inner power
By saying “yes” to orgasms you unleash your voice at the most primal level. We release our bodies’ inhibitions that often restrain us day-to-day.
Boosts the immune system and your mood
People who have sex have higher levels of what defends your body against germs, viruses, and other intruders. According to a 2015 study conducted in China, more sex increases happiness. Christine Egan, a certified health coach and author of the book “The Healthy Girl’s Guide to Breast Cancer,” says studies have shown that the body’s stress hormone, cortisol, is reduced by physical and emotional closeness.
There’s a whole sexy Black world out there.
Here are some of my favorite books that may help spark your own Black, female, sexual revolution:
- If you’ve had it pretty rough and don’t think others can relate, pick up “Longing to Tell: Black Women Talk About Sexuality and Intimacy” by Tricia Rose.
- If you want to better understand the unique intersectionality Black women face, check out “This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color” by Cherríe Moraga and Gloria Anzaldúa.
- In “AfroYoni: An Exalted Solitary Twerk,” Candace Liger invites you on her journey of discovering eroticism through celibacy. Yeah, you read that right.
- I’m not even going to lie, “The Color of Kink: Black Women, BDSM, and Pornography” by Ariane Cruz is pretty dense. But it’s AMAZING! It’s one of the best Black kink reference books to own!