CNN's Elizabeth Cohen adds to what's now a long list of news stories extolling the health benefits of boning. She leads with the inspiring tale of yoga instructor Sadie Nardini and her husband, who decided to have sex every day in December to help him kick cigarettes and her give up chocolate. It worked, with the added bonus that "they both slept better and had more energy, and she didn't get a cold or the flu all month as she usually does in the winter." Sex: just like multivitamins! So, was it fun? Nardini doesn't really say, instead brightly proclaiming, "Anyone can be better served by having more sex."
More P-in-the-V, that is. Cohen takes pains to remind us that oral and other forms of sexual stimulation do not have the vaunted Red-Bull-meets-orange-juice powers of actual penetration. She writes,
[F]ive years ago, [researcher Stuart] Brody, now a professor of psychology at the University of the West of Scotland, asked 46 people to give a stressful speech to a nasty audience. His team measured parameters such as blood pressure and levels of stress hormones while the participants prepared for the speech and directly after giving it. He found that the study subjects who'd had intercourse in the two weeks preceding the speech had markedly lower blood pressure and lower levels of stress hormones. The same wasn't true for people who'd participated in other forms of sexual activities.
That's right, ladies — if what you want is "to give a stressful speech to a nasty audience," oral is not going to cut it! But if you do enjoy regular boning, you can apparently expect longer life, better heart health, relief of lower back pain and menopause symptoms, and, of course, a thinner body. Men, meanwhile, get better sperm quality, higher testosterone levels, and a lower risk of prostate cancer because they excrete "more waste products in their semen." Hot!
In all seriousness, it's true that sex can be a great way to get rid of a headache or backache, at least temporarily. It can also be really calming. But a lot of the supposed benefits of sex seem to have correlation-versus-conversion problems (might it be, for instance, that people who live longer have more sex because they are healthier and thus better able to participate in, um, demanding activities?). And more importantly, can't we just enjoy one goddamn thing without thinking about how it might delay by a few years our inevitable death? Being "well served" by sex just doesn't sound all that enticing — unless it's part of some kind of bondage scenario — and I'd rather not choose my mode of gratification based on what will help me keep my cool during a difficult PowerPoint. I believe that sex can have some health benefits, but rather than taking it like I take my Gummy Vites, I'd rather resolve to enjoy life's few pure pleasures for what they are, instead of making them all about health.