With so much emphasis put on sex: having it; not having it; how to get it; we often overlook the basic nature of being a healthy human that depends on us having sex. While listing the health benefits of “knockin’ boots” will probably get you slapped before it gets you laid, it’s important to understand how your quality of life can be improved through the health benefits of sex. Sex is good for you – that is a fact. But the benefits of sex that extend beyond the bedroom are often overlooked. Take a look at the top 5 health benefits of sex so the next time you ask your partner for a piece, and she replies “why?” you have a better answer than “because I’m horny”.

1. Sex can help beat stress.

Your house is depreciating, your job is at risk, gas prices are through the roof, do yourself a favor an help combat the exponential rate at which your hair is falling out. Touch naturally sooths and being touched by someone you care about magnifies that effect. Touch also helps reduce cortisol, the hormone associated with stress response. Spooning and other positions that maximize bodily contact have the greatest effect on your cortisol levels.

2. Sex can boost your immune system.

Your kid is a little “g”, but every time one of his fellow 3rd grade “ladies” comes to school with a cold, work sucks a little more the next week. Wilkes University study found that having sex twice week increased immunoglobulin A (IgA) levels by 20 percent. IgA is an antibody that protects you against colds and other infections. The study also revealed that those who had the most vigorous sex had the highest IgA levels.

3. Sex helps fight the signs of aging.

Granted 40 is the new thirty, and some women really go for a dusted gray, but you stay out late, drink and smoke, so you’re right back where you started. A Royal Edinburgh Hospital study found that couples who made love at least four times a week appeared more than a decade younger than the average adult. The pleasure derived from sex released the hormones adrenaline, dopamine, and norepinephrine – crucial factors that help preserve youth. Sex also triggers the release of human growth hormone (HGH), which fights free radicals. HGH also helps preserve skin cell walls and relax muscles which could cause wrinkles.

4. Sex helps fight prostate cancer.

Men in their 20s who ejaculate five or more times weekly reduced their risk of developing prostate cancer later in life compared to those who only do three. The biggest benefit seems to come from one ejaculation daily rather than multiple ejaculations on certain days.

5. Sex helps keep your heart healthy.

It’s Monday, which means I will exercise at softball, briefly, and then I will go to the bar, drink six beers, eat a half-dozen wings, and a couple slices of pie. A study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health showed that men who had sex twice a week or more reduced their risk of a fatal heart attack by as much as 50 percent compared to those who only had sex once a month. You need to make the necessary lifestyle changes if you want to have a healthy sex life. Eat right, exercise, get enough sleep, and manage your stress.