The talk about sexual satisfaction, needs and experiences are often brushed under the carpet or look down upon as taboo. However, sexual satisfaction contributes to marital compatibility, enhanced attachment, and improved sexual and mental health. It plays a significant role in increasing the physical and mental intimacy between partners.
Abraham Maslow, an eminent psychologist, placed sex in the category of basic physiological needs, that are necessary for survival. His theory emphasizes the importance of sexual needs for an individual’s healthy functioning. If this sexual need is unmet it can impact one’s mental health negatively. This indicates the significance of this less talked about topic of sexual satisfaction leading to mental health.
Spicing up the Sex Life
Spicing up your sex life can improve your relationship with your partner and result in a host of health benefits.
As simple as it sounds, holding hands, cuddling, late-night walks, romantic movie nights, raises the intimacy between partners. Physical intimacy releases certain hormones such as dopamine and oxytocin, which increases motivation and compassion towards the partner.
Romantic fantasies, sharing your erotic desires with your partner, using your imagination, and playing out your wildest fantasies can bring the oomph factor to your sexual experiences.
Foreplay- includes emotional and physically intimate acts meant to create sexual arousal, and desire for sexual activity. It can involve stroking your partner’s hair, massaging their body or simply caressing. It reduces performance anxiety, reduces inhibitions, and stimulates arousal. Playing soothing music before the actual sexual activity can bring relaxation.
Date night– Taking out time for a date night which can be planned or spontaneous. Surprising your lover with flowers, a scrumptious meal at a favorite restaurant or simply sitting under the stars at night. It is essential to spend some quality time with your sexual partner to know each other better and understand their desires.
You can consult a sex therapist if you are facing performance anxiety, nervousness or pain. It can be helpful to discuss it with an expert and understand ways to making the sexual experience more enjoyable and exciting.
BOOSTING YOUR SEXUAL AND MENTAL HEALTH
Our sexual experiences impact our emotional, social, spiritual, physical and mental health. “Sex is an aerobic activity, which means it can boost your heart health,” says Rachel Needle, PsyD, a clinical psychologist and sex therapist based in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Sex releases endorphins which are the ‘feel good’ chemicals of our brain. Sexual satisfaction can lead to a boost in our mood; improve sleep, and lower anxiety. Sexual satisfaction leads to sexual health, which requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, and the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination and violence.
Some studies have suggested that it also enhances self-esteem, raises confidence, and boosts positive emotions. When you are sexually satisfied, it increases the level of trust, intimacy and love in your relationships contributing to the expression of emotions, and overall mental well-being. Sexual health, physical health, mental health, and overall well-being are positively associated with sexual satisfaction, sexual self-esteem, and sexual pleasure.