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Sex may be the best defense for the flu (you're welcome)

Stefanie Iris Weiss is the author of Eco-Sex: Go Green Between the Sheets and Make Your Love Life Sustainable and 8 other books. She keeps her carbon footprint small in New York City, where she writes about sexuality, sustainability, su...

The many ways sex is your winter immunity-boosting friend

COME AGAIN: YOUR WEEKLY DOSE OF SEX & WELLNESS 

When you’re busy coughing, sneezing and blowing your nose, the last thing you want to do is blow… other things. But what if getting busy was your ticket to not getting sick in the first place?

At the height of the flu season, when those of us in Northern climes lack the proper vitamin D dose we get from late spring and summer sun, we need to find other ways to boost our flagging immune systems.

Some of us turn to kale smoothies, OCD-level hand-washing and more than the recommended dose of Airborne tablets to stave off colds and viruses — but what if staying healthy could be a lot more fun?

Evidence suggests that good old sex is one of the best ways to protect your body against colds and flu. Studies going back as early as 2004 have found that people who have frequent sex (three or more times a week) have higher concentrations of immunoglobulin A in their saliva. This is one of our body’s first lines of defense from illness.

You’d think that slobbering make-out sessions and other forms of touch would make you more susceptible to germs, but it turns out that the relaxation, stress reduction and overall joy of boinking supersedes any contact with cooties.

Recent studies go even further. This one posits that sex across a woman’s cycle, even in her luteal phase (post-ovulation, pre-period) can boost the immune system — increasing overall fertility and infection-fighting ability. When you have frequent sex — even when you can’t get pregnant — your hormones surge to ready the body to protect a potential fetus. Even if you’re not in the market for a mini-me, all that sex will make you healthier during part one of your cycle, able to fight off infection in a single booty call.

More: I learned the art of awesome orgasms using a virtual vagina, and so can you

Nighttime sex helps you sleep better, which is one of the markers for overall wellness — this is both due to exertion and the hormones released during orgasm (more on that in a bit). Poor sleep reduces your immune system’s ability to fight off disease and increases inflammation. But it’s not just touching and being touched that will make you a natural flu-fighter — make sure you have an orgasm no matter what.

Even if you don’t currently have a partner, there’s no reason to miss out. You can give yourself an immune-boosting orgasm any time you damn please. Orgasms, even those independent of contact with a partner, can alleviate headaches and migraines, relieve stress, reduce insomnia and stimulate your brain.

More: Mysterious massage technique can help your awful PMS symptoms

Other health, yet not necessarily flu-season related, reasons to just do him (or her): 

  • Endorphins increase you pain tolerance (great if you’re already sick and dealing with aches and pains)
  • Orgasms help your body release DHEA, which repairs tissue and makes your skin glow #betterthanbotox
  • Fights depression (dopamine, released during arousal, activates the brain’s reward centers)
  • Increases heart health
  • Strengthens pelvic floor
  • Might just help you live longer

More: How I cured my menstrual cramps using weed — without getting high

So you don’t need a flu shot this season — you just need a dose of good ‘lovin.

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