Komisaruk instructs me to tap my thumb with my finger for 3 minutes, then to simply imagine my finger tapping my thumb for the next 3 minutes as fMRI tracks where blood is flowing in my brain. Whipple didn't study why this was so, but other researchers have attributed the effect to oxytocin, the so-called bonding hormone that helps mothers and babies bond and which also has pain-relieving properties.
Alternatively, having a partner may make top-down control of sensation and pleasure less necessary to climax. Indeed, some scholars argue that despite a decrease in sexual frequency, the quality of sexual life sometimes improves with age because men may gain greater voluntary control over ejaculation DeLamater and Karraker Model B: Sex frequency ref: none.
Without controlling health status as well as other related covariates, estimation of the relationship between sexuality and cardiovascular risk may be biased. Finally, various social, biological, psychological, and behavioral mechanisms underlie the link between sexuality and cardiovascular risk.
Does Sexual Frequency Matter? The physical act of sex may alleviate stress directly in the same way as does any exercise Salmon New York: Springer;
Third, our study focuses on later life. Journal of Health and Social Behavior. Despite limited empirical evidence, especially population-based, several clinical studies have examined how sexuality is affected by heart disease and suggested that the onset of cardiovascular disease is associated with a decline in sexual desire and frequency Jaarsma et al.
Society going viral! In terms of behavioral resources, sex is the central activity in a sexual relationship. Psychosocial Factors and Cardiovascular Diseases. Our intrepid reporter performs an intimate act in an fMRI scanner to explore the pathways of pleasure and pain.
Journal of Marriage and Family. Future studies should examine a broader range of ages to understand whether the association between sexual relationships and cardiovascular risk varies across age. In doing so, not only have they discovered that there is more than one route to orgasm, but they may also have revealed a novel type of consciousness — an understanding of which could lead to new treatments for pain see Top-down pain relief.
Given the long standing observation that involvement in social relationships promotes health and that men receive more health benefits from an intimate relationship than do women Liu and Umberson , our general hypothesis is that: people who are sexually active with a partner will have lower cardiovascular risk than people who are sexually inactive, with stronger effects for men than for women Hypothesis 1.
The enjoyment of sex may interact with other dimensions of relationship quality, such as conflict or support, to determine overall quality.