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Want More Affection in Your Relationship? Have More Sex

CNN reported that four new studies found a link between sex and affection. The takeaway from these studies was if you want more affection, it would behoove you to find time for more sex with your significant other.

The link between sex and happiness is widely recognized. A study found that couples who had sex once a week reported the highest levels of happiness. While having sex more often — four times a week or more — wasn't a bad thing, it didn't lead to additional happiness compared to having sex once a week. For couples who may feel obligated to have sex more often just because they think they should, this study takes off some of the pressure.

Happiness and affection are not the only benefits provided by sex. People who have sex frequently (one or two times a week) have significantly higher levels of immunoglobulin A (IgA). Your IgA immune system is your body's first line of defense. Men who made love regularly (at least twice a week) were 45 percent less likely to develop heart disease than those who did so once a month or less. Intercourse also helps to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, which contract during orgasm. This can help women to improve their bladder control and avoid incontinence.

If you don't have sex regularly, you can still reap many similar benefits from other forms of intimate contact — like hugging and kissing. Like sex, hugging increases levels of the “love hormone” oxytocin. This, in turn, may have beneficial effects on your heart health and more. One study found, for instance, that women had lower blood pressure following a brief episode of warm contact with their partner. A 20-second hug, along with 10 minutes of hand holding, also reduced the harmful physical effects of stress, including its impact on your blood pressure and heart rate.

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