This Is What Happens To Your Body If You Stop Having Sex
After Ajay Rochester told I'm A Celebrity... campmates that she hasn't had sex for nine years, we thought we'd find out what happens down there when someone hangs up their sheets during a period of abstinence.
Does it, er, close up? Asking for a friend.
Look, we know that not having sex isn't the end of the world and that for many people there are often vast stretches of time without a little bedroom action.
GP and Sex expert Dr Sally Cockburn (AKA Dr Feelgood) says nothing much happens physically, actually, if you don't get it on for a while.
"While sex is essential for the survival of the human species (though, then again IVF can provide reproduction services) it is not essential for individual survival -- but for some, it may feel like it is! So nothing actually happens to your body functions when you don’t have sex -- women’s hormones keep cycling, men keep producing sperm."
Contrary to some mythology -- your hymen DOES NOT grow back and your bits don’t shrink as long as your hormones are being produced you will be ready to pick up where you left off -- physiologically that is.
"If you're nervous or apprehensive about performance when you’ve been out of the saddle for a while it is the anxiety that may cause issues -- good sex relies on being aroused, so if you are distracted or worried about how it might fee, that in itself can interfere with the natural responses -- ie lubrication for women and erection for men."
Right. And you don't dry up if you don't get sex.
Well no. "Lubrication in women is affected by several things," said Dr Cockburn. "Things like inadequate foreplay and hormones, after giving birth and while breastfeeding. However, this can be helped by using a water-based lubricant which is available over the counter. After menopause lack of oestrogen can reduce lubrication -- you can also use a lubricant, or talk to your GP if oestrogen cream applied to vagina might be appropriate (but please, not while breastfeeding)."
And men, while we're (not) at it, fear not. You're not in any danger of losing any appendage if you don't use it enough.
"Despite mythology and what is often depicted in movies men too don’t need sex for normal physiological function," said Dr Cockburn, "however both men and women do crave intimacy and human closeness -- and they may misinterpret that as needing sex."
Which brings us nicely to the psychological side of things.
"It can have certain psychological effects if you want to have sex but aren’t," Lysn COO Tahnee Schulz told 10 daily. "For example, someone might not have sex because they are too shy to approach someone to start a relationship or they’re feeling awkward about taking things to the next level. This can have an effect on them psychologically because they might feel bad about their feelings associated with this, or overall they just might not feel good about themselves."
Then there’s the lack of physical contact which can make a person feel less happy, lonely and more likely to experience depression and stress. Touching is a fundamental part of being a human being and people who are more affection-deprived can feel less close to people and can crave that physical contact.
That lack of physical contact can actually leave some people feeling seriously down.
“When people have sex they’re usually having skin-to-skin contact, and this kind of contact is the first primal way we as humans get comforted [as babies with our mothers],” sex therapist Sari Cooper explained to the New York Post.
“Sexual connection gives partners loads of skin-to-skin caressing and touch and can help to regulate one another’s moods,” Cooper said. This is generally through the release of the feel-good hormone oxytocin.
"It is an intimacy that is the key to good health." agreed Dr Feelgood.
"Mental and physical -- it doesn’t actually require the act of intercourse to have a positive effect."
But of course, if you do want an orgasm and you're not having sex (Ajay are you listening?) there are certain things you can do alone.
Feature Image: Instagram