Yesterday, I had really fun lunch with my friends, psychologists Ted Riskin, and Marcia Gleason. I had never met Marcia, who is the founder of The Exceptional Marriage, however she and her husband were on my radio show last year. We were talking about the importance of sex to a happy, healthy relationship.  She told the story of a couple, her clients who were in a bad space.  She said, “I know you two don’t feel like it, but go have sex. It will help.”

Portrait of unhappy young couple in bedroom

This is not just frivolous advice.  Orgasm releases the hormone oxytocin, aka “The Bonding Hormone.” It creates  feelings of relaxation and connection. And while I’m certainly not espousing that you bypass your anger and forget about it, the intimacy created during sex can make the difficult conversations go smoother. Also, take a look at the physiological markers of anger:

  • Blurred Vision: The pupil dilates to let in more light to help focus on the threat.  Other distractions within view may become less distinct.
  • Headaches, dizziness: The brain produces adrenaline, which creates a ‘rush’.  If insufficient oxygen reaches the brain, this can lead to faintness and confusion.
  • Dry Mouth: The production of saliva is required for digestion; as digestion slows or ceases during arousal, saliva is not required and therefore not produced.
  • Tense Shoulders, aching neck, back and head: Large skeletal muscles contract, ready for action. This tension can cause pain and discomfort.
  • Blushing, sweating: The body needs to get rid of the heat generated in the production of energy.  Capillaries below the surface of the skin dilate and sweat is excreted through the skin’s pores.
  • Faint, fast, shallow breathing, breathlessness: The lungs attempt to provide the blood with more oxygen, leading to rapid breathing. However, ultimately this process reduces oxygen as breathing becomes too shallow.
  • Increased blood pressure: (racing heart), palpitations; more blood is pumped around the body carrying oxygen to produce energy.
  • Indigestion, nausea: Digestion slows down or ceases as it is a non-vital function.

Guess what?

These are all the same as the indicators of arousal, with two markers missing

  • Increased blood flow and engorgement of the erogenous tissues, including nipples, penis, scrotum, vagina, clitoris, and labia.
  • Lubrication: In the form of pre-seminal fluid, and vaginal secretions

If you think about it, in the midst of a big fight, you are just a tube of KY Jelly away from great sex!  Think about how you feel after a wonderful orgasm.  Life just looks a lot rosier.  Frequent sexual contact in a relationship can make it easier to take things in stride, making sure molehills don’t become mountains. Orgasm also lights up significant areas of the brain, similar to those invigorated by meditation.  this means that AFTER having great sex, the opportunity exists to connect with more creative solutions to the problems you are fighting about.

If anger, or libido imbalance, or physiological or psychological issues are preventing you from having great sex with your partner, a good therapist or sex coach can help you.  And if you think you can’t afford sex coaching, imaging how much the divorce attorneys are going to cost you.