I’m very happy to tell you about an article that appeared recently in the Wall Street Journal about... sex! It’s encouraging to me to see that a traditional business publication like the WSJ is actually broaching the subject; the more we see sex talked about in mainstream media, the better for us all.
Because as I’ve said before, I don't think sex should be a taboo subject; it’s a big part of our lives. The more informed we are about it, the better.
In the past, it’s pretty much been the domain of women’s magazines, but the articles on sex have often been of the “How to please your husband in bed!” variety, rather than more serious discussions, like how it affects or interacts with your overall health.
I’m seeing evidence that it’s changing. Psychology Today, too, now often reports on sex in a very open way, as do many highly respected websites, including MayoClinic.com and WebMD.com.
I’ve even been invited to appear on local television—and before 9 p.m.!—to talk about the role of sexuality in our lives as mid-life women and how to keep the spark alive in long-term relationships. (I don’t often toot my own horn, but if you’re curious, you can see the video online.)
As for the Wall Street Journal article, called “The Joy of Researching the Health Benefits of Sex,” it covers some of the same topics we’ve discussed here on the blog, like how sex increases oxytocin (the author referred to it as “the cuddle hormone”) which promotes bonding and stimulates endorphins.
I’ll talk more about other medical findings they mentioned in another post; my point here is that I’m just so thrilled to see mainstream media joining in the discussion! Who knows how many dinner table (or wine and cheese) conversations that story prompted between friends or spouses and partners. The more comfortable we all become talking about sex, the easier it will be for women to feel free to discuss sexual problems with their doctors. And that’s huge.
The discouraging part about the article was what a scientist said about getting funds for sexual research. “If ‘sex’ is in your grant proposal, it’s very hard to get it approved,” said Dr. Irwin Goldstein, director of sexual medicine at Alvarado Hospital in San Diego and editor in chief of the Journal of Sexual Medicine. Bummer: No money, no research, no new information to enlighten us.
But I really do believe that’s changing, and you have the power to help. So I encourage you all to contribute to the discussion. If the Wall Street Journal can talk about how many calories sex burns (about five a minute), so can you!
Dr. Barb DePree, M.D., has been a gynecologist and women’s health provider for almost 30 years and a menopause care specialist for the past ten.