May 28, 2024

Men with a high sex drive live longer than their peers, a study suggests. 

Japanese researchers surveyed and looked at health data for 8,500 men – who were mostly in their 60s – over seven years.

Those who said they were interested in sex at the start of the study had a 69 percent lower risk of dying from any cause by the end of the research.  

Researchers believe a low sex drive is a sign of poor health overall – such as bad diet, obesity or other chronic diseases.

A healthy sex life has long been linked to positive mental and physical health – with experts recommending couples make love at least once or twice a week.

Japanese researchers tracked 21,000 people — including 8,500 men — mostly in their 60s over seven years (stock image)

Dr Kaori Sakurada, a medical expert at Yamagata University who led the study, said: ‘Male lack of interest in sex may be related with an unhealthy lifestyle.

‘In this study, men who reported a lack of sexual interest included more current smokers and cases of diabetes. 

‘Furthermore… the absence of [sexual] interest may affect a range of inflammatory, neuroendocrine and immune responses.’

Sex has a number of benefits, including lowering levels of stress and inflammation and boosting mood.

The study recruited 21,000 men and women from seven cities within its local prefecture, about 400 kilometers north of Tokyo.

Participants were initially surveyed on their interest in sex, with each asked: ‘Currently, do you have any interest in people of the opposite sex?’

Those who answered ‘yes’ were counted as still being sexually interested. But anyone who said ‘no’ was defined as lacking sexual interest. This category also included people sexually attracted to the same sex.

Among men, 7,032 (82 percent) said they were interested in sexual activity, while 636 said they had no interest in sex.

Those who were not interested in sex were more likely to be older, have diabetes and be less happy.

But data showed there was no difference in whether the men in either group were married or divorced.

For women, 9,551 said they were interested in the opposite sex (79 percent) compared to 1,835 who did not.

Women not interested in sex were also more likely to be older and abstain from alcohol. But, unlike men, they were also more likely to be divorced.

Scientists then tracked the participants for seven years, over which period 503 deaths were recorded.

There were 352 fatalities among men. Of these, 304 (four percent) were those who had an interest in sex compared to 48 (eight percent) who had no interest.

Analysis adjusting for BMI, age, marital status and other factors found men who had an interest in sex were significantly less likely to die over the study period.

On the other hand, among women there were 146 deaths which included 127 in the group with an interest in sex (1.3 percent) and 19 (one percent) in the group with no interest.

The scientists did not speculate why the pattern did not hold in women.

How do I know I am getting enough sex? 

Experts say that as a rule of thumb, everyone in relationships should aim to have sex around once a month.

But they do point out that this will vary between couples, although less than once every two weeks could cause issues in the relationship.

Dr Ian Kerner, a sex therapist and published author, explained you could tell you weren’t getting enough sex if you kept craving it.

‘Very often these people don’t feel desired by their partner,’ he told DailyMail.com, ‘very often they have a biological craving, desire, and don’t feel connected with their partner.

‘I have one patient and she is not having enough sex or the kind that she would like and she is constantly thinking about sex and constantly fanticizing.’

At the other end of the scale, he also explained how to tell whether you are having too much sex.

He said: ‘Feelings of pressured to have sex betray this.

‘I work with couples, where there is pressure over not fulfilling needs. 

‘If you feel like sex is becoming out of control or too impulsive, pressure to have sex all the time, all of those are indications that you may be overdoing the sex.’