Sex is fun especially when it is between a married couple with genuine love and interest in each other. But asides from the fun of just having sex, there have been several studies highlighting its many other benefits to couples.
According to studies, there are many emotional and psychological benefits of making love. In fact, sex is strongly linked to a better quality of life.
One of the benefits of sex is better self-image, with researchers saying sex can boost self-esteem and reduce feelings of insecurity, leading to more positive perceptions of oneself.
Another benefit of having sex is that it offers higher rates of happiness, according to a 2015 study conducted in China. The study, however, notes that it's only when sex is consensual that it leads to increased happiness.
Sex also leads to more bonding, researchers say.
"Brain chemicals are released during sex, including endorphins, which decrease irritability and feelings of depression. Another hormone, oxytocin (the 'hug drug') increases with nipple stimulation and other sexual activity. Oxytocin helps foster a sense of calmness and contentment," experts at VeryWellMind.com write.
Sex also offers relief from stress, with experts emphasising that sex can be an effective stress management technique. Sex reduces stress response hormones, like cortisol and adrenaline (epinephrine), with effects lasting well into the next day, researchers say.
They add that orgasms trigger the release of the prolactin hormone, which helps to have improved sleep.
It's fairly intuitive to understand how sex improves emotional health, but there are also a number of physical benefits from sex as well.
According to experts, some of these include better physical fitness, enhanced brain function, improved immune function, lower pain levels, the likelihood of weight loss, positive cardiac effects, and glowing skin.
However, despite the array of benefits sex offers, many couples see it as a complicated and touchy subject, and often shy away from it.
In 2019, a set of British researchers found that more people are spending less time having sex.
But how much sex should couples really be having? The researchers state that couples who have sex at least once a week are happier than their less-bedded counterparts.
Still, that number doesn't quite apply to everyone. And, ultimately, experts say how much sex a couple should be having depends on the couple themselves.
More often than not, experts cite that a decline in sex between a couple can be due to factors such as the stress of modern life, technology, and medications.
However, to enjoy the lots of benefits that sex offers, the experts advocate more sex between couples, which is quite logical.
Meanwhile, should sex be boring, the experts have some recommendations. First, sex between couples should not be restricted to the bedroom only.
At a point, couples are advised to be adventurous, to try out not just new styles but also new places where sex can be fun and tranquillising.
Sex and relationship expert based in the United States, Dr Emily Morse, says when couples expand their sexual experiences by having sex outside the bedroom, it can bring them closer to each other.
She says changing locations for having sex removes couples from the situations in their home that stress them out and get their adrenaline pumping.
Morse also states that having sex outside of the bedroom could help couples even get more aroused than usual and get more emotionally connected during the experience and after.
The sex expert says trying a new location is more about having a new thrilling experience than trying to achieve a mind-blowing orgasm.
"The fact is, some women could struggle to reach orgasm because they might not be focused or they are limited in the kinds of positions they can do. But that shouldn't stop them.
"It's definitely possible to have great sex without an orgasm and the experience will be totally worth it," she says.
Also, a sex therapist and marriage counsellor in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Mrs Chinwe Peters, says "bedroom-only" sex can bring boredom to a couple's sex life, advising partners to always try out other places to have sex.
"Couples can add spark to their sex lives by exploring. Some partners don't explore, yet they say sex is not fun. In my experience so far, couples who complain of not having fun intimate sessions are those who don't explore," she says.
Another sex and relationship expert, Mr Philip Abiodun, says the only way couples can keep their sex life lively is to explore and try new styles and places.
According to the various experts, the following are 10 of the places couples can have sex and spice their marriage.
In the backyard
Morse says having sex outdoors can be surprisingly sensual, thanks in part to romantic elements like a starry night or the scent of flowers carried by a light breeze.
"Taking it out of the house and onto a porch swing, picnic blanket, or poolside lounger lets you experience outdoor action without fear of prying eyes – just make sure your neighbours don't have a view into your yard," she says.
Similarly, couples can have some time together at the balcony, Morse says. She says, "If you're more of an indoor person but still want to experience the thrill of sex outside, look no further than your balcony!
"If you have an enclosed balcony with a bit of room, you can lay out a few blankets and enjoy the fresh air together. Or try leaning against the balcony while your partner gets into position behind you. Enjoy the view, you two."
On the beach
Of course, sand will get in all the wrong places, but you should try to experience sex on the beach at least once. If you find yourselves alone on a beach, grab a blanket and get busy. There's nothing like getting it in under a wide-open sky as the waves crash behind you.
In the car
Although fumbling around in your car might feel like a throwback to your high school days, there's something about pulling over in a secluded spot and having exhilarating and hot sex. "Opt for the front seat or hop in the back if you want to spread out a little more. Add in the extra thrill of hoping you don't get busted by a passerby and it can make for a steamy session," Morse says.
A movie theatre
According to Abiodun, couples can enjoy sex, albeit for a few minutes at the movies. "Try sitting in the last row and paying more attention to each other than what's on the screen. However, there can only be an opportunity for this if the theatre is empty or nearly empty," he says.
In the kitchen
Peters says having sex in the kitchen is one of the best ever for couples seeking to explore. "Hoist yourself up on the kitchen counter or dining table and start 'cooking.' You could also lean against the kitchen top or even park yourselves right in front of the fridge," she says.
The laundry room
Morse says, "It might sound odd at first, but the laundry room is the perfect place to get down and dirty. There's something about the height of the washing machine and the vibrations of a washer or dryer mid-cycle that make for a super-sexy combination.
"If your heights don't quite match up, try stepping on a stool to even things out. You can also experiment with sitting or lying on the machine or with your partner sitting on top of it with your legs wrapped around their waist."
The sex expert adds, "Try getting it on during a warm or hot wash for a little extra heat and use the cotton cycle for the longest and fastest spin and most vibration."
According to Morse, there are many possibilities in the bathroom, from sitting up on the bathroom counter to couples pressing themselves up against the bathroom wall.
She says, "What's especially hot about bathroom action? The large mirrors let you take in the view. And then, of course, there's sex in the shower: It's warm, it's wet and it lets you go wild since the sound of running water drowns out any sounds.
"Try it with you bending over and your partner entering from behind – this works well in the shower because you can anchor your hands on your calves for support."
Morse adds, "Couples can use a silicone-based lube any time they get frisky in the water. Silicone lubes are waterproof – you'll need to rinse it off afterward with soap and water, but it won't wash off until you're done with it."
Also, couples can get things extra steamy the next time they find themselves alone in the sauna.
A health and sex expert, Ms Ashley Oerman, says, "If you have a sauna at home, this is easy-peasy; if you're getting it on a gym or health club, it might get a little trickier. Either way, you won't ever have a sweatier session (just make sure not to overheat)."
On the couch
As you are scouting for sexual adventure, don't overlook couches and overstuffed chairs. Comfy and casual, they provide additional back support and the low height (compared with beds) makes a range of positions possible.
Oerman says, "Try straddling their lap, using the soft cushions as comfortable support for your needs. If the cushions aren't cooperating, your partner can bounce their knees a bit, sending you up and down with little effort.
"Try holding hands while you bounce so you can lean back farther – this creates an anchoring line that allows for heavier rocking and rolling."
On the stairs
This is one of the ideal sex spots in your home, Oerman says, "The standing doggy style is recommended on the stairs. The woman should bend over a few steps up from her husband so her private parts are aligned and he can enter you without having to crouch. The woman can also have her partner recline on a step and straddle him with her back to his chest. Use the step below for leverage so you can stay steady while thrusting. You can also have him reach around for a little extra stimulation. The two of you will never look at stairs the same way again."
At an event
Peters says whether it's a wedding, a sporting event, or a big barbecue, there's something about connecting during a public event that's super hot.
She says, "Couples can make something good out at an occasion. They can sneak off unnoticed, find a bathroom or closet farthest away from the crowd and enjoy some time together. After about 15 minutes or so together, you can go back to the party with a secret that no one knows about except the two of you."