We already know that sex is healthy - it reduces pain, gives your heart a boost and makes you feel happier. But aside from those obviously sexy reasons to get it on, there’s a whole world of additional health benefits … if you’re willing to get a little kinky. Here’s the dirty on the little-known healthy side effects of wilder sex.

To Swallow or Not to Swallow?

That's a big question for a lot of women, but if you're pregnant you might want to go with the latter. Swallowing semen prevents miscarriages and pre-eclampsia. Yes, you read that right. A study by Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands found that women who swallowed had lower incidences of those two difficult conditions during pregnancy, possibly as a result of exposure to the father's DNA. Dutch researchers have further shown that women who practice oral sex and swallow regularly are less likely to suffer from pre-eclampsia or miscarriage because of the body’s well-known ability to tolerate things better when they enter through the mouth. Plus, men tend to think swallowing is pretty sexy. (For more sexy fun, check out 7 Safe, Sizzling Sex Positions for Pregnant Women.)

Don't Worry Do Oral

Another little-known health benefit of semen: vaginal, oral or skin contact to semen can have anti-depressant qualities, according to a study by State University of New York. Semen contains chemicals known to increase affection and elevate mood. It even contains a natural antidepressant and sleeping aid. It’s definitely more fun than a pill! To ensure a happy ending, always use a condom unless you know for sure your partner doesn’t have any STIs. (Make oral amazing: Read The Do's and Don'ts of Hot Oral Sex.)
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Let It Fly

Guys, this one’s for you: ejaculating often, especially when you’re young, can help you avoid prostate cancer when you get older. The Journal of the American Medical Association published a study that found a correlation between frequent ejaculations and a lower risk of cancer: men who came 21 times or more a month were less likely to get prostate cancer, whether they masturbated or had fun with a friend. (Or, you could have it both ways. Read more in Double the Fun! 5 Hot Tips on Self Touch for Two.)

More Kink, Less Crazy

A study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that on a self-reported test, people who practiced BDSM on a regular basis were less neurotic, more open, more secure in their relationships and had an overall better sense of well-being than people who only practiced vanilla sex.

The theory is that kinky people have better communication skills and are more aware of their own psychology because they've learned to own it in a world where their desires aren’t the norm. Pretty cool, huh? (Learn more about the study - and BDSM - in Why BDSM Might Be the Sanest Sex Out There.)

Spanking for Joy

Another benefit of kink is the release of endorphins, which come on hard and fast after a good spanking. (Or any kind of pain, according to the Novosibirsk Institute of Medicine). Ever had that glowy, happy feeling after a good spanking? (If not, maybe you should give it a try!) That’s what endorphins do.

A daily spanking: just what the doctor ordered. (Learn the basics in Your Hand, My Ass: Erotic Spanking for Beginners.)

Or, How About This Way?

Want to have better sex? Try more positions. Those who switch it up when they have sex have a lot more fun - and more orgasms - according to the U.S. National Survey of Sexual Health. So the next time you get it on in the sack, challenge yourself to try a couple more positions. Need more options? Check out ever permutation under the sun in our Position Playlist.

Why Are You Still Here?

As you can see, being adventurous in bed can lead to many great health benefits, from miscarriage and cancer prevention to better mental health.

So ... why are you still here? Go get healthy already!