Sexologist Dr Shelley Hiestand, formerly of Dunedin, says
frequent sex greatly improves health and wellbeing. Photo
by Peter McIntosh.
That common bedroom excuse - a headache - needs to be
turned upside down, sexologist Shelley Hiestand says. That's
because headaches can be cured by sex.
It was just one of the many health and wellbeing benefits
derived from frequent sexual activity, Dr Hiestand, formerly
from Dunedin, said yesterday.
The 46-year-old Las Vegas resident has made a career out of
giving doctor's orders more agreeable than most.
''I definitely encourage people to have more sex.''
How much did she recommend? The once-a-week practitioners
were not even close.
Dr Hiestand said to experience the full benefits, those aged
under 25 should aim for more than once a day and those
between 25 and 30 at least once daily.
Accordingly, those between 30 and 40 should have sex at least
four times a week, and anyone over 40 at least thrice weekly.
''The anti-ageing benefits are amazing. It basically doubles
your life span once you get to your 60s and 70s.
''I'm 46 and my husband is almost 64. We've been married
almost 20 years and make sure we have sex at least once a
Dr Hiestand said research - including her own - showed
frequent sexual activity reduced the risk of breast and
prostate cancer, relieved headaches, helped cardiovascular
health and eliminated stress.
''The more sex people have, the more energetic, less
depressed and more able to cope with life they are. It is the
best stress relief. It helps women go through menopause
easier because it balances hormone levels, and it increases
Dr Hiestand said the benefits of intimacy were also crucial.
She encouraged women especially to change their attitude to
sex, from thinking of it as a chore to instead focusing on
Originally from Dunedin, Dr Hiestand studied law at the
University of Otago before leaving New Zealand in 1989.
She decided sexology was ''much more interesting'' than law
and completed a doctorate in philosophy from the Institute
for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco.
Her dissertation on the anti-ageing and health benefits of
sex was documented in her book Anti-Ageing Benefits of Sex
- Sex, the Ultimate Health Supplement.
Dr Hiestand returned to Dunedin to visit family this week,
having been in China as a guest presenter at the Sexology
Association of China's annual conference. This weekend she
will be involved in the fifth Australasian Consciousness and
Sexuality Conference in Auckland.