Whether it's a dry spell, a conscious decision to remain celibate, or just a rough patch in your relationship, your body can experience some changes when you stop having sex. But they may not be the changes you think will happen.
There are a lot of rumors that say you "become a virgin" again if it's been too long since intimacy, but that simply isn't true. If you're pre-menopausal, your vaginal elasticity isn't going to tighten up like crazy. That's just a stupid myth.
There's also a difference between lifelong celibacy and having sex, then abstaining it for a while. You're more prone to disappointment and depression if it's a dry spell.
So what does happen to your body when you stop having sex? Honestly, nothing life-threatening. But there's definitely some things to expect.
1. No, you're not going to get "tighter"
Your "tightness" does not relate to the number of people you sleep with. It's not like your hymen grows back after you stop having sex for a bit. However, the tissues in your vagina might get out of the habit of relaxing when aroused. It may take a little longer to get aroused next time you have sex. But don't worry, they'll definitely remember.
2. Men are more likely to have erectile dysfunction
These studies are more focused on older men, but there's hard evidence that abstinence can increase the likelihood of ED. Regular sexual activity has nothing but positive effects on a man's ability to get erections.
3. Your immune system becomes more vulnerable
Studies show that regular sexual activity can contribute positively to your immune system, so when stop having sex, you lose those benefits. You can become more likely to get illnesses and infections. So not only are you NOT having sex, you're getting sick too.
4. Your sex drive might start declining
This one actually divides experts (sexperts?) Some say that you need to keep up your sexual activity in order to maintain a high libido, kind of like stoking a fire. They believe when you stop having sex, your body's sexual desire will drop and become less responsive to arousal. Other experts say that your libido INCREASES, so it really just depends on the person.
5. You might become more stressed
Some studies show that people who have sex less frequently have higher blood pressure when dealing with stressful situations. Lack of sex could have a poor impact on your ability to cope with anxious moments.
6. Your heart health might suffer
There are strong links between a healthy sex life and a strong heart. Both hormonal and aerobic benefits come from sex, although there's no real definitive answer on what happens to your heart after you stop having sex. Although, if you're the type of person who's gonna take out your frustration at the gym, it may end up making your heart healthier.
7. You might take longer to get wet
It's kind of like regular maintenance on a car. You need to keep things tuned up down there in order for them to start up when you need them. Sex health experts have pointed out that the process of getting "wet" benefits from regular activity. If you stop for a bit, you may need some extra time to get going when you hop back into things.
8. Your risk of STIs and UTIs drop drastically
Okay, so this one seems pretty obvious. But it's one of the positive side-effects of a dry spell. The STI part may seem pretty obvious, but since UTIs are generallly caused by the transfer of bacteria to the urinary tract during sex, you're basically in the clear.
9. You'll be less intelligent
Seriously. This is a thing. Scientists have legit proven that sexual activity boosts neuron growth in your brain. Abstinence, on the other hand, does nothing for your brain. "But I'm reading a lot more!" Ya, okay. That just means you're bored. Obviously you won't LOSE intelligence, and there are other ways to promote brain growth, but sex is probably the most fun way to do it.