A leaflet issued by Britain's National Health Service is advising school pupils that they have a "right" to an enjoyable sex life and that regular intercourse can be good for their cardiovascular health.

The advice appears in guidance circulated to parents, teachers and youth workers, and is intended to update sex education by telling pupils about the benefits of sexual pleasure.

For too long, say its authors, experts have concentrated on the need for "safe sex" and loving relationships while ignoring the main reason that many people have sex -- for enjoyment.

The document, called "Pleasure," has been drawn up by NHS Sheffield, although it is also being circulated outside the northern English city.

Alongside the slogan "an orgasm a day keeps the doctor away," it says: "Health promotion experts advocate five portions of fruit and veg a day and 30 minutes' physical activity three times a week. What about sex or masturbation twice a week?"

Steve Slack, director of the Center for HIV and Sexual Health at NHS Sheffield, who is one of the authors, argues that, far from promoting teenage sex, it could encourage young people to delay losing their virginity until they are sure they will enjoy the experience.

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