Sex is a one of the best ways to calm yourself because it combines many different activities that have been linked to stress reduction. These include deep breathing, physical activity, and touch. The partner makes all the difference. Studies have shown that people who have had sex with a partner maintain steadier heart rates during stressful situations that occur as much as two weeks later. These people also bounce back faster than abstainers after being stressed. Neither of those advantages are seen with masturbation.