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What would be a good word to describe something (like sex) which gives a lot of release.

The sense is "rewarding, emotionally fulfilling and physically ...releaseful?"

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    Mike, it is a good idea to wait a while, say a couple of days, before "accepting" an answer, so more members get to view and try to answer. Also, the asker stands a better chance of getting a good answer. – Kris Nov 27 '14 at 16:02
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    Releasatory? Releaseful? I don't think any such words exist. However, a slang word releasation is defined in urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Releasation – Kris Nov 27 '14 at 16:06
  • Suggestion: Start with your message: what you are trying to express, instead of starting with the words. In particular: release of what? Once you know that, you can look for words specific to (release of) that <SOMETHING>. IOW, it is the <SOMETHING> that is most important here, presumably, so use that as your starting point. – Drew Nov 27 '14 at 17:42
  • I would have said "releasing", but that appears to not be a word as an adjective. "Relieving" seems closest. – Matthew Read Nov 28 '14 at 1:34
  • orgasmic. Because it's sex. – SrJoven Dec 4 '14 at 18:27
1

I suggest unwinding: (from M-W)

To unwind:

  • to relax and stop thinking about work, problems, etc.

also satisfying:

  • providing abundant nourishment; "a hearty meal"; "good solid food";
  • that gratifies the need, desire, or expectation of.
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    Went with "ultimately rewarding, emotionally fulfilling and physically satisfying." 'cause sounding right was more important than specifically having the sought meaning. – MikeiLL Dec 6 '14 at 18:52
19

I'd use cathartic, from

ca·thar·sis noun \kə-ˈthär-səs\

: the act or process of releasing a strong emotion (such as pity or fear) especially by expressing it in an art form http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/catharsis

I think MW overstates the importance of art though.

  • Not overstating really but recognizing the usage. +1 all the same. – Kris Nov 27 '14 at 16:01
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    +1 The term is particularly associated with art because this figurative use of the original medical sense derives from Aristotle's use in the Poetics. – StoneyB on hiatus Nov 27 '14 at 17:29
  • Is this not normally a positive emotion Vita a negative process? Or is that a connotation that I've picked up myself? – Pureferret Nov 27 '14 at 21:51
  • @Pureferret Not that I'm aware of. I've most often seen catharsis used as the result of a positive process. When the process is negative, phrases like guilty pleasure or stress release seem more common. – Chris Hayes Nov 28 '14 at 9:50
  • Sex is an art form. – ermanen Dec 4 '14 at 18:14
8

You're looking for "relieving". Merriam-Webster gives the following definition of "relieve" as an intransitive verb:

relieve: to bring or give relief

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    thought about relieve, but sounds too medicinal. – MikeiLL Nov 27 '14 at 15:46
  • I would quote Ben Harper for a use of relieve in that sense. – njzk2 Nov 27 '14 at 19:48
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Technically speaking the most suitable word is probably relaxing - assuming the effect OP refers to is much bound up with taut/tight/contracted muscles that need to relax/loosen up.

  • That's much too passive to describe sex, though. (Different strokes for different folks, I guess.) – 200_success Nov 27 '14 at 20:32
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    @200_success: I don't understand what "too passive" means there. I prefaced my answer with "technically speaking" because in common parlance people are more likely to say [something] is relaxing when they mean mentally (as opposed to physically, which is the context explicitly required here). So we'd be more likely to say Distalgesic is a "muscle relaxant", rather than call it relaxing. – FumbleFingers Nov 27 '14 at 20:39
  • Relaxing sounds like you lie there like a dead fish. – 200_success Nov 27 '14 at 21:15
  • Relaxing as a description of an activity doesn't imply passivity. Hard physical work to relieve stress can be relaxing, high-energy sports can be relaxing, etc. This is a good answer in my books. – Matthew Read Nov 28 '14 at 1:36
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Sated, as in satisfied, fully.

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    You may be sated or satisfied, but the question is asking about the activity which brings satiation or satisfaction. – choster Dec 4 '14 at 18:14
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  • invigorating - Making one feel healthy and full of energy. OED

  • revitalizing - giving new life or vigor to. Merriam-Webster

"Bad sex is good, and good sex is invigorating."

"Spending two weeks at the spa was really revitalizing for my shattered nerves."

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    "The best sex is debilitating." +1 to off-set the prudes and for the best two words here. – Mazura Nov 28 '14 at 11:29

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