Masturbation is one of life’s simple pleasures that most people regularly indulge in. It’s a completely safe and widely accessible form of entertainment, but there are loads of health and wellness benefits to masturbation as well. Does that surprise you at all? Here are just some of the major perks that masturbation can provide:
1) Masturbation reduces stress
Most people are able to achieve orgasm through masturbation, which may be difficult to do with partnered sex for some folks. Oftentimes, masturbation is the most relaxed way to get off. Not only does the act of masturbating itself help reduce stress and promote good feelings, but an orgasm is a great way to ease your mind and body.
During orgasm, the body releases dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphins. These four chemicals are responsible for almost all of the positive feelings we experience in life, which explains that post-orgasm bliss feeling you get afterwards. Releasing these chemicals can really help you cope with your daily stressors, and even alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety. It’s not an alternative to therapy or medication, of course, but in stressful times it can really help take the edge off.
Research also suggests that masturbation improves concentration, so taking breaks to self-pleasure while studying for university exams or preparing for an important meeting at work can be really useful if you get stressed out. If you’re subtle about it, you can even wear a bullet vibrator to work and press the button on the remote for a little midday pick me up–but that may just distract you further…
2) Masturbation can act as a natural sleep aid
For those who have trouble sleeping at night, try masturbating right before bed. A rigorous masturbation session will not only tire you out physically but also put your mind at ease. Being more relaxed can help you fall asleep faster and get a more restful night’s sleep.
For someone like me, who has difficulties with using melatonin and other sleep aids, it can really help knock me out when I need to get some rest. It even works for naps! There’s nothing better than a midday masturbation session followed by an energizing nap to get me through the second half of the day.
3) Masturbation can help relieve pain
Masturbation is a great way to relieve pain naturally. The endorphins released during orgasm are a natural painkiller so if you can manage to bring yourself to orgasm, it can sometimes help a lot. Again, this obviously isn’t a replacement for actual medical care, but for minor pains it can be really useful.
I especially recommend this method for things like headaches and menstrual cramps. I personally tend to masturbate in the shower while I’m on my period, because the hot water relaxes me enough to get into that mindset to make having an orgasm actually possible and enjoyable. This is especially fun with a waterproof sex toy. You also don’t have to worry about putting a towel down or anything in this case. No mess, no stress!
4) Masturbation can bring you closer to your partner
Believe it or not, masturbation can bring you closer to your partner. Many people find that watching their partner self-stimulate is arousing to them. Try watching your partner without intervening–or you can practice mutual-masturbation where you both watch each other pleasure yourselves.
Watching your partner masturbate can not only be really hot, but it can help you identify what kinds of things they enjoy. Do they like slow stimulation? A build up? Do they use a lot of pressure? What positions do they tend to masturbate in? Which toys do they choose for themselves? What kind of technique do they use on their own? Watching for all these things can help give you ideas of how to better please them during partnered sex. Remember that communication helps, too!
Masturbating and having orgasms also releases oxytocin, which is known as “the bonding hormone,” because it helps you feel closer to your partner after sex. Even in cases of watching your partner masturbate or masturbating together, you’ll still have that sexual bonding from oxytocin afterward. It’s the perfect time to snuggle and enjoy each other’s presence after having an orgasm.
5) Masturbation can improve your self esteem
Masturbation is a means of radical self love that can help improve your self-image. For folks who struggle with self esteem, having time to focus on your own pleasure can be really important. The same endorphins mentioned earlier that help reduce stress can also help build sexual confidence and reinforce the idea that your body is worthy of pleasure and love.
6) Masturbation can help you explore your sexuality
Since most people have masturbated before having partnered sex, masturbation can be a really important tool in figuring out your sexuality. Whether that means figuring out your sexual orientation or further exploring things concepts like kink, masturbation provides a safe outlet for these fantasies. If you’re too nervous to delve into certain fantasies with a partner, you’re always able to do so using your own imagination.
You can also figure out what kinds of sex toys you might like through masturbation. Curious about a little pain play? Try a pair of nipple clamps! Think you might want to try pegging? Pop in an anal toy while you masturbate and see how it feels. Toys can open up a whole new world for sexual exploration.
Masturbation can also be a really useful tool for survivors of sexual violence or other types of trauma, who may struggle with their sexuality after the fact. Many kinds of trauma can lead to sexual issues like sexual anxiety or orgasm dysfunction. Masturbation is a great way to help a survivor reclaim their sexuality because the focus is 100% on their pleasure.
7) Masturbation can improve your sex life
Whether or not you’re having partnered sex, masturbation can really help you understand your sexuality a bit better, which can lead to a more fulfilling sex life when you do have partnered sex. By communicating the things you’ve learned about yourself through masturbation, you can establish a better connection with your partner and have more sex that you find satisfying. There’s no shame in saying, “I like XYZ types of stimulation,” or showing your partner what you’ve learned about yourself through masturbation.
Mastrubation and orgasms in general can also help strengthen your kegel muscles. Kegel muscles help with bladder control and incontinence, but they also make having an orgasm easier. Think of it like any other muscle in your body–using it more often strengthens it to perform better. You can strengthen your kegels manually by doing exercises or you can use kegel toys. People who regularly masturbate and orgasm are more likely to achieve orgasm and have stronger orgasms due to these muscles.
There are so many benefits of masturbating. From dealing with stress and pain to strengthening relationships, masturbation is a safe and healthy way to improve your life in several areas. While masturbation and sex are definitely optional activities, you should feel free to explore your body without shame. Not only does it feel really good, but it can help you in other aspects of your life, too!
This article was sponsored by Hustler Hollywood. All writing and opinions are my own.