Masturbation is a fun and necessary part of life. And the best part is the long list of health benefits of masturbating . . .
Unfortunately, there are a number of myths about masturbation, many of which try to convince you that masturbation is bad for you or, even worse, somehow makes you a bad person.
All of these myths simply are not true. Masturbation is enjoyable, totally normal and natural, and also good for your physical and mental health!
Even better, it is the safest form of sex available due to the fact that there is zero risk of pregnancy or getting a STI or STD.
Masturbation should be looked at as a form of self-care.
As a result of the many myths that are out there about masturbation, the topic is often considered taboo and embarrassing to talk about. This is unfortunate because the more we talk about it with our friends and loved ones, the more that we are able to learn from each other and grow with each other.
Masturbation is a natural part of life. It allows us to explore ourselves and bring ourselves pleasure and relaxation.
Kelley Kitley L.C.S.W., a mental health expert in Chicago, actually recommends masturbation to her patients.
“But a lot of women are embarrassed by it. My hope is that we can normalize it for women too, because it’s such a natural function. I like to refer to it [as being on the same level of importance] as eating, sleeping, and brushing our teeth,” Kitley said.
Masturbation is enjoyable, totally normal and natural, and also good for your physical and mental health!
So, take some time out for yourself and give yourself some sexual pleasure.
Masturbation should be looked at as a form of self-care. It is a necessary function of a healthy adult. Continue reading below to learn about ten ways in which masturbation benefits your health.
Here Are 10 Science Backed Benefits of Masturbation:
Slide into bed and learn more about masturbation, and yourself!
1. Get Out of Your Thoughts
If you’re anything like me, you spend most of the day inside of your head, thinking. Getting to orgasm typically requires you to get out of your thoughts and into your body. It requires moving past the things that are stressing you out and instead focusing on the present moment and how your body feels.
While there isn’t a research study that proves this idea, you can refer to a hobby or activity that you’re passionate about. When you are in the midst of doing that thing that brings you joy and lights up your soul, you don’t feel stressed. You feel alive and in the moment. This is the same idea with masturbation.
Orgasm isn’t required either! Any kind of sexual pleasure can take you out of your thoughts.
2. Boost Your Mood
Orgasms are nature’s natural mood enhancer. When you have an orgasm, a slew of feel-good neurochemicals is released, such as dopamine and oxytocin.
According to Wendie Trubow, M.D., endorphins are also released which relieve stress temporarily. Endorphins are neurotransmitters that bring about positive and happy feelings.
Masturbation is a great way to connect with your body and reignite the flames.
These endorphins are similar to the same endorphins that are released when you have a great workout. It is the endorphins that give that euphoric feeling that is often referred to as a “runner’s high” or associated with high states of meditation. An orgasm is another way of bringing on that euphoric high.
3. An Orgasm Can Help You Fall Asleep
To better explain why an orgasm can help you fall asleep, let’s first talk about the sexual response cycle. According to the Cleveland Clinic, as you have sex or masturbate, your body cycles through different stages which come with physiological changes.
First, your body begins to build desire which brings with it rising heart and breathing rates. In male bodies, your penis begins to become engorged with blood, making it more erect. In female bodies, your clitoris will also become engorged, making it more sensitive to sensations. Your muscles begin to become tense, especially the buttocks, inner thighs, and core of your body.
Once you achieve orgasm, all that pent-up energy and tension releases. Your muscles spasm and your blood pressure and heart rate are at their highest and most frantic rates. For many, once the body begins to settle and relax post-orgasm, they feel exhausted and sleepy.
This isn’t a fail-safe sleep aid though. For some, orgasms can actually bring about a boost in energy. Also, for those who have insomnia, an orgasm may prevent falling asleep.
4. Increase Your Libido
Like with many things in life, when you have a little taste of something that you enjoy, you tend to want more of it. So, the more you stimulate yourself, it is quite possible that you will want to be stimulated more often.
There are many causes of a low libido including depression, pain, chronic illness or fatigue, busyness, and anxiety. It can feel awful to feel like you are losing touch with your sexuality. Masturbation is a great way to connect with your body and reignite the flames, so to speak.
Want a healthy sex drive? Eating These 11 Aphrodisiac Foods Will Help!
5. Learn About Your Body
Unfortunately, there is still quite a bit of stigmatization (in some cultures) and embarrassment around masturbation. This often leads some to feel shameful about their body and sexuality. One great way to get past that shame is to spend time exploring your body.
It is a fact that humans are sexual beings. Exploring your body through masturbation can not only help you to release the shame, but also help you learn what you like and don’t like sexually.
Knowing your body and what gets you off and what doesn’t can be really beneficial in making your sexual experience with a partner a tremendous experience. Your partner can only know what gets you off when you give them feedback. They can’t feel it for you.
6. Better Cognition As You Age
A 2017 research study published in the Journals of Gerontology studied 73 people between the ages of 50 and 83 who participated in a variety of sexual activities (including masturbation) at various frequencies.
What the authors found is that the more frequently one engaged in sexual activity, the higher they scored on cognitive tests that evaluated things like memory and verbal fluency.
Experts are not yet sure why this connection between sexual activity and better cognition exists, but they speculate that it might have to do with neurotransmitters like dopamine, which is released during sexual activity, may offer a protective benefit to the brain.
7. Boost Your Immune System
Some experts believe that masturbating (or sex) can give your immune system a temporary boost. A small research study in 2003 recruited 11 participants who agreed to abstain from sexual activity for at least 24 hours, watch pornography, and masturbate until orgasm.
There was also a control group which did not watch pornography or masturbate. They found that those participants experienced a temporary boost in immunity.
8. Strengthen Pelvic Floor Muscles
Your pelvic floor consists of a group of muscles that make up the bottom of your pelvis and support the pelvic organs. A female’s pelvic floor muscles support the bladder, bowel, and uterus whereas a male’s pelvic floor muscles support the bladder and bowel.
In both genders, these muscles help restrict flow of urine which are the same muscles that are activated during sexual arousal and orgasm. It is important to activate and strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. For females, it can lead to stronger orgasms. For males, it can help make your penis harder and prevent erectile dysfunction.
For all humans, healthy and strong pelvic floor muscles can help prevent, or at least lessen, incontinence issues. Activating Mula Bandha and doing Kegel exercises are great ways to strengthen them.
9. Female Specific Benefits of Masturbation
Masturbation can help relieve menstrual cramps and relieve symptoms related to menopause. A German research study found that sexual activity can temporarily reduce menstrual cramps, leg pain, migraines, arthritic pain, and chronic back and leg pain.
The researchers conducted a survey of 1,000 people who suffer from headaches. Results showed that 30% of those with cluster headaches and 60% of those with migraines reported that they find partial or total relief from their pain if they have sex during a headache episode.
This is due to a hormone that is released which raises your pain threshold level.
During menopause and perimenopause, the level of estrogen in your body drops. This can lead to a condition called vaginal atrophy which cause your vagina to be very dry which can be painful during penetrative sex or masturbation.
While lubricants can certainly help with this, Dr. Wendi Trubow recommends that perimenopausal and menopausal people try masturbating with internal toys such as dildos to help maintain vaginal resiliency. “The toys can help to train the vaginal muscles to expand and maintain elasticity.”
10. Male Specific Benefits of Masturbation
Masturbation can help lower your risk of prostate cancer and can help you last longer during sexual activities. A 2004 research study showed that males who ejaculated more than 21 times per month reduced their risk of prostate cancer by approximately 33% compared to males who ejaculated between 4 and 7 times per month.
The researchers followed up on this study in 2016 with the same men from the 2004 study and found that those who ejaculated between 8 and 12 times per month reduced their risk of prostate cancer by 10 percent.
It is possible for males to train themselves to last longer during sexual arousal. According to Ava Cadell, Ph.D., founder of Loveology University, this can be done by timing how long it takes you to orgasm during masturbation.
If it typically takes you 2 to 3 minutes to reach orgasm during masturbation, then try for 4 minutes next time. She also suggested counting the number of strokes if that works better for you. “Most men can double the number of strokes and the time within one month.”
Masturbation is Healthy and Fun, So Make it Part Of Your Self-Care Routine!
Masturbation is a healthy and normal part of life, regardless of gender, age, or background. Spending time getting to know your body can only benefit your sex life. Masturbation can also help to relieve stress, increase your libido, and add excitement and pleasure to your life.
Ignore the myths and shame that sometimes is linked to masturbation. You deserve to feel pleasure, even if you’re the one giving it to yourself. Make sure to take time out for yourself and make masturbation part of your self-care routine.