Almost all of us masturbate — but are you doing it enough? Masturbation provides so many benefits, you should think of it as a part of your self-care routine. (There's no fixed amount that works for everyone, but I recommend that you find the balance that feels right for you.) Here are a few of the major reasons you should be getting down with yourself more often.
1. It relieves stress.
Feeling flustered and out of sorts? Battling a bout of discontent? You may be due for a little you time. Masturbation lets you block out distractions and focus on your own pleasure. Experiencing orgasm releases chemicals including dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin, which increase your sense of well-being. A solo session can clear your head and provide a sense of relaxation.
2. It's a natural sleep aid.
Lying awake counting how few hours you have left to get your beauty rest? Try masturbating. Self-pleasure lowers your blood pressure and releases a feel-good brain cocktail that helps you fall asleep.
3. It helps relieve cramps.
Masturbating can help alleviate intense menstrual cramps through the release of chemicals associated with sexual excitement and orgasm, and through the orgasm itself. The clenching and releasing of your vaginal muscles reduces pain by expending excess prostaglandins. Just make sure you masturbate for at least five minutes.
4. It improves your mood.
All those happy chemicals swirling in your brain boost your mood, which is great for you and anyone you spend time with. If you find yourself down in the dumps, feeling blue, or just not like yourself, give yourself a hand.
5. It makes partnered sex better.
Sex therapists tell clients who struggle to reach orgasm, or who have never had an orgasm, to masturbate. It puts you in touch with your own body and helps you learn what works for you. The more you know about your likes and dislikes, the more feedback and guidance you can provide a partner. Routinely bringing yourself to orgasm increases the likelihood that you can reach orgasm with someone else. One caveat: If you regularly use pornography to help you reach orgasm, you may experience more difficulty reaching orgasm with a partner.
Masturbation can also improve your self-esteem and body image. Feeling better about your own body means you will be more apt to initiate and reciprocate partnered sex. The combination of having sex on the brain andthinking you’re a hot ticket will result in more sex with your significant other as well.
6. It's the best solo date night ever.
If you are sexually frustrated, you have access to a cure. Self-pleasure doesn't need to be all about efficiency. Light some candles, run a bath, play romantic music. Seduce yourself. Take time to get yourself in the mood. Try a lubricant and vibrator. Experiment with different angles, different sensations. Touch yourself in a teasing way, let the anticipation build, and then sit back and enjoy the fireworks. Waking up cozy in your own bed beats the morning after a one-night stand every time.