Masturbation not only feels good, it is good for you: it supports stress relief, helps you sleep, boosts your libido, supports connection with others and oh so much more.
It’s remarkable that solo female pleasure is still taboo considering all the health benefits that come with masturbation. And these benefits aren’t limited to your sexual health.
As a Sex Educator and Coach I recommend regular self pleasure practices to all women. This homework is often considered indulgent, too difficult and sometimes daunting. Masturbation should be as normal and accessible as making a cup of tea, eating lunch or sleeping in on a Sunday.
I understand it isn’t that simple for everyone. Pleasure is a complex multidimensional phenomenon involving both psychological and emotional components and female pleasure is still not properly understood as there is hardly any research into the individuality of our orgasms (surprise, surprise!). Even though there’s not a wealth of science on the subject there is evidence masturbation can improve your wellbeing in various ways as well as being safe, easy, free AND has absolutely zero negative effects. Nothing bad can come from doing it.
Still not convinced? Read on for why you should go ahead and get off. Take this a gentle reminder or an intro into why it’s healthy to touch yourself, bust out a toy, or do anything that makes you feel good as a duty of personal care.
1. An orgasm-induced endorphin release can put you in a great mood and support connection with others
Orgasm releases the feel-good neurochemicals dopamine and oxytocin, aka the ‘bliss’, ‘cuddle’ and ‘love’ hormones, that improve your mood, create a natural high, boost your satisfaction and activate the reward circuits in your brain. Masturbation is a powerful oxytocin-releasing activity and lowers your defenses and makes your trust people more, strengthens emotional bonds with self and others. People may feel the effects for up to an hour afterwards. So this not only makes you feel closer to your romantic partners, you may treat strangers better too.
2. Creates greater access to pleasure when having sex with others
Masturbation allows you to explore your body and discover what feels best. It is vital to know and understand how you can consciously access pleasure in your own body in order for you to discover deeper, greater pleasure with others. The more you know about your body, the easier it is to communicate with them too.
3. The clitoris is the only organ in the human body that is specifically designed for pleasure
I repeat, the clitoris has only one function: pleasure. A common misconception is that penetration is the main way to achieve an orgasm but many women require stimulation of the clitoris. The most visible part of this organ is about the size of a pea with extra-sensitive nerve endings and is located above the urethral opening. From there, the clitoris actually extends internally in two shafts that sit along either side of the vaginal canal. Research has recently found that the G spot is part of your clitoral network. This means that when you’re stimulating the G spot, you’re actually stimulating part of the clitoris, which is much larger than we’re led to believe. Experts may still be mapping the clitoris in full, but pretty much everyone understands the benefit: pleasure!
4. Self pleasure can boost your libido
The more sex you have, the more sex you'll want to have. This is the same with self pleasure, the more you masturbate and become comfortable being sexual with your own body, the more you'll want to be sexual with others. I call this a libido mindset. Libido is a state of being and an aspect of your identity that can grow, transform and change. Self pleasure is a part of the process in creating a libido that works for you.
5. Find it hard to sleep? Masturbation can help
There's a reason why you may feel sleepy after those toe-curling climaxes: Orgasms physically and emotionally relieve tension and exhaust the body, which allow you to fall asleep quicker. Generally people do sleep better after masturbating, but very often it’s from feeling relaxed and satisfied. Masturbation helps people sleep the same way reading a book before bed does, you feel calm and relaxed after.
6. Masturbating can ease pain, body aches and menstrual cramps
Studies have found that during orgasm, people can withstand up to twice as much pain as usual. The brain chemical serotonin, which can act as an analgesic, dampens the sensation of pain. There's no reason not to masturbate while on you are bleeding, if it relieves pain, aches or cramps then go for it.7. Fulfil sexual tension and practice self-love
10. It feels good
Pleasure is good for you, enough said.
Pleasure is such an individual experience, so you may feel these benefits differently and that is completely normal and expected. The more you explore your body with patience, openness and curiosity, the more you will learn about your pleasure potential. It’s time to rid ourselves of the taboos and uncertainty and start to celebrate our bodies, in the name of health!