Don't Hate--Masturbate!

I’m sure we all know how taboo masturbation is. I’ve seen a lot of the stigma around sex being fought (yay sex positivity!), however, the stigma surrounding masturbation is still largely ignored. Masturbation is incredibly common. In fact, 95% of men and 81% of women masturbate. (And if you don’t masturbate, you’re totally valid!) There are tons of benefits to masturbating, so in honor of National Masturbation Month, here they are!

  1. 1. Masturbating helps you release tension.

    Dopamine, the feel good chemical, and oxytocin, a chemical that lowers cortisol (the stress hormone) are released when you have an orgasm. So your stress levels will be decreased and you’ll be in a better mood.

  2. 2. Regularly releasing dopamine and oxytocin can help you boost your self-esteem and overall self-image.

    Since you’ll feel better physically and mentally, this can carry into your emotional wellbeing and allow you to feel better about your life and about yourself. Self-love is so important!

  3. 3. Masturbating helps you figure out what you like during sex.

    People of all genders, sexual orientations, and relationship statuses masturbate. Giving yourself a little extra love can help you better direct your partner while you’re getting it on, and will make sex more enjoyable. So don’t feel bad for masturbating even if you’re regularly having sex―sex with yourself and sex with someone else are completely different, and it’s always nice to explore by yourself.

  4. 4. Have you ever noticed you feel relaxed and maybe even a little sleepy after an orgasm? Masturbating can help you sleep better.

    Orgasms release prolactin and oxytocin, which relax us and make us sleepy. Roommates may make it so we can’t completely switch out melatonin for masturbating, but try it before a nap and see how it helps you. (Side note: a good night’s sleep helps increase your libido, so make sure you’re getting your full 8 hours!)

  5. 5. Masturbating to completion can help you with pain management.

    Orgasms release endorphins, the chemical that reduces/kills pain. And for those of us who get periods, masturbating can help take the edge off menstrual cramps!

  6. 6. I’m not here to shame you on how you have sex, but if you ever get anxious about having sex with someone else because of potential STI’s or pregnancy, masturbating is a great way to avoid these.

    It’s all the fun with none of the worry. (And for those of you who are having sex with other people, remember to do it safely! Birth control and condoms help keep us safe, especially when both are used!)

Healthline created a handy (pun intended) list of masturbation tips for both people with a vagina or a penis. There’s some great tips for all types of masturbation, so consider giving it a read before the next time you masturbate.

 

Finals are almost among us. The stress is starting to pile on. The papers and projects are being assigned. Remember to take care of yourself. Don’t be afraid to give yourself a little extra TLC.