What is masturbation and Is Masturbation good for you

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What is masturbation and Is Masturbation good for you

If you consult the Oxford Dictionary, masturbation is defined as the manual stimulation of one’s genitals with one’s hands to induce an orgasm. You would hope in 2020 that we would be able to reframe this rhetoric. Solo sex does not have to genitals, hands or orgasms! It is about allowing yourself to explore and enjoy sexual pleasure on your own, in whatever form that takes. What is masturbation and Is Masturbation good for you are questions that must be answered to all of us, and it’s important for both our health, our happiness and our long term wellbeing, in this article we will explore some key questions and facts on the topic.

Is masturbation normal?

In one word: YES. Anybody can and practically everybody does. Factors such as age, gender and relationship status are all irrelevant when it comes to this fact. People first begin exploring their body at young age, when all they know is what feels nice, prior to the stigma of sexuality is superimposed onto our behaviours along with the suggestible concept of morality.

 Can you masturbate too much?

There are lots of pseudo-science rumours surrounding masturbation, especially when it comes to masturbation impacting your ability to have partnered sex. There is no evidence to suggest that masturbating desensitises you, if anything it heightens your sexual responsiveness and enables you to know your body better, leading to a better sex life. If you are happy, it is not distressing you in anyway and it is not impacting your ability to function within society, you are not masturbating too much. If any of the above starts to apply, then it is worth speaking to a health care professional for further advice.

 What if someone catches you masturbating?

This is one of the most embarrassing scenarios ever, right? Well... probably not. Remember most people do it, we are just taught to be ashamed of it. It really depends who has caught you. A friend or flatmate? Laugh it off. They are going to be more embarrassed than you. Parents? Depending on your relationship with them, probably the same. I would let them come to you, so they feel like they have regained some control over the situation. Just remember you have done nothing shameful. Partner? People always think this one is the trickiest, but again, this is because it has always been suggested that we should not masturbate whilst in a relationship as this represents an inherent failure of the other partner. Solo-sex and partnered -sex offer you completely different benefits as well as leading to an objectively better sex life. It is ok to want some me time. Use it as an opportunity to have an open and frank discussion with your partner. Ask them how they feel about it first. It is hard but try not to be defensive, because you do not need to be. Once you can address their issues, whether it be hurt or embarrassment or anger, then explain your side. Whether this is something completely independent of your sex life together or whether something is missing, use it as the entry point to enhance your partnered sex. If they need help understanding, because there is a lot of societal unlearning to be done on this topic, I’d recommend reading “Come as you are” by Emily Nagoski or listening to “How Cum” by Remy Kassimir.

 What are the health benefits of masturbating?

There are literally hundreds of benefits that come with regular masturbation. Here are a few of my favourites:

  • Mindfulness – masturbation acts as a perfect meditative practice, helping your mind switch off by focussing on one goal and simple repetitive motions. Great for settling a restless mind.
  • Sleep – the hormones released during masturbation and orgasm are the perfect biochemical cocktail for a deep restful sleep.
  • Improving your cardiovascular health – endorphins released during masturbation cause blood vessels to dilate, reducing your blood pressure and increase your heart rate, leading to a healthier heart.
  • Glowing skin – Oestrogen and antioxidants from orgasm improves the skin’s elasticity and reduces wrinkles.
  • Self-esteem – regular solo-sex is associated with a subjective boost in confidence. You do you boo xo
  • Better partnered sex – improved sexual responsiveness (essentially get wetter quicker), higher libido and stronger orgasms…need I say more?
  • Better health awareness – Those who masturbate regularly are more aware of their bodies, meaning they are more likely to regular STI checks.
  • Pain relief – endorphins released are natural painkillers and increased blood flow to the pelvis eases abdominal cramping and back pain.
  • Stronger pelvic floor – rhythmic contractions leads to better orgasms and improved bladder/bowel health.
  • Better mental health – Happy hormones produced during masturbation leading to a mood boost.

Can I catch an STI from masturbating?

So we have tried to answer the two questions of What is masturbation and Is Masturbation good for you, but if you still have questions please let us know and we will get back to you! Whilst masturbating is inherently safer than partnered sex, there a few things to be careful of. If you are using sex toys, you need to make sure you prep and clean them appropriately. Using a sex toy without lubricant can lead to irritation. Certain kinds of lubricants can cause irritation if you have sensitive skin, especially enhanced ones where they are flavoured or offer an alternative sensation. Using the wrong lubricant can damage sex toys. Never use a silicone lube with a silicone toy. Water based lubricants, such as Kandid’s The Silky One, is your best bet. After using your sex toy, make sure you clean them thoroughly with soap and water. This is because if you share sex toys with someone else, it can lead to the transmission of sexually transmitted infections, such as Trichomoniasis.

What is masturbation and Is Masturbation good for you – By Dr Elesha Vooght

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