Masturbation is something we definitely don’t talk enough about. I don’t know about you, but I didn’t know women even could masturbate until my senior year of high school. But oh man, discovering masturbation was definitely a welcome surprise for a closeted lesbian who was horny and definitely NOT having sex with anyone. Masturbation was conveniently absent from all of my sex education, which started in 5th grade and ended in 9th grade. So, my only exposure masturbating was media jokes about teenage boys and my female friends saying “ewww” at any sort of insinuation that they, or any other girl, were at all sexual. But masturbation is safe, a lot of fun and has so many great benefits, so, let’s bust the stigma with 10 fast facts about masturbation!
- Masturbation can really help relieve period cramps! So, to all you vagina-havers out there, if you are experiencing some nasty cramps, see if you can sneak away for some me-time. Orgasms always offer some relief for me and I especially like to masturbate when I can’t sleep because of cramps.
- According to Planned Parenthood, research shows masturbation can improve both self-esteem and body image!
- Struggling to sleep? I know I sometimes struggle with periods of sleeplessness, and masturbation is one of many tools I use to help me fall asleep. So, if you’re lying awake at night and can’t seem to fall asleep, try touching yourself, it might wear you out enough to help you fall asleep.
- Feeling stressed out? Work, school, relationships, life…it all can get so stressful! Masturbation has been shown to reduce and relieve stress, so if you’re having a particularly hard day, month, week or year, treat yourself and set some time aside to masturbate and relieve some of that stress.
- Contrary to some rumors being spread around, masturbation is not bad for you—it does not result in increased hair growth, masturbation addiction, blindness, infertility or any of the other outlandish negative effects people say to scare us out of touching ourselves. These are all scare tactics to shame us for our sexuality and I, for one, am not here for that.
- Some research shows that masturbating to orgasm can actually improve the functioning of your immune system by boosting cells crucial to a healthy immune system, meaning you stay healthier too! An orgasm a day keeps the doctor away? I hope so!
- Sex and masturbation often revolve around having an orgasm, but you don’t have to have an orgasm while masturbating (as a side note, sex doesn’t have to involve an orgasm either). If you don’t want to have an orgasm, you don’t have to! Live your life, masturbate how you like to, there’s no “right way” to pleasure yourself.
- If you have any sex partners, masturbation can actually improve your sex life. Part of masturbation is getting to know your body. You learn what you like or don’t like, you can test out toys, mentally explore fantasies, and discover what gets you hot and bothered and what doesn’t do it for you. Once you know yourself and what you like, you can communicate that to your partner and make sex even more pleasurable.
- You may be thinking you have to masturbate alone but you can also masturbate with a partner! Masturbating with a partner can be fun and so hot. Watching your partner masturbate can get you in the mood, show you how your partner likes to be touched, and make your own masturbation more fun (and vice versa).
- Masturbation does NOT have to be the less satisfying, more boring sibling of having sex. You can have a healthy, satisfying sex life and still masturbate regularly or you can be completely content with masturbation as your only sexual activity. There are also tons of ways to make masturbation interesting, exciting, and super satisfying, including adding toys or masturbating in front of a mirror. Plus, you get to focus completely on you! Don’t limit yourself and think masturbating is any sort of comment on any sexual partners you have or had or on your ability to find sexual partners, express your sexuality however you want.
All of these facts are fun and demonstrate the benefits of masturbation, but you don’t need any reason to masturbate other than you want to. Masturbation is fun and it feels great so that’s enough of a reason to do it. Masturbation is personal and different for everyone, so there is no correct amount of times you should or have to masturbate, do what feels right and masturbate as little or as much as you want! So, take some time, explore your body, maybe stop by The Velvet Lily and pick up some toys to spice things up, but mostly, have fun and reap all the benefits of touching yourself! So, go forth and masturbate!