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28 May 2024 (Last updated 07 Jun 2024)

7 reasons why masturbation is healthy.

Solo Sex 4 min read
7 reasons why masturbation is healthy.

The benefits of self-pleasure are a real life hack.

Masturbating is not just fun (although it absolutely is!), it's also scientifically proven to have health benefits. SO, why is it that we never here about them?

One 2023 study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine highlighted the insufficient teaching of female masturbation in sex education, with 85% of participants confirming that they didn't get taught about it. The fact that a majority of us don't learn that masturbation is healthy is not surprising, but it should change. Acknowledging that self-pleasure is totally normal promotes body autonomy, agency, consent, and safe sex with a partner. It also helps us break free from sexual shame.

And it's not just education. Pop culture and porn are also to blame for the lack of known benefits of masturbation. Though, we love this list of female masturbation film scenes. Actress Sharon Rooney told The Independent,

"When they said we'd be doing that scene, I thought 'Yeah I'll do that. Why not?' How many times have you seen a boy having a wank? All the time! It's all they talk about! I thought: 'Let's do it for the girls.'"

This is the inspiration we all need to go forth and tell the world about all the physical, emotional, and mental gains of masturbation. 

Seven benefits of masturbation.

1. It reduces stress.

When we feel stressed, our brain releases cortisol, a chemical that increases our blood pressure. During orgasm, our vaginal muscles tense and release, which helps lower blood pressure by improving the flow of blood through our bodies.

Pleasure also triggers the production of endorphins, which can lower cortisol levels and, in turn, alleviate symptoms of stress. Keeping our hearts happy and healthy. And, if your stress is giving you a headache, Harvard experts say that endorphins are also the brain's natural painkiller.

2. It improves sleep.

Orgasming releases a hormone called prolactin, making you feel satisfied and soothing the mind and body. Masturbating before bed can also induce sleepiness through muscle relaxation, literally letting go of any tension.

Making solo sex part of your nighttime routine is also a form of habit setting, which, regardless of whether we orgasm or not, can let our brain know it's time for bed when we experience sexual pleasure. Sweet dreams, indeed!

3. It alleviates aches and pains.

For those that menstruate, masturbation can help relieve period cramps. During menstruation, the uterus contracts to shed its lining, leading to muscle pain. Masturbating soothes tension by contracting and relaxing the muscles while stimulating blood flow. And don't forget about the endorphins released, reducing pain, too! 

4. It strengthens pelvic floor muscles.

The pelvic floor muscles are a group of muscles that provide support for organs such as the bladder, bowel, and uterus, in addition to assisting with activities like urination, defecation, and sexual function. Often, pelvic health is a focus for those that have just given birth or experienced menopause - however, being aware of our pelvic floor muscles is beneficial to us all!

While Kegel exercises are proven to help, a much more fun way to keep your pelvic muscles strong is to masturbate. Self-pleasure strengthens the muscles in your pelvic floor area and can help keep your reproductive tissues healthy, strong and flexible.

5. It boosts your mood.

At the moment of orgasm neurochemicals called oxytocin and dopamine are released and flood our system. Oxytocin is sometimes referred to as the ‘love hormone’, as its release is triggered by moments of intimacy. Dopamine triggers the pleasure centers in our brains. Together, these chemicals can leave you feeling good, and even boost our self-esteem.

6. It helps you connect with your body.

Exploring your sexual health through masturbation can offer valuable insights. It can foster a sense of comfort with your body, which may make it easier to discuss concerns or undergo things like Pap smears or STI checks. Being familiar with the normal sensations, appearance, and smells of your body can assist in identifying any potential changes.

‘Knowing what your vulva feels like won’t just get you off, it will also help you spot the signs of cancer. Taking five minutes to feel for any lumps, sores, raised and thickening skin, tenderness or moles changing in shape, is just one of the ways to check in on your gynae health.' Lady Garden Foundation.

7. It helps you orgasm.

Sounds obvious, but hear us out. Spending time touching yourself, and discovering what type of stimulation YOU enjoy the most helps you achieve orgasm with a partner. Vaginal penetration may make some climax, but for most people with vulvas clitoral stimulation is necessary - learn what works for you. Taking the time to explore with your hand or vibrators gives you the agency over your pleasure.

It has to be said, that our self-pleasure sessions aren’t about reaching orgasm - as cheesy as it sounds, it really is about the journey, not the destination. However, empowering ourselves through learning about our bodies and what we like will make our overall sexual experiences much better. This includes reaching climax. 

Remember, masturbation has no scientifically proven negative effects. The myths about going blind, infertility, or growing hairy palms are not supported by evidence. Masturbation is not a sinful act; rather, it is a normal, healthy, and pleasurable activity. It does not lead to pregnancy, disease transmission, or concerns about future relationships.

Aside being a time of pleasure and intimacy, masturbation is good for your health, and improves your wellness - see it like a more fun form of yoga 😉

For sexual wellness content that inspires even more pleasure in your life, follow @SmileMakersCollection - or check out our colorful collection of different types of vibrators for beginners and beyond.
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