Solo Sex: Benefits of Masturbation
Guest Post by Varuna Srinivasan
While some societies create negative propaganda around the idea of masturbation, it is actually a very healthy habit. Many of us, especially those with vulva’s, grew up with a fear of masturbation. In a patriarchal society, sexual liberation of any but cis het men are seen as a threat. We shame women and queer folks for exploring their sexualities.
In some cultures, people with penises are shamed as well. Movements such as #nofap creates an idea that somehow masturbating is bad and has negative health benefits.It claims to improve self confidence when in fact, the opposite is true. The whole purpose of telling kids not to masturbate and to stay abstinent isn’t helping, and it only aims to shame and blame.
This is unfortunate considering the benefits of masturbation are numerous. Here are some of the positive effects of solo sex in people that sex education doesn’t really cover:
- - stress relief
- - improved sexual satisfaction
- - increased emotional intelligence
- - improved mood
- - reduction in menopausal symptoms
- - better genital self-image
But, let’s talk about the biggest benefit of all: self-exploration. Masturbation encourages people to explore their bodies and their sexuality. It improves self-awareness and body image. Many of us haven’t really spent time looking at ourselves, feelings ourselves, or pleasuring ourselves.
There are many people who have never really understood their penis or vulva. Masturbating regularly improves self-awareness and builds self-esteem! It allows people to be in charge of their sexuality and own it. Simply put, it improves overall sexual pleasure.
Masturbating also increases happy hormones in the body such as dopamine and serotonin. It also increases oxytocin, which is known to leave one with a sense of fulfillment and affection. Cortisol, another positive hormone, is released during this period as well and is known to strengthen the immune system. Furthermore, having your heart race throughout this entire encounter is also good for the heart.
In addition to all these hormones, it is an important part of one’s self love and care ritual. For others, it can be self-soothing and cathartic. There is an overall improvement in one’s libido, and it translates into a higher sex drive in one’s relationship. This is not just true in younger folks but in older people as well. Older people who masturbate regularly show better cognitive function.
Well if I haven’t been convincing enough yet, maybe this might help - masturbating helps you sleep better! All that work during the orgasmic phase, the increased heart rate, the heavy breathing and the muscle spasms cause fatigue in the post-orgasmic phase. It’s a fail-safe way to cure insomnia for free.
Let’s admit it, the human race would be much better off if masturbation wasn’t so taboo. We would be a group of happy, well-rested, and sexually-assured people.
A final word of advice - there are many different ways one can masturbate and there is no wrong or right way to touch one’s body. As long as you have a private place where you won’t be interrupted and use plenty of lube, you’re good to go!
Enjoy some shame-free solo sex! And if you're feeling daring, you can even add a toy in!