Sexual Health Week 2019: Facts about Masturbation

When we think about sexual satisfaction, immediately our thoughts turn to those who are in a couple and enjoying a happy, healthy sex life. However, it is very easy to forget that sexual satisfaction is something that is equally as achievable for those who are happily single too. Masturbation is usually a solo experience that is enjoyed by lots of different people at all stages of life. In fact, a little self-love goes a long way in helping us to achieve sexual fulfilment.

Why is masturbation important?

Masturbation involves touching yourself for sexual pleasure and it is a perfectly normal part of life. People often masturbate using their hands or using sex toys such as a vibrator or a textured penis sleeve. Lots of people enjoy masturbation, but very rarely do people talk about it, because the topic is deemed to be taboo. This may be because of myths that were created many years ago which suggested that people who masturbate will go to hell, they will go blind, this will become infertile, their genitals will shrink, or their palms will become hairy. However, none of these statements have ever proved to be true.

masturbation facts

However, what the science does say, is that masturbation plays an important part in improving our overall physical and mental health. Not only does is help us to discover our likes and dislikes in the bedroom, but when you have an orgasm your body releases a rush of endorphins which are hormones that make you feel good. This can happen during masturbation or when having sex with your partner. There are lots of other benefits to masturbation too, but more about those later.

Can anyone masturbate?

Anyone can masturbate regardless of age, sex, gender or their sexuality. It is perfectly normal and healthy. People masturbate for lots of different reasons, but the main reasons are that masturbation feels good, it relieves stress, it can help someone to feel more relaxed, they may want to understand their own sexual needs more or that they simply want to release a little sexual tension. However, it is important to remember that masturbation is usually an act that is done in private so although anyone can masturbate, you cannot masturbate wherever you want.

Is masturbation when you are in a relationship cheating?

Masturbation when you are in a relationship is not cheating and lots of people in relationships do enjoy a little self-love now and again. I would go as far to say that masturbation can actually help to improve your sex life with your partner because you are more in tune with your own sexual needs and therefore, can express to your partner the different things that turn you on. This can be as simple as a little extra pressure ’here’ and a little more focus ‘over there’ to create a little more va va voom between the sheets. If you want to enjoy intimacy with your partner without having sex, you can masturbate each other or masturbate whilst your partner watches. It’s a great way to share intimacy without the risks of pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections.

masturbation facts

What are the health benefits of masturbation?

Masturbation helps to relieve

Although we are warned not to over-rely on masturbation to relieve stress. Masturbation can help you to relax. Often, masturbation takes place when you are alone and therefore taking some time out from your busy schedule or hectic family life. When you start to feel aroused a chemical called dopamine is released and gives us a feeling of pleasure. When we orgasm, the rush of endorphins provides a feel good factor which keeps us glowing with pleasure for hours afterwards. Alongside the feeling of pleasure, is also a sleepy relaxed feeling which is great for those who need a little me time.

Masturbation can ease period pains

For women, that time of the month can bring a barrage of nasty painful cramps as well as a poor complexion and low mood. Whilst many women don’t feel at their sexiest during their period, there are some perks to masturbating during this time. The hormones that your body releases during sex and masturbation act as natural painkillers and this can help to ease painful period pains. However, this may not be the case for everyone so take some time to listen to your body and experiment with the sensations.

Masturbation puts your in touch with your sexuality

Taking some time to touch yourself in a safe, controlled environment is a great way for people to get in touch with their sexuality and explore sexual pleasure. Many adults have had sexual relationships for years but experience very little sexual fulfilment. Spending some time pleasuring yourself and learning about your individual needs can help you to understand what your body needs sexually to orgasm and encourage the confidence to say what you want in the bedroom.

masturbation facts

Masturbation can help to improve your sleep

It’s no secret that men usually fall asleep straight after sex, but the same goes for women too. In addition to the other hormones we have spoken about, the release of prolactin and oxytocin during climax help you to feel nice, sleepy and relaxed. Instead of a glass of warm milk to get you off at night, why not reach for your favourite sex toy and try actually getting off?
You’ll sleep like a baby! A good night’s sleep also helps to boost the libido too, so it’s a winning formula.

When masturbation becomes a problem

An over-reliance on masturbation can be an indicator of an addiction. Whilst regular masturbation is perfectly normal, particularly amongst adolescents, if it is impacting negatively on your day to day life, or you are concerned about your increased reliance on masturbation, you can get help. Speak to your GP about a referral to a specialist counselling programme or seek help from a charitable organisation such as No Fap who send out a free Ebook to all their new subscribers.

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