We’ve all heard those stories about the consequences of having a quick tug or a little flick of the bean from time to time such as hairy palms, going blind and thinking that if your partner masturbates, then they must be unhappy with their current sexual relationship. But we’re here to set the record straight and fill you in on the reasons why it’s great to masturbate.
Though there has been no scientific evidence to indicate that masturbating causes any of these adverse effects, there has, however, been plenty of in-depth research to back up how fantastic masturbating is for an individual’s health and well-being. Self-care is extremely important, and self-pleasure is a fantastic way to blow off steam and forget about any stress or worries, plus it has some health benefits too, so there’s no arguing with that.
The Benefits of Masturbating…
1. Catch up on those zzz’s with Improved Sleep
For a lot of people getting a good night’s sleep can be difficult. Research suggests that around 22% of people in the UK struggle to fall to sleep every single night (Reference 1). Whether you’re worried about something or you just have so much buzzing around in your mind, it’s clear that we Brits are deprived of the one thing that helps us function like normal human beings, sleep. Well, the good news is that a cheeky bit of ‘self-love’ before hitting the hay might be exactly what the doctor ordered.
When we masturbate, our bodies go through something called the Sexual Response Cycle, which is made up of 4 elements: Desire, Arousal, Orgasm, and Resolution.
As we work our way through the cycle, starting with
- Phase 1) Desire: our muscles begin to tense up, heart rates increase and breathing becomes accelerated. It continues to climb until you reach phase 2.
- Phase 2) Arousal: this is when you feel like you’re right on the brink of the world’s best orgasm and everything feels so much more intense. The clitoris becomes highly sensitive and testicles are withdrawn up into the scrotum. Tension in the muscles further increases until your body can’t take much more and that’s when we reach Phase 3.
- Phase 3) Orgasm: This is the climax of the Sexual Response Cycle and unfortunately, this phase only lasts, on average, a few seconds (but lord what a few seconds they were, am I right?). Phase 3 is the end-game, this is where you release all of that build up energy and tension and your breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure are at their highest rates and the fireworks start to explode – no wonder you feel exhausted after all of that!
- Phase 4) Resolution: the final phase is where your body gradually brings itself back to normality, like after you’ve done a good work out at the gym. Your breathing starts to slow down, your heart rate settles, muscles unwind and you feel all chilled out and relaxed… just as if you could just drop to sleep! (Reference 2)
But it’s not just all that hard work that tires you out, a study suggests that when we orgasm, it prompts the release of a hormone called Prolactin, which has been linked to sexual satisfaction and improved sleeping patterns (Reference 3).
Although masturbating is not the key to everyone’s sleeping problems, especially if you suffer from deeper sleep issues like insomnia, but for those who just need that extra little bit of help, masturbation is a fantastic way to unwind and feel sleepy pretty sharpish… go on, what else have you got to do?
2. Hello Happy Hormones
When masturbating and reaching orgasm, your body releases a cocktail of hormones that can make you feel happy in different ways.
- Endorphins: Like when you eat chocolate or go to the gym. When we masturbate we produce endorphins, these make you feel good, they give you that buzz and help you de-stress. (Reference 4).
- Dopamine: When you masturbate, Dopamine is released which is a chemical most associated with pleasure, to put it plainly, this is the hormone that puts you in a better mood and leaves you smiling like a Cheshire cat.
- Oxytocin: Feeling stressed out? Well knocking on out and reaching that all-important orgasm releases a happy hormone called Oxytocin. This works to lower cortisol levels, which is one of the main stress hormones, which you can usually find in bucket loads in stressed-out people. (Reference 5).
By touching yourself and climaxing, you can boost these chemicals and ultimately help yourself feel more peaceful and chilled out.
3. Post-nut Productivity
Not only is masturbation hella fun, but it’s also been said to increase productivity as work. Yep, you read that right. A senior psychology lecturer from Nottingham Trent University told Metro that taking a break to knock one out at work would be “very effective,” as well as being a “great way to relieve tension and stress” (Reference 6).
We’ve all heard of the term post-nut clarity (and if you haven’t you can widen your vocabulary here) but according to Lehmiller, a social psychologist at the Kinsey Institute, after you reach orgasm, you are able to think much clearer and make better decisions (Reference 6), thus increasing your productivity at work. Although it can be tricky to find a good time to, you know, at work, it definitely has it’s benefits.
4. Au Revoir Period Pains
Suffering from stomach grabbing cramps when you’re on your period? We’ve all been there and you don’t even want to get up to get more snacks, never mind having an orgasm, but actually, having a quick tickle may help ease those pesky period pains for a little while, as well as relaxing you the hell out of you.
As we touched upon earlier, we know that masturbating releases endorphins which help relieve stress and make you feel good, well newsflash, they don’t just help with stress, they also can actually relieve pain in the short-term too!
According to Sherry Ross, an OB/GYN and women’s health expert, “Masturbating can help relieve anything from cramps and back pain to headaches and joint aches”. This is because, during orgasm, the body releases a cocktail of dopamine and serotonin, which act as natural pain relievers (Reference 7) – Huh, every day is a school day right?
Although if you have more prominent period pains that really interrupt your life, it would be best to see a doctor and not bank on a wank to help you out long-term.
5. Masturbation Actually Increases Libido
It’s a common misconception that if your partner is self-masturbating, it means that they’re not satisfied with their current sexual relationship. Well when you masturbate, it increases blood flow to your sexual organs which actually increases sexual desire and can help you get primed and ready for a romping sesh (Reference 8).
Self-masturbation is a normal and natural thing, no matter how great the physical sex is with a partner. Of course, nobody knows your body like you do and you can learn a lot about what you like and what you don’t like through self-masturbation, something you can then share with your partner to make both of your experiences even better (Reference 9). Touch yourself in front of them (I’m sure they won’t object), show them what you like and show them how you want to be touched, it’s beneficial for everyone involved, trust me.
How to Masturbate Mindfully
Mindfulness has been studied by researchers and neuroscientists for decades and suggests that we can reap many benefits from practicing mindfulness, including being more self-aware as well as being aware of what’s happening around us.
Daniel Siegel, a neuroscientist studying mindfulness practices, claims that “With mindfulness practice, we may become more nonjudgmental, develop equanimity, become more aware of what is going on as it is happening and develop the capacity to label and describe with words our internal world.” (The Mindful Therapist, p. 31)
So, how does this help when masturbating? Well, being mindful when having some alone time is a great way to be present in the moment, and to really get to know your body and get in touch with what really turns you on. You can open your mind and focus on your body, feeling individual senses and really get caught up in the moment with yourself. So mindful masturbation is more or less exactly how it sounds and if it sounds like something you want to get on board with, here are a few tips on how to masturbate mindfully.
1. Drop the pressure to orgasm
Yes, we know this may sound odd as the big-o is typically the end game but that’s not really the point when practicing mindful masturbation. According to Daniel Saynt, founder of The New Society for Wellness “Mindful masturbation is designed to increase your understanding of your body, discover new feelings, and help you explore new ways of pleasuring yourself,”. “The ‘goal’ is to be able to say, ‘I really know my body. I know what toys and touches I like. I’ve spent this time with it. I’ve pleased myself.'” (Reference 10).
So instead of fixating on having a ground-shaking orgasm, try to spend as much time as possible getting to know your body and what you really respond to. You could even try things like edging, which is where you build your self up to come and then rest before starting again.
2. Be romantic for yourself
Don’t wait for someone else to light the candles, set the mood yourself. Instead of having a quickie whenever you get the chance, block out a specific time in your diary for some alone time. Have a bath, light some candles, music maybe? Or even go for a walk or tidy your space. It may sound a little silly but taking the time to focus on yourself is very important for your mind, body, and soul and it’s good to de-clutter anything causing negative energy around you.
3. Maybe give porn a miss this time?
As much as we love porn, again, it kind of defeats the object when learning to masturbate mindfully. Your body knows porn, it’s familiar, it stimulates your mind and gets you excited and you can guarantee you’re going to finish on a high, but when it comes to being mindful, you want to learn what you truly respond to you rather than just defaulting to porn. Your mind is a very powerful tool, use it to fantasize, think about how to get yourself going and what truly turns you on, you’ll be surprised what you may learn about yourself – plus it opens up a whole new channel for masturbating.
4. Mix it up a little
As human beings variety is right in the center of what keeps our interest and awareness, and it’s important to pay attention to that variety. If you have a usual routine when it comes to masturbation, it may be a good idea to mix things up. When habits form it makes it easier to go on auto-pilot and just zone out and that’s exactly what we’re trying not to do here.
Try involving new things into your alone time, use breath, sound, touch, and movement to switch it up from time to time. Get some toys involved, our g-spot suction vibrator will definitely provide you with a new sensation, or try some back door stimulation with our vibrating prostate stimulator. Do you lay down most of the time? Well, stand up, get your leg up on the tv stand, have a dance to your fav song, scream, shout, turn up the heating so you get nice and hot… just try something new and engage your curiosity… today!
If you’re in need of some ideas on how to mix up your routine, sex toys can be an amazing tool to discover exactly what gets you going. We have an amazing selection of adult toys for women, men and couples, like our love eggs, small and discreet, but not to be underestimated, our amazing love eggs deliver wonderfully intense and orgasmic vibrations, whilst still being ideal for everyone from beginners to sexperts.
5. Patience is a virtue
Like other mindfulness practices, it can be hard at first, but just be patient with yourself. You may be flooded with thoughts, distractions, and resistance. Just make sure you’re aware of that, reflect on your session and keep coming back to the practice and yourself. Practice makes perfect, but hey, we’re all different so someone else’s perfect may be different to your perfect, but just remember to keep it interesting.
So, what are your thoughts on Mindful Masturbation and its benefits? It is something you’d like to try or even something you’ve been practicing for a while? Get in touch, let us know, we’d love to hear about your experiences!
Ref 1. linenbundle. 2019. Insomnia – How Big A Deal Is It?. [online] Available at: <https://www.linenbundle.com/blogs/news/insomnia-statistics>
Ref 2. Cleveland Clinic. 2017. Sexual Response Cycle. [online] Available at: <https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/9119-sexual-response-cycle>
Ref 3. Spiegel K, e., 2020. Prolactin Secretion And Sleep. – Pubmed – NCBI. [online] Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Available at: <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8191199>
Ref 4. Serendipstudio.org. 2020. Chocolate On The Brain. [online] Available at: <https://serendipstudio.org/bb/neuro/neuro04/web1/kcoveleskie.html>
Ref 5. Huffingtonpost.co.uk. 2015. 13 Reasons Every Woman Should Masturbate Regularly. [online] Available at: <https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/reasons-women-should-masturbate>
Ref 6. Cosmopolitan. 2019. Wait, Guys Get Their Best Ideas After They Orgasm? Here’s The Truth On Post-Nut Clarity.. [online] Available at: <https://www.cosmopolitan.com/sex-love/a27545828/post-nut-clarity-definition/>
Ref 7. Healthline. 2019. Period Symptoms? Masturbating May Be The Cure-All You Need — Here’S Why. [online] Available at: <https://www.healthline.com/health/healthy-sex/masturbate-on-period#benefits>
Ref 8. Huffpost.com. 2017. How Masturbation Affects Your Sex Drive. [online] Available at: <https://www.huffpost.com/entry/how-masturbation-affects_b_11015814>
Ref 9. WebMD. 2017. Female Masturbation: 5 Things You May Not Know. [online] Available at: <https://www.webmd.com/women/features/female-masturbation-5-things-know#1>
Ref 10. BuzzFeed. 2018. 9 Masturbation Tips That Are Basically Self-Care. [online] Available at: <https://www.buzzfeed.com/annaborges/mindful-masturbation>