If you haven't heard by now, May was considered by many to be a 30 day tribute to self-pleasure, more commonly known as masturbation. Claimed by the infamous Good Vibrations in San Francisco, this month is all about encouraging personal reflection of the intimate relationship we have with ourselves, to diminish associated shame and stigma regarding healthy sexual practices and encourage sex positive values and attitudes through critical dialogue.
Masturbation or self-pleasuring is good for your health! Technically, it can be one of the safest forms of sex (unless you're putting something somewhere that it shouldn't be), it helps relieve stress (orgasms trigger dopamine and serotonin natural mood lifters), eliminates migraines, headaches as well as mild pain and helps you build your sexual self confidence through claiming your orgasm for yourself. Our ability to expand our pleasure capacities, I feel is ultimately rooted in the most important of sexual/intimate relationships -- the one with ourselves.
Even though the month of May may be over I encourage you to practice and continue to celebrate in your own way for the whole year! Donate to an associated charity, participate in a masturbate-a-thon, take a trip to your local adult shop and buy something new just for yourself to enjoy, buy lubricant, or self-pleasure in front of a mirror and re-connect with your sex organs... just do it for you and the awesomeness of your potential orgasms!
Sexologists especially, will more often than not, refer to masturbation as self-pleasuring. The romantic and intimate connotations of bringing pleasure to yourself versus the historically shaming and guilt ridden feelings behind the word masturbation are the reasons for the shift in reference. But, we all agree that self-pleasuring is a most powerful connection that you share with yourself and can share with a lover. Here is a quick list of the benefits of not only the orgasm, but of masturbation and self-pleasure.
1. A form of harm reduction & safer sex
Harm reduction has become a trending word and led itself ablaze into our mainstream worlds. In application it's as easy as wearing a helmet when you ride a bike, consistently wearing a condom when you engage in sexual activity or texting your partner once to check-in when you're out with your buddies on a Friday night. Think simple, easy and effective ways to reduce any potential harm that may come to you from engaging in a super fun activity. Masturbation is just like that. When all you have is yourself to think about, the potential for harm or transmission significantly decreases. Just be sure to use clean toys (with either fresh batteries or fully charged) a water-based lubricant, and let your fantasies run wild!
2. Expands your pleasure capacity
Kellogg's Corn Flakes. You know the stuff. The same breakfast I grew up on, sprinkled with sugar (because my Grandfather had an infamous sweet tooth) was, in and of itself created as an anti-masturbatory aid for the crusade towards healthier diets and less sex -- of any kind. Kellogg himself is suspected to have not even consummated his own marriage and adopted all of his children. Well, today we thankfully know better and can speak to the benefits of a healthy intimate lifestyle. Masturbation allows us to have a better understanding of our sexual capabilities -- whether it's through practising to last longer, learning how to orgasm, or guiding ourselves and/or partners where our most tantalizing erogenous zones are. When I have a better understanding of what turns me on I can then either communicate, direct, guide or demonstrate that to a lover. I'm satisfied, they're satisfied and we are all satiated... until round two that is!
3. The Natural healer
As I mentioned earlier, orgasms are awesome. And, in that awesomeness is the wonder of natural healing. The release of dopamine and serotonin in your brain not only helps uplift your mood but also aids in the healing of a variety of ailments, such as, (but not limited to); easing tension headaches and migraines, easing menstrual cramps and helping shorten your menstrual cycle, as well as being a natural sleep aid. Who wants to count sheep when you can follow the Sandman to pleasure town? Generally speaking, here's my rule of thumb -- if you're feeling cranky, anxious, hangry, stressed out, need to be grounded, or any variation of -- rub one out. Trust me... you can thank me later.
4. Cleans out the "pipes"
I had a friend once tell me "the good thing about masturbation is that you don't have to get dressed up for it." Simple. Easy. Get it done. For some, self-pleasuring is enhanced by their environments and so they make special time for it. For some others, you literally have 4.5 minutes before your partner comes home from walking the dog and you just need to release and redirect the energy before you explode about something small and insignificant. Having a daily orgasm leads to the cycling of healthier semen, it makes you feel good through the release of hormones, is better for you than coffee in the morning and allows you to ground yourself and possibly regroup in between jobs.
So, why are you still here? Don't you have a bathroom stall to get to? Four and a half minutes until the next meeting -- GO!