As we just exited National Masturbation Month, it makes sense to look back on what we learned. But, first things first, we all know that this topic is pretty uncomfortable for most people to talk about or admit to doing. That's understandable because it's been ingrained in the human mind for decades upon decades that masturbation is a damning act, generally because of religion and cultural etiquette.
The Bible itself never specifically discusses the subject however does provide a very strict warning against "spilling your seed on the ground" which was then described by the Catholic Church as a sin that deserves eternal damnation (it was also called "onanism" after Onin, a character in the Bible). In fact, by WWI, masturbation was termed "self-abuse" and was medically described to be more dangerous for young boys than things like lying or stealing. And, of course, there wasn't even a mention of girls or women because, well, how could that even be a possible act they might engage in, right? Something like this definitely adds to the female reluctance to discuss the subject.
But, does everybody do it? Yes. Like, everybody? Yes. Everybody. And although the above mentioned is indicative of the shame/guilt/fear so many people have or feel around admitting to/talking about masturbation, recent studies are going to start changing that.
According to Indiana University's National Survey Of Sexual Health And Behaviours, more than half of American adults masturbate between 1 and 4 times per week and men do it more frequently than women but it's not going to stay this way many think.
There are several health benefits to masturbation (both physically and mentally) and they're very worth while to know and keep in mind. I'm not suggesting that people should be complete open books on this topic (if you're not comfortable with doing so) but I do think that the massive stigma around discussion (especially for females) really needs to be adjusted.
Check out this list of 12 things that both the natural and scientific world agree are great health benefits behind this act ( that's a tale as old as time).
1. Boosting your confidence and body image.
Honestly, taking the time to please yourself can markedly improve your outlook on life, how you view the world (your world), and yourself. Dr. Tanginika Cuascud, a clinical sexologist, stated that "you cultivate very good feelings with yourself, and can transfer that to the rest of the world...confidence is the most potent aphrodisiac." Doesn't sound so bad, eh?
2. Your necessary dose of dopamine, endorphins, and oxytocin.
There's the trifecta of happiness hormones and you can acquire all of them by doing something you find fun anyways...I'm really seeing no downside. When these hormones receive a boost they, in turn, lower your cortisol levels, which is the main hormonal component to stress. When cortisol is elevated, it can lead to inflammation, stress-eating, insomnia, and weight loss resistance. Sooo I'm pretty sure it won't be too hard to sell my concept here.
3. More oxytocin means less cravings for junky food...
...which also means feeling better overall and improvements to that bod you're going to be feeling so good about anyways (see how it all connects??). With higher levels of oxytocin, we're simply happier and that keeps those pesky emotionally-triggered food cravings for stuff like sugars/cheese/"comfort foods" at a minimum. Oxytocin levels are immediately increased by physical bodily stimulation sooo even if you don't get to climax, you're receiving a dose of this potent neurotransmitter.
4. It's an escape from reality where you can take your time.
It's a common misconception that masturbation needs to be a quick matter that, of course, ends in an orgasm. However, doctors encourage women (men too) to take their time, examine the entire body, and refrain from rushing. Trying to move too quickly will just stress you out and counteract the positive effects you were going for.
5. You'll sleep better.
BONUS. This is like the feeling you have following sex where you just want to fall into the deepest sleep. This happens due to a flood of endorphins released following orgasm which promote that deepness of sleep (and getting enough of it). This same process happens following masturbation so...um...nothing else really needs to be said...get on it.
6. It's good for so many things, your heart too.
We know that heart disease is the number one killer of women in the USA and getting regular exercise going on in that schedule can be tough. BUT! Self-stimulation can stand in as a partial substitute because it get's all the blood flowing big time. There have been several studies done suggesting that women who experience more orgasms, alone or with a partner, are far less likely to develop heart disease or type-2 diabetes.
7. Gotta talk about the dudes too of course: Sperm quality increases.
When we're talking about males, masturbation improves sperm quality because there's less DNA damage and motility (the ability to move easily and freely) problems with fresh sperm. So this is especially important for those looking to get pregnant.
8. It improves your sex life.
Masturbation has the ability to make you more comfortable and confident in the bedroom. Doing it regularly can put you in touch with what you desire, like the most, and would hope for from someone else. You get to know your body, you learn what feels the best to you, and learn how to better respond to others which leads to better sexual experiences solo or with a partner.
9. It helps prevent prostate cancer.
In 2003, an Australian study found that men who ejaculated more than 5 times per week were a third less likely to develop prostate cancer. Why is this? There are disease-causing toxins that build up in the urogenital tract that, when 'expelled,' allows the bad guys to be flushed from the system.
10. It's totally safe.
Unless you begin to feel it's impacting your life in a negative way somehow, it's one of the safest ways to satisfy personal sexual needs. There's no risk of STD's or pregnancy (obviously) so regardless of your reasoning...indulge.
11. For men, it can improve immune function.
By increasing cortisol levels, immune function is increased and regulated simultaneously. Also, depression can be reduced by an increased amount of endorphins in the bloodstream
12. It's good for your partner too!
When you've taken the time to get in touch with your own body and desires this improves your own sex-positive views therefore welcoming your partner's as well. Ultimately, more confidence
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