When we’re teenagers and begin to discover our sexuality, there’s nothing more embarrassing than one of our parents unexpectedly walking in on us while masturbating. As well as being an intimate moment, a part of us is screaming that we’re doing something “wrong.” Women tend to feel this particularly badly, as female masturbation is still regarded as scandalous in many areas of society. You just have to ask your female friends — how many of them openly confess to masturbating?
However, masturbation shouldn’t be seen as a dirty or impure act. Apart from being perfectly natural, masturbation carries many health benefits that you may not have been aware of.
The main benefit of masturbation is the recognition of our own body. We first need to know what we like before we can find maximum pleasure with our partners in the bedroom. Beyond that, there are many other advantages that may change the way you think about masturbation:
1. It can relieve anxiety and stress
By releasing endorphins, adrenaline, dopamine, and serotonin, masturbation can relieve stress and lift spirits. So after a bad day, it might be best to treat yourself to some private time.
2. It can reduce pain
The endorphins released when you masturbate can reduce any pains we’re feeling. While masturbation may bring relief to women experiencing cramps or period pains, men may find it reduces pain caused by pressure built up in the scrotum. Therefore, masturbation can be a natural alternative to taking painkillers and is much more pleasurable.
3. It can boost your energy and revitalize your organs
If you thought sexual intercourse was the best way to stay in shape, you may be wrong. Though it’s been demonstrated that sexual intercourse can boost performance, a study from the previous Olympic Games has shown that masturbation generally increases athletes’ strength and agility to a greater extent.
4. It can reduce the risk of prostate cancer and prevent infections
According to research, ejaculation lowers the risk of prostate cancer in men. Behind lung cancer and colorectal cancer, prostate cancer is the third most common cause of cancer death in American men. For women, masturbating expels any unwanted bacteria from their body and helps keep their intimate area remain healthy. Another study has also shown that excitement during masturbation and climaxing activates our immune systems, thus helping to prevent infections.
5. It can help you to fall asleep faster
When you have an orgasm, your muscles relax and release any tension that’s keeping you awake. Now ready to doze off, you’ll probably enjoy a better night’s sleep, too. Masturbation also helps some people let some steam off when they’re under pressure or suffering from stress. So if you’re having trouble sleeping or staying focused, masturbation may be the answer.
Of course, it’s also important to know how often you should masturbate. In the case of men, it’s recommended to ejaculate an average of 21 times a month to protect against prostate cancer. However, there’s no need to go over the top as excessive masturbation can cause injuries.
Far from being “wrong,” masturbation can do your well-being a world of good and is nothing to be ashamed of. As Oscar Wilde once said, “To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.” It’s hard to disagree with that.