Wank, blanket drill, frig, herkin the gherkin, jack-off, jill-off, jerk-off, rub one out, pump a gusher, beat the beaver, flick the bean, solo-play or pleasuring, self-pleasuring and self-loving… these are some of the many words used for erotic self-stimulation, or masturbation.
Society’s long history of repressing masturbation shows that sexual self-pleasuring has been prevalent for centuries. Highly demonized, it wasn’t until the end of the Victorian Age that research first proved masturbation to be a natural activity. Even today masturbation is still viewed as a sin for some segments of society, but, more than ever, it is transitioning from an evil practice of “self-abuse” (which leads to hairy palms and mental illness) to a health promoting, self-care activity.
Sexual pleasure is our birthright. We are hardwired for this pleasure from conception until death. As humans, we innately gravitate towards what feels good and away from pain. Touching yourself for pleasure is normal!
Whether single or partnered, studies clearly show that adult men and women masturbate. Upwards of 90% of men report self-pleasuring, and, depending on the study, so do between 50-90% of women.
People masturbate because it feels good… period!
But there are other incentives for solo-pleasuring. Exploring their bodies allows people to find out what feels good, and allows for self-sufficiency in the orgasm department. When people orgasm, oxytocin (which is a hormone that causes bonding) is released, which enhances their self-love. Additionally, masturbation won’t lead to STIs or pregnancy.
Do people in relationships masturbate?
Many people believe that masturbation is only for singles and if partnered people masturbate it means that they are dissatisfied with their sex lives. To the contrary, there appears to be a positive correlation between couples who masturbate and satisfactory frequency and enjoyment in their coupled sexual experiences.
Studies show that men and women masturbate as an addition to their partnered sex lives, either because, well, the mood struck when their partner was absent or they just wanted to experience some pleasure without having to expend the time and energy it takes to have a partnered experience.
How does masturbation benefit couple’s play?
When individuals personally know their turn-ons, they can then share what feels good with their partners. One of the best ways to share this information is to masturbate in front of their mates and allow them to see first-hand (pun intended) how to do the job.
Additionally, the ability to be self-satisfied will take pressure off partners when they are not feeling up to sex and during times of illness, injury or separation.
What are the health benefits of masturbation?
Hopefully, the previous information helps you feel better about self-loving. But if you are still not convinced, here are some health benefits that will surely inspire you to add masturbation to your self-care routine:
- Orgasm/ self pleasure
- Blood circulation
- Decreases pain
- Sleep & relaxation
- Burns calories
- Endorphins / improves mood
Masturbation, which generally leads to orgasm, increases endorphins, decreases pain perception, aids relaxation, burns calories, and improves mood, circulation, and sleep.
It brings blood flow to genitals, keeping both men’s and women’s sex organs healthy. Women will enjoy less vaginal atrophy and improved lubrication, especially during perimenopause and menopause. In men, masturbation resulting in ejaculation helps keep their prostates healthy and decreases prostate cancer risks. Also, frequent erections help maintain strong erections, bringing truth to the term use it or lose it!