This month is International Masturbation Month (ooh, yes). And to celebrate, we're expounding all the benefits (and joys!) of getting busy with yourself.
Created by US-based sex-positive retailer Good Vibrations, the annual event was a response to the firing of then-Surgeon General Dr. Joycelyn Elders in 1994, after suggesting masturbation be part of the sex education curriculum for students. A pioneer of the global sex-positive movement, Good Vibrations responded by first creating a National Masturbation Day, which later became an international monthly celebration of self-pleasure and love.
So given we all masturbate — and masturbation is both a privilege and a right — we felt it only necessary to get the pleasure party going by letting you in on some of the sexual health and general health benefits of masturation.
1. It's great for your mental health! A common remedy for an anxious mind, psychologists often prescribe masturbation as a way to relieve stress and aid relaxation. Promoting the release of the brain’s opioid-like, mood-boosting neurotransmitters (endorphins), feelings of mental (and physical) joy abound. Meaning? Happier you.
2. It's an inclusive form of sex Masturbation is a form of sexual activity that’s available to all people. It can be for all genders, all sexualities, those in partnered relationships, people who don’t have a partner at all, people who are not having sex with their partner, or people who are abstaining from sex.
3. It helps you sleep A far better way than counting sheep, masturbation has long been heralded as a self-soothing practise that promotes not only sleep, but better sleep.
4. It acts as a form of self-exploration and discovery When you’re masturbating, you’re stimulating your body in the way you like, you can get in the right position and touch yourself in the way you want. Because what better way to discover yourself and learn who you are than by touching yourself?
5. It aids in the communication of sexual desires and preferences with partners You get to know what you like (and don't like) and what your sexual responses are, which helps in letting your sexual partner or partners know your needs and wants.
6. It builds confidence and self-esteem in your sexuality Masturbation is one of the key ways to learn about your sexuality, but it also helps you feel more self-assured and confident in your sexuality as you explore how to best reach orgasm.