Less stress, better sleep, and more confidence are just a few of the many benefits you get from masturbation.
For far too long, masturbation has had a bad reputation and you've probably been shying away from talking about it even with your closest friends. But when you hold yourself back from pleasuring yourself, you're missing out on all the benefits it has. The rush down there has benefits that can travel all the way to the top, even improving your brain's functioning. Here's what your mind and body get from masturbating.
Your way, your terms; masturbating is a great way for you to understand your body and get in touch with yourself. "Masturbation is the best research study you can do on yourself," Dr. Uchenna "UC" Ossai, pelvic health physical therapist and sex educator, told Bustle. It even boosts your confidence and can improve the way you look at yourself. Especially in women, masturbation can promote better body image and self-esteem, which in turn increases your sexual satisfaction as well as overall wellbeing.
Masturbation can get rid of harmful bacteria and toxins, and helps your body maintain better prostrate or vaginal health. "For men, regular masturbation has been linked to prostate health as frequent ejaculation helps to flush out cancer-causing toxins," says Jodie Slee, relationship and psychosexual therapist. "Similarly in women, regular masturbation can help prevent UTIs and cervical infections due to the 'tenting' effect that occurs during the arousal process: tenting allows fluid circulation allowing cervical fluids to flush out harmful bacteria."
Some may believe that your sex life takes a hit when you masturbate regularly, but what actually happens might be the opposite and you might have a much better experience in the bedroom with your partner if you fly solo every now and then. Nan Wise, a cognitive neuroscientist and certified sex therapist called masturbation as a way to “jump-starting the engine”, according to Women's Health, and said, “Neurons that fire together, wire together. [By masturbating], you're strengthening those pathways in the brain, so that it becomes easier to turn that system on.” It increases your libido, amps up your sexual desire, and increases sexual satisfaction.
“Happy events down there lead to happy events up in the brain,” said ob-gyn Adeeti Gupta. Along with the rush of excitement that's released through your body, masturbating can also release those happy-cheery hormones that make you feel less stressed. "Regular orgasms cause the release of oxytocin and endorphins — hormones that boost general mood, making you feel more happy and satisfied," said Slee. And that's not all. It takes just 60 seconds for an orgasm to send a surge of oxytocin through your body, which releases your mind's stress and helps you get much better sleep, as Sara Gottfried, author of The Hormone Cure pointed out, according to Shape.
It may be focused on one region but the effect of an orgasm can be felt across your entire body. There's a boost in the flow of blood to your brain and your reproductive organs, and this can ease headaches and even menstrual cramps, according to Mindbodygreen. Dr. Lauren Streicher, an Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and author explained to HuffPost that it can stimulate menstrual blood flow, making it release faster and giving you relief from cramps. Masturbating could improve your resistance to coronary heart disease and even lower your chances of developing type-2 diabetes, according to Women's Health Network.
Heart diseases can be extremely life-threatening and women are especially at risk because heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the USA, according to CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention). But worry not, because masturbation can play a role in lowering your risk and keeping your heart healthy.
As your heart rate and your respiration increases as you orgasm, your pelvic muscles are also getting a good workout. Stacy Rybchin, founder and CEO of sexual health and wellness services My Secret Soiree and My Secret Luxury said, "Orgasms are essentially pelvic floor contractions. Similar to when you regularly lift weights, you get stronger. The same happens with your pelvic floor. A stronger pelvic floor and PC muscles produces stronger orgasms."
It's known that when oxygen and blood flow is pumped to your brain, it's good for your gray matter, helping you make better decisions and making it easier for you to recall information. And masturbating allows oxygen to reach all the way to the top and it activates different areas of your brain. “It's kind of this circulatory exercise for the brain as well as for the body,” said Wise. “What we're doing is giving the brain a nice, natural sort of flush out.”