Most folks I meet assume that I have sex all the time so I must not need to masturbate. Truth be told, my partner lives a couple of hours from me and we only see each other part of the month. Additionally, I have been ridiculously ill for the past two years and that has diminished my sex drive to a nearly non-existent level.
Not only have I not been having sex at the frequency I want, I found that masturbation had been relegated to nights I couldn’t fall asleep and needed a hand. (Yes, I meant that pun.)
May is National Masturbation Month so I have been thinking about rubbing the pearl, of “jilling off” as a gendered phrase. I have also tried to be a bit more deliberate about the self-pleasuring bits. And… because I am a research nerd, looking into the real benefits to wanking it on the regular. Yes, dear reader, there are actual reasons to please yourself on the regular.
- It helps you sleep better. Its true, getting yourself to climax can help you fall asleep. The chemicals released in your brain after a climax make you feel better and can help you sleep. For me, a good climax actually reduces the pain I am in for a bit so falling asleep is easier for me. This doesn’t work 100 percent of the time for 100 percent of people, but a lot of us sleep better after a little pleasure. So let Rosie and her sisters help lull you to sleep.
- It can increase your sex drive. This may be counter-intuitive for some folks, but self-pleasuring can increase your sex drive. You learn what makes you aroused so that you can better communicate this with partners. It also can change hormone levels enough to ramp of a lethargic sex drive. Additionally, practicing edging or orgasm control or denial with a partner can get you ready for a very hot and explosive encounter when you do have sex.
- It can help with menopause symptoms. You may not be of “that age” yet, but I know a bunch of my readers are either in perimenopause or menopause. Your body goes through changes as you age and blood flow and vaginal secretions change. Regular masturbation (even if it doesn’t include orgasm) can help with blood flow to the vaginal area and help ease some of the symptoms of menopause. Plus, lets face it, it is a lot more fun than doing kegels to Queer Eye.
- It gives you time to explore fantasies. As we age and learn stuff, our fantasies change. Most of us aren’t fantasizing about the same thing at 40 as we were at 15. Many of us don’t have the time during the day to just sit around and explore our fantasies. Masturbation is more than just a physical act. It involves fantasizing for many of us. This is a great time to get in touch with new, developing, or unexplored desires. Whether or not you integrate these desires into your sex life with others is irrelevant. Have fun thinking of the crazy stuff you want to do (in your head).
- Training for sex with others. Masturbation can be used to help train your body to respond to other people. Incorporating anal training, orgasm control, or sending pictures or videos to your partners can be really hot! It can also build anticipation for sex with them and prepare your body for various types of kinky fun.
- It can help you stay connected to a long distance partner. Long distance relationships are difficult. It can be hard to stay physically connected to others when you only see them sporadically. Even my relatively short distance relationship is helped my mutually wanking it over text or Skype. It is a form of mutual sexual activity and keeps me connected with my guy in the weeks we don’t see each other. And now there are various toys that allow partners to connect long distance through wifi so there feels like even more of a connection.
- It is a form of self-care. Many of us, especially subby types, spend most of our days focused on other people. Sometimes we need to do things that are just for us and just make us happy. Taking a bit of time to pleasure ourselves with no pressure to please anyone else, to do it in a way we enjoy with no other goal than enjoying our own bodies, is important. So take some time and enjoy yourself!
AND… if you want to know my favorite toy for masturbation, check out my review of the LoveHoney Wand. Seriously the bomb!