Is masturbation good for you?

In recent years there has been a huge shift in the way we are encouraged to view ourselves and our bodies. Self-care and self-acceptance are considered two incredibly important goals to achieve, and focusing on oneself over other people is now seen less as being selfish, and more so taking care of oneself. But what about self-love? And I'm not just talking about the emotions of loving yourself, but rather, the physical act.

When was the last time you took a few moments to pleasure yourself, with no one else involved? If its been a hot minute, keep reading to learn why taking time to prioritize your pleasure isn't selfish, but all about self-care, especially when you are in a relationship.

Not only is masturbation impactful on your sexual experiences with other people, it also has a number of benefits for your relationship with your body and your mind.

3 classic ceramic dildos in 6, 5 and 4 inch sizes lie on a wicker stand on a pink surface. The patterns on the dildos are all purple variations.

The word masturbation feels 'dirty' to a lot of people. Which isn't surprising when you look at the layers of taboo surrounding the word and the act in history. However, regular masturbation has a number of health benefits - both physical and emotional.

The first, and most obvious benefit, is that is feels good! Those pleasurable sensations from the build-up to an orgasm, and the post-O-glow are typically the main reason we masturbate in the first place. I mean, who doesn't love a big rush of pleasure? The post-O-glow is a sensation that I would encourage you to bask in. Focus on how your orgasm made you feel, but also think about where your mind took you in those moments.

Experiencing an orgasm can be as much about the physical sensations that brought you there, as the mental stimulation going on in your head. Understanding what makes you feel good in both these areas can have a positive impact on your partnered sex.

If you know what brings you to orgasm, you're better prepared to share those with your partner so you can both enjoy making you feel good! Thus increasing the level of sexual satisfaction in the relationship and with yourself. But what about the benefits of masturbation outside of sex?

While being a great way to de-stress, masturbation can also have a positive effect on your sleep. If you're having trouble switching off after a long, busy day, a bit of self-loving can help clear the mind and relax your body. The rush of endorphins may be just what you need to help you drift off.

A selection of green patterned ceramic sex toys lie together on a white sheet with green dots.

Masturbation can also be a great way to deal with stress, which may seem ironic when stress can have a huge effect on libido. However, you most definitely can feel a desire to masturbate, while also having less of a desire to have sex with another person. Masturbation focuses on your pleasure, and often requires much less mental pressure than sex with another person.

If you do find yourself wishing that your libido was higher, masturbating can be a great way to kick start those feelings of desire. The human brain naturally seeks out feelings that are pleasurable, and associating the positive sensations from masturbation to sex in general, can result in an increased sex drive. If you struggle to orgasm with a partner but have no trouble orgasming by yourself, it may be worth suggesting mutual masturbation as something new to try together.

Showing your partner what pleasures you will not only turn them on, but you may also begin associating those feelings to experiences involving your partner. Often feeling pressure to orgasm can be the biggest orgasm-killer around, which is why mutual masturbation can be a great addition to the bedroom.

I've only touched on a couple of key benefits of masturbation, but there are so many more! Self-love is all about prioritizing your feelings and desires, and it just so happens to have many benefits outside of sex as well!