7 Health Benefits of Masturbation

You were probably so focused on Mother’s day and the upcoming holiday weekend that you totally forgot May is International Masturbation Month. Yep! The month of May is a time for smelling flowers, packing away your sweaters, and touching yourself – not necessarily in that exact order.

So who coined this holiday? According to Salon it was the staff at Good Vibrations. Thanks for the all-star company politics, guys. The Good Vibers were inspired back in 1994 when then U.S. Surgeon general Dr. Joycelyn Elders was fired for stating her onanistic opinion: “it’s something that perhaps should be taught.”

I agree with Elders. The benefits of masturbation are endless. From lowered blood pressure to improved brain chemistry, copping a feel on yourself keeps your body and mind running smooth.

To celebrate International Masturbation Month, let’s run down the top 7 health benefits of masturbating! Ooooh yeah.

It makes sex better. When I was younger I didn’t masturbate, and my reasoning was that I had a partner to do it for me. Well, that’s a ridiculous excuse. Masturbation helps you get to know your body so you understand what you like and don’t like, which will help you communicate with your partner. So you’re basically masturbating for the both of you. Also, and this holds true especially for women, the more comfortable you are with reaching orgasm, the easier it becomes. Practice makes perfect!

It helps you sleep. Getting off releases feel-good chemicals like endorphins, which relieve stress, help you relax, and can improve slumber. Go ahead and rock yourself to sleep.

It makes you healthier. Ejaculation—male and female—releases cortisol, a stress hormone. Wait, what? Don’t freak – small doses of the stress hormone won’t amp you up, but they can help boost your immune system by pushing you into that fight or flight mode. Feeling a cold come on? You know what to do.

It relieves pain. I’ve long known that orgasms can help ease period cramps, but apparently this trickles over into other areas of pain relief, as well. Studies have shown an orgasm can nearly double a woman’s pain tolerance. This is mainly due to the presence of oxytocins released at climax, as well as those happy endorphins. So I guess that “I have a headache” excuse is bogus, after all… No need to wait for a buddy to play with, go at it yourself for the same benefits.

It makes you happier. Well, this is for orgasms in general. When you have an orgasm, your body releases dopamine and oxytocin. These happy hormones light up the reward circuits in your brain and make you happier.

It can help prevent cancer. Men, this one goes out to you. An Australian study done back in 2003 found that men who came more than five times a week were a third less likely to develop prostate cancer.

It can help you teach your partner what you like. If you’re bold enough, letting your partner watch you get yourself off can be educational, and fun.

Okay, off with you and your happy hands! There are still several days left in May, so get to celebrating…

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About the author  ⁄ Zoe

Zoe writes about food and sex on SexyTofu.com.

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