Sex

5 Totally Healthy Reasons Why You Should Masturbate More

Photo: Anatoliy Karlyuk / Shutterstock 
Sex With Yourself

Candid conversations about sex often center on people’s deep desires to be and feel "normal."

And this makes complete sense —  everyone wants to feel sexually healthy, right?

But the thing is , it isn’t necessarily important. What's important is being comfortable with who you are, sexually. And sex with yourself can be a great way of getting there.

RELATED: The Woman's Masturbation Guide: How To Masturbate To Achieve Orgasm

To Masturbate Or Not To Masturbate

First off , let’s address one of the most important things when considering whether you "should" be having sex with yourself: Do you even want to?

Consent isn’t just about partnered experiences, it’s about solo ones, too. So, just as you shouldn’t have sex with a partner if you don’t want to , you shouldn’t masturbate if you don’t feel like it.

If the answer is, "Yes, I want to pleasure myself,"  by all means, go for it! But if the answer is "no," you might want to consider why that is.

Your relationship with solo sex dates back to what your parents explicitly or inadvertently taught you about sex. You might have picked up on clues that you shouldn’t have touched yourself "there."

If you identify as a woman, you might even have picked up on society’s double standards regarding women: You should be sexy, not sexual.

Other times, you're nervous that your lack of solo sex is having a negative impact on your partnered sexual experiences. You believe you're not a good enough lover, or not adventurous enough.

Whatever the reason, digging a little deeper here is crucial.

When Masturbation Makes You Feel Uncomfortable

If you avoid masturbation because it makes you feel "dirty," you might want to reconsider it.

You see, your sexuality is a deeply ingrained part of yourself. This means your general well-being affects your sexuality and your sexuality affects your general well-being.

How you are with others, sexually, and how you are (or aren’t) with yourself, sexually, gives clues as to how you feel about your sexuality.

And in order to have better sexual experiences (with or without partners), you need to work through these feelings.

If you truly feel you’re worthy of pleasure, chances are, you have a more positive relationship with masturbation.

If you have conflicting feelings about it, don’t worry,  you’re definitely not alone.

People who identify as women, especially, often experience shame and embarrassment surrounding self-pleasure. One way of combating these feelings is by doing a deep dive into all the reasons having masturbating could benefit you.

Not because you should be masturbating to be considered sexually healthy, but because you deserve sexual pleasure, just as much as anyone else.

RELATED: How Masturbation Saved My Life (And Taught Me To Love Myself)

Here are 5 reasons why having sex with yourself benefits your life.

1. You learn what techniques you like.

Exploring self-pleasure is a great route to understanding what kinds of physical stimulation you enjoy.

Once you know what kinds of pressure you enjoy, what areas you prefer to be stimulated, and whether you want or need several areas to be stimulated at once, yuou’ll be able to bring this knowledge into the bedroom with your partner.

This means better sex, which can also lead to increased desire. 

2. You get acquainted with your fantasies and turn-ons.

When you masturbate, it's easier to explore more taboo fantasies and ideas. After all, you don’t need to explain to anyone what you want or why you’re interested in a particular idea. You can simply explore it without going on a hunt for deep-seated psychological reasons.

Another positive thing about masturbating is that it helps you work out what gets you going.

You're naturally drawn to the things that you really enjoy when you’re on your own. No pleasing your partner or anyone else —  it’s just you and yourself, experiencing pleasure.

3. You understand your dislikes.

Just as knowing what turns you on is important, it’s equally as important to understand what doesn’t get you going. In order to have great sex with yourself and someone else, knowing what turns you off is key.

For example, knowing that particular move turns you off, sex with the lights off does nothing for you, or hearing your children playing in the background is a big no-no for your desire and arousal — these are all really important pieces of information when considering when to have sex and what kinds of sex to have.

Without this crucial information, you might believe you’re struggling with low or no sex drive, when in actuality, there are small tweaks that can be made in order to experience more desire and more pleasure.

4. You get to know your boundaries.

Having solo sex is an exploration of all of you. Not only does it teach you what your likes and dislikes are, but it’s also really informative about your boundaries.

These might be boundaries pertaining to certain sexual fantasies, but also to certain areas of your body that you don’t want to be touched.

By masturbating, you get to explore these boundaries in a safe environment, free from the fear of judgment of others.

This way, you can test things and react to what your body and mind are telling you, instead of thinking of your partner and how they would feel about it.

Once you understand your boundaries, you’ll be able to communicate them more easily during partnered sex.

5. It increases your general well-being

After reading this list, it would be easy to assume masturbation is mostly beneficial to your partnered sex life. But, actually, masturbation is good for you in its own right.

Masturbation can decrease stress through the release of feel-good hormones (this is one of the major emotional benefits of sex in general, too), make you feel happier, and can help you feel empowered in your sexuality and, thus, in yourself as a whole.

Knowing your body, and connecting with your sexuality can have this positive, ripple-like effect on your general self-confidence and self-esteem. Why? Because giving yourself pleasure is telling yourself you’re worthy of pleasure.

And feeling worthy does wonders for your confidence.

Is sex with yourself a requirement?

While sex with yourself can be wonderful for many reasons — like to improve your general well-being and have better sex  —  it's not a requirement to be sexually healthy.

Your sexuality is not a measurement of how "normal" you are  —  its existence is based on pleasure. And how you want to experience that pleasure is completely up to you.

RELATED: The Real Reason Men Love To Watch Women Masturbate

Leigh Norén is a sex therapist and writer with a Master of Science in Sexology. She’s been featured in Women's Health, Thrive Global, The Good Men Project, Elephant Journal, Glamour, and more. For more advice on increasing your sexual desire, download her free resource The Desire Test.

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This article was originally published at LeighNoren.com. Reprinted with permission from the author.