There are certainly reasons to advocate for masturbating, yet when considering the percent of people that are not masturbating or who have never masturbated, this brings to question what is the block or hesitation to pleasure oneself with or without a partner. The most common response I hear from patients, and certainly discussed in sexuality articles, is the pervasive belief that masturbating is “nasty”, “dirty”, “forbidden”. Overcoming this belief is possible with mindful awareness when exploring masturbation activities.
I encourage my patients to masturbate for several reasons. When patients hold to a belief that there is something wrong with self-pleasuring challenging that belief and moving past it is essential to healthy sexual function. Knowing what is pleasing and how to bring oneself to orgasm (not necessarily with this as a goal to be achieved) will help in relationship sexual activities. But for those living a single life, it keeps the motor running, so to speak. We all know if we don’t exercise our muscles, we loose muscle mass, the use it or loose it concept. The same applies to genital awareness. Bringing attention and intention to the act of self-pleasuring keeps the neural pathways fit and primed.
Other benefits include release of certain hormones and neurotransmitters that help us feel good, insomnia, relieve stress, reduce menstrual cramps, improve immune function, maintain muscular fitness of the pelvis (the best way to do kegel exercises), and attuning to your sexuality.
Explore options of masturbating with vibrators. I’ve provided a link to a local store, Adam and Eve, that has a variety of vibrators suitable for any sexual style you prefer. If you are new to masturbating, vibrators, or been out of practice, I’d recommend keeping it simple to begin with and within your comfort zone.
Here’s my challenge to you: if you are new or out of practice to masturbating, try once a week. If you are already masturbating regularly (meaning at least once a week), keep it going and consider adding another day to your pleasure. Remember you are worth your time and attention!