It’s something that is wildly popular, and for many, a regular part of life. People joke that nearly 95% of the population has done it, and the other 5% are lying. Obviously, we’re talking about masturbation! The month of May is recognized as Masturbation Month, which may seem funny, but there is actually plenty to celebrate. Self-pleasure has numerous mental and physical health benefits. However, it’s also a practice that requires mindfulness. Keep reading to learn more about why masturbation should be celebrated and how one can improve their practice.
Benefits of Masturbation
For most people, masturbation is just a source of pleasure and a way to relieve a buildup of arousal. However, in reality, it’s so much more. The chemicals released during an orgasm can relieve pain, reduce stress, help you fall asleep, boost your mood, and help you relax. Masturbation can even lower the risk for certain diseases. A study by European Urology found that frequent ejaculation (more than 21 times per month) can lower the risk of prostate cancer.
However, self-pleasure is perhaps most beneficial when it comes to sexual performance. Masturbation can help you familiarize you with your body, your sexual likes and dislikes, and overall boost your self-image. This can help increase confidence, but also improve communication with your partner(s) in the bedroom. For penis owners struggling with issues like erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation, masturbation can act as training for a better sex life.
There are several causes for erectile dysfunction, and those that are psychological may be improved by masturbation. By successfully pleasuring yourself, you can be reassured that you have the ability to gain and maintain a healthy erection when it comes time to move to the bedroom. For premature ejaculation, there are a couple of techniques, like the stop-start or squeeze, that penis owners can try while masturbating to train themselves to last longer. These methods may be paired with a medication for premature ejaculation like Sertraline to delay orgasm during sex.
Overall, masturbation has many benefits, but above all else it should be enjoyed. Practicing mindful habits can ensure that you are making the most out of masturbation.
For many, pornography is an accessory to masturbation. While porn can act as a stimulant and help people achieve orgasm, it can also lead to unhealthy addictions and cloud reality in the bedroom. In fact, porn can undo some of the health benefits of masturbation. While masturbation can help with erectile dysfunction and boost your confidence, unrealistic expectations set by porn can make someone feel like they can’t live up to the standard.
It’s important to realize that these people are actors and getting paid to put on a performance. Porn stars are theatrical with their moans and actions, making sex look more intense and pleasurable than it may be in reality. Furthermore, it’s unhealthy to compare our bodies to those of porn stars. The average erect penis size is 5.1 inches, which is not what the porn industry would lead us to believe. So just like you shouldn’t compare yourself to pornstars, you shouldn’t compare your partner(s) either.
This isn’t to say that all porn is bad. If you learn how to consume porn without distorting your expectations or losing your appetite for real-life sexual encounters, it’s still safe to consume. But if you find yourself engaging in unhealthy porn habits, you may need to seek professional help or try to abstain from watching pornography for an appropriate amount of time. Signs of porn addiction include unsuccessful attempts to stop and when watching causes you to miss events in your daily life. When it comes to quitting, the most effective way is cutting it out completely until you no longer experience cravings. There are also several ways to get professional help, from in-person addiction support groups to confidential online therapy.
Whether or not you’re addicted, everyone can try to consume porn more ethically. With porn more readily available and widespread than ever, it can be difficult to tell when it is produced ethically. Things to keep in mind are whether or not the actors and actresses are being treated fairly and both enjoying the experience. This can be very difficult to recognize and there is plenty of debate around the subject, but paying for pornography is one of the best ways to guarantee that actors and actresses were looked after and properly compensated for their work.
Many people masturbate and watch porn, yet still go on to lead healthy and happy sex lives. Self-pleasure is a natural part of life. There is no reason not to celebrate Masturbation Month as long as you do so safely and responsibly. Take some time for yourself and enjoy!
Feature Image by Olivia Shove