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Top 7 Reasons to Masturbate

By Hannah Cutts
 
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Throughout history, masturbation has carried a negative stigma. It has been described at different times as a moral sin, a diagnostic device for insanity, and a shameful practice performed only by the desperate. This perception is slowly changing in our society, as more and more mainstream media outlets acknowledge, discuss or at least ridicule the practice. (Consider the movie American Pie, for example.) However, despite research indicating many of the benefits of solo sex, masturbation – especially for women – remains somewhat of a taboo subject. This list is meant to help take the “shun” out of masturbation. Enjoy!

1. When your body experiences an orgasm, it is flooded with chemicals and hormones that make it feel good and can even improve health. Many people (myself included) have written about the benefits of sexual interaction for your body’s physical and emotional well-being, but an orgasm releases the same chemicals and stimulates the same neurotransmitters whether it is experienced in the company of others or by your own hand.
That means that masturbation will help to:

2. Relieve Stress: Essentially, sexual arousal and stimulation builds muscle tension, and orgasm is a tremendous release of all this tension. Thus, like a massage, yoga, relaxation exercises or even substances like alcohol, masturbation can help to relax your body after a stressful event.

3. Boost Immunity: Oxytocin, a hormone released during orgasm, helps white blood cells to fight infection more quickly and effectively. Studies have shown that women with regular amounts of oxytocin in their blood streams report feelings of sickness less often. This could also be related to the pain-relieving properties of oxytocin, a phenomenon which can help to alleviate menstrual cramps as well as other aches.

4. Burn Calories: Like sex, the movements and physiological effort put into achieving orgasm during masturbation burns calories and can act as exercise. While solo-pleasure may not require as much full-body movement as sexual activity with a partner can, the full body muscle tension, heavy breathing and raised heart-rate can still give you a decent cardiovascular workout.

Add a Comment4 Comments

MKL6715

I went to high school in the 70's. The biggest cut-down you could ever recieve from someone was that you got yourself off. I thank God to be alive this long to find that thinking has changed. As the thinking changes so does the stress. I use to have alot of guilt about masturbating. Now that we ALL do there is alot less stress on the subject. Thank you.

May 18, 2011 - 7:24pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

I've noticed among my friends that we're much more open about talking with each other about using vibrators and other toys as we get older. I tend to think women lose some of the taboo of discussing masturbation as they get older and more sure of themselves and their sexuality.

November 29, 2010 - 5:11pm
Kelley Howard

This is a great article. As a society we need all be reminded of the emotional and health benefits of good sexual health, this includes masturbation.

November 22, 2010 - 10:42am
Hannah Cutts (reply to Kelley Howard)

Thank you very much, Kelley! I completely agree - being knowledgeable about self-pleasure options is crucial to becoming sexually empowered as a woman AND to becoming more open and equal as a society.

November 22, 2010 - 12:54pm
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