May has been amazing in so many ways.
The sun has started shining, lockdown has started lifting and it has been a month of masturbation. Yes, May was the International Month of Masturbation!
Dr Elesha wears the Indulgence Body from Scantilly!
I believe we should educate about self-pleasure past a national month so here we are, in June and beyond! For millennia, self-pleasure (especially that of females) has been suppressed as dirty, shameful or even as failure of yourself or another to bring gratification during partnered sex. Today if you google masturbation, the first synonym that comes up is “self-abuse”. I am here to tell you that masturbation/solo sex/w**king/whatever you want to call it is SO far from this. There is a multitude of health benefits that comes from regular masturbation. Let us start with a key message that aligns with Curvy Kate:
Regular masturbation increases your self-confidence.
It would be easy to think that people who masturbate more regularly are just naturally more confident people. It is in fact the other way round. People who masturbate begin to have a subjective increase in their self-esteem according to scientific experiments. Whilst we do not exactly understand how this works, it is thought to be linked to us getting an understanding of our bodies. We are forced to acknowledge and appreciate what our body can do for us, including incredible orgasms. Once we are able to both unconsciously and consciously accept the awesome things we are capable of on our own, we experience an overall increase in confidence. Combine this with some gorgeous Curvy Kate lingerie and I promise you are on to a winning formula.
It can help you sleep better.
Many of us have experienced sleep disturbance during the pandemic, especially stress or anxiety related insomnia. You know that feeling when you are exhausted all day but as soon as your head hits the pillow a million thoughts go through your head. A way to tackle that is through masturbation. To masturbate in a fulfilling way, you must concentrate completely on your own pleasure. This results in allowing you to completely empty your head of thoughts. The repetitive motions used in masturbation become rhythmic and consuming. These two things combined turn masturbation into a mindfulness exercise. When we orgasm, hormones required for a deep and restful sleep are released. These are oxytocin and prolactin. We also release endorphins which help us relax by lowering our blood pressure.
It is good for our skin.
Masturbation not only helps with our sleep, but also our skin. When we sleep better, we are less likely to have acne develop. The hormones released during masturbation and orgasm have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, which improves our skins overall health. The act of self pleasure causes our heart rate to go up. Depending how “active” you are during masturbation, you can have the same effect as a full body work out which leaves your skin glowing. The huge rush of oestrogen from orgasm is great to protect skin’s elasticity and fight against wrinkles.
Improves your mental health.
Mental health and physical health are equally important for our overall wellbeing, though the former is often failed to be given the adequate acknowledgment that it deserves. Especially after the last 18 months where many of us have not been able to manage stress in the same way as our normal coping mechanisms, such as socialising, the gym or holidays, have been removed. Masturbation activates the brain’s store of “happy hormones”, predominantly dopamine and oxytocin. Oxytocin reduced the levels of our stress hormone (cortisol) and dopamine boosts our mood, allowing us to be more relaxed.
Help control pain.
Masturbation releases endorphins, which are our bodies natural pain killers. They have multiple ways in which they help us. They can directly block pain recptors as well as hanging around in our blood stream for hours, dulling our oerception of pain. This means masturbation is great for general aches and pains, from fibromyalgia to post work out soreness. During your period, masturbation can be a miracle cure for period cramps. This is because it increases blood flow to the pelvis, which relaxes the spasming muscles in your back and core.
It can lead to a better sex life.
For so long, masturbation has been framed as a failure of you or your partner being unable to have “successful” partnered sex. Apart from the fact that masturbation is entirely different and valid, regardless of your relationship status, it is an incredibly useful exercise. It allows you to explore your body, understanding how it works and what you enjoy best. Once you understand that, it becomes much easier to talk to a partner about it! Remember, sex is about mutual pleasure. What is great that once sex is easier to talk about, many barriers are broken down, allowing better communication throughout your relationship. Remember you can ask for what you enjoy, whether this is a one-night stand or your partner of 10 years. You can even do this is a neutral space where you will both be most receptive. You deserve to feel pleasure.
Dr Elesha x