You Should Go And Love Yourself: The importance of self-pleasure.
It’s high time to destigmatize self-pleasure and deconstruct outdated societal norms about women feeling independently sexy, attractive, desirable, alluring, and in total ownership of their pleasure.
It’s important to know what makes you feel good! Not only is it empowering, but engaging in self-pleasure can also help you feel more secure and confident in communicating your desires to partners, too.
Everyone is deserving and worthy of a fulfilling and pleasurable sex life, regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, body type, or physical ability, as long as they’re consenting adults.
So let’s talk about sex, baby! Starting with the benefits of doing it to - and for - yourself.
What Are the Benefits of Self-Pleasure?
There are a number of reasons why self-pleasure is essential and beneficial for your body aside from the fact that it feels damn good:
1. It reduces stress.
Self-pleasure causes dopamine and serotonin to be released into your body. Simply put, having these ‘feel good’ hormones in abundance puts you in a better mood. Also when you climax, a hormone called oxytocin is released, which has been proven to lower cortisol levels. Releasing these types of ‘happy transmitters’ regularly can help you feel more grounded, at peace, and mitigate many of the adverse effects that stress has on the body, mind, and soul.
It’s important to note that having an orgasm isn’t a necessary part of having a satisfying experience, either. Sexual pleasure of any kind, whether orgasmic or not, can help take your mind off the stressors of daily life.
2. It encourages better, deeper sleep.
When you pleasure yourself or have sex, your body goes through different cycles and physiological changes. First, your heart and breathing rates begin to climb, then your muscles tense up.
As you reach your climax, allllll of that energy and tension releases, which relaxes the body, reduces stress, and primes you for a night of deep, optimal sleep.
This process is called the sexual response cycle, and it’s why orgasmic release feels so pleasurable.
3. It can enhance your sex life with your partner.
As masturbation increases the level of comfort you have with your own body, you’ll be able to feel much more confident in communicating your desires to a partner and even begin to explore your sexual dynamic further.
Self-pleasure has also been proven to enhance - and even increase - your libido, not only leading you to engage in more sex with your partner, but improve the quality of the sex because you’re less inhibited and more aware of what works for your body.
4. It can help alleviate pain (especially cramps).
If you are experiencing pain of any kind, from a headache (believe it or not), joint pain, muscle pain, or even menstrual cramps, masturbating can alleviate your discomfort.
Remember those hormones we talked about earlier that decrease stress and lower your cortisol levels? They also work on pain receptors too. A study conducted by famous sexologist Beverly Whipple, discovered that an orgasm can actually increase a person’s pain tolerance threshold by over 40%.
Obviously, an endorphin and hormone release won’t heal a severe injury like fractured bones or torn muscles and ligaments, but it can lower your pain sensitivity for those minor aches and inconveniences. And it’s a LOT more fun than taking Tylenol or Advil :).
What Are Some Tips For Beginning A Self Pleasure Practice?
Before beginning your self-pleasure practice, understand that YOU are in control, free of judgment, and perfectly safe and normal in wanting to explore your own body. Do you feel uncomfortable digging in to pop a pimple in a 10x magnifying mirror? Ever feel self-conscious putting a QTip in your ear? Probably not. So you shouldn’t feel any sort of hesitation about touching your own vulva (or any erogenous zone, for that matter). It’s just a body part that belongs to you. You have a right to know how it works, what it looks like, what it feels like, and most importantly, how to make it work best for YOU.
Begin by establishing a comfortable environment for yourself. Dim the lights, or turn them off completely and light some scented candles for ambiance. Stretch your body, and put on comfortable clothes (or remove them completely). Slow down, and release any thoughts, feelings, or experiences you had throughout the day. Take a few deep breaths, and ground yourself in the moment.
Once you’re comfortable, begin touching different parts of your body. Pay close attention to what feels good, what feels off, or what’s not working. Play with this - this is supposed to be a fun and enjoyable experience. It’s not a project and there is no end goal, other than to learn more about your body and what feels right for you.
To enhance your experience, try experimenting with lubricants or sex toys to see if they stimulate new erogenous zones.
Remove any expectations from yourself. If it feels funny at first or you find yourself in self-conscious freak-out territory, take a break and do something else that you find stimulating, like cooking, dancing, or spending time in nature. You carry your body with you all the time, so there will be plenty of opportunity to start again when you’re feeling the most receptive to the experience.
Remember, loving yourself instills a greater level of personal intimacy and self-confidence. Literally loving yourself in the form of self-pleasure only intensifies and magnifies that.
So do it.
And begin to experience how positively it affects how you feel about yourself, your relationship with your body, and the impact it has on your love life.
We’d love to hear from you. Do you have a self-pleasure practice or are considering starting one? Drop a comment below and share!