We’ve all heard those stories about the consequences of having a quick tug or a little flick of the bean from time to time such as hairy palms, going blind and thinking that if your partner masturbates, then they must be unhappy with their current sexual relationship. But we’re here to set the record straight and fill you in on the reasons why it’s great to masturbate.
Though there has been no scientific evidence to indicate that masturbating causes any of these adverse effects, there has, however, been plenty of in-depth research to back up how fantastic masturbating is for an individual’s health and well-being.
1. Catch up on those zzz’s with Improved Sleep
For a lot of people getting a good night’s sleep can be difficult. Research suggests that around 22% of people in the UK struggle to fall to sleep every single night (Reference 1). Whether you’re worried about something or you just have so much buzzing around in your mind, it’s clear that we Brits are deprived of the one thing that helps us function like normal human beings, sleep. Well, the good news is that a cheeky bit of ‘self-love’ before hitting the hay might be exactly what the doctor ordered.
When we masturbate, our bodies go through something called the Sexual Response Cycle, which is made up of 4 elements: Desire, Arousal, Orgasm, and Resolution.
As we work our way through the cycle, starting with
- Phase 1) Desire: our muscles begin to tense up, heart rates increase and breathing becomes accelerated. It continues to climb until you reach phase 2.
- Phase 2) Arousal: this is when you feel like you’re right on the brink of the world’s best orgasm and everything feels so much more intense. The clitoris becomes highly sensitive and testicles are withdrawn up into the scrotum. Tension in the muscles further increases until your body can’t take much more and that’s when we reach Phase 3.
- Phase 3) Orgasm: This is the climax of the Sexual Response Cycle and unfortunately, this phase only lasts, on average, a few seconds (but lord what a few seconds they were, am I right?). Phase 3 is the end-game, this is where you release all of that build up energy and tension and your breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure are at their highest rates and the fireworks start to explode – no wonder you feel exhausted after all of that!
- Phase 4) Resolution: the final phase is where your body gradually brings itself back to normality, like after you’ve done a good workout at the gym. Your breathing starts to slow down, your heart rate settles, muscles unwind and you feel all chilled out and relaxed… just as if you could just drop to sleep! (Reference 2)
But it’s not just all that hard work that tires you out, a study suggests that when we orgasm, it prompts the release of a hormone called Prolactin, which has been linked to sexual satisfaction and improved sleeping patterns (Reference 3).
Although masturbating is not the key to everyone’s sleeping problems, especially if you suffer from deeper sleep issues like insomnia, but for those who just need that extra little bit of help, masturbation is a fantastic way to unwind and feel sleepy pretty sharpish… go on, what else have you got to do?
2. Hello Happy Hormones
When masturbating and reaching orgasm, your body releases a cocktail of hormones that can make you feel happy in different ways.
- Endorphins: Like when you eat chocolate or go to the gym. When we masturbate we produce endorphins, these make you feel good, they give you that buzz and help you de-stress. (Reference 4).
- Dopamine: When you masturbate, Dopamine is released which is a chemical most associated with pleasure, to put it plainly, this is the hormone that puts you in a better mood and leaves you smiling like a Cheshire cat.
- Oxytocin: Feeling stressed out? Well knocking on out and reaching that all-important orgasm releases a happy hormone called Oxytocin. This works to lower cortisol levels, which is one of the main stress hormones, which you can usually find in bucket loads in stressed-out people. (Reference 5).
By touching yourself and climaxing, you can boost these chemicals and ultimately help yourself feel more peaceful and chilled out.
3. Post-nut Productivity
Not only is masturbation hella fun, but it’s also been said to increase productivity as work. Yep, you read that right. A senior psychology lecturer from Nottingham Trent University told Metro that taking a break to knock one out at work would be “very effective,” as well as being a “great way to relieve tension and stress” (Reference 6).
We’ve all heard of the term post-nut clarity (and if you haven’t you can widen your vocabulary here) but according to Lehmiller, a social psychologist at the Kinsey Institute, after you reach orgasm, you are able to think much clearer and make better decisions (Reference 6), thus increasing your productivity at work. Although it can be tricky to find a good time to, you know, at work, it definitely has it’s benefits.
4. Au Revoir Period Pains
Suffering from stomach grabbing cramps when you’re on your period? We’ve all been there and you don’t even want to get up to get more snacks, never mind having an orgasm, but actually, having a quick tickle may help ease those pesky period pains for a little while, as well as relaxing you the hell out of you.
As we touched upon earlier, we know that masturbating releases endorphins which help relieve stress and make you feel good, well newsflash, they don’t just help with stress, they also can actually relieve pain in the short-term too!
According to Sherry Ross, an OB/GYN and women’s health expert, “Masturbating can help relieve anything from cramps and back pain to headaches and joint aches”. This is because, during orgasm, the body releases a cocktail of dopamine and serotonin, which act as natural pain relievers (Reference 7) – Huh, every day is a school day right?
Although if you have more prominent period pains that really interrupt your life, it would be best to see a doctor and not bank on a self session to help you out long-term.