Let's Talk About Masturbation
Hey Self Love Club,
You know I like to talk about stuff that we’re told we shouldn’t talk about and here I am doing it again - this time tackling the slightly snigger-inducing topic of masturbation. I’m here to tell you that it’s natural, normal AND that it totally counts as part of your self care routine.
Before we get started though, I need to take a moment to address someone specific and say:
DAD. DON’T READ THIS POST. JUST ASSUME I’M OK*.
Alright, now that’s out of the way - let’s get into it.
Although it isn’t a particularly comfortable topic to talk about, and certain related topics (like porn) can cause mass debate (see what I did there?), the fact of the matter is that masturbation is totally normal and that it’s OK that you do it. In fact, I’d argue that masturbation is the safest and most reliable form of sexual release - and we all know that orgasms release the good stuff (dopamine!). So I am going to go ahead and say that masturbation is not only normal, but actually BENEFICIAL.
Dopamine is one of the brain’s neurotransmitters (a natural chemical that transfers information between neurons) and it is the chemical that helps us recognise reward and pleasure. Dopamine is an important part of keeping your mind and body working well and can affect your mood, memory, sleep and even movement. Low levels of dopamine have been associated with affecting our ability to sleep and worsening our attention span. It’s a seriously powerful chemical and one that we associate with pleasure (as in food and sex).
People make all sorts of wild claims when it comes to masturbation.
Do you remember hearing in school that masturbation can infertility or mental illness or blindness? Because it most definitely can’t. It won’t make you impotent or cause your bits to grow, shrink or change colour either (unless you are going at it with some food colouring, in which case, I’d really love to know why). In fact, most (if not all) of the negative side effects to having a personal fumble are psychological or social issues - rather than actual physical problems.
Masturbation can cause guilt, feelings of shame and, if overused, it could even start to creep into the rest of your sex life. Obviously. But that isn’t to say that it shouldn’t be enjoyed (nay, encouraged) as part of your daily/weekly/monthly/whateverly self care. So let’s look at some of the benefits of getting off with yourself.
Some of the benefits of getting off with yourself
It reduces stress
It helps you get to sleep
It helps you sleep BETTER
It boosts your concentration
It can reduce pain
It lifts your mood
It releases tension
It helps you explore your own sexuality in the safety of your own hands
It helps you get to know your own body
Not to mention - 10. You are entitled to sexual pleasure. YOU ARE ENTITLED TO SEXUAL PLEASURE. Enjoy your fucking orgasm and shake that shame away.
Now with all that being said, I do have one or two suggestions to help you enjoy a care-free wank:
Do not watch any dodgy porn (obviously it’s a given that you shouldn’t and aren’t watching anything illegal, that’s not what I’m talking about here.) Trust me when I say you’ll feel way better afterwards if you refrain from watching anything that’s going to fill you with disgust and self hate. Believe me, the only time I’ve ever felt any kind of post-masturbation regret is when I’ve been tempted by a hot thumbnail into territory I wouldn’t usually venture into. But also:
Watch porn! It can be really hot. Porn can be especially great if you’re not sure yet what gets you off and you want to try out some new stuff without actually trying it out. (spoiler alert: women watch porn)
Make sure you are actually alone. Unless “your thing” is getting caught and “your housemate’s thing” is catching people in the act, make sure you definitely have some alone time to crack one out (why am I talking like this?!), because ultimately this is about relaxing and enjoying yourself - not about having lengthy awkward conversations with your loved ones about boundaries.
Do not kill your buzz. I should really be talking about relaxing your mind and letting yourself get really into the moment here, but I’m not. I’m actually suggesting that you don’t KILL YOUR VIBRATOR. I had a trusty vibrator called Jonathan and I was truly devastated when he broke. Sex toys are there for your enjoyment, but if you rely on them too much, you could be left feeling pretty lost without them. (tip: if you’ve named him and started referring to him using personal pronouns, then you are definitely too attached.)
Don’t overdo it. I’m seriously telling you to wank your little brains out here. Go do it. But also, leave some time in your day for enjoying other stuff too, like friends and chocolate and playing the guitar.
Don’t send stupid fucking pictures of yourself masturbating to people who haven’t told you they want to receive them.
Obviously it’s up to you whether or not you masturbate and I understand that some people choose not to, but if you do want to practice this totally safe form of self care, please stop worrying about it. You’re allowed to be a sexual mammal. You’re allowed to have orgasms. You’re allowed to wank yourself to sleep.
I just realised that this is the first post I have ever written that I don’t want you to leave me comments or “you really helped me” tweets about and I’m starting to feel a little bit British and repressed again.
Thank you for reading,
*I truly apologise if you’re related to me in any other way and you didn’t get the joke and kept reading, but I do sincerely believe you only have yourself to blame.