“Masturbation: the primary sexual activity of mankind. In the nineteenth century it was a disease; in the twentieth, it’s a cure.” — Thomas Szasz

Of all the sexual acts on the planet, masturbation leads the way as not only the most commonly practiced and safest ways to have sex, but also as the one that most frequently and reliably ends in orgasm. Not terribly surprising when you consider who would know better than you, the mysterious pathway to climax. This is why sex educators the world over call masturbation the cornerstone to all other sexual acts, because the more attention you give to your own sexual response the more competent you become sexually in partnered relationships. And yet, there are other benefits of masturbation both personally and for your relationship that are often overlooked… So, here is my short list of the many benefits of masturbation.

Pain Relief

Most people don’t relate sexual satisfaction with pain relief, which is a shame. As it turns out, one benefit of masturbation is the cascade of hormonal triggers that happen in an orgasmic release that do a lot of good for everything from sore joints to menstrual cramps to headaches. Although the jury is out when it comes to migraines (some studies show it relieves, while others that it increases pain)- I definitely think it is worth a test run to see how a little self-loving might recalibrate your pain threshold.

Stress Reduction and Sleep Aid

Stress keeping you up at night? One of the most potent remedies for both stress and insomnia is literally right in your hands. A study released in 2000 showed 32% of women found masturbating helped them fall asleep. Like with pain relief, the oxytocin and endorphins that are released with orgasm invite a restful state and probably better dreams, too. Taking time to fall into your own private fantasy life is a great de-stressor and also contributes to you becoming a better lover.

Sexier Sex

Most of us don’t recognize the multiple benefits of masturbation and that comfortable and competent self-love brings to our partnered loving. The more comfortable we become manipulating our own sexual organs, the easier this translates into all kinds of fantastical mutual masturbating techniques. Blurring the lines between who is touching who in any number of intriguing positions is a literal playground for a fantasy life that wants to expand. Taking turns with sex toys, hands or other body parts all gets way less cumbersome, the more comfortable and knowledgeable you are with your own sexual response.

Fantasy Fuel

Another benefit of masturbation is the more comfortable and exploratory you become with mutual masturbation, the more that it becomes a doorway into a fantasy life that will ignite your sexual desire like nothing else.  Adding eye contact and verbal cues turns intimacy into something indescribably intense and immediate. Sharing even glimpses of your fantasy world in the fiery moments of mutual stimulation and letting your partner know what you want to do… well, try it and see if it isn’t explosive. Our hands are the most perfectly designed instruments to play our bodies. Singing with pleasure will make you feel better in every way.

What is not to love?

Stay tuned for upcoming articles about masturbation and health by Wendy Strgar, here at Good Clean Love.