Since May is officially National Masturbation Month, I thought it would be important to list some of the benefits of masturbation in this much-loved, often not-well-spoken-about activity.  About 92% of women are said to take time to masturbate and about 98% of men (100%?) say they masturbate regularly, which makes sense when you think about the fact that it’s a natural activity that’s often stumbled across in childhood or the teen years.

Although masturbation can get a bad rap, especially with all the discussion on internet porn and the question of sexual addiction, masturbation can be very beneficial to a person’s health, well-being, and relationship.  Of course, if used in an unbalanced way or out of harmony with your own body or your life, it could interfere with a relationship and significantly put a damper on enjoying sex with a partner.

Masturbation encourages blood flow

Masturbation helps to bring blood flow to the erectile tissue for both men and women.  Since the body works on a “use it or lose it” principle, getting regular and maximal blood flow helps keep these arteries and tissues healthy and functioning well.  If a person does not have a regular sexual partner, masturbation can the most important way to maintain good sexual functioning.  This blood flow is especially important for people over 50 and can be one of the best ways for women to prevent the severity of vaginal symptoms after menopause.

Masturbation reduces stress and helps us feel calm

Since it helps release oxytocin and endorphins, masturbation can help people feel calm and relaxed.  This relaxation is especially important for women during orgasm, since this is one of the few times that a woman can actually get her brain to relax and stop thinking about everything.  Masturbation also helps in much the same way to lower our blood pressure, decrease overall stress and anxiety, and is even used by millions to help them sleep better.

Prostate health

Although most men masturbate already, many find it odd that I recommend that they continue to masturbate if they are not getting regular sexual activity.  Especially now in the age of porn, masturbation can be used to avoid relationships or can prime the brain to respond more to the images on a screen than a real person.  Used in a healthy fashion, however, regular masturbation with ejaculation can help maintain the health of the prostate and lowers the incidence of prostate cancer in men.

Increase pleasure with your partner

Especially for women, masturbation is an excellent way to learn about how your body feels pleasure and how to give yourself that pleasure.  Once a person has a good idea of the ways that they respond to physical stimulation, they can more easily translate that into having the same pleasure with a partner.  This is most important for the majority of women who receive pleasure mostly from stimulation of the clitoris externally rather than from vaginal penetration.  There are about 70% of women who need to have this external stimulation during intercourse if they want to reach orgasm, and learning how to incorporate that into their sex life with a partner can make all the difference.

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