Let’s Talk About Sex … And Masturbation

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In particular let’s talk about masturbation and why it’s good for you.

Masturbation

Let’s ditch the shame and guilt too many associate with masturbation. First off it’s the safest form of sex there is (no STD’s and no pregnancy). You, your hand and nothing else. And yes there are plenty of toys but for the sake of simplicity we want to get down to the beauty of you getting to know … yourself. 

Understanding what feels good, what touch sets you off, what caress makes you feel like you’re climbing the walls—in a good way? Those things not only pleasure you but make you keenly aware of what feels good to you. And later when you’re with a sexual partner you’ll be a much better participant because you’ll be far more comfortable giving direction. And taking it. 

It’s good for your health

According to science, sex experts and Planned Parenthood, masturbation can be good for your health, both mentally and physically.

When you have an orgasm, your body releases endorphins, which are hormones that block pain and make you feel good. The good feelings that come with an orgasm happen whether you’re masturbating or having sex.

Plenty of research has shown the health benefits of masturbation. Masturbation can:

  • release sexual tension
  • reduce stress
  • help you sleep better
  • improve your self-esteem and body image
  • help treat sexual problems
  • relieve menstrual cramps and muscle tension
  • strengthen muscle tone in your pelvic and anal areas

Dr. Dana Smith writes, “As you become more aroused leading up to orgasm, several important neurochemicals are released, including endorphins — also known as endogenous opioids — which helps explain why sex, solo or partnered, feels so good. Endorphins are also why masturbating can help people with pain relief, as they activate the same brain network as prescription opioids. Ever wondered about people’s tendency to pass out [fall asleep] afterward? The hormone vasopressin, which is a somnolent, or sleep aid, spikes during orgasm. So does oxytocin, which is conventionally known as the bonding hormone. It also decreases cortisol levels, resulting in the stress reduction many people seek from a solo session.”

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Touch is intimate

Just for a moment, think about how good it feels when a hand is pressed against you, caressing you gently and methodically until you want to scream for more but you don’t give in, you make it last for as long as you can. The kind of sensuality  that isn’t in a hurry and the best way to experience that is to take yourself there. Don’t be afraid of your own hands. Or your imagination. You’re not dirty or wrong or weird for self-pleasuring. 

The beauty of masturbation is it requires no vibrator, no physical partner, but the intensity can be the best you’ve ever experienced. Throughout time, men have been told masturbation was normal, but women have been sold on the idea we weren’t supposed to self-pleasure. Allow us to dispel that toot sweet: PLEASURE YOURSELF whenever you need to. This is not to say you shouldn’t use a sex toy. Its merely encouraging you to rely on your own touch first and foremost so you are intimately familiar with what really turns you on.

So why masturbation? For most, by the time we reach adulthood we experience multiple lovers. Lovers that swear they’ll be the best ever. The best at touch, at oral stimulation, and inevitably at sex itself. But far too often, male partners fall short of pleasing a woman. The lack of restraint, of enjoying seeing her feel good is often rushed by their inability to “hold off”.

For a woman, the sexiest sex is the kind that makes you beg for it. The kind where someone’s hand glides against you and you quiver because they only caress the very outside of you. You crave more. You want their hand to come back and explore, and perhaps they’ll do that with their mouth but to really take us there, restraint is the name of the ultimate pleasure game.

The data speaks for itself

“When you masturbate or have sex, the areas of the brain that are active are primary reward [regions],” says Nicole Prause, a neuroscientist and founder of the sexual biotechnology company Liberos. “But for something to be addictive, it has to meet many criteria, and it fails a lot of the other ones. For example, we don’t know that there are any withdrawal patterns with masturbation.”

If you have been holding out your entire lives, just waiting for science to give you a reason to enjoy your alone time, it’s time to cancel your plans and get down to it, because according to AsapSCIENCE, you’re doing yourself no favors by… denying yourself masturbation.  Masturbating is a sure-fire way to exercise the muscles you’ll need to have sex with an actual human partner, but make sure you’re strategic about it. AsapSCIENCE explains, if you don’t “mix up your techniques”, you could actually render yourself unresponsive to other types of sexual stimulation when you’re not alone. This is why we suggest putting your vibrator away for a little while and practice touching yourself.

Don’t worry. Science has got your back. “When you apply a vibrator, somewhere in the space of an hour, that area becomes more difficult to simulate,” Prause says. “For example, you might find that if you’re using a vibrator, it’s difficult to go back to your hand or back to your partner in that moment … But it’s not permanent.” See? We aren’t saying throw your toy out, just mix it up.

But what about the gender differences? We all know men masturbate when they get to grade school age, but women are not encouraged to do the same.

According to data collected by sex toy brand Womanizer, the “masturbation gap” — a term that describes the disparity between how frequently men and women masturbate — is starting to close. This year, the gap has shrunk to 56 percent, compared to a difference of 66 percent in 2020.

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“The masturbation gap is the result of the stigma that continues to surround female sexuality and masturbation. Culturally, it’s more acceptable for men to talk about pleasure than women, who are often shamed for their desires,” says Alexandra Pauly of Hyperbae.com. “Additionally, a lack of education surrounding masturbation perpetuates its taboo status.”

Why is it so off-the-table to discuss sex let alone masturbation? It’s the one thing most every single human being has done. And why have women been told by society that our pleasure is somehow less important than our male counterparts? To that we call bullshit. France is among the few places in the world fully and utterly committed to sexual pleasure (well, all pleasure for that matter), and women are quickly bridging the gap on who masturbate more among the sexes.

In a recent study shared on Statista, they write, “As of March 2021, 80 percent of French males aged 18 to 34 years old and 64 percent of French females the same age declared that they practiced and enjoyed masturbation. When looking at other studies, it may be stated that men tend to masturbate more than women. However, younger generations, influenced by feminism and the #MeToo movement, appear to be more open-minded about women’s sexuality.” (Cue an abounding AMEN!)

Women’s sexuality by country

The gender differences in masturbation practices can be seen in every country. In the United States men masturbate alone more than women, regardless of age (come on ladies, let’s be honest. We’re narrowing that statistic!). In the Netherlands, 33 percent of females never masturbate, compared to 16 percent of males. Interestingly enough, in 2015 in France, 70 percent of women declared that masturbation was one of the sexual practices that makes it easy for them to reach orgasm, while 65 percent said that penetration allowed them to easily reach orgasm.

A gender gap in masturbation?

According to results of the survey, conducted among French Millennials (which means people born between 1980 and 1999), young males practiced masturbation more than their female counterparts. Moreover, 15 percent of young French women declared that they have never masturbated, compared to three percent of males. This gap also seems to be relevant when it comes to the frequency of masturbation. In a survey from 2014, most of French women who had masturbated in the last three months declared that they masturbated at least once a month. When the same question was asked to French men, the majority of them answered that they masturbated at least once a week.

Truth time

As a very sexual being, I’m sad to report I got to the masturbation party a little late.

The first time I voluntarily masturbated with the intention of sexual pleasure, I was 26. Yes, I was a late masturbating bloomer, but that’s because I had a twisted view of sex thanks to extreme religious teachings and familial guilt when it came to anything related to the topic of sex—and I thought penetration was the only way to get off. Somehow self gratification was looked down upon and the shame and guilt I associated with it—which looking back was ridiculous—denied me self pleasure. Had I known I would have avoided all sorts of unsatisfying experiences by partners who felt they were “amazing” and had no awareness of what it meant to pleasure someone else …

The general consensus is that most men don’t do how to pleasure a woman without penetration, and they could use some lessons on touch, intimacy, the art of the tease, and oral sex. Women on the other hand make exceptional female lovers. Something about women and our understanding of one another, especially when it comes to physical and emotional sex, is something truly mind blowing.

As a bisexual woman, I reached pleasure of a soul stirring platitude once I set myself free and experienced the difference between sexual encounters with women and men first hand. My own curiosities and self-awareness allowed me to be attentive and indulgent with a female partner in ways I couldn’t experience with my male partners. And I did so without shame or guilt and the satisfaction is beyond measure. Learning the importance of touch, awareness, and listening to my own body changed everything.

The dynamics make for a beautiful, sensual, emotionally intimate experience that takes your breath away and sets your entire being on fire. It’s made me a far more attentive lover regardless of my partner; male or female. I learned how to better understand my own body and in turn, it’s allowed me to care even more about how to pleasure my partner (and I assure you, he is grateful).

Masturbation allows you to tap into the wealth of desire you’re keeping locked away. Inevitably it will make you far less reluctant to tell your partner(s) what feels good to you, and should they listen? You will spend the rest of your days having the best sexual experiences ever. But we’ll save more on that for a different article.

Let us just be the ones to say that telling women not to masturbate because they shouldn’t self pleasure is criminal. And we’re all done listening to that nonsense. Our advice? Do it. It’s marvelous! And if you’re looking for a little extra stimulation, consider buying some House of Wise’s enhancement cannabis products as an added perk.

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