If you said the word masturbation in a room full of women you’re bound to get a few different reactions. A few would blush, some who shake their heads in disapproval and some would give a thumbs up. Though masturbation is considered by many to be part of a healthy sex life, it’s something we don’t often talk about or are ashamed to talk about. “I grew up thinking it was dirty and wrong and wasteful,” says Laila, a 34 year old accountant. “It wasn’t until I was in college that I started masturbating and realized that this is actually awesome.” Way to go girl.
Unlike many men, a large amount of women grow up too ashamed to masturbate and or felt guilty for it afterwards for various reasons. According to Indiana University’s National Survey Of Sexual Health And Behavior (NSSHB), only 7.9 percent of women between the ages of 25 and 29 masturbate two to three times a week in contrast to the 23.4 percent of men that find time for weekly self love. This study, conducted between March and May 2009 and is based on collected data from 5,865 Americans between 14 and 94 years old, is one of the most recent and “largest nationally representative study of sexual and sexual-health behaviors ever fielded.” The masturbation statistic for women is very low compared to men, and it seems like way have a ways to go to shake the taboo surrounding women and masturbation.
“I don’t think that I’ll tell my daughter the things my parents told me about masturbation. I don’t want her to feel some kind of way about her body. It’s her body. I’d rather her find pleasure in it than someone else until she feels ready to allow them to do that. Until then, it’s her body and I see nothing wrong with it.” — Laila
If you’re doubting that masturbation is worth a try, we’re here to tell you that masturbation is actually good for you. Don’t believe us? Here are eight reasons why women should masturbate regularly.
Masturbation can help to reduce or eliminate period and body pain.
This alone is reason enough to break out the finger love crew. If you suffer from uncomfortable periods, when you masturbate, your body releases certain hormones that can help alleviate menstrual pain and it also helps to relax muscles that are cramping.
“First day of my period I’m on a mission. It’s always my super plus tampon and my toy, my bullet. The cramps are crazy on my first day, but if I masturbate at night at like 11, because my period always comes at like 12 in the morning like clockwork every month, then for some reason I don’t cramp as bad.” — Lydia, 22, Student
Masturbation can relieve stress.
With all of the dopamine and oxytocin rushing through your body from masturbating, you are bound to feel relaxed. It can boost your mood and make you feel freaking awesome. Simply put, self-stimulation is a great way to calm yourself.
“I actually used to get headaches when I came. I realized that I was clenching my jaw so tight through the peak and the release that I was causing them. Just by breathing through it I lost the headaches and ended my sex sessions more relaxed.” — Shania, 27, Teacher
Masturbation can help to tone your pelvic floor strength which can reduce involuntary urine leakage that some women suffer from.
In the build up stage of orgasm, your pelvic floor works really hard to bring it all home. Your uterus actually sort of lifts up off the pelvic floor which increases your pelvic muscle tension. Over time, this can strengthen your pelvic floor.
“What’s crazy is my gynecologist told me about the masturbating thing when I told her I peed a little bit when I sneezed. It took about two months of doing it about three times a week but it did help a lot.” — Jackie, 42, RN
You learn what your body likes and does not like.
Being able to know yourself and communicate with your partner about what you like and don’t like is critical to a healthy sex life. If you know what you want, it’s easier to communicate this to your lover when the time comes. Which leads us to…
Say it with us: Multiple Orgasms.
Knowing and fully understanding how your body works means you know exactly how to pleasure it. You know all the buttons to push to get it to explode one, two…six times! Some men can come multiple times but women can often keep going, going and going.
“I’ve had up to six. I really want to get to eight but for some reason, my body is like I can’t take anymore after six. One day I’m going to make it to eight. I’ve only had two from sex, but I can get up to six from self love.” – Nicole, 35, Entrepreneur
Sex overall is better.
Knowing what you want and how to make yourself peak means that in the bedroom you can be the teacher and the student and that brings some mystery and fun to sex.
It helps you sleep.
The trip to an orgasm can be fun and exhausting at the same time and a good nap afterwards is often welcomed. Your body feels calm, relaxed and satisfied which means you’ll fall asleep quicker.
It’s totally risk free.
Masturbation is fun and totally without any unwanted side effects like pregnancy or an STD. You might get a little sensory overload from all the self love but otherwise there is nothing stopping you.