I know, it’s a topic not many acknowledge, never mind talk about openly. Well, sex in general is not usually a topic of conversation around the coffee shop or anywhere else for that matter. Men are far more open about sex and masturbation than women are yet women talk about EVERYTHING else. Some women have trouble talking about sex with their partners and even with their DOCTORS … even a female doctor. So I’m here to open the conversation.
It absolutely astounded me as I was researching this topic how attitudes have not really changed that much when it comes to masturbation. It’s ok for men but not for women? Why the heck not?
I know that many of you likely enjoy masturbating; some of you do it often; others once in a while. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a budding novice, I hope you pick up a thing or two along the way 😉
There is no better way to get to know your own body, what you like and don’t like, than by masturbating. It’s also a great way to learn how to orgasm. Sadly, there are still so many women, regardless of age, who have NEVER experienced an orgasm. That is absolutely NO reflection on them whatsoever and certainly nothing to feel negatively about. It’s a reflection on our society, on our upbringing, on taboos that are absolutely antiquated! Women have every right to experience mindblowing orgasms. I wrote about orgasms here. Don’t get me wrong, masturbating is not just about achieving an orgasm and not all orgasms are mindblowing and that’s okay. But still, you absolutely have the right to them!
There is no better way for a female to get to know her body and to learn to LOVE it, regardless of what it looks like. Take a good, long look at yourself naked when you get out of the shower. If you’re anything like me, you’ve got at least one part of your body (justified or not) that you dislike (to varying degrees). Then one day I finally decided that accepting my body as it is right now and accepting it and loving it does not mean I have to settle for where I am. It just means that I love myself for who I am today.
Next, take a look at your “lady parts”. Women’s labia can be very different. There is no “perfect set” despite what you might think. We are all a little different and THAT’S OKAY. Use a mirror and take a good look at yourself, understand where all the folds are and where exactly your clitoris is. This will help you know where to put your fingers.
The myths associated with masturbation are very misleading as they are usually picked up sub-consciously through innuendo and jokes and are not ever scientifically verified and I just couldn’t bring myself to include the more outlandish ones here. Some myths claim that masturbation:
- you can run out of orgasms (i.e. using up sexual reserve)
- can cause mental health problems and craziness
- excessive masturbation can cause decreased sexual stamina
- can cause fatigue and tiredness
- can cause you to lose interest in sex with a partner
These are all so untrue.
There are many general health benefits to masturbation just like sex, which I address here, such as:
- increases feelings of physical and mental wellbeing through release of brain chemicals called endorphins
- decreases stress response and lowers blood pressure
- enhances sleep
- improves immunity
- eases postmenopausal symptoms of dryness and thinning of vaginal tissues
- eases cramps, aches and pains
- relieves headaches
- reduces inflammation
- keeps the pelvic floor strong
And of course there are very definite sexual benefits to masturbation such as:
- becoming more comfortable with one’s body
- a way for women to find out what makes them orgasm so they can share it with their partner
- have the ability to meet one’s own sexual needs without a partner
- there is no risk of sexually transmitted disease or unplanned pregnancy
- free, unlimited, pleasurable and fun
- it can be a very enjoyable intimate activity for couples who don’t want to, are not able to or don’t feel ready for intercourse
- mutual masturbation can be a total turn on whether you have intercourse or not
- provides a release of sexual tension during a women’s menstrual period if she is uncomfortable with sex during that time
Sex toys are a great addition to masturbation. Again, they’re nothing to be afraid of or ashamed of. Just be sure to use lube if you’re inserting anything inside of you. And don’t be afraid to use those sex toys (and others) with your partner. Most men are quite open to the use of toys and love watching their woman orgasm. So for the sake of pleasing your man, I highly recommend masturbating in front of him either with your fingers or a toy or two 😉 You can find my article on sex toys here.
As you can see, there are many benefits to masturbation. It is nothing to be afraid of, ashamed of or hide from your partner. By becoming more comfortable and familiar with your own body, you become more confident, both sexually and in life. Your partner (or future partner) will thank you for getting to know your body and for letting them know what you love and what you don’t. If you’re not sure how to talk to your partner, please read this article on communication.
If you need further direction or are unsure of where to go from here, don’t hesitate to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time, have a fabulous week and if you feel the need, don’t be afraid to take matters into your own hand 🙂
Sandy O’Shea, CNP