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Did you know cornflakes were invented to stop masturbation?
Masturbation is weird. Not the act itself but all the stuff around it. For some reason it’s something a lot of us do, yet we don’t talk about it.
In the ‘olden days’ masturbation was thought of as something bad. It was believed to cause many horrible symptoms like; vomiting, loss of appetite and back pain. Some people even believed it could make your genitals fall off.
Turns out these people were wrong, very wrong, but some of the stigma around masturbation still exists today, despite the fact that masturbation has been proven to be totally healthy.
Here are ten positive effects of masturbation:
1. Can reduce the chances of infection, especially in people with vaginas. Normally vaginas are a thin passageway from your external genitals (vulva) to your uterus. When we become aroused this passageway opens up and becomes both longer and wider (similar to how people with penises get erections). This process makes it easier to insert pleasure aids and/or body parts during sex or masturbation, but it also allows natural ‘good’ bacteria to clean out the vagina, preventing anything nasty from being able to stay in there and cause infections.
2. Can reduce tension and anxiety. Studies have shown that masturbation can help you calm down. This is because sexual pleasure and orgasm stimulate the production of oxytocin, a hormone that reduces stress. It’s especially effective if you orgasm when you masturbate, but it can still help even if you don’t.
3. Has been shown to reduce headaches. Similar to it’s stress reduction properties masturbation, pleasure and orgasm all aid the relief of headaches. This doesn’t work for everyone though and in some cases it may make the headache worse.
4. Reduces period pain. In people who menstruate, masturbation may be able to help relieve those pesky cramps. Arousal allows an increase in blood flow to the pelvis and uterus. This makes it easier for your body to expel period blood and therefore reduces pain.
5. Helps you sleep.
6. Allows us to get to know our bodies. An important part of masturbation is learning what we find pleasurable and what turns us on. It’s also a food time to get familiar with our genitals and find out what is normal for them, so we can be aware of any changes that may indicate a health issue.
7. Improves self esteem and body positivity. When we get to know our bodies it makes it easier to accept and love them.
8. Makes sex better. Knowing what we enjoy makes it easier for us to tell our partners. Pleasurable sex doesn’t necessarily come automatically. Every person is different, and we may need to instruct our partners on what feels good. The more we know what we like our own, the easier it is to tell someone else.
9. Mutual Masturbation is a thing. Mutual masturbation is when you and your partner/s masturbate together. This can be a way to have sexual pleasure together if you aren’t ready for any of the sex acts that involve touching each other, if you want an increased chance of avoiding STI’s (although you should still be careful about contact with other fluids) or even as foreplay. It can also be super hot.
10. And last, but probably most importantly, it’s pleasurable. The only thing you really need to know about masturbation is whether you find it pleasurable (some people don’t and that’s normal). If it’s something that you enjoy and are doing safely and appropriately you shouldn’t let anyone tell you that it’s wrong. Find what works for you and enjoy yourself. Don’t be afraid to try out new methods till you find something that works or if you want to change things up.