Masturbation - The Facts, Myths and Tips
How to have the best sex with yourself.
Masturbation is the ultimate in self-care. Not only does it feel good, but brings a range of positive side effects and health benefits too. But why is it such a taboo subject? Masturbating is a normal, healthy, and amazingly enjoyable part of sexuality, allowing for self-pleasure, self-exploration, and better sexual health.
However, we still hear the odd myth flying around about masturbation, leaving people feeling that what they’re doing is wrong or that they’re “not enough” for their partner. Well, we want to help put the record straight.
So here’s a few myths debunked, a few facts, and a few masturbation techniques for the ultimate menage-a-moi!
First off - let's set a few things straight
We've heard some hilarious myths when it comes to sexual acts over the years, but some of these just top the bill! We've no idea where these came from, but we can tell you now:
- Masturbation will not make you go blind
- Masturbation does not cause acne
- Masturbating will not make your palms hairy
- Masturbating will not shrink your penis or make you lose sensitivity in your clitoris
- Masturbation does not cause cancer, make you infertile or sterile
- Masturbating does not make you a pervert
Yeah, we laughed when we heard some of these too. But it's worrying that some of these bizarre myths are doing the rounds and making people feel that what they're doing is in some way wrong.
Here at Harmony, we're one of the number one advocates for exploring your sexuality and maintaining good sexual health, and masturbation is a big part of that.
So let's talk about all the positives
Masturbation can actually increase your sex drive
The more sex you have, the more you’ll want to have. So if you’re finding that your libido is somewhat lacking lately, giving yourself some sexual stimulation can help reinvigorate your sex drive. The more comfortable you are being sexual with your own body, the more you’ll want to be sexual with your partner.
Masturbation is good for your health
It makes you happy. When you reach the Big O, your body releases oxytocin, dopamine and endorphins - the happy hormones! But it's not just that immediate rush that leaves you feeling happy, the mood-lifting effects of an orgasm can leave you feeling better all day.
Masturbating reduces stress and tension. If you’re feeling wound up, a good solo session is a great way to relax your whole body and take your mind off what’s bothering you, focusing on the moment and your own mental wellness. Orgasms also help lower cortisol levels (the stress hormone), and the release of oxytocin can help relieve tension in your muscles.
It helps you sleep. A bit of self-pleasure quiets the mind. Plus, the hormones released during orgasm help your body get into your REM cycles better, resulting in a deeper, more restful sleep.
It can help relieve period pain. In a recent study by one of our favourite toy brands Womanizer, 86% of women expressed that masturbating had an impact on reducing pain felt during their period.
It works your pelvic floor. All bodies naturally lose muscle tone with age, but regular sex or masturbation helps exercise your pelvic floor muscles which can help prevent incontinence and erectile dysfunction.
It's good for your skin. We've all heard of the post-orgasm glow. This is down to the fact that orgasms increase blood flow to the skin along with the hormones released that reduce inflammation, all leading to a more youthful complexion!
Learn about yourself
When indulging in some solo sex you can take your time to learn about your body and see what feels good. Try different variations of stimulation, different angles, different speeds and different positions. Knowing what feels good and what brings you to orgasm can make you more confident in bed and more vocal with a partner which can lead to a better sex life and increased confidence in your body image. When you know what you like, you can tell them where and how to touch you which can really help deepen your connection and enhance your sexual pleasure together.
As you let your mind wander, you can indulge your deepest desires, however dirty or kinky. Allowing yourself to explore these fantasies solo can help you determine whether you want to try them with a partner in the future.
Top masturbation tips to up your solo game
Set the mood. Just because you’re having sex on your own, doesn’t mean it should be less special. Light some candles, put some music on and slip into some sexy lingerie that makes you feel good.
Let your imagination loose. Allow your mind to wander and fantasize, whether it’s about your own partner, a celeb crush, a certain situation; your own fantasies can be hugely powerful in boosting your arousal.
Get some extra stimulation. Your own imagination can be a sexy thing, but if it helps, watch some porn, read some erotica or try audio porn to turn up the heat.
Give yourself some foreplay. Before you head straight to the good stuff, take the time to explore different parts of your body and all of its erogenous zones. Gently stimulating your nipples, ears, neck, perineum and inner thighs will build up that sexual tension to an even stronger orgasm. And you never know, you might find something you really like!
Add lube. A bedside drawer essential in our book, lube makes everything more pleasurable. Whether you’re using toys or just your own fingers, added lubrication and a smoother glide will heighten the sensations.
A few extra tips for penis owners.
Vary the speed and strokes. Experiment with different movements, using long twisting strokes from base to tip.
Slow down and speed up. And try moving your hips, gyrating, or thrusting at different speeds.
Be sure to pay some attention to your balls too. Testicles have almost as many nerve endings as your penis, so try cupping them or gently tugging them just before ejaculation for added pleasure.
Self-love for vulva-owners.
Using some lube, stroke your labia before moving to your clitoris using side-to-side or circular movements. Vary the pressure and rhythm as you feel your orgasm begin to build. You can add some internal stimulation too, inserting a finger or two into your vagina. Female masturbation doesn't have to focus on clitoral stimulation alone, if you want to take it even further, head over to our other post: How to find your G-Spot for a whole new level of sexual exploration.
Explore anal pleasure.
A lot of people are curious about anal sex but too nervous to bring it up with a partner. So try experimenting on your own first to see what you like. Firstly, the anus doesn’t self-lubricate, so always use plenty of lube. Start massaging the outside of your anal opening and gently insert your finger inside, switching between circular and in-and-out motions.
Give your hands a break.
It goes without saying that here at Harmony, we’re a big believer in adding some sex toys to your sex play. Using vibrators, anal beads, prostate massagers or dildos can intensify your orgasms tenfold!
Can you masturbate too much?
If we're honest, yes. But we're talking chronic masturbation here that is more of an outlet for something else that's probably troubling you mentally.
If you find that masturbation is causing you to:
- Miss work or school
- Cancel plans with your partner, friends, or family
- Miss important social events
- Prevent you from your regular chores or daily activities
seek some advice from a doctor or sex therapist who can help you talk through your addiction.
Masturbation is a healthy, natural and safe way to explore your sexuality, practice self-care and look after your own mental and physical wellbeing.
Head over to our Essentials section, grab some lube, and enjoy the pleasure without any guilt or shame!