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6 Reasons Why You Should Masturbate

Rose MacDowell

We all know masturbation feels somewhere between good and mind-blowing, depending on the day. Masturbation is so fun it’s a near-universal activity, but what goes on behind the scenes when you do it? Does it have any benefits beyond the obvious physical thrills?

Let’s take a closer look at the mechanics of masturbation and find out what happens under the hood when you drive solo. 

Your Imagination Lights up

You’re not, um, imagining it. When you tuck yourself in with a sex toy and get busy, your brain goes into full fantasy mode. Studies of arousal and orgasm prove that the brain is uniquely activated during masturbation. The studies involved only women, but there’s no reason to think all genders don’t respond the same way. 

What did the studies show, exactly? When arousal is stimulated by another person during partnered play, the creative, thinking part of your brain dials down. But the creative part of your brain goes into overdrive when you’re alone. That means your mind (yes, your spank bank) churns out vivid ideas and images during masturbation to help bring exciting scenarios to life.  

The next time you get off on a great fantasy during solo time, don’t forget to thank your prefrontal cortex!   

More: Shopping for new vibes? Check my Magic Wand Rechargeable review!

Your Pain Threshold Rises

If you’ve ever noticed that being rough with yourself feels oddly pleasurable when you’re masturbating, here’s why: arousal boosts your pain threshold. Nipple twisting, spanking, and rough handling of normally very sensitive areas can feel just right when you’re getting close to climax. 

According to research of the body's pain response, your ability to tolerate pain rises as much as 75% during masturbation and orgasm. What’s responsible? Serotonin, AKA the happy chemical, which helps cells communicate and has powerful effects all over the body. Arousal and orgasms spur the release of serotonin, which makes it easier to tolerate pain of all kinds

If you’re thinking that masturbation sounds like a great natural painkiller, you’re on to something! Playing solo can help period cramps and headaches, and is a great way to soothe your body whenever you feel achy or out of sorts.   

You Release Happiness and Love Hormones

All the warm and fuzzy chemicals that get released during partner sex are pumped out in spades when you masturbate. Whether they help you bond with yourself or just feel especially great about that epic orgasm you experienced, oxytocin, dopamine, and other I-love-everybody-and-everything substances flood your bloodstream when you play solo.

More: Playing with a partner? Check out my We-Vibe Chorus review!

From prolactin to adrenaline, the scientific verdict is in: the chemicals that flow when you masturbate are a who’s who of things that make you feel good. Some of the benefits include:

  • Better sleep. Delete the white noise app and flush the sleeping pills! The same chemicals that make you feel relaxed and euphoric after masturbating also help you fall asleep. No wonder so many of us break out the vibe/dildo/masturbator when insomnia strikes. Solo play is great for both the pleasure and the peaceful snooze that follows.   
  • Lowered blood pressure. Oxytocin doesn’t just make you feel relaxed and more attached (to yourself or a partner!), it can also lower your blood pressure and help you de-stress. Oxytocin’s been called the body’s natural tranquilizer for this very reason.   
  • Improved sexual function. Masturbating gets the blood pumping, the juices flowing, and the muscles contracting. This feels great at the moment, but has a higher purpose, too! Masturbation keeps your sexual response system tuned up and in good working order. Regular solo play can also help alert you when something seems awry, like persistent vaginal dryness or erection issues. 
  • Sharper memory. Dopamine and prolactin sharpen your ability to remember and can protect your brain against the effects of stress. The effect is especially pronounced if you’re over 50, a great side effect of masturbating when you’re older! 
  • Improved self-esteem. The adrenaline that flows when you masturbate can trigger more positive feelings about yourself and a better body image. Studies even show that adrenaline released during solo play can help you feel empowered and increase your sense of purpose. Turns out pleasuring yourself is good for your mental and physical health! 

  • You Boost Your Immune System

    Pleasuring yourself comes with some nice antiviral perks! One study showed that masturbation increases the number of killer and white blood cells, making it easier for your body to fight off everything from colds to infections. How? Orgasm helps to regulate cortisol, a hormone that can reduce your immunity if you’re under chronic stress. 

    And don’t forget — orgasming can also help you sleep, another key to a strong immune system! 

    You Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor 

    Masturbation gets the blood pumping to your pelvic region, bringing oxygen to those all-important internal tissues. Arousal and orgasm also cause pelvic muscles to contract, making them stronger and more toned. The stronger and more toned your pelvic floor, also known as Kegel, muscles are, the more pleasurable masturbation feels, and (naturally), the more you want to play solo. That leads to healthier pelvic muscles, which lead to…you get the picture!

    Healthier pelvic floor muscles are also associated with better bladder and anal control as you get older, giving older folks another excellent reason to masturbate. 

    Shop vaginal wellness products and Kegel exercisers 

    Your Vagina And Prostate Clean House 

    Masturbation activates the toxin-removal system of both the vagina and prostate. Yes, there really is such a thing! When you’re aroused, the cervix opens and cervical fluid is flushed out, bringing any pesky bacteria with it. This can help prevent urinary tract infections and other bacterial build-up, keeping the cervix and vagina in tip-top shape. 

    There’s also an interesting link between masturbation and a lowered risk of prostate cancer. Frequent ejaculation might help to expel toxins from the prostate, keeping it healthier over the long term. Ejaculating when you’re older seems to be especially helpful for your prostate, making masturbating a healthy way to spend solo time no matter what your age! Good to know for those of us (*cough*) who’ve been at it on the daily since the 70s.  

    Browse essential masturbation supplies like vibrators, dildos, and penis toys!

    Masturbation FAQs

    What is edging? Edging involves masturbating almost to the point of orgasm and staying on the brink of climax as long as you can. Edging is not only pleasurable, it can intensify sexual sensations and help you have more control over orgasm during sex with a partner. Edging is a great way to learn how your body responds to different stimulation and discover what feels best to you. 

    To practice edging, bring yourself to the edge of a climax, then change the intensity. Stop or slow down, and let the urge to climax pass before you start start again. Breathe through the desire and focus your mind away from the sensations in your body. 

    As you repeat the process, pay attention to the signals that an orgasm is close. Does your heart speed up? Do you breathe faster? Your muscles might tighten or your arms and legs shake. Paying attention to these cues can help you slow down and control your orgasm, so you can climax when you want to. 

    Can masturbating with a toy desensitize me? In a word, no! This is a common rumor, but vibrators and other toys do not harm your nerves or make them less sensitive. Read more: Can My Vibrator Desensitize Me? 

    Final Thoughts

    Masturbation isn’t just relaxing and pleasurable, it has a host of positive effects on your mind and body. If you’re new to masturbating, want to enjoy it more, or are looking for ways to keep an already-great solo pleasure routine exciting, feel free to reach out for personalized recommendations! Just email us at info@delicto.com, or DM us on Instagram or TikTok. We’re always happy to help!