It's not just fun – masturbation is also really good for you! And because May is Masturbation Month, I thought it'd be a great excuse to chat through some of the ways wanking can enhance your life. From improving your physical and mental health to helping you tune in to your body's needs and have even more satisfying sex.
Masturbation is good for your mental health
You probably know this one already – or at least have experienced it directly for yourself. When you're feeling down or stressed, a quick wank can help to clear your head. This is because having an orgasm causes a release of feel-good chemicals like dopamine and serotonin. It won't cure serious long-term mental health problems like depression or anxiety, of course (talk to your doctor!) but taking time to give yourself wonderful orgasms can certainly help calm your mind and give you a brief mental boost.
Why not try?
A luxury vibrator so you can really feel like you're treating yourself?
Or a brand new innovative masturbator that will give you more sensation than you'd get with just your hand and a bottle of lube?
Masturbation is good for your physical health
You may have heard of studies that show regular ejaculation can help to reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Sadly this hasn't been conclusively demonstrated yet, but there's a lot of agreement from medical practitioners that it certainly can't hurt. According to the NHS, there's an inverse correlation between the number of times you ejaculate and the likelihood of you being diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Beyond this, one of the things that's rarely discussed when it comes to masturbation is the fact that regular wanking can help you get more in tune with your body. You get used to the physical sensations, the strength and time required to orgasm, and you can take note of the ways in which this changes. If you have a significant change in, for instance, the time it takes you to ejaculate or get hard, that could be an indication of underlying heath issues that you need to speak to your GP about. So effectively by masturbating regularly you're performing a valuable and important health check on your own physical well-being. Neat, right?
Why not try...?
A penis pump to give you a wonderful suction sensation while you're in the bath?
Or a cock ring to give you an even harder erection to take pleasure in while you play?
Masturbation can help you learn what you like and don't like
It probably goes without saying that if you masturbate regularly you'll have a better idea of the kind of things you like and dislike in bed. It makes it easier for you to give your partner specific instructions on how you like to be touched, bringing you closer and (hopefully!) making it easier for you to get off when you're playing as a twosome.
But although this benefit is discussed a lot, it's rare for people to talk about the other possibility: masturbation fantasies helping you understand more about your kinks and fetishes. If my partner shows me a porn video – or tells me a story – about something sexy he'd like us to try in bed, I often find it useful to go away and 'wank on it' before deciding whether I want to try it too. Imagining the scenario in my head – or watching the porn scene – and immersing myself in this particular kink, gives me a much better idea of whether I'll enjoy trying it in real life.
Why not try...?
Getting kinky while you wank with some nipple clamps?
Or dressing up in some sexy lingerie just for the joy of seeing how hot you are when you're getting it on with yourself?
Masturbation can be a performance for your partner
I wanted to include at least one masturbation benefit that related specifically to relationships because I know there are lots of people out there who are worried about the impact that wanking can have on long term relationships. I can't deny that masturbation has been the source of a lot of shame and stigma throughout history, and that stigma hasn't yet been fully overturned. As a sex blogger, I've had some really interesting questions from readers about masturbation – with some people asking if it's 'OK' to wank while they're in a relationship, if they should hide their wanking from their partner, or if their partner isn't initiating sex because they're masturbating 'too much'. I've even had one person ask me if I thought watching porn counted as cheating!
Here's what I believe: not only is masturbation a healthy thing for people to do on their own, it can actually also be a huge benefit to any relationship if you and your partner are comfortable sharing some of your more intimate masturbation moments. The sexiness of watching your partner wank with a sex toy is hard to beat, in my opinion. And watching porn and masturbating together isn't just a horny way to spend a Saturday night, it's a great lesson in learning how your partner likes to be touched, and the kind of sex fantasies they like to jerk off to. While I'd never advocate ALL masturbation be done together (sometimes you just need some private time!) doing it in front of each other occasionally is a nice way to bring you closer together.
Why not try...?
A silicone double dildo that you can use together?
Or a remote control vibrator that one person can control while the other one wears it?
Masturbation is the most fun you can have for free
OK so sex toys cost money – though not LOTS of money because at SexToys we're all about bringing you bargain sex toys – but once you've made that initial investment, every single wank you have is completely and utterly free. And it doesn't just bring you a bit of fun the way a game of tennis or a bike ride in the park does: it brings full-on, writhing, moaning orgasmic joy. And when I write it down that starkly, isn't it amazing that we spend our spare time ever doing anything else?
Masturbation: good for your mental health, physical health, sex life and relationships. This Masturbation Month, spend a bit of time enjoying all the benefits it can bring you.