India is one of the most populated countries, yet everything about and around sex is still considered taboo. Since there is no open and honest communication around sex, we are not able to get, learn or understand the ideal information about it. Sex and all the other activities pertaining to pleasure is a natural process and hence the communication about it needs to be open and organic without any shame, guilt, or judgment. If this is normalized, only then we will be able to know and learn the healthy benefits of pleasure.
Now, one of the aspects of it is self-pleasure. Let’s try and understand more about the idea of self-pleasure.
Self-pleasure, as the name suggests is participating in activities to give pleasure to ourselves. In other words, self-pleasure, also known as masturbation, is the act of touching or rubbing parts of our body to feel sexually pleasured. It is a common behavior that is practiced by different genders of people and of different ages. It is a natural and healthy way for us to explore our bodies. It also helps us understand how we can feel good sexually and how we can achieve an orgasm.
As much as the act of masturbation is considered to feel guilty about, we should understand that it’s a natural body process and a normal part of our life just like eating or sleeping. The frequency at which we masturbate differs from each person to person. It can be a few times a day, maybe a week or a few months. But of course, only if it doesn’t come in the way of our day-to-day activities and responsibilities.
Benefits of Self-pleasure
There are a lot of benefits when we practice self-pleasure/masturbation in a healthy manner. Some of them are –
- When we go through the act of self-pleasure/masturbation, the body tends to relax and make us feel calm and peaceful. This is because of the release of hormones in our body like serotonin and dopamine, which are happy and feel-good hormones. It also helps us with stress and nervousness.
- Masturbation helps release sexual tension and allows us to explore our sexuality by ourselves.
- Due to the release of various hormones in our body during masturbation like endorphins and oxytocin, we tend to feel better if there’s any pain in the body. It can help us lower our pain sensitivity to an extent.
- It also helps us deal with anxiety and fear by deactivating the parts of our brain like the lateral orbitofrontal cortex, by activating the parts of the brain that is responsible for pleasure like the hypothalamus and thalamus.
- Masturbation helps in releasing, oxytocin, norepinephrine, and serotonin, which have been shown to help us sleep well and get into our REM cycles better, which also makes us feel rested.
- Masturbation helps us in exploring our body better and in turn, we can understand how and what feels good to us and how we can enjoy the whole experience better. This also helps us explore sex in new ways with our partners.
These are some of the benefits of healthy self-pleasure/masturbation. The experience is different for every individual and we can always try and understand what works better for us and what does not. The more curious we get and the more we learn about it, the better our knowledge gets. And as much as self-pleasure/masturbation is beneficial in many ways, we also have to understand it’s harmful when we do it as a distraction or coping mechanism, or when it comes in the way of our day-to-day work and responsibilities.