How To Get The Effects Of Masturbating Without Doing It

There's no denying that people love to masturbate. It's the second most common human sex act, according to Martha Cornog in The Big Book of Masturbation. People masturbate for a variety of reasons, aside from the obvious sexual benefits:

  • To create a sense of well-being
  • To improve sleep
  • To increase self-esteem and improve body image
  • To reduce stress
  • To ease tension and pain

While masturbation helps us cope with the above issues, it may not be the best natural remedy for overcoming them. In 2011, Scientific American published a groundbreaking article comparing the benefits derived through orgasm to those that occur in the other activity that people do right before going to sleep: meditation.

In short, scientists found that meditating has virtually the same orgasmic effect on the mind and body as masturbation.

After someone posted that article to my Facebook timeline, a skeptical meditator quickly commented, “I’m not so sure about this correlation. Although I’ve thought about sex many, many times during my meditations, I’ve never once thought about meditation while having sex.” Touché.

Which brings us back to the original question: Could meditation be a viable replacement for masturbation? My answer, based on more than a decade of daily meditation practice, is that it depends on your overall goals. If releasing stress or sleeping better at night is high on your priority list, you should know that daily meditation is in a league of its own.

Here are five reasons why:

1. Meditation is superior to masturbation when it comes to stress release.

While masturbating every now and again can certainly help to take the edge off after a demanding day, sex therapists warn not to rely on it as your sole escape from stress, mainly because that can lead to addiction, which has been shown to cause symptoms of depression.

Meditation, on the other hand, is not only more effective at reducing work stress and anxiety, but you also get the release of feel-good chemicals such as dopamine (important for maintaining focus and experiencing attraction), serotonin (calms and eases tension), oxytocin (the premier pleasure hormone), and endorphins (pain-numbing, stress-reducing hormones). Furthermore, there are no negative side effects of meditating often. In fact, the more you meditate, the more it permanently changes your brain to make you happier and think more clearly.

2. Meditation leads to deeper sleep over masturbation.

Meditation has long been known for its ability to significantly decrease insomnia and fatigue. While masturbating before bed can also help you fall asleep, meditation has been shown to go a step further and increase your “slow wave sleep,” which ushers your body into the deepest state of rest possible.

3. Meditation enhances your sex drive more than masturbation.

People (especially men) who masturbate frequently or look forward to masturbating alone daily have been shown to be less likely to engage in sexual activity with a partner. But frequent meditation does the opposite. It helps to keep cortisol (a major stress chemical) at bay, which allows women to feel more desirable and men to have higher testosterone levels and a stronger sex drive.

4. Nothing bad can happen from meditating frequently.

If there are scientific reports showing negative effects from excessive meditating, I couldn't find any. If anything, meditating frequently leads to enlightenment (I’m basing this claim on my observation and knowledge of monks in India who practice meditation a lot more than regular folks).

However, some studies have linked excessive masturbating to depression, unhappiness, and in some cases prostate cancer. Side note: In Psychology Today, sexuality journalist Michael Castleman M.A. claims that while masturbation has ties to mental health and erection problems, it doesn’t necessarily cause them. His suspected catalyst is covered in the next point (below).

5. You can meditate without feeling shame.

Despite the fact that most people do it, masturbation is still a “highly stigmatized topic,” according to the Journal of the American Medical Association, and is viewed negatively across religions, as well as among the general public. In fact, U.S. Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders resigned under fire after recommending masturbation as a topic to be included in public sexual education.

On the contrary, meditation carries zero guilt or shame, particularly if you get caught doing it. If anything, many people secretly wish they meditated more often. And if you get “caught” doing it, you may inspire others to start a practice of their own.

No one is suggesting that you stop masturbating or that there is something wrong with it. But if you haven’t begun meditating, you should give that a try too. Here's an article full of useful meditation tips to help you get started.

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