This Daily Habit Can Give You The Same Effects As Masturbation

mbg Class Instructor & Meditation Teacher By Light Watkins
mbg Class Instructor & Meditation Teacher
Light Watkins is a Santa Monica–based Vedic Meditation teacher, mindbodygreen class instructor, TEDx speaker, and author of Bliss More, How to Succeed in Meditation Without Really Trying. He grew up in Montgomery, Alabama, and graduated from Howard University with a bachelor's in communications.
Expert review by Kristina Hallett, Ph.D., ABPP
Board-certified Clinical Psychologist
Kristina Hallett, Ph.D., ABPP is a board-certified clinical psychologist, Director of Clinical Training at Bay Path University, and an associate professor in Graduate Psychology. She has a private practice in Suffield, Connecticut.

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

Masturbation is a great natural solution to coping with the above issues. Another option for when masturbating isn't a convenient option? Meditation.

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An easy alternative to masturbation.

The benefits of masturbation are actually remarkably similar to those that occur in the other activity that people do right before going to sleep: meditation. That's because meditating has some very similar orgasmic effect on the mind and body as masturbation. If releasing stress or sleeping better at night is high on your priority list, meditation might be another great go-to practice for you. Here's why:

1. Meditation and masturbation both help with stress release.

Masturbation can take the edge off after a demanding day. Meditation does the same: Plenty of research has found meditation to be effective at reducing work stress and anxiety, and similar to masturbation, you get a 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).

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2. Like masturbation, meditation leads to deeper sleep.

Just like with masturbating, meditating before bed can help you fall asleep faster. Meditation has long been known for its ability to significantly decrease insomnia and fatigue. Meditation has even been shown to increase your "slow wave sleep," which ushers your body into the deepest state of rest possible.

3. Meditation enhances your sex drive.

You might be thinking, OK, meditation can help me relax⁠—but it's not sexually pleasurable.

That's up for debate. Many sex therapists and sex educators today encourage mindfulness and meditation practices as part of developing a healthier sex life, including easier access to orgasm. Tantric sex is a sexual practice that actively encourages people to merge all these practices together. (Yes, tantric masturbation is a thing, and so are energy orgasms—aka orgasms from masturbating without touching.)

The science concurs: A 2018 study published in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapist found people who meditate tend to have better sexual functioning and more sexual desire than non-meditators. And while masturbation can be an effective stress reliever, meditation specifically helps to keep cortisol, a major stress chemical, at bay. Some research has found cortisol can inhibit testosterone production, which can mess with your sex drive. Thus, meditation might actually be particularly effective at improving sexual desire.

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4. You don't need privacy to meditate.

Unless you're doing it with your partner, masturbation usually requires you to be on your own. It can be a little awkward if your roommate or someone else walks in on you doing it, and sometimes just the worry about that can make it hard to really relax. Meditation is a great way to get some of those positive effects of masturbation when you don't have guaranteed privacy. If anything, if you get caught doing it, you may inspire others to start a practice of their own!

So if you're looking for another self-care activity that feels as good as masturbating, try adding meditation to your relaxation regimen.

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Light Watkins
Light Watkins
Light Watkins is a Santa Monica–based Vedic Meditation teacher, mindbodygreen class instructor, TEDx...
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Light Watkins
Light Watkins
Light Watkins is a Santa Monica–based Vedic Meditation teacher,...
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