Why I Think Masturbating Is Essential To Your Self-Care Practice + How To Do It Better

Why I Think Masturbating Is Essential To Your Self-Care Practice + How To Do It Better Hero Image

Word has gotten around that masturbation has health benefits and should be part of your self-care routine. On top of all the physical benefits, though, masturbation has a serious positive impact on your perception of and relationship with your body.

The best way to feel good about yourself is to make yourself feel good.
 

Whether you're in a relationship or single, enjoying your body for your own sake can help you reconnect with your internal sensuality and capacity for pleasure.

Self-confidence is the most powerful aphrodisiac. So, how do you start loving yourself from an authentic place?

Affirmations, mantras, and meditations can help, but in my humble opinion, the best way to feel good about yourself is to make yourself feel good. So, I'm challenging you to set aside private time to explore self-stimulation every day for the next seven days.

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Masturbation floods your nervous system with endorphins, dopamine, and oxytocin — the bonding hormone — even when climax is not reached. With frequent masturbation you’re relaxing your brain and therefore your body, which can improve digestion, balance your hormones, and aid in weight management.

When you masturbate regularly, you’ll feel better about your body, because your body is bringing itself pleasure. It’s hard to not be impressed by your body when let yourself feel what she's capable of doing! (Side note: I call my body “she” rather than “it." I feel like it contributes to a healthier, closer relationship.)

The world tells us that body criticism is how we keep our cravings and our bodies in check. In truth, though, when you recognize your capacity for pleasure, you'll be more inclined to keep it performing at the highest level. That will be reflected in your food choices, your self-talk, and your habits.

Another benefit of masturbation? Knowing how your body works and what really turns you on makes it easier to ask for what you want when dating, mating, and relating. When you can bring yourself physical pleasure, you don’t need someone else to tell you that you’re sexy. You feel it. You know it.

When we decide to ignore external judgments about ourselves and our bodies, we can take control of our cravings and desires and learn to actually love ourselves.

Ready? Here are the details for your 7-Day Masturbation Challenge:

1. Book time with yourself.

First, get out your calendar and find a 15- to 30-minute window each day when you can be in your preferred place to explore your masturbation practice. (If you’re really psyched about this, you can set aside an hour.)

2. Create a space and a context that make you feel comfortable and excited.

Think of a sexy experience you had in the past, or a favorite fantasy scene, and re-create it to the best of your ability. What made the physical environment perfect for your pleasure? Candles? Dark or natural daylight? Music or quiet?

3. Get yourself in the mood.

Getting in the mood, even for solo play, is sometimes helped with relaxing preparations. Schedule a massage and build in a half hour for yourself after you’re home and relaxed. Take a hot shower with essential oils or a bubble bath with favorite sexy music. A small glass of wine on the first few days is fine, but do try completely sober masturbation to help you get clear and present with yourself.

4. Explore different ways of turning yourself on.

Use erotica, daydream, watch porn, or play music that puts you in the mood. There’s no right or wrong here, just explore different avenues.

5. Wear something that makes you feel sexy.

Does lingerie turn you on? Choose a flattering outfit to wear just for yourself, or choose sensuous fabrics that feel delicious on your skin.

6. Use mirrors.

If you're feeling really awesome about your body, try masturbating in a mirror and watch yourself get turned on. Even if you don't go that route, exploring your anatomy with a hand mirror before you begin is a wonderful way to get to know your body. This chart can help you find your labia majora, labia minora, clitoris, and more.

7. Buy yourself a new toy.

Explore the difference between manual stimulation and using gadgets. The experiences can be totally disparate, and you may discover something new about your body. If you don't know where to start, try Babeland.

8. Get wet.

Added lubrication generally makes insertion and sensation more pleasurable, even during solo masturbation. Avoid silicone-based lubricants if you're using a silicone toy, as it can break down the material. If you have a silicone toy, use oil- or water-based lube instead. On the other hand, oil-based lubes like vitamin E oil and Vaseline can break down latex toys, so use a water- or silicone-based lube with those. Always test a small amount of a new lube on your inner labia before you play, to make sure it doesn't irritate your skin.

9. Measure your responses.

On day one, rate your level of a) self-love, b) sexiness, and c) the intensity of your food cravings.

On day seven, rate those three factors again. Sit down with a journal and explore your discoveries through writing. Were factors altered other than just the three above? How did you feel in your body this week? How did you spend your time? How did you respond to emotional situations?

Helpful Hints:

There is no prize for most orgasms reached. Regardless of climax, you will enjoy the benefits of hormones, self-love, and relaxation.

Taking time for your own pleasure (without the influence or presence of another person and their desires) is a wonderful way to tune out the noises and listen to what your body likes and wants.

If you’re in a relationship, it’s a good idea to share this challenge with your partner before you begin. Explain your hopes and curiosities in advance to preclude any misunderstandings later.

You might even invite your partner to participate in his or her own challenge, and share what you’ve each learned along the way. Self-play can lead to a renewed spark between lovers, especially when it’s a safe topic of discussion for all.

Here's to discovering new fantasies, thresholds for pleasure, and enhanced well-being.

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