Life is filled with many wonderful pleasures. From food to nature, music, and the company of others, pleasure is truly all around us. But we don’t always have to search outside of ourselves for pleasure. It can also arise from within through sexual activities like self-stimulation – gulp, yes I’m going there. Although some may shy away from self-pleasure, I believe health is holistic and all-encompassing. Therefore, holistic health has many integrated parts—and sexual health is a key factor in overall health and wellness.
After all, it is a part of human nature to pursue experiences that excite the senses and elicit feelings of pleasure. The skin contains millions of sensory neurons that respond to gentle strokes and physical touch by sending impulses to the pleasure centers of the brain. But, there is more to masturbation than the feelings it evokes. A little anatomical exploration and self-stimulation can elicit a cascade of hormones and chemicals that can significantly improve your health (without the need for a partner)! These substances include dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, endorphins, prolactin, and endocannabinoids—to name a few.
Here are 8 more surprising health benefits of self-pleasure:
1. Reduces Stress
Connecting with your body in a sensual way can help shift your focus from your worries to the present moment. Instead of concentrating on your day-to-day stressors, self-stimulation allows you to tune out of your thoughts and into the pleasurable sensations in your body. Once you reach the peak of pleasure, studies reveal that oxytocin levels also peak. In turn, oxytocin helps to reduce the amount of cortisol, aka “stress hormone,” in your body.
2. Improves Sleep
If you have trouble falling asleep at night, a little self-stimulation might be just what you need. In fact, a recent study found that masturbation not only improves how quickly you fall asleep, but it also enhances overall sleep quality. The researchers noted that self-stimulation that results in orgasms improved these outcomes even more. Therefore, it is believed that orgasms help to facilitate sleep in both women and men.
3. Relieves Pain
Pain is an unfortunate and inevitable reality of life. Fortunately, there are two pain-relieving chemicals that get released in response to sexual stimulation and arousal. Those two chemicals are endorphins and endocannabinoids. Often called “feel-good” chemicals due to the rush of pleasure they produce, endorphins are the body’s built-in painkillers. These powerful chemicals can reduce pain more efficiently than morphine. Like endorphins, endocannabinoids are neurotransmitters that help to reduce pain and inflammation.
4. Strengthens Your Pelvic Floor Muscles
Ladies, this benefit is specifically for you! Your pelvic floor is a collection of diamond-shaped muscles located in your pelvis that stretch like a hammock from your pubic bone to your tailbone. These muscles are responsible for stabilizing your core, helping you eliminate waste, and supporting your uterus, vagina, bladder, and rectum. They also play a vital role in supporting vaginal childbirth. Research has shown that orgasms can strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, which can aid in bladder control and improve sexual function.
5. Lifts Your Mood
On those days when you are feeling down and emotionally distressed, self-pleasure can help lift your mood. Although it’s important to address the underlying cause of your feelings, there’s nothing wrong with taking a moment to do something that will make you feel good. Because masturbation and orgasms release feel-good hormones like dopamine, endorphins, and oxytocin, self-stimulation can help boost your mood and increase feelings of happiness.
6. Lowers Prostate Cancer Risk
Prostate cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer among American men. Nearly 1 in 8 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in their lifetime. But don’t let these numbers startle you. The good news is there are ways to reduce your risk! Evidence suggests that men who ejaculate more frequently, whether from intercourse or masturbation, have a lower risk of developing prostate cancer. Therefore, protecting your prostate and pleasure go hand-in-hand.
7. Improves Brain Function
While diet, exercise, and social activity are primarily linked to improved brain health, you may be surprised to learn that sexual pleasure also plays a part in specific cognitive abilities. For example, frequent sexual activity (with or without a partner) has been shown to improve memory and verbal fluency in older adult populations. How, you may ask? During sexual stimulation, dopamine secretion is enhanced—which is associated with improved working memory.
8. Boosts Your Self-Esteem
Self-pleasure is essentially a form of self-care that can help you get in touch with your body’s needs. By taking the time to explore what makes you feel good and becoming familiar with your unique curves, grooves, and textures, you will begin to feel more empowered and confident in your own skin. As a result, self-stimulation can help heal your body image and improve your self-esteem!
Who knew that self-pleasure had such a profound impact on your stress levels, sleep quality, pain tolerance, pelvic muscle strength, cancer risk, brain function, and self-esteem?8 Surprising Health Benefits of Self-Pleasure If you are interested in other ways to improve these areas of your life, consider booking a one-on-one consultation with me here.