It's International Masturbation Month - a time to love ourselves a little more literally - hurray!!!
Male masturbation is generally accepted as a part of growing up. Female self-pleasure still has a long way to go - polishing one's pouffe is still seen as shameful or even "dirty" in some cases.
San Francisco sex shop Good Vibrations kicked off the inaugural Masturbation May in 1994. This was in reaction to the firing of U.S. Dr Jocelyn Elders.
What terrible thing had Dr Elders done; we hear you ask.
Well... She brazenly suggested that masturbation should be included in sex education. [Shock!! Horror!!] Dr Elders was fired for this.
We are now 29 years on, and sex education still does not include self-pleasure. (Now, THAT is shocking!)
- Is it not safer for teens to explore their own bodies rather than jumping into bed with X, Y or Z?
- How can young people go on to enjoy consensual and pleasurable sex if we teach them that their genitals are shameful?
- How are we supposed to experience great pleasure if we can't talk about something that literally everyone does?
Other than the obvious reason (pleasure!), why should you be masturbating?
- Masturbate for good health
Masturbation can help relieve menstrual cramps, headaches and other aches & pains. It can also help build resistance to yeast infections, tone up a weak pelvic floor and improve sleep.
- Masturbation improves your mood
Forget spa days and long walks - masturbation is the perfect stress buster. Orgasm releases endorphins like dopamine and oxytocin, which help to boost your mood and relieve stress.
- Get to know your body
Masturbation is a safe and pressure free way to learn about your body and it’s responses, which is why it should be included in sex education.
Porn, films and magazines give us unrealistic ideas about what sex is and what it should look like. Also it’s hard for someone else to know what you like, if you don’t know what you like...
Masturbation is a great way to try something new at your own pace without pressure or performance anxiety.
If you’re considering buying your first vibrator but not sure if you’ll enjoy it... Or if you're curious about anal play but worried about potential mess... Or feel drawn to strap-ons but concerned about how it works...
Experimenting on your own builds confidence and gives you pleasure too :)
A few tips on how to enjoy a solo session
Set aside a decent amount of time, especially if you’re not a confident masturbator. Relaxation is key.
You’ll be spending the evening with a very special person (yourself!), so set the mood. Candles, wine, a bath... Romance yourself, babes!
We recommend using lube for sensuality and enhanced pleasure. Lube makes all sex feel better, whether by yourself or with a lover.
If you find it tricky to have orgasms, an arousal oil or pleasure gel can be helpful. These work by increasing blood flow to the genitals, which in turn helps with arousal and the likelihood of orgasm.
59% of women say they have never tried a sex toy, but they're missing out. Many women and female-bodied folks have their first (and subsequent) orgasms with a vibrator. If this sounds interesting, we recommend looking at our cherry-picked selection of "good vibes" here. Seeing as 75% of of women need clitoral stimulation to orgasm, it makes good sense... We believe Dr Elders would approve! *wink*