1. Masturbation can help make your pelvic floor stronger.
Yup, jacking off can really get you—or more specifically, your pelvic floor—jacked. "An orgasm creates a series of muscle contractions in the pelvic floor," Holly Richmond, Ph.D., LMFT, somatic psychologist, certified sex therapist, and K-Y partner, tells mbg. "So essentially, orgasming is like a mini workout for your pelvic floor," she says.
2. Masturbation can help dull pain.
Got a headache? Feeling achy from your last CrossFit workout? Try masturbating. "Masturbation can have pain-relieving benefits because orgasming releases dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin, the bodies feel-good hormones and neurotransmitters, into the body," Shweta Pai, M.D., urogynecologist and Love Wellness adviser, tells mbg. In fact, one classic study by famous sexologist Beverly Whipple, Ph.D., R.N., found that vaginal stimulation can actually increase someone's pain tolerance threshold by over 40%. Pretty impressive.
The endorphin and hormone release isn't going to heal an injury like a torn muscle, broken bone, or other serious medical issue, but it can help lower your pain sensitivity.
3. It can also help with period cramps.
Biologically speaking, when you get your period, you're shedding something called your endometrial lining. Sometimes the uterus (which is a muscle) contracts to help this process along, which can result in some pretty uncomfortable cramps. But those aforementioned feel-good neurotransmitters (dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin) you get from masturbating? Richmond says they put up quite a fight against period cramps.
4. Masturbating helps relieve stress.
During your last pleasurable sexual experience (with or without a partner) you probably weren't thinking about your never-ending to-do list or upcoming presentation. "Sexual pleasure forces us to tune into our body's reactions to pleasure, rather than staying in our head where it's easy to be preoccupied and stressed," says Richmond. And masturbating
5. Masturbation can make you happier.
"Masturbating in and of itself—with or without an orgasm—can make you happier," says Richmond. Seriously. "Masturbating activates the parts of the brain responsible for pleasure like the hypothalamus and thalamus, while also decreasing the parts of the brain responsible for fear and anxiety like the lateral orbitofrontal cortex."
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