The internet is awash with the term ‘self-care’. On social media in particular, it’s a buzz phrase that exists alone and as part of many a hashtag. But it wasn’t until fairly recently that the term became synonymous with the concept of self-pleasure.
Self-pleasure in this context, is quite simple and literal. It is to please oneself through masturbation. Self-pleasure and self-care are two interchangeable labels.
The self-care spectrum is broad and flexible. It generally encompasses anything that makes us feels good.
By this definition, we can conclude that masturbation is indeed, self-care!
Being able to acknowledge masturbation as an act of self-care allows us to appreciate ourselves as a whole.
Connecting with oneself intimately provides a holistic view and understanding of our individual needs and desires.
When engaging in sexual activity with another, our attention usually shifts to accommodate what it is our partner enjoys. In fact, throughout life in general, we are often taught to look out and care for others before ourselves. Self-pleasure brings it back!
Are you lacking in the self-love department?
As humans, we all like to feel wanted. It’s a boost to the ego and it’s normal. However, finding yourself constantly seeking approval from others in the form of affection or otherwise, may be an indication that other stuff is happening.
Our confidence and self-esteem can be affected by any number of things.
When we are feeling particularly low, our whole body is impacted.
We tend to care less about our diet, how we look and we may even find ourselves in bad situations like unhealthy relationships.
Whilst masturbation is not the answer to every problem or concern, it can definitely go some way towards helping. Gone are the days where individuals are warned of the ‘sin of gratification’. For the most part, masturbation is now recognised as a feel-good practice that can help increase low self-esteem and confidence.
The safest person to have sex with is yourself. There is no other body to consider and no potential STI’s or unwanted pregnancies to consider. You can choose whenever you want to be intimate and it is one of the few instances where being selfish is encouraged and necessary.
And one of the main benefits of masturbation is the feeling of being satisfied, sexually.
The great thing is you can actually choose how you want to pleasure yourself too. You can opt to use your hands or select a toy of choice.
Statistically, we know women are more likely to enjoy an orgasm when their clitoris is stimulated. Opting for a clitoral stimulator such as AMO with its deep and rumbly vibrations could be just what is needed.
On the other hand, PULSE is ideal for any penis owner who fancies the idea of getting off without the need for stroking. This genius bit of kit will not only take him to all new highs but it can be used flaccid too!
Is masturbation solely about sex?
Whilst the act itself is sexual in nature, the motivation for masturbation doesn’t have to be related to such. Many use self-love as a form of stress relief. The happy hormone, dopamine is released when we masturbate. This can provide a temporary mood boost.
We are also treated to a surge of oxytocin too. This hormone is a natural stress reliever that counteracts the stress hormone cortisol. As a result, one can expect to feel more chilled. Further benefits include improved sleep and even better skin!
Masturbation can be done mindfully.
For many of us, the idea of practicing mindfulness is one that is associated with yoga types and those that have the time to literally sit and be mindful. Practicing mindfulness is for everyone. It can ground us in the moment and calm worried minds.
Finding ways to connect with our bodies mentally and physically gives us more self-control. Wellness is a key part of our mental health and being present gives us the opportunity to focus and clear the mind.
Here are just three steps towards mindful masturbation:
1. First and foremost, appreciate your body. Look at yourself naked in a mirror and explore. Absorb everything you see and tell yourself how amazing you are. It may feel corny at first, but loving all of you is where it starts!
2. Touch all of your body. Not just your intimate parts. Explore the different textures of your skin and hair. Familiarise yourself with how you feel.
3. When you do begin to self-stimulate, as you get nearer to orgasming, delay. Focus and enjoy the build-up but try to hold off on the release. Edge your way towards climax and when you are truly ready, let it go.
Reflecting on how you feel about your body after self-pleasuring is a great way of staying in touch.
Masturbation truly allows you to take matters into your own hands. Historically, the focus as far as women and sex are concerned, was always about the functionality of the vagina. The ability and benefits of deriving pleasure from it was never really a thing. Affording women the opportunity to explore their own bodies unashamedly, will without doubt, build confidence. This can translate well when it comes to partnered sex. And equally, with men, knowing what it is you like and how you like it done, will give you a welcomed boost of self-assurance too.
Being able to create a safe space where you can freely indulge in the act of self-love is arguably conducive to being a happier and more centred individual.
The truth is, you do not need a partner or a reason to masturbate. And yes, if you have a partner, you can masturbate together, it’s OK! Myths that tell you otherwise are nothing more than passion killers.