What Are the Pros and Cons of Masturbation?
If you’re someone who began masturbating during their teen years, we imagine that—at that time—you weren’t concerned about the pros and cons of masturbation.
You most likely came to realise that, by doing a certain action, you felt good. You may have even orgasmed. And to feel that rush of orgasmic release is something that is actually quite magical.
But now that you're older, or perhaps more intrigued to learn about the pros and cons of masturbation, we’ve compiled a go-to guide.
Sure—masturbating feels good. But are there downsides to it? And what can we benefit from when it comes to masturbation?
Is Masturbation Healthy? Masturbating Pros and Cons
First off, masturbation is healthy. In fact, it’s very healthy (when done in such a way that it doesn’t harm yourself or others—more on that below).
Essentially however, there are so many benefits when it comes to masturbating. And to learn about these benefits will only bring you closer to your body and help you achieve even more pleasure.
Adversely, masturbating can be unhealthy if one feels that they cannot control their impulses. It can also be unhealthy if masturbating interferes with one’s professional or personal life, or causes problems with others.
It’s important to know that masturbation is a healing and wondrous activity, but if you find yourself constantly wanting to masturbate, it could be an issue.
Additionally, there’s a time and a place to masturbate. Doing so in public could result in public indecency charges, not to mention the scarring effects of those who may see you.
With that, let’s expand more on the pros and cons of masturbation.
Masturbating Pros and Cons
As we mentioned, there are pros and cons to masturbating. But truthfully, the pros far outweigh the cons.
Masturbation, in a healthy and loving way, can shower you with mental, emotional, and physical benefits.
And at Bijoux Indiscrets, we encourage everyone to explore their bodies in a kind and gentle way. This can lead to exceptional levels of self-love, body positivity, happiness, and sexual release.
And, let’s face it, who doesn’t love a good orgasm?
What are the Pros of Masturbation?
The pros of masturbation are seemingly endless. It’s truthfully one of the best ways to experience a slew of feel-good hormones, to relax, to get in touch with your body, and even improve your sex life.
Here are some of the biggest benefits of masturbations:
The release of feel-good hormones
During masturbation, dopamine, endorphins, oxycontin, testosterone, prolactin (and more) are released.
- Dopamine is considered the “happy hormone” and is connected to the brain’s reward system
- Endorphins are the body’s natural pain reliever, and also have properties that relieve stress and boost one’s mood
- Oxytocin is considered the “love hormone” and is connected to social bonding and a positive body image
- Testosterone is a hormone that can improve arousal
- Prolactin has a profound effect on your mood and your immune system
Having said all of this, masturbating is a great stress reliever, helps with pain such as period cramps and headaches, can boost your levels of arousal, and can improve your sleep as it makes you feel more relaxed.
And there are so many more benefits to consider…
Masturbation can help penis owners last longer in bed
For those who are overly excited or experience premature ejaculation, masturbating before a sexual experience can help delay orgasm. Just remember that there is a refractory period, which means that some time should be taken to recover before going for round two.
Masturbation can improve sleep
If you masturbate to the point of orgasm, you’ll often feel a sense of peace and quiet. This is because of the hormones norepinephrine and serotonin. These hormones help your body get into your REM sleep cycle better, which can lead to quality sleep of a good duration, according to a 2019 study.
Masturbation can help improve your skin
Those post-orgasm glows? They’re not a myth! In fact, it’s been said that when you orgasm, your levels of oestrogen increase. This then prompts a healthier-looking skin and hair. Not just that, but because masturbation aids in less stress, there is a reduction in overproduction of sweat and acne. This can result in a clearer skin.
Masturbation can reduce the chance of prostate cancer
Regular ejaculation could help reduce the risk of prostate cancer. This is possibly because of the seminal fluid that is released during orgasm. It could rid prostate tissue from agents that cause cancer, infection, and inflammation. A study found that penis owners who masturbated 21 times per month were 20 percent less likely to develop prostate cancer.
Masturbation can increase your levels of self-love and body positivity
When you masturbate, you’re able to get in intimate with yourself on a level that’s phenomenal. You’ll be able to find out what feels good, what doesn’t, and you’ll be able to learn what turns you on. Masturbating with intention and a true adoration of your body is a great way to love yourself.
Masturbating could lead to better partnered sex
Mastubating can help you figure out what causes you to gain sexual arousal. When you experiment with different kinds of masturbation techniques, and find out what feels good, at what pressure and with what technique, you can relay this to your partner, which could result in better partnered sex.
Masturbation can make your pelvic floor stronger
“An orgasm creates a series of muscle contractions in the pelvic floor. So essentially, orgasming is like a mini workout for your pelvic floor,” says Holly Richmond, sex therapist. A strong pelvic floor can help prevent things such as urinary and bowel incontinence, lower back pain, and pain during penetration for vulva owners.
And so, before moving onto more specific questions regarding the pros of masturbation, let’s take a look at the cons.
What are the Cons of Masturbation?
So, are there any cons of masturbation? Technically, yes, but the pros outweigh the cons by far. Alas, it’s important to understand both sides of the coin when it comes to masturbation.
Here are some of the cons of masturbations:
While there are tons of physical and mental health benefits to masturbating, it is possible to masturbate compulsively. This inevitably leads to negative consequences. It’s difficult to diagnose compulsive masturbation however, because it’s something that someone needs to decide for themselves.
You may be a compulsive masturbator if:
- You can’t stop thinking about masturbating
- Masturbating gets in the way of your professional and/or social life
- Masturbating no longer feels pleasurable
- You become irritable if you can’t masturbate
- Masturbating is affecting your sex life negatively
Masturbating could cause physical discomfort
It is possible to experience discomfort from masturbating. If you masturbate too much, you may suffer from skin irritation due to friction, or your genitals could become sore, red, or swollen. In extreme cases, this could lead to a skin infection.
You may feel pressure from society to masturbate even if you don’t want to
If you do not like masturbating, or perhaps you’re on the asexual spectrum, you may feel as if something is wrong with you. This is not correct. Society has a way of pressuring or influencing others to masturbate and engage in their more sexual side, but this does not have to be true for everyone. If masturbating isn’t something you enjoy doing, you do not have to do it nor do you have to disclose it with anyone.
You may feel shame or guilt surrounding masturbation if you were taught certain beliefs
On the other hand, unlike the above mentioned con of masturbation, some may really want to masturbate but they feel a sense of shame or guilt because of their beliefs or upbringing. For this reason, they may not masturbate solely because they do not want to experience these negative feelings. As an adult, it’s important to do research and to take the time to re-educate yourself on the pros associated with masturbation. Masturbating is not bad for you, nor is it unhealthy or shameful. It’s a normal behaviour that should bring you feelings of happiness on a physical and mental level.
Then, let’s move onto some other important, more specific, questions concerning masturbation.
Is it Okay to Finger Yourself?
Yes! It is okay to finger yourself. In fact, it’s more than okay. Fingering is a great masturbation technique that is easy and free. There are some things that you can do however just to make sure you’re staying 100 percent safe.
- Keep your nails short: if you have long nails, there’s a chance you could cause a micro-tear in your vagina which can lead to an infection, pain, or discomfort
- Wash your hands before you finger yourself: by washing your hands, you’re removing any potentially harmful bacteria and toxins from your skin so that they don’t reach the inside of your vagina
Is Masturbation Good for Your Mental Health?
Masturbating is so good for your mental health. We’ve already looked at a number of different ways that masturbating can benefit you mentally, but just for a recap:
Masturbating can improve your mental health by:
- Aiding in sexual empowerment
- Increasing levels of happiness, sexual pleasure, and joy
- Decreasing levels of stress
- Increasing the love and bond you have with yourself and your body
- Increasing your chance of having better quality sleep, resulting in a happier more productive you
Is Masturbation Good for Your Heart?
Indeed, masturbation is good for your heart! You see, when you masturbate, you may raise your heart rate to the equivalent of mild to moderate activity (such as walking, for example). This then could have a positive effect on your cardiovascular health.
Not just that, but when you’re aroused, it causes the blood to flow throughout the body and to the genitals. This blood flow has the power to reduce one’s blood pressure, helping those who may have high blood pressure.
And then there’s the topic of stress. When you masturbate, you’ll most likely feel an enhanced sense of relaxation which can have a great impact on your cardiovascular system.
Is Masturbation Good for Anxiety?
Masturbation is good for anxiety! We talked a little bit about all of the feel-good hormones that are released during masturbation. And when one particular hormone is released, oxytocin, it lowers your level of cortisol.
Cortisol is the body’s stress hormone. When we have lower levels of cortisol, we feel less stressed and less anxious.
Is Masturbation Good for Depression?
Just as we mentioned above, when you masturbate, those lovely feel-good hormones get to work. And when it comes to depression, masturbation has a way of making one feel more relaxed, more at peace, happier, and more content.
This is because of the hormones oxytocin and dopamine. These hormones can provide someone with a mood boost, even if they’re feeling depressed, because it can increase positive feelings and release stress for a while. Take note however that masturbating isn’t a long-term solution for depression but rather, a quick short-lived experience.
Is it Good to Masturbate on Your Period?
It is good to masturbate on your period! In fact, it has so many helpful benefits that make menstruating so much more manageable. For one, when you orgasm, you’ll be treated to short-term pain relief. In this way, you can free yourself of some of those pesky period cramps for a while.
Masturbating on your period also allows you to feel the effects of those happy hormones, which can get you feeling in a better mood if your period has gotten you down. Another reason to masturbate on your period? While it hasn’t been scientifically proven as yet, when one orgasms, the pelvic muscles will start to spasm prompting more blood to be released. This may make your period shorter in duration.
Is Masturbation Good for Your Immune System?
Feeling ill? Masturbate! A study actually found that when one masturbated, there was a temporary increase in the activity of some components of the immune system. These are, namely, leukocytes, and in particular, natural killer cells, which fight cancer tumour cells and cells infected by viruses.
Is Masturbation Good for Stress?
Unfortunately, stress, anxiety, and depression usually go hand-in-hand. Oftentimes, when a person feels stressed, it’s often accompanied with depression and/or anxiety. The good news is, masturbation is good for stress.
Like so many other ailments and negative feelings that are washed away during masturbation due to the release of feel-good hormones, stress is often also removed during this form of self-love.
Hormones such as oxytocin, serotonin, and endocannabinoids can all contribute to less stress. What are endocannabinoids? Hormones that are responsible for maintaining homeostasis within the body. These compounds have been found to play a big role in reducing anxiety, stress, and regulating emotional behaviour.
A Final Conclusion? Masturbation is Healthy for You!
After looking at all of the pros and cons of masturbation, it’s without a doubt true that masturbating is healthy for you. There are so many positive things at play during this sacred act of self-love, and so many ways in which to benefit from it.
Our advice? Enjoy masturbating, it’s great for you and it feels amazing too!