This is the second in a two-part article on Mastubation and Stress, take a look at Part 1 first!
Self-love removes the possible stress of being with a partner for sex. That can include worrying about your body looks like, and worrying about your partner's climax. Orgasming with a partner can be more difficult, but masturbation takes away the pressure of trying to get yourself and a partner to your respective climaxes. The focus is only on you and making yourself feel good. When masturbating, the goal isn’t always to orgasm, the act of self-stimulation is already relaxing and enjoyable itself (remember those endorphins and dopamine are already being released and working their magic without there being an orgasm).
Solo sex doesn’t have the same health risks that partnered sex does so that stress is then removed from the equation. When you are by yourself there is no risk of STIs and pregnancy. The only health concerns come when you are using sex toys, so just make sure if you are using them that they have been cleaned properly.
Exploring your body and understanding what makes you feel good helps build a good relationship with your own body and have a better mindset towards sex. It can make you more comfortable within your own skin, can boost self-esteem and establish a better self-image for yourself. Self-love can truly make your love every inch of yourself.
Knowing what feels pleasurable to you in sex can improve future sexual experiences, particularly with partners. You will have knowledge of what you like and can communicate that with others to make sex great for everyone involved. This would mean that masturbating would have a longer lasting effect on your sexual pleasure, meaning your sexual experiences will be better, and that will inevitably be good for your mood and stress levels.
It should be mentioned that self-stimulation is not a stress reliever all the time and for everyone. Masturbation can be a cause of anxiety for some. People can put pressure on themselves to reach orgasm, which just won’t happen sometimes, even when you are by yourself.
There can also be cultural and/or religious stigma attached to the act of masturbating. It can be viewed as shameful which means people internalise that internalise and shame themselves for seeking out this pleasure.
However, masturbation shouldn’t be viewed like this. It is normal and completely healthy, as long as it doesn’t consume one’s life (such as cutting too much into one’s day and you don’t have time to perform normal/regular tasks) or cause harm (the act itself being physically painful i.e. cause skin irritation).
Now, masturbation is not always effective in reducing stress and is not a way to cure long term stress. So, it’s important that you have other healthy ways to cope with stress and anxiety, but it doesn’t hurt to add masturbation into the routine of things to do to help you relax.
With the use of sex toys, masturbation can be a quick mood booster and for those that can have multiple orgasms, that means more “feel good” hormones for a longer time in your body.
The combination of the effect it has on the body and the mind, means it’s a great way to relieve tension, have a better sleep and love yourself with just that act of self-love.