Does Masturbation Need A Reason?

It’s always eye-catching when a website posts an article about the health benefits of sex. I just ran across this article from 2010 about National Masturbation Month and while it’s a great piece about NMM, there’s one thing that seems funny to me.

About half of the article focuses on the health benefits, including things like improving prostate health, alleviating menstrual cramps, and reducing stress. That’s all true, but those are all things that sex and orgasms can bring you, whether you’re solo or with a friend (or more). So I think it’s worth looking at the good reasons to masturbate that other kinds of sex don’t offer.

Solo sex is an amazing way to try something new, without the pressure of a partner’s expectations, needs or concerns. Want to experiment with a new toy? Or anal play? Or prostate pleasure? G-spot fun? Sure- you can certainly enjoy those with a partner. But a lot of people feel too shy to try them out in front of someone else. Taking them for a test drive when nobody else is there can make it easier.

Not only that, but if you decide to do it with a partner, you’ll have a better sense of what you enjoy and how it feels. New sexual practices often work better when one person knows what to do. And some things work much more easily when the giver has also been a receiver- anal sex is one great example of that. Once you’ve been on the receiving side, you’ll have a much better understanding about how important it is to go slowly or even stop completely if your partner needs it. Going solo can be a great way to do that. After all, wouldn’t you want to know that the chef in the restaurant had tasted their own food?

It’s also really beneficial to have some “me time.” Lots of us give our attention and energy to others- work, kids, school, friends, projects, whatever. Taking some time for yourself, simply in order to feel good, is good for you. Plenty of folks masturbate quickly and quietly, as if it’s a chore to get done. What if you took as much time for yourself as you would for a partner? What if you made love to yourself instead? How would that change it for you?

And let’s not forget one of the most important reasons of all- it’s FUN! Giving yourself pleasure can feel amazing, so why not make it part of your sex life? There are lots of reasons to have sex, and feeling good is often at (or at least, near) the top of the list for a lot of people. So there’s no reason to leave masturbation out, is there?

So yeah, let’s also talk about the health benefits. Those are all fantastic. But let’s not forget that there are other reasons to masturbate. And when it comes down to it, we don’t need any reason at all.


Dr. Charlie Glickman

Charlie Glickman is the Education Program Manager at Good Vibrations. He also writes, blogs, teaches workshops and university courses, presents at conferences, and trains sexuality educators. He’s certified by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists, and loves geeking out about sex, relationships, sex-positivity, love and shame, communities of erotic affiliation, and sexual practices and techniques of all varieties. Follow him online, on Twitter at @charlieglickman, or on Facebook.

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  1. 05/05/2012

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