There’s a good chance you became obsessed with masturbation after you discovered it in your teenage years. The moment after your first orgasm, it's basically all you want to do, ever. And who can blame us? The whole routine feels good, from the moment you touch your penis. And when you finally have that orgasm? Chef’s kiss.
In addition to feeling really freakin’ pleasurable, masturbation also has several health benefits, from lowering your risk for certain diseases to boosting your satisfaction during sex with a partner. (In other words, masturbation is great for your physical and emotional health.) That’s why masturbating, even when you’re having partner sex regularly, is still something you should do.
Gloria Brame, Ph.D., a clinical sexologist, believes masturbation should become a regular part of your personal care routine, kind of like brushing your teeth. “Masturbation is part of a healthy sex life,” Brame says. “It’s totally safe and harmless.”
Here are ten incredible health benefits to masturbation, and why you should take matters into your own hands right now. (I mean, provided you're not in public or at work or something.)
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1) It can help lower your prostate cancer risk.
A 2004 study found that men who ejaculated more than 21 times a month reduced their risk of prostate cancer by roughly 33 percent, compared to guys who only did the deed four to seven times a month. In 2016, researchers followed up with that same group of guys from 2004 and found that those who ejaculated 8 to 12 times per month reduced their prostate cancer risk by 10 percent.
2) It makes you harder.
As you age, you naturally lose muscle tone—yup, even down there. Regular sex or masturbation works out your pelvic floor muscles to prevent erectile dysfunction and incontinence.
Masturbation "keeps the angle of your dangle perky,” said Brame. That's because the smooth muscle of your penis needs to be enriched with oxygen, which is delivered whenever there's a rush of blood to your member (i.e., when you get an erection). Aim for three to five times a week for rock-solid results.
3) It helps you last longer during sex.
Sometimes, guys don't last long in bed simply because they haven't had enough practice, either with a partner or solo. Regularly taking yourself to palm prom may help extend your sack sessions. “[Masturbating] an hour before a date will give you more control,” said Brame.
Train yourself by timing how long it takes you to orgasm, Ava Cadell, Ph.D., founder of the love coaching program Loveology University, told Men's Health. If it usually takes two minutes for you to finish solo, shoot for three next time, or count how many strokes you need to get to your happy place. “Most men can double the number of strokes and the time within one month,” Cadell said.
Practice makes perfect, right?
4) It boosts immunity.
Ejaculation increases levels of the hormone cortisol, according to Jennifer Landa, M.D., a specialist in hormone therapy. Cortisol, which usually gets a bad rap as a havoc-wrecking stress hormone, actually helps regulate and maintain your immune system in small doses.
“Masturbation can produce the right environment for a strengthened immune system,” she said.
Plus, a very small study from 2004 showed that guys had more white blood cells 45 minutes after they had a solo orgasm.
5) It boosts your mood.
Masturbating releases a slew of feel-good neurochemicals like dopamine and oxytocin that lift your spirits, boost your satisfaction, and activate the reward circuits in your brain.
“An orgasm is the biggest non-drug blast of dopamine available,” said Brame.
6) It can help you fall asleep.
There are many things you can do to improve the quality of your sleep, from losing weight to eating certain kinds of food (hello, turkey and cheddar cheese). Masturbation can also help: having an orgasm releases chemicals like prolactin, serotonin, and oxytocin into the brain, all of which have been linked to feelings of happiness and relaxation. So if you find that you're tossing and turning at night, paying a lil' visit to Pornhub might be worth a shot.
7) It can increase your lifespan.
Yup, really: according to a Welsh study of 1000 men over the course of 20 years, the men who had two or more orgasms per week died at half the rate of men who had less than that number of orgasm per month.
8) It can improve your skin.
Orgasm causes increased blood flow to the skin, which makes your blood vessels open up; for some people, this can result in slightly rosy cheeks, or what's better known as the post-sex glow. What's even better? The oxytocin that's released with orgasm can reduce inflammation, making zits and rashes less noticeable.
9) It helps you get to know your own body better.
Sure, you might think that you're pretty well-acquainted with your body, particularly if you started masturbating at a younger age. But it's always helpful to try new things and give yourself a refresher course in what your penis likes — and what it doesn't. (If you want tips, check out these male masturbation techniques.)
10) It improves heart health.
Contrary to popular belief that rigorous sex can up your risk of a heart attack or stroke, regular orgasms can actually help protect you against cardiovascular disease. A report from the Massachusetts Aging Study found that men who had sex once a month or less were 45% more likely to die of cardiovascular disease than men who had two or more orgasms per week. So if you cancel plans with friends to stay home and M-bate, just tell them it's for your own health. Hey, you won't be lying.