THE PLEASURE PRINCIPLE:<br />
Touch Yourself for Better Health

When did you first discover the pleasures of masturbation?

The two finger taco tango, choking the chicken, waxing your carrot, polishing the pearl, hitchhiking south, bashing the bishop, butterin’ the muffin’, teasing the weasel, auditioning your finger puppets… In case you’re totally confused (and amused), I’m talking about masturbation ladies and gents- one of mankind’s favorite pastimes.

Sigmund Freud once said that “the subject of masturbation is quite inexhaustible.” Boy did he never lie! Personally, I enjoy gathering the opposite sexes, letting the vino flow, and randomly throwing out the topic of masturbation. From rambunctious catcalls of “hell yeah!” to shell-shocked facial expressions of I’d never do that!, the topic of self-pleasure is rarely ever boring.

According to recent surveys, up to 94% of men and 89% of women have masturbated at least once in their lives. Then there’s the school of thought that says “99% of all people masturbate.” And what about the remaining 1%? Well that’s easy… they’re liars.

Masturbation is a form of autoeroticism- the act of providing sexual pleasure and stimulation in the absence of a partner. Stimulation is performed manually, with objects, or by a combination of the two. Stimulation can also be achieved with a partner (mutual masturbation) and this type of masturbation is sometimes used as an alternative to sexual intercourse. Masturbation is a wonderful way to achieve orgasm, and it has the ability to not only enhance your sex live, but also your overall health. Oh yes, there are real health benefits to teasing your weasel or polishing your pearl. Curious as to what those are? Let’s explore how masturbation can lead to better health:

Women

  • Prevents and relieves vaginal infections (i.e cervical, yeast and urinary tract infections)

During orgasm the cervix “tents” or opens up- allowing the flow of vaginal fluids in and out of the cervix. This flow helps maintain an environment of vagina “friendly” microorganisms, while also ridding the vagina of infection-causing bacteria. In fact, some women even report a strong desire to masturbate just before the onset of a vaginal infection.

*In men ages 20 to 50, research has shown a decreased risk of prostate infection and prostate cancer in those who masturbated more than five times a week.

  • Relieves PMS symptoms

If you’re a woman who suffers from PMS, you may want to consider masturbating before and during the early part of your period. Doing this will help stimulate the release of endorphins, which are pleasure-enhancing and pain fighting hormones that can alleviate irritability, menstrual cramps and other symptoms of PMS.

  • Increases pelvic floor strength

Orgasm results in involuntary vaginal, pelvic, abdominal, and leg muscle spasms. These muscle spasms do have the ability to strengthen overall muscle tone. And in women, this increase in muscle tone means you’ll be more like to experience very pleasant long term effects like the ability to enhance and even control future orgasms.

Women & Men:

  • Is a natural sleep aid

For those who have trouble falling asleep at night, it may be just as simple as skipping the Ambien and taking the time to rub one out. Ever noticed how an orgasm leaves you with the immediate desire to catch some ZZZ’s? This sleep effect is due to the release of oxytocin, aka “the cuddling hormone.”

  • Improves mood and relieves stress

Masturbation leads to a release of feel-good and mood-enhancing hormones like dopamine and epinephrine. In fact, studies have shown that people who masturbate regularly are less likely to report symptoms of depressed and anxious mood.

  • Strengthens the relationship with yourself and your partner

Masturbation is the best way to develop a solid sense of sexual awareness and self-confidence. If you have no idea what you like sexually, it’s definitely time to let your hands hitchhike down south so you can figure it out. Furthermore, you can also use masturbation as the ultimate show and tell for your partner. Having difficulty describing how you like to be touched? Try masturbating in front of your lover. Just lay back and allow them to watch you handle your business. Have fun and embrace the role of sexy teacher. Make it the most memorable (and hot) sex ed lesson they’ve ever had. And afterwards, don’t forget to thoroughly quiz your student on what they’ve learned.

When did you first discover the pleasures of masturbation? Has masturbating helped to improve your sex life?

Dr. Phoenyx Austin is a physician, sex expert, author and media personality. A certified lifestyle passionista, Dr. Phoenyx discusses topics of sex, beauty and the pursuit of pleasure. Find her on DrPhoenyx.com, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter. And check out her latest book, If You Love It, It Will Grow: A Guide to Growing Long Afro-Textured Hair  on Amazon and Barnes & Noble (special personalized autographed book copies are available for purchase through DrPhoenyx.com).