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3 Amazing Health Benefits of Masturbation

It's one of the best—and easiest—ways to get to know your body.

Medically reviewed in July 2021

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Whether you're single or in a relationship, you shouldn’t shy away from self-pleasure. And we’re not just saying that because it feels good. Masturbation can provide many health benefits, too. A little alone time may improve your sex life, help you get better ZZZs and even lower your risk of prostate cancer.

What’s not to love? Here’s a rundown of why you need to up your game, plus tips on how to do it.

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You’ll get to know your body better

There’s no better way to get to know your body than spending a little time alone. Masturbation can help you learn what feels good, how your body reacts to certain sensations and how to ejaculate or reach the “big O.”

When you learn what you like—and what you don’t like—you’ll be better able to communicate with your partner when the time comes. You can share things like, “I really enjoy this position, but when I do things on my own, I find it’s more enjoyable when I do this.” Your partner should want sex to be pleasurable for you, so understanding your preferences will help you both enjoy the fireworks.

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You could lower your risk of prostate cancer

Frequent ejaculation—either through masturbation or intercourse—was associated with a lower risk of prostate cancer in a 2016 study published in European Urology. Researchers found that men who ejaculated 21 times monthly reported fewer prostate cancer diagnoses compared to men who ejaculated between 4 and 7 times each month.

While the research is not conclusive, it does suggest that regular ejaculation could improve your prostate health.

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You’ll sleep better

You’re not just imagining your partner’s head hitting the pillow immediately after sex—and orgasms and ejaculations achieved through masturbation may have the same effect.

Why so sleepy? Hormones play a big role. After you climax, your body releases both oxytocin and prolactin, which can help usher in sleep. Your cortisol levels decrease, as well, which may help you relax for bedtime.

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How to get started

Whether you’re new to masturbation or just looking for ways to spice up your alone time, here are some fool-proof secrets for self-pleasure:

Block out your schedule: Carve out some time to be intimate with yourself. Make sure you’ll be uninterrupted for a little while and pick a place that’s comfortable: the bed, the couch, the shower—wherever you feel most relaxed is the ideal place for masturbation.

Fantasize: Achieving ejaculation or orgasm may come easier if you’re envisioning a sexy-to-you scenario. And you’re less likely to get distracted if you’re following a story line or scene. Spend some time dreaming up plotlines where there is role-playing involved or a position you’ve always wanted to try with your significant other, then conjure up that fantasy when you’re getting busy.

Experiment with new things: These days, there are all sorts of lubricants and toys to help you get in the mood. But having so many options can be confusing. Before you make a purchase, think about what you want to get out of your toy: Do you typically orgasm with external clitoris stimulation, penetrative stimulation or both? Do you enjoy coming more when you’re wetter down there? And remember, if a sex shop seems intimidating, many lubes and sex toys are available for purchase online. If it’s toys you’re buying, choose ones made of silicone; they’re easy to clean and safe for your body.

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Have fun and connect with your body!

The beauty of masturbation is that it’s just between you and your body. In addition to all of the health benefits, you don’t have to worry about how long it takes, or whether or not someone else is feeling pleasure, too. So, enjoy the moment, try new things and visualize fantasies—take this opportunity get in touch with your body … literally.

Sources:

SutterHealth.org. “Benefits of Masturbation.” 2021. Accessed June 4, 2021.
J Rider, K Wilson, et al. “Ejaculation Frequency and Risk of Prostate Cancer: Updated Results with an Additional Decade of Follow-up.” European Urology. December 2016. 70(6):974-982.
Sleep.org. “Is Sex Helping or Hurting Your Sleep?” 2021. Accessed June 4, 2021.

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