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Self-Love 101: Facts about Masturbation you should know

Self-Love 101: Facts about Masturbation you should know

It’s a topic that's been whispered about, giggled over, and hushed up for far too long: masturbation. Yes, you heard me right. We're going there. Some picked up tips from adult films, others got a little nudge from their friends, and then there are those savvy souls who stumbled upon the ultimate pleasure points by doing a little thigh squeeze (vulva owners would know).

If we take a look at Google search trends, it's clear that "What is masturbation" has been a perennially sought-after topic across the nation, regardless of the era. The debate surrounding the effects of masturbation and its potential side effects has raged on for ages, so let's strap in and take a deep dive.

So what is the meaning of masturbation and why do we use this specific term?

In simple terms, masturbation is the age-old practice of giving oneself a bit of self-love. The term finds its roots in the Latin word "masturbari," which, hold onto your hats, means "to defile oneself." Quite the eyebrow-raiser, isn't it? Over the centuries, this rather loaded Latin term evolved into the more familiar "masturbation" that we use today. 

Some fun masturbation facts

From ancient Egypt where it was revered as a magical or creative act, even credited to deities like Atum who allegedly created the universe through self-stimulation, to the African Congo Basin where some ethnic groups found themselves scratching their heads over its very concept, the journey of self-pleasure spans cultures and epochs. Recent research, showcased in the Proceedings of The Royal Society B, sheds new light on this age-old practice, suggesting it's more than just a quirky habit. it's deeply ingrained in our evolutionary history. And let's not forget the artistic renderings of our ancestors, immortalizing male and female masturbation in prehistoric rock paintings worldwide, connecting human sexuality with the abundance of nature itself. Even a clay figurine from the 4th millennium BC, discovered in a Maltese temple site, proudly showcases a woman engaged in self-pleasure, reminding us that the pursuit of pleasure knows no bounds, temporal or spatial. Fun fact, no?

According to a study conducted by a sexual wellness company across multiple countries, a staggering 91 percent of cis men in India admit to masturbating, while 55 percent of cis women report the same. However, it's worth considering that societal taboos and stigmas surrounding female sexuality may have led to underreporting in the case of women. 

Effects of Masturbation

After ‘what is masturbation’ lets move to the next million-dollar question: what are the effects of masturbation? Physically, masturbation won't make your limbs fall off or your eyes pop out of your head. Nope, it's actually quite the opposite. It can relieve stress, promote relaxation, and even help you sleep better. As for the psychological side of things, it's all about exploring your own desires and understanding what makes you tick. It has been believed that Orgasm helps release dopamine and Oxytocin, or the ‘happy hormones’, which literally make you feel happy. 

From a sexual health perspective, masturbation stands out as one of the safest sexual behaviors out there. Think about it: no risk of pregnancy, no worries about sexually transmitted infections, and absolutely no performance pressure or partner disappointment. It's just you, your body, and a whole lot of stress relief. And guess what? Right within arm's reach is mutual masturbation, where both partners pleasure themselves in each other's presence. Not only is it a safe activity, but it's also a fantastic way to add some spice to your partnered sexual experiences. 

Did you know that a little self-indulgence could potentially lead to better sleep? According to different research, when you engage in solo playtime, your brain releases a cocktail of neurotransmitters and hormones like oxytocin, endorphins, and serotonin. These chemicals aren't just there for show – they actually help you relax and drift off into dreamland. And here's a fun fact. The endorphins double as natural painkillers, so that headache might just vanish after a bit of alone time. Studies, like the one by Meston and Frohlich, are shedding light on these benefits, but remember, everyone's experience is different. So, while it's fascinating to explore the potential positive effects of masturbation, it's essential to keep in mind that more research is needed to fully understand the effect and it may also vary for individuals. 

Studies galore dissecting whether it's a harmless pastime or a one-way ticket to addiction and depleted energy. You hit up the internet, and suddenly, you’re drowning in a tsunami of advice on what's considered healthy and what’s pushing the boundaries a bit too far.

But hey, let's not overcomplicate things. Moderation is where it's at, just like with that extra slice of cake. Sure, indulging every now and then is fine, but scarfing down the whole cake? Not so much. At the end of the day, it's all about tuning in to your body's signals and knowing when to dial it back. 

How to masturbate

When it comes to masturbation, there's no one-size-fits-all approach. Whether you identify as male, female, non-binary, or any other gender identity, the key is to prioritise comfort, safety, and respect for yourself and others. As individuals, we all have different erogenous zones and preferences, so exploring what feels good for you is entirely personal.

For those with penises or vulvas, there's a whole world of sensation beyond just focusing on the genitals. Some folks find pleasure in stimulating their balls or other areas, while others prefer to stick to the main event. Similarly, for women, many find that clitoral stimulation leads to orgasm, as numerous studies have shown. However, some may discover that they experience satisfying sensations through thigh squeezing or grinding against a pillow.

Now, apart from using your hands, modern technology and innovations have thankfully provided us with tools to enhance masturbation with less effort and maximised pleasure. Enter sex toys and vibrators. These aren't just focused on women but cater to all genders and sexualities. 

If you're a woman, you can check out massagers and vibrators like Salty mini wand massager , which provide clit stimulation and can be used externally on the vagina. For more intense pleasure, there are insertion toys like our newly launched Candy mini hand held massager, designed to offer maximum pleasure upon insertion. If you're craving the sensation of awesome oral sex, turn to our Lit suction massager  with its suction feature that ensures you don't miss your ex, or even your current partner.

For men, the vibrating stroker is a good choice. There's a plethora of other toys for men to explore as well. Additionally, you can check out our earlier blog for more information on men’s experience of using toys and how to masturbate.

The bottom line? There's no right or wrong way to go about how to masturbate. As long as you're comfortable, safe, and not causing harm to yourself or others, feel free to explore and find what works best for you. It's all about discovering what brings you pleasure and embracing your unique journey of sexual exploration. So, keep it balanced, stay informed, and remember that a healthy dose of self-love is great, as long as it doesn't become an all-consuming obsession. Keep it sassy, keep it smart, and enjoy the journey – responsibly, of course.

Facts about Masturbation FAQs

  1. Is masturbation normal?

A: Absolutely! Masturbation is a totally normal and healthy part of human sexuality. So, no need to fret – it's all good in the neighborhood!

  1. Is it true that masturbation can lead to sexual dysfunction?

A: Nope, that's just a myth! Masturbation won't lead to sexual dysfunction. In fact, it can enhance sexual function by increasing awareness and pleasure.

  1. Are there any negative effects of masturbation?

A: Generally, nope! Masturbation typically doesn't have negative effects, unless it becomes compulsive or interferes with daily life. Remember, moderation is key!

  1. Can masturbation affect my relationship with my partner?

A: It shouldn't! Masturbation can actually spice things up by helping you discover what you like. Open communication with your partner can strengthen your bond, not hinder it.

  1. Is it normal to feel guilty or ashamed about masturbating?

A: It's common, but unnecessary! Masturbation is natural and nothing to be ashamed of. Embrace your pleasure without guilt – you're the captain of your own pleasure ship!

  1. How often is it normal to masturbate?

A:  It varies! There's no one-size-fits-all answer. Masturbate as often as feels right for you but with moderation, and without feeling pressured by societal norms. Listen to your body and do your thing!

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About the Author

Meet Disha (she/her) who believes she's half therapist because people spill their guts to her with ease. But for now, she's writing sassy pieces on the internet about all things fun and pop culture. With a flair for wit and a curious spirit, she is all about digging into the saucy details of human intimacy. 

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