Of all the celebrities who get real about masturbation and their own habits, Miley Cyrus probably takes the cake for the best quote about getting intimate with herself. In 2015 she posted a photo of herself masturbating on Instagram, captioned “A masturbate a day keeps the haters away.”
You may not have to defend yourself against celebrity haters, but masturbation is healthy—it still has dozens of benefits that anyone and everyone can enjoy. Particularly while confined to our homes, masturbation is a great way to reduce stress and boost both mental health and emotional wellness. As it turns out, you don’t need partnered sex to feel great, and with May being Masturbation Month, there’s never been a better time to practice self-intimacy.
Being isolated and away from partners can be a frustrating experience, but in truth, you are your own best sex partner. Nobody else knows your body the way you do, and now is a great time to explore new desires and experiences without needing to perform for a partner. According to experts, it’s also a great way to stay healthy and satisfied during the COVID-19 pandemic.
What’s In An Orgasm, Anyway?
In a recent interview with The New York Times, nonagenarian sex expert and masturbation education icon Betty Dodson commented on the responsibility we each have for commanding our own pleasure.
“A real orgasm,” Dodson said, “is something that no matter where it comes from, a woman takes for herself.”
Regardless of where you fall on the spectrum of gender, we are each responsible for our own orgasm during partnered sex. It’s important to communicate our needs, desires and how we’re feeling—and the best practice you can have is masturbation.
Masturbation gives us the opportunity to explore sans an audience. Do you enjoy G-spot stimulation? How and in what ways and at what speed do you enjoy clitoral stimulation? Which positions are your favorite, and how do you get the best stimulation from each of them?
It’s fun to explore these with a partner, but the best way to truly discover yourself and how you orgasm is alone. While you shouldn’t feel pressured to orgasm from masturbation, it’s certainly a highlight if you do. However, the real benefits come from spending one-on-one time with your body.
Staying Healthy, And Staying Indoors
In a recent press release that was passed around the Internet, the New York City Health Department advised residents that the safest way to have sex was at home, alone.
“You are your safest sex partner,” the statement read.
The statement advised New Yorkers to masturbate, since masturbation cannot spread COVID-19 to another person, particularly if you wash your hands and toys responsibly after each session. It also advised residents who rely on sex work for income to consider switching to cams, sexting, or chat rooms in order to continue paying the bills while remaining a safe distance from clients.
If a resident is going to have partnered sex, the release advised having intercourse only with a small, close circle or a partner who already lives at home. This helps reduce disease spread. Regardless of with whom or when you choose to have partnered sex, it’s advisable to skip it any time you aren’t feeling well, especially if experiencing flu-like symptoms. It’s possible to be a carrier of COVID-19 and not have symptoms, but it’s especially important that if you are feeling ill, you stay away from others.
In short, masturbation is a great way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other diseases. The good news is you can stay inside, stay healthy, and still feel sexually healthy and satisfied; the pleasure is no less real or intense!
Ready For The Real World
As some states and cities begin to reopen, in some ways life will begin to feel more normal again. We’re all ready for that, no doubt, and are looking forward to seeing loved ones we’ve been apart from. If that includes a sexual partner, it’s likely you’re more than ready to get between the sheets with them, and that’s great! Masturbation can help you prepare for that moment more than ever.
Masturbation, as mentioned, gives us the tools we need to take charge of our own orgasm. This is an incredibly empowering feeling, giving us the confidence to enjoy partnered sex even more. Particularly after spending so much time away from a partner, it’s natural to feel nervous or anxious at the thought of being back together. Masturbation can prepare you mentally and physically for the reunion.
Imagine feeling great about your body and empowered to make great sexual choices. Imagine knowing how you desire and achieve pleasure, and leaving the house for the first time full of confidence. Maybe you even have a slow-mo movie moment where the sun shines on your face and your hair blows in the wind. Okay, that might be a bit overboard—but who knows? After a great session or two this Masturbation Month, you may feel that’s more possible than ever. It’s hard to feel down and anxious when your body, emotions and mental well-being are cared for in truly intimate ways.