Can Masturbation Improve Your Mental Health?

Jul 10, 2019


Hi, everyone! It’s Dr. Liz back at you again. Today, I am talking about masturbation and mental health. I’m recording this video in May and May as you may or may not know is masturbation month.

Masturbation is something that a lot of us don’t talk about openly or publicly and something that a lot of folks feel a ton of shame about. So I want to talk about how beneficial masturbation can be for your mental health.

For so many of us, the pleasure that we get to experience is often tied to what we do with other people. So if you’re single or if you’re having problems with a partner or if your partner just doesn’t feel up to it, your entire sex life can get tanked really quickly.

Masturbation is a great way to get to know yourself, to help improve the way that your body responds, and also to improve your mental health as you do it. Masturbation for me has always been a really important tool for winding down from my day. I don’t know about you all but sometimes when it’s really, really stressful and when I get to the end of it, it’s hard to turn my brain off when it’s time to go to sleep.

When you masturbate, what happens when you have an orgasm or when you experience that kind of pleasure is it helps pull you back down into your body. After an orgasm, most folks’ bodies release chemicals that induce sleepiness and relaxation and calm so that also helps you wind down and calm down.

Masturbation is also something I recommend to a ton of folks for self-discovery especially people who are socialized as women. Most folks who are socialized as women or folks who have vulvas and vaginas or who have atypical anatomy, they may not learn how to play with themselves because it’s generally thought of as like, “Gross or disgusting. Those genitals are round. They are not as good to play with as a penis,” which is bullshit. But here we are in this culture that tells us these messages.

If you don’t know what works well in your body, it’s going to be really, really, really hard for anyone that you end up playing with to figure out what works well in your body simply because they are so much variety out there and so many different options.

The Netflix series, Sex Education, actually had a great episode looking at this where one of the characters who was a cis woman had been having sex with lots of boyfriends but none of it was particularly satisfying and so the main character recommended that she masturbate to see what it is that she likes. After that, she goes into her next sexual experience and tells her partner exactly what it is that she wants him to do. And he does it and she has a fantastic time.

Masturbation empowers us to discover our own bodies and our own pleasure and to take control of it for ourselves. And that makes you a better lover with other people because you know what to ask for, you know what works for you, you know what doesn’t, and you can help them help you have a great experience.

Masturbation has also been shown to help with symptoms of depression and anxiety because it releases endorphins. It releases chemicals like serotonin and dopamine into your system, giving you a little temporary boost in your mental health.

And having a regular masturbation routine helps you check in with yourself regularly and get back into your body. For a lot of folks in our culture, getting into your body is really challenging. We live lives that are all up here in our heads that aren’t about what we are noticing or feeling. We eat when we are supposed to eat based on the clock, not based on our bodies. We eat what’s in front of us or what’s easy rather than what our body is craving. We engage in sex because it’s bed time and that’s when you do sex, not because it’s when we are feeling turned on.

Masturbation gets you back into your body and noticing those signals from your body. You can notice your desire. You can notice, “Today, am I turned on quickly or is it taking a longer time? Are there certain stories or images or thoughts that I’m responding more to now than other times? Does watching pornography feel good for me or does it feel not good for me? What kinds of porn do I like?”

It gives you time to experiment and explore and to be with yourself, with your pleasure, with your body. It’s something that everybody needs.

So, I hope that this May, you, like me, have been taking full advantage of masturbation month. And if you haven’t, maybe this is an opportunity for you to start exploring masturbation and see if it can help lift your mood if you’re struggling with some symptoms right now.

Thank you all so much for tuning in. This one is going to be a pretty short video and I’m trying to vary out the lengths. I know a lot of my videos are pretty, pretty long so I have some short ones that are there easy for you all to watch.

Also, as I’ve been talking on all my videos lately, I now have a Patreon. So if you want to support me in making videos like this and providing high quality sex education and encouragement to jack off to even more people, please head on over to my Patreon. There’s a link down below in the show notes and become a patron supporting the work that I’m doing here.

All of you all, I’m happy to see you. And hopefully, I’ll see you next time. Bye!

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