ICYDK, May is International Masturbation Month! And yes, there is such a thing!
How did such a revolutionary celebration come about, you ask? It all started in the US when then-president Bill Clinton fired then-surgeon general Jocelyn Elders in December of 1994 for saying during an appearance at a World AIDS Day celebration that masturbation is part of human sexuality and that it could be part of the sex education curriculum. In reaction to the controversy, Good Vibrations, a sex-positive sex toy shop in California, launched National Masturbation Day on May 7, 1995 to promote masturbation as a healthy, safe, and totes natural way to achieve sexual satisfaction, as well as to remove the stigma so long associated with self-pleasure. Since then, National Masturbation Day has been expanded to International Masturbation Month, with advocates in different countries lending a hand (get it? get it?) to the cause.
Below, we list some good reasons you, too, should throw shame out the window and celebrate International Masturbation Month with some self lovin' RIGHT ABOUT NOW. (Or maybe later, when you’re alone in your bedroom and not, like, reading this from your office computer with your boss in the next aisle.)
1. There’s no way you can get pregnant.
Remember that pregnancy scare you had after you stupidly let your last hookup go to town without a condom? When you go solo, you can avoid all those nerve-wracking praning episodes.
2. There’s no way you’ll contract STDs.
Sex sans partner is the safest kind of sex there is!
3. It helps fight sexual frustration during dry spells.
Go home alone for the sixth month in a row and just let your plumbing slowly rust away? Or go home and treat yourself to a solo sesh with visions of Chris Evans and his huge biceps to keep you company? The choice is pretty clear.
4. You can be as selfish as you want.
When you go DIY, you can really focus on your own pleasure without worrying that a dude will climax first and be reduced to a snoring heap on the bed before you’ve reached the O, or if you’ll even come at all because you two have no sexual chemistry whatsoever. Your body, your bed, your time—it’s all you, baby.
5. You get to know your body better.
“Jilling off” regularly makes you the master of your own orgasm: You’ll know exactly what thoughts get you hot, what moves make you come, how your body responds to touch, and where the hell that damn G-spot is.
6. It turns you into a better lover.
Practice makes perfect: The more you get off on your own, the better you’ll be at showing someone else what works for you, and the more open you’ll be to having your partner communicate the same to you. Plus, practicing self-love on the reg keeps you in a sensual state of the mind: A 1991 study found that women who pleasure themselves have greater sexual desire, require less time for sexual arousal, and have more orgasms than those who don’t.
7. It amps up your self-esteem.
The same 1991 study concludes that female masturbators have higher self-esteem than non-masturbators. Likewise, a 2009 study has discovered that women who masturbate have a more positive sense of sexual self. Love yourself, indeed.
8. It helps you relax.
Climaxing from masturbation releases the happy chemicals dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphins, which boost your mood and calm you down. No wonder drifting off to sleep seems so easy after you’ve flicked the bean.
9. It's a painkiller.
Masturbation can relieve migraine headaches with the help of endorphins that rush out post-orgasm. It also helps alleviate menstrual cramps by increasing blood flow to the pelvic area and easing tension in the uterine muscles, so go ahead and dig for gold even when the cave’s all bloody! (Just try not to make a mess on your sheets.)
10. It gives you a quick workout.
Great news for those who can’t be bothered to haul ass to the gym: When you rub one in, you work out certain body parts, particularly your pelvic muscles. And the more you get those muscles going, the better they work, which means more orgasms all around. Yes, please!
11. It helps prevent infections.
When you orgasm after scratching that itch, the cervix stretches, encouraging fluid circulation which helps prevent infections down there. Seriously, who knew masturbation had so many health benefits?
12. It feels AMAZING.
And with that, we rest our case. *mic drop*
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