Masturbation: Find out how to de-stress from the Head of UNBSJ’s Sexual Health Centre

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Welcome new students and welcome back old classmates. The beginning of a new semester of classes means new books, new professors, seeing old friends and making new ones, and of course, STRESS.

There are lots of ways to chill, relax and deal with that stress, but I want to talk about a specific idea. One that, even in a modern, accepting age, is often met with giggles, blushes and rolled eyes.

I’m talking about masturbation.

Most guys don’t need any encouragement when it comes to masturbation. From the time they can reach their genitals males know the payoff that comes with a little bit of self-stimulation. However, many women are still unable to admit that they help themselves to an orgasm now and then. It is nothing to be ashamed of, in fact there can be many benefits to a little bout of self-love.

For men, masturbation can help endurance (training yourself through masturbation can help you last longer during partner sex), it can help your penis maintain muscle tone as you age (use it or lose it!) and recent studies have shown that regular masturbation even helps prevent prostate cancer.

For women, masturbation can help increase the likelihood of multiple orgasms during partner (and solo) sex. Think of it as learning what you like and becoming comfortable with everything going on ‘down there’ when you are in the throes of passion.

Female masturbation also has health benefits and some studies have shown masturbation is correlated to increased cardio health, decreased chance of type-2 diabetes, and it can assist with insomnia through the relief of muscle tension. That’s right ladies, a quick bit of self-stimulation can mean a better night’s sleep and a healthier day tomorrow!

Lucky for women, there are hundreds of varieties of vibrators available to help with the fun. From tiny oval “bullet” vibrators that use watch batteries to shake things up, to the bells and whistles of the “rabbit” with its rotating head, vibrating base and multiple functions. Women have a greater selection of toys to help meet their self-orgasm needs.

Even in today’s society, there can be a stigma attached to masturbation. Most people no longer believe the myths that used to surround the practice, ideas that masturbation will make you go bald or blind, will give you hairy palms, will ‘waste your essence,’ or that only perverts and loners masturbate. These are simply not true. Neither is the fact that if your partner masturbates, there is something wrong. NOT TRUE! Many women are shocked or offended when they find out their boyfriend or husband still masturbates even though he has a partner available to satisfy him! The fact is, it doesn’t necessarily mean your partner loves you or is attracted to you any less. It could just mean that he was horny/bored/you weren’t around and he wanted to take care of business!

It doesn’t matter why you choose to do it, whether as a stress reliever, because you are single and still have the passion in your bones, because you want to benefit from more endurance (men) or train yourself for multiple orgasms (women). Stop being timid and start exploring yourselves! The confidence you will get from knowing your own body, personal spots and turn ons, the better your sex life will be. That confidence can then spread to the rest of your life. Get out there and enjoy!