May is International Masturbation Month – celebrating a completely normal human behaviour, depicted as far back as prehistoric times. Whether you refer to it as wanking, tossing off, jerkin’ the gherkin, flicking the bean, rubbing one out, choking the chicken, burping the worm or having a good old-fashioned self-abuse sesh, masturbating is not only normal – but actually good for you!
In a recent commentary for NZ Herald, sexologist Isiah McKimmie revealed that, despite the worldwide recognition, only one in four of us beats the meat regularly, and many women share simply don't know how. Shocking!
In case you need reminding, here are just a few of the reasons a wank is good for you:
- Beating off is a form of sexual activity that’s available to people of all genders – including people in partnered relationships, people who don’t have a partner, people who are not having sex with their partner, or people who are abstaining from sex.
- It can release sexual tension and let you explore your sexuality solo.
- It lets people become familiar with their own sexual responses, which can help them to communicate their wants and needs to their sexual partner or partners.
- Rubbing one our can help you relax, reduce stress, and even promotes better sleep.
- Masturbating promotes the release of the brain’s opioid-like neurotransmitters (called endorphins), which cause feelings of physical and mental wellbeing.
- It enhances self-esteem and body image.
If you’ve never masturbated before, or you’ve never been able to achieve the Big O, remember that masturbation doesn’t HAVE TO lead to orgasm. In fact, the more pressure you put on yourself to ‘get there’, the harder it can be.
Here are a few tips to help you enjoy your solo sessions and head towards O-town if that’s your ultimate goal:
Set the mood. Do what works for you, whether that’s turning down the lights, lighting some candles, or listening to relaxing music to get the mood going.
Fantasise. Fantasise about people or situations that send tingles down your spine. If you’re stuck for inspiration, read some erotic fiction or watch some porn.
Explore your erogenous zones. Playing with your erogenous zones — think your nipples, ears, or thighs — can shoot sparks of pleasure throughout your body.
Add lube. Your body self-lubricates when you’re aroused, making masturbation a much smoother and pleasurable experience. Sometimes, though, that may not be enough – or it may not happen at all. Keeping some lube on hand is a great way to increase your pleasure and make things easier. Warming or tingling lubes can also add to your sensation.
Take your time. You don’t have to rush! Play around with techniques and take your time to enjoy all of the sensations you’re feeling.