Updated: Apr 6, 2019
Female masturbation is more than just a good time. Here are some of the health benefits just waiting to be explored!
I knew about men masturbating long before I knew that I could do it too. When I found out female masturbation is a thing, I had so many questions. I Googled the female anatomy on my brother’s laptop late at night as if preparing to commit a top-secret crime. I remember reading online that the best way to get to know yourself was by putting a mirror in between your legs and exploring yourself. I spent a lot of time in the bathroom that year. For the longest, I thought I didn't have a clitoris because I couldn’t find it under everything.
Unlike many progressive moms, my mom didn’t teach me how to insert a tampon. In the Dominican Republic, they believe it’s something you wear after you lose your virginity. The first time I tried to put a tampon on, before ever having sex, I was certain I would forever be too tight for penetration. Although the internet helped me to become a woman, it is also a very misleading place. I remember reading stories about women with two vaginal canals and that being the reason why a penis couldn’t go directly in. I thought I was amongst that small percentage and because I didn't have anyone to talk to about it I just left my teenage anguish to consume me in silence.
There have been so many things I have had to educate myself on when it comes to my body. The precautionary sex education came easy -- abstinence, the importance of condoms to prevent pregnancy, and all the sexually transmitted infections/diseases. I was never educated about pleasure. Nor was I ever told that my anatomical makeup is already whole and self-sufficient as is. Aside from my natural ability to bleed once a month, traditional sex education made me feel my sexual organs needed that of a man’s to be complete -- not only for procreation, but also for pleasure.
The biggest reason I hated growing up in a conservative household is that I always felt too curious and too open to adventure for me to be okay with the limitations placed on me because of my sex and gender. I think this is why now, in my adult life, I’m such a free spirit. When I got my first vibrator at 23, I think I masturbated every day that week and went straight past six orgasms at a time. I was already sexually active, but being in control of my own orgasms for the first time was a totally different high. It feels like a high. You can tell when an orgasm is building up, right before it’s going to take your whole body over, and when your eyes are done rolling to the back of your head… you want more. It’s so addicting, and a healthy addiction at that. There are so many health benefits to female masturbation that we, as women, are not educated on.
I’m here to tell you what our mothers and health education teachers should have told us.
1. Relieves stress and negative emotions
Masturbating, very much like sex, increases blood flood throughout the body and releases endorphins! Endorphins are the feel-good hormones we experience after a workout. The rapid circulation of blood helps clear built-up stagnant energy in the body while the endorphins help the mind enter a state of optimism.
2. Improves your sex life
Masturbating requires patience with yourself. As women, reaching our climax takes more intentional effort because we have more body parts to work with. The more you masturbate, the more you learn what your body likes and what you don’t like. This is very valuable information! After I started masturbating, I became more vocal with my partners about what I wanted and how I wanted it. This made my sex life improve significantly. No longer were my sexual encounters exclusively centered around me performing for someone else’s pleasure, but me coming into the space knowing what I want out of it and how to guide my partner to get me there.
3. Helps prevent HPV and UTI’s
I wish I had known this earlier in college. I spent too much time in the campus clinic being prescribed things for UTIs. I also had a fake HPV scare but that story is for another time. In 8 Reasons Why Masturbation Should Be on Your iCal, Women’s Health Magazine refers to science that confirms that masturbation can help prevent cervical infections and urinary tract infections. Masturbation allows for more consistent fluid circulation, and it allows cervical fluids full of bacteria to be flushed out. The antibiotics prescribed for UTIs are also extremely harsh so if you really think about it masturbating is a sort of holistic preventative measure for them. You’re welcome!
4. Helps you get a good night’s sleep
In addition to endorphins, orgasms also release oxytocin and serotonin. These are the hormones associated with happiness and sleep. Masturbating, just like sex, helps relieve tension in the body, increases sleep hormones and very much like sex, leaves you ready for a nap.
5. Increases fertility
I'm not making this up! Floliving, a platform whose mission is to provide accessible and affordable functional medicine menstrual healthcare worldwide, states that one of the top things that women gain from masturbating is that they become fertile. Masturbating energizes our hypothalamus, which "regulates appetite, body temperature, emotions, and the pituitary gland, which in turn regulates the release of reproductive hormones that induce ovulation and cervical fluid."
Before you knock this by thinking to yourself, “no thank you, I definitely need a partner,” I want to say that I am in no means advocating for one in exchange for the other. Nor am I trying to make the case that masturbation is better than actual sex. All I’m saying is there’s a whole world in your panties that you can explore, and that society has purposely socialized us to not be comfortable with doing so. Despite female masturbation not being openly taught in sex education, or spoken about as commonly as male masturbation, it is actually really healthy for you. Your body is whole as is.