How Masturbation Makes You Better At Sex

I don't think, as a species, we need any more reason to indulge in self-pleasure other than the simple fact that it feels amazing. But what if I told you that, in addition to giving you orgasms galore, masturbation improves your sex life, too? Well luckily for all of us, it's totally true.

In general, there are plenty of reasons that masturbating regularly can improve your health: Whether you do it in the morning or before bed at night, taking some me-time can help you explore your body with the added benefit of de-stressing you. Like all good things, of course, there can be such a thing as too much: Women who use a vibrator too often can have a harder time getting off manually, while guys who masturbate too, uhh, forcefully, might have trouble orgasming during sex. If done in moderation in a healthy way, however, masturbating can be extremely beneficial to your health and your sex life.

Getting to know yourself solo is the best way to amp up your sex life with a partner, because if you know what you like, it'll be easier for you to reach orgasm all the time, even when you're not alone. Here are six ways masturbation can improve your sex life — as if we needed further proof that self-love is the best love.

1. It Increases Your Stamina

The whole "practice makes perfect" thing definitely applies to sex. If you're a guy who sometimes gets off too quickly, you can practice edging — getting close to orgasm, stopping, and slowing building back up — to help you control and time your orgasms, so you can last longer in bed. For women, masturbation is a great way to learn how to build your own arousal. If you take your time while solo to get in tune with what your body needs in order to reach orgasm, it'll be easier to repeat that process with a partner.

2. It Helps You Learn Your Turn-Ons

The secret to good sex? Knowing what you like and don't like, and communicating those turn-ons and turn-offs to your partner. The quickest, sure-fire way to learn what works for you during sex is to practice on yourself: Masturbation can help you figure out if you like things fast or slow, rough or gentle, you name it. Don't be afraid to play around and explore solo fantasies you might have: You can experiment with toys, switch up the kind of porn you watch, and explore a variety of techniques to figure out what sensations most appeal to you. Then, when you know what your body wants and needs, you can enter sex with a partner confidently, ready to have an amazing orgasm.

3. It Makes You More Comfortable With Yourself

I have friends in their twenties who say they feel "weird" about touching themselves, despite the fact that, in other respects, they have healthy, active sex lives. Obviously, masturbation is a personal choice, and I'm not shaming anyone who chooses not to indulge. But because I know all about the wonders of self-love, it worries me to think that some self-assured, sexually empowered women aren't experiencing the joy that is masturbation. By familiarizing yourself with your own body, you'll get more comfortable with the idea of your sexuality, which will in turn make you more confident with a partner, because you're in sync with your own body. Think of it like meditating...but with your vagina, and plus orgasms. It's a win-win.

4. It Keeps You Sexually Invigorated

There's truth behind the saying that the more sex you have, the more you'll want. And this doesn't just apply to partnered sex: If you have an active solo sex life, you're in a sexual frame of mind, too. When you're sexually-stimulated often — whether that's by yourself or by a partner — your body is hard-wired to crave even more sex. And, given how frequent sex improves your body, what's better than being a walking sex machine?

5. It Exercises Your Pelvic Floor Muscles

Masturbating gives your pelvic floor muscles a good workout — it's basically kegels, but a lot more fun. When these muscles are stronger, it makes it easier for you to orgasm...which leads to better sex! While it's total B.S. that having too much sex can make your vagina permanently "loose" — the vagina is a muscle, and the loosening-then-tightening process happens each time you have sex — there's still a benefit to strengthening your pelvic floor muscles: It will help your body have even stronger orgasms, which will feel good for you and your partner.

6. It Prevents UTIs

If you're prone to UTIs, make a mental note: Masturbation can help you prevent UTIs and other cervical infections through the process of "tenting," aka the opening of the cervix that occurs during arousal. So not only are you exploring your body and having some much-needed relaxation, you're also preemptively staving off UTIs while you pleasure yourself. And with fewer painful UTIs to worry about, you're free to have even more sex, which I would definitely classify as an improvement to your sex life.

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