In case you needed another excuse to practice self-love, May is Masturbation Month — aka the perfect time to learn about how masturbation can improve your sex life. When you spend time getting to know your own body and focus solely on your own pleasure, it makes it easier to figure out your likes and dislikes, and what brings you to orgasm. And, of course, knowing how to make yourself finish is crucial in helping a partner figure out how to make you feel good, too.
"Get your brain on board with masturbation and your body will thank you," Emily Morse, Doctor of Human Sexuality and host of the Sex With Emily podcast, tells Bustle. "Remember that arousal starts in your head and works its way down. If your mind is good and turned on, it won’t be long until the rest of your body follows suit. To get that big sexy brain on board, start exploring your fantasies and finding new mental triggers that can fuel your self-love sessions."
Because I'm obviously a huge proponent of self-pleasure, I'd consider it good news that, according to the 2017 SKYN Condoms Millennial Sex Survey, masturbation is growing in popularity amongst Millennials. When asked if they engage in self-pleasure, 91 percent of Millennials said yes — which is four percent more than last year. If you're one of the few Millennials not on board with masturbation, that's OK — how you conduct your sex life is totally your call. But I think it's crucial that people are at least equipped with the knowledge that exploring your body through masturbation has real benefits: it's a great way to both increase your own pleasure and make partnered sex hotter (and it seems my fellow Millennials agree).
If you're curious, here some other stats about Millennial masturbation habits that will make you say OMG... or maybe just O.
1Millennials Masturbate As Often As They Want
Why limit yourself to a once-in-a-blue-moon self-induced orgasm when you can masturbate as often as you want? The SKYN survey found that 23 percent of Millennials masturbate several times a week, proving that ~loving~ yourself has no limits.
And according to a 2016 survey of 1,200 Americans by TENGA, a designer of pleasure products for men, Millennials tend to masturbate 15 times a month (aka every other day) — which was more frequent than either Gen Xers or Baby Boomers.
2Millennials Masturbate To Improve Their Sex Game
The same TENGA survey also found that 18 percent of Millennials said they masturbate with the intention of improving sex. Pleasuring yourself can clue you in to things like your hidden erogenous zones or untapped fantasies — having a toe-curling orgasm is just an added bonus.
3Masturbation Is Helping Millennials Close The Orgasm Gap
ICYMI: the "orgasm gap" refers to the disparity between how often straight men orgasm during sex compared to straight women. The orgasm gap is caused by a number of things, but a lack of education about the female body and female pleasure is top of the list. The good news? The 2015 SKYN Condoms Millennial Sex Survey found that Millennials were slowly but surely closing the orgasm gap: 89 percent of the women surveyed said they *usually* achieve climax. That might not be totally due to Millennials' love of masturbation, but learning what turns you on is definitely one way to help close the orgasm gap.
4Not All Millennials Feel Comfortable Discussing Masturbation
Another thing that impedes your pleasure? Feeling like it's "taboo" to talk about your own pleasure and desires — even with your partner. The TENGA survey found that 40 percent of Millennials had lied about their masturbation habits in their lifetime. However, age 24 was when respondents said they were most comfortable discussing masturbation. The bottom line? You should feel confident enough in your sexuality to talk about your own pleasure, because there's nothing to be ashamed of (especially when it comes to how you masturbate).
5Millennials Use Technology To Masturbate
No, I don't mean "use technology" as in "watch porn" (though that's cool, too). The TENGA survey found that a quarter of Millennials had used Skype or a similar platform to virtually masturbate with a partner — and when you consider Millennials' tech-loving rep, that makes sense.
Ultimately, it doesn't really matter how you like to masturbate or how similar your habits are to other Millennials'. The entire point of masturbation is to do what feels good for you, outside opinions be damned. So this Masturbation Month, spend time focusing on your own pleasure, and see if it improves your sex life as a whole!