7 Benefits Of Masturbation That Go Beyond The Obvious, According To Experts

Ashley Batz/Bustle

Whether you masturbate all the time or are thinking about trying it out for the first time, you can definitely consider this practice one of self-care and self-exploration. It that has many positive "side-effects" that reach beyond simply feeling good in the moment, and in fact, the mental and emotional benefits of masturbation might surprise you in their breadth.

So, first off, what exactly is happening when you masturbate on a physical level? Well, how you actually feel is different for everyone, but to begin, your body might simply start to relax, psychologist and sex therapist Janet Brito, PhD. PSY, LCSW, CS, tells Bustle.

"You may be lubricated or you may have applied lube [to your genitals.] When you start to experience arousal, triggered by your preferred sexual content — erotica, film fantasy, memory — your genitals become engorged due to increased blood flow," Brito says. "You may notice your body temperature becoming warmer, and your muscles becoming tense."

When — and if — you are nearing orgasm, Brito says, your muscles will contract, and your heart rate will increase. Then you may orgasm or come to a point where your session feels done for now.

Below, take a look at some of the ways that masturbation can do good things for you in a holistic way.