If you ask me, masturbation is one of life's greatest joys: not only does it feel amazing to give yourself the gift of orgasm, but it's also empowering AF to get to know your own body in a sexual way — and that's not to mention all the awesome
health benefits of masturbation, too. Aside from just sexually satisfying you, masturbating regularly has tons of other beneficial effects on your body and mind, like boosting your self-esteem, lowering your stress levels, and helping you learn how you like to experience pleasure.
"Masturbation is the best research study you can do on yourself," Dr. Uchenna "UC" Ossai, pelvic health physical therapist and sex educator for
LifeStyles Condoms, tells Bustle. "It is the best way to not only learn about your body, but to also understand how your pleasure can be cultivated through touch. It is not [a] secret that research has shown that women who masturbate [have] higher levels of self-esteem, positive body and genital image, as well as reporting higher satisfaction in their sex life."
Is the promise of a
mind-blowing orgasm reason enough to masturbate regularly? Almost definitely — but sexual pleasure is far from the only reason to practice self-love. Here are seven things that can happen to your body if you masturbate regularly, according to experts.
Your PC Muscles Get Stronger
If you thought that regular ol' kegels were the only way to
strengthen your pelvic floor and PC muscles, there's great news: masturbating regularly has the same benefits — but with the added bonus of an orgasm at the end.
"If you masturbate regularly (just like if you have sex regularly), you will strengthen your PC muscles," Stacy Rybchin, founder and CEO of of sexual health and wellness services
My Secret Soiree and My Secret Luxury, tells Bustle. "Orgasms are essentially pelvic floor contractions. Similar to when you regularly lift weights, you get stronger. The same happens with your pelvic floor. A stronger pelvic floor and PC muscles produces stronger orgasms."
You'll Be Happier & Less Stressed
According to Jodie Slee, relationship and psychosexual therapist at
Sensate Therapy, the feel-good hormones that are released during orgasm have tons of benefits, like lowering blood pressure, and reducing stress, insomnia, and pain. But orgasms aren't just good for your body; they're also good for your soul.
"Regular orgasms cause the release of oxytocin and endorphins —hormones that boost general mood, making you feel more happy and satisfied," Slee tells Bustle.
Your Body Flushes Out More Harmful Toxins
Forget juice cleanses — masturbation cleanses are where it's at. According to Slee, masturbating can flush out harmful bacteria and toxins, improving prostate health in men, and vaginal/cervical health in women.
"For men, regular masturbation has been linked to prostate health as frequent ejaculation helps to flush out cancer causing toxins," Slee says. "Similarly in women regular masturbation can help prevent UTIs and cervical infections due to the 'tenting' effect that occurs during the arousal process: tenting allows fluid circulation allowing cervical fluids to flush out harmful bacteria."
You might assume that masturbating more would lower your sex drive — because your sexual needs are already taken care of — but
masturbating regularly can actually make you hornier for (and more aroused during) partnered sex, too.
"Evidence suggests that daily masturbation increases desire, sexual sensitivity arousal and overall sexual functioning in men and women suffering with sexual dysfunctions," Slee says. "Women experience better vaginal lubrication and men can improve their erectile functioning. Mutual masturbation is a great way to explore and experiment with pleasure too!"
Your Immune System Gets A Boost
If you're someone who has a tendency to come down with a cold far too often, introducing masturbation into your daily routine is a handy trick that can help boost your immune system.
"Studies have shown that sexual arousal is inherently linked to a highly functioning immune system," Caleb Backe, Health and Wellness Expert at
Maple Holistics, tells Bustle. "Arousal, and orgasming specifically, has been found to increase the number of leukocytes in the body, which act as natural killer cells and target potentially harmful foreign substances in the blood."
In Males, Fertility Might Increase
There are a lot of
myths about masturbation floating around — including the totally false ideas that it causes infertility, and even blindness, in men.
"Many men believe that frequent masturbation can lead to infertility, but there is no evidence to support such beliefs," Backe says. "In fact, the testes produce hundreds of millions of sperm daily, regardless of your masturbation tendencies. Surprisingly, self-pleasuring may actually increase male fertility by ejaculating older, less-fertile sperm cells and making room for more suitable ones."
Your Body Gets A Mini Workout
If hitting the gym isn't really your thing (and who can blame you?), masturbating can be a fun way to sneak in a mini workout — which sounds way more appealing than spin class, IMHO.
"[Masturbation]... increases heart rate and blood flow to the entire body, promoting deep breathing and muscle flexion, serving as a mini workout (or a more intense one, depending on how you do it),"
sex educator Bianca Alba, MPH, tells Bustle.
So whatever your reasons are for having a regular masturbation routine, it's important to remember that there's
nothing wrong with a little self-love. As long as your masturbation habits aren't interfering with your life in any way, feel free to give yourself as many health-boosting orgasms as you please!