Women can be tricky. Get this — only 25 percent of women orgasm during intercourse.
Why? Well, several factors, such as stress, dryness, and lack of emotional intimacy can play a part, but often, it's because several sex positions don't offer clit stimulation. And, trust us, ladies need that spot hit (hard).
A solution? Get in touch with your own body to figure out how to pleasure yourself. Once you're a pro, you can share that wisdom with your partner, which will make for better, steamier sex all around.
And, it's actually OK to throw sex toys, like vibrators, butt plugs, and liquid vibrators into the mix, as your body won't get desensitised or turned off by intercourse. Instead, the good news — you'll actually increase sensitivity in that area to make for better "O's," both solo and with a partner.
So, we've established that a solo session is a (really) good call. But, what if you start masturbating every day? Luckily, we got some experts to weigh in on the physical and mental changes that can happen when you and your vibrator become bedtime buds.
You'll Sleep Better
"Daily masturbation (or even regular masturbation several times per week) can relieve tension by calming the central nervous system, and as a result, help you sleep better," says Dr. Kat Van Kirk, licensed marriage and sex therapist, relationship expert at Adam & Eve, and author of the Married Sex Solution: A Realistic Guide to Saving Your Sex Life.
So, don't get bummed if your partner falls asleep shortly after. It's not because of boredom — instead, it's from that mind-blowing sex you just shared.
And, while men have it a bit easier, as "following an orgasm men usually experience a quick drop in blood pressure and fall into sudden relaxation, whereas for women the effect is more progressive but just as powerful," the sleep benefits are universal.
You'll Feel Happier
Sure, you might feel happier after an orgasm (who couldn't, right?), but you'll actually feel happier in general if you start masturbating regularly, says Kirk.
So, if you start to notice yourself smiling on that damn train — something that's pretty unlikely — it could be because you started your day with a morning quickie.
And, even if you didn't wake up early enough, your hormones change based on habitual behaviour, so as long as you're making time to masturbate sometime during the day, your hormones will change accordingly, says Kirk.
"Many hormones, including oxytocin and endorphins, are positively affected by regular masturbation, which can lead to a lighter mood and an overall feeling of wellness," says Kirk.
Here's why life just feels good. "When oxytocin is secreted in your body, it helps release those wonderful endorphins. Because of these natural opiates, sex — and specifically, an orgasm — become a powerful analgesic, elevating the pain threshold," says Kirk. Plus, get this: oxytocin spikes three to five times higher than usual just before orgasm, actually triggering it. It can also be elevated through touch, she says.
What's more, regular masturbation can build self-esteem and confidence, and you can channel that energy in the bedroom when with your partner.
Your Libido Will Skyrocket
If you are stuck in a rut and can't find the mood to strike quite often, a good fix could be masturbating. Not only will you remember how awesome it feels, but it'll actually change your body's response, causing you to crave more and more sex, says sex expert, Tino Dietrich, CEO and Founder at Ella Paradis.
"Sex begets sex. The more sex you have, even if it's with yourself, the more sex you'll want," he says.
"Masturbating encourages your body to increase its production of testosterone, as well as endorphins including oxytocin, the 'cuddle hormone.' You'll feel good and your body — and mind — won't want to give that up," Dietrich explains. (Here are a few more ways to boost your libido.)
You'll Strengthen Your Pelvic Muscles
Why is it important to have toned vaginal and pelvic floor muscles? "Long-term, for bladder health and staving off incontinence, particularly after childbirth," says Dr. Holly Richmond, a Somatic Psychologist, Certified Sex Therapist (CST), and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT).
"Almost immediately after starting a daily masturbation practice, you'll notice more sensation during vaginal insertion of any kind. The vaginal walls become more sensitive and receptive to a range of good feelings," she says.
And, those good feelings equal better orgasms (score). Kegels and masturbation that lead to orgasm mimic the same pattern — contraction and release — though with an orgasm the pattern is much faster. Any orgasm is a good orgasm, but if you can make it stronger and last longer, which daily practice facilitates, all the better," says Richmond.
You'll Have Fewer Sick Days
More sex days means fewer sick days. Here's why. Because your body releases the chemical DHEA during orgasm, your immune system improves, as well as bone growth, cognition, skin health, and even muscle repair, says Kirk. And, it can also mean fewer colds and flu, she adds.
What's more, you might also slash your risk of heart disease, says Kirk. "As fresh blood supply arrives, your cells, organs, and muscles are saturated with fresh oxygen and hormones, and as the used blood is removed, you also remove waste products that cause fatigue and even illness. This can be contributed to all of that deep breathing and muscle contraction occurring up to and through orgasm," she explains.
And, a tip? Encourage your partner to hop on board, too.
"People who masturbate tend to be open-minded and receptive to many aspects of sexual health and therefore are generous and thoughtful lovers," says Dietrich.
"I have seen dozens, if not hundreds, of relationships improve when one or both partners start masturbating more. It lets your partner know your sexual health is a priority, and your erotic relationship is important," says Richmond.
You can even bring those toys into the bedroom together. "Mutual masturbation is a great idea, too — it's a habit that can be exceptionally sexy and gratifying for both people," Dietrich adds.