.There are things that everyone does—like grocery shopping, sleeping, working—that are subjects we can share about, those mundane yet anecdotal experiences that are relatable.
We commiserate on life with one another and it somehow makes it all less boring or lonely.
But there are other things that we all do, too. Things like crying, dealing with death, feeling insecure, things that are just harder to talk about.
Masturbation falls into that latter category.
This is unfortunate because it’s certainly something most of us do. It really shouldn’t be an activity filled with shame. Things like childhood guilt, our upbringing, lack of constructive communication on the issue or religious programming, can all play a role in the sexual shame-game. There are a lot of hang-ups around masturbation. For married couples, this is doubly so.
One Sexual Relationship to Rule Them All
There’s a bizarre notion that must have come from some 1960s women’s magazine that once you get married, you never masturbate again. Although, if it’s a ‘60s women’s magazine, chances are no one is talking about masturbation! Or, that if a married person masturbates, that automatically means they aren’t happy or satisfied in their relationship. If you have a spouse, all of your needs should be taken care of, right? I know from personal experience that none of this is true.
My husband and I, being gay men, just naturally assume that the other person masturbates and it’s not weird. When we first started dating, we were long-distance. We had a hilarious phone conversation about how it was assumed that the other person was “taking care of himself” while we were apart…and that was sort of it.
So those blissful times when we were together, there was never any weirdness around discovering porn sites on internet browsers or conveniently placed bottles of lotion. Sure, it would be problematic if we were only masturbating and not touching or having sex with each other when we were together. Or if the practice became secretive. But we were casual and open about it when we started dating. Now that we’re married there is no fairy tale misconception that we’ll never masturbate again.
But it isn’t just us. More and more studies are finding that masturbation is great for married couples. So, here are our five favorite reasons to masturbate—even if you are happily married!
1. It’s Good for You (No, Really!)
From reducing the risk of prostate cancer and stress, to helping combat insomnia to strengthening pelvic muscles, masturbation is medical magic.
Plus, the dopamines released during orgasm don’t just help fight depression, they might help you be less crabby to your spouse.
2. Happiness is in Your Own Hands
Giving any one person the responsibility of holding all of your happiness in their hands sets everyone involved up to fail. For the long game, you’ve got to take happiness into your own hands. Literally.
Masturbation lets you call the shots on when and where you want an orgasm. Without putting the fate of your sexual well-being on your partner. Plus, studies show that married couples who masturbate actually have more sex.
As Emily says, the more you do it, the more you want it. It’s a perfect cycle of pleasure.
3. Take a Trip to Fantasyland
Really going there in a hot fantasy about the UPS man or having sex outdoors while masturbating helps knock down the walls of inhibition.
One Spanish study even claims that sexual fantasies help relieve stress around sexual performance and lowers the chances of sexual dysfunction.
If sexual fantasies are good enough for the country of Penelope Cruz, I say daydream away!
4. Last a Little Longer
Everyone from sex doctors to amateurs recommend rubbing one out if you want sex to last longer.
In fact, masturbating an hour or two before sex with your spouse, especially if you’re male, can extend your next encounter.
With some mindful masturbation, old quickie habits can be unlearned and turn you into an endurance beast.
5. Keep the Sex Drive Alive
Couple that with feeling exhausted by our day-to-day lives and outside pressures like family and careers. Staying interested in sex sounds downright exhausting.
Our desire for sex is more often than not replaced with a desire to nap. So masturbation is a great way “keep the pilot light on” so to speak.
By staying interested in your own orgasm and your own body, you are actually helping your sex drive stay revved up and your body ready for partner play.
SO what are you waiting for? Go masturbate!
Sean Paul Mahoney is a freelance writer, humorist and blogger who lives in Portland, Oregon with his husband and two cats. New work can be found weekly on seanologues.com