Ever wondered if there’s something wrong with you for not masturbating?
As a sex therapist, clients often ask me if they’re not normal for not taking part in solo sex.
People want to feel as though they are normal, and this is completely understandable, but it’s not the be-all and end-all. Being aware of and happy with who you are sexually is what’s really important. And sex with yourself can be a great way of getting there.
If you’re wondering whether you should be masturbating to be considered healthy , here’s what you need to know.
To Masturbate Or Not To Masturbate
Firstly let’s ask ourselves, do we even want to be having solo sex?
Consent isn’t just about partnered experiences, it’s about solo ones, too.
So, just as you shouldn’t have sex with a partner if you don’t want to, you shouldn’t masturbate if you don’t feel like it either.
If the answer is yes, I want to pleasure myself , by all means go for it! But if the answer is no, you might want to consider why that is.
Sometimes, our relationship with masturbation can be linked to what we were taught by our parents about sex. We might have taken on thoughts or beliefs that masturbation isn’t “right” and we shouldn’t touch ourselves intimately. If we identify as women, we might even have picked up on society’s double standards regarding women: we should be sexy, not sexual.
Other times, we worry that not having sex with ourselves might negatively affect our partnered sexual experiences. We believe we’re not good enough lovers or that we’re not adventurous enough. Whatever the reason , digging a little deeper here is crucial.
When Masturbation Makes You Feel Uncomfortable
If you avoid masturbation as it makes you feel dirty , you might want to reconsider it.
Our sexuality runs deep within us, and how we are sexually with ourselves and with others gives us clues as to how we feel about our sexuality.
And in order to have better sexual experiences (with or without partners) , we need to work through these feelings.
If you truly feel you’re worthy of pleasure , chances are you have a more positive relationship with masturbation.
And if you feel conflicted, you’re not the only one!
People who identify as women, especially, often experience shame and embarrassment surrounding self-pleasure. One way of managing this is by really delving into how solo sex can positively impact your life.
Not because you should be masturbating to be considered sexually healthy, but because you deserve sexual pleasure. Just as much as anyone else.
5 Reasons Sex With Yourself Can Be Beneficial
1. You Learn What Techniques You Like
Exploring self-pleasure is a great route to understanding what kinds of physical stimulation you enjoy.
Once you know what kinds of pressure you enjoy, what areas you prefer to be stimulated, and whether you want or need several areas to be stimulated at once, you’ll be able to bring this understanding into intimacy with your partner, which will lead to better sex and increased desire. You can read more about this in my blog post: Why Has My Sexual Desire Increased?
2. You Get Acquainted With Your Fantasies And Turn-ons
Exploring your fantasies is much easier during solo sex, when there’s no need to explain what you want or why you have a particular sexual interest. You can simply explore it without going on a hunt for deep-seated psychological reasons.
Another positive about masturbating is that it helps you work out what turns you on.
Because you naturally deviate to the things that you really enjoy when you’re on your own. No pleasing your partner or anyone else — it’s just you and yourself, experiencing pleasure.
3. You Understand What Your Dislikes Are
Just as knowing what turns you on is important, it’s equally as important to understand what turns you off, which is key to great solo and partnered sex.
For example, knowing that a particular move turns you off, or sex with the lights off does nothing for you, or hearing your children playing in the background is a big no-no for your desire and arousal are all really important pieces of information when considering when to have sex and what kinds of sex to have.
Without knowing this for yourself, you might think that low sex drive or low desire is the problem, when really you just need to make small changes in order to experience more desire and more pleasure.
4. You Get To Know Your Boundaries
Having solo sex is an exploration of all of you. Not only does it teach you what your likes and dislikes are, it’s also a really great way to learn about your boundaries. These might be boundaries pertaining to certain sexual fantasies, but also to certain areas of your body that you don’t want touched.
Masturbation allows us to explore these boundaries safely and without judgement. You can explore and test things on a deep personal level, without having to think about your partner and how they might think or feel about it.
Once you understand your boundaries, you’ll be able to communicate them more easily during partnered sex.
5. Increases Your General Well-Being
The previous points show how solo sex can benefit partnered sex and sexual desire, but masturbation is great for you in it’s own right, too!
>> Decrease stress through the release of feel-good-hormones (this is one of the major emotional benefits of sex in general, too)
>> Make us feel happier in general
>> Help us feel empowered in our sexuality and thus in ourselves as a whole
Knowing your body, and connecting with your sexuality, can really positively impact your confidence and self-esteem. Why? Because pleasuring yourself is teaching yourself that you are worthy of pleasure. And feeling worthy does wonders for our confidence.
Is Sex With Yourself A Requirement?
Whilst sex with yourself can be wonderful for many reasons—to improve your general well-being and to have better partnered sex —it is not necessary for a healthy sex life. Your sexuality is not a measurement of how “normal” you are —its existence is based on pleasure.
And how you want to experience that pleasure is completely up to you.