Surveys show that 95% of men and around 72%
of women have masturbated in their life. But with rumours that it’s unhealthy, can cause
blindness, and even infertility, can masturbation be good for you? Feeling yourself isn’t just
for single people. 70% of men and 40% of women in relationships reported masturbating within
the 4 weeks leading up to a recent survey. After all, it feels good. Not only is dopamine
released, which helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centres, reducing feelings
of stress, but other endorphins released during orgasm can decrease your perception of pain.
For women polishing the pearl can reduce menstrual cramping. And of course with the help of the
hormone prolactin, which is linked to sleep, you’re likely to feel exhausted and catch
some much needed Zs. Feel like you’re coming down with a cold? One study found that in
males, components of the immune system are activated during masturbation, increasing
the number of white blood cells in the bloodstream. Solo sessions might also help men reduce cancer,
with high ejaculation frequency correlating with a decreased risk of total prostate cancer.
Though it’s unclear why, researchers hypothesize that increased ejaculation means potential
carcinogenic secretions in the prostate are excreted more regularly, de-creasing their
negative impact on the body. But why have humans and animals evolved to masturbate if
it’s seemingly a waste of energy or semen in men? Well, it turns out that self-love
can actually improve the quality of sperm. A study showed that recent, male masturbation
reduced the number of sperm inseminated at the next copulation, but not the number retained
by the female. From this, it was concluded that masturbation is a male strategy to improve
the fitness of their sperm, as younger sperm have a higher likelihood of insemination.
Not only that but masturbation can improve your sexual performance. Both women and men
have pelvic floor uscles that stretch from your pubic bone to your tailbone. As we age,
these muscles weaken, causing sexual dysfunction in women and erectile dysfunction in men.
But stroking the penis or clitoris can activate the bulbocavernosis reflex, resulting in pelvic
floor muscles contracting. It’s essentially a workout for your sex muscles. Nitric oxide
levels also diminish with age and can contribute to a decreased sex drive but masturbation
can help maintain it in your blood throughout your life. But while masturbating does have
physiological benefits, it’s important to mix up your technique. Using the same way
to get off every time can make you sexually unresponsive to other types of stimulation.
This could lead to decreased sexual arousal, or performance when it comes time to do the
deed with a real life partner–so make sure you mix it up! At the end of the day, masturbation
is a safe and healthy activity, so put on some music, light those candles, and have
yourself a good night. And if you truly love science, we have a new tshirt on sale for
one more week, but unlike most trends, science is logical and never ends, and these science
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