Female self-pleasure: How it can help our mindfulness
By Charlotte Buckle
Listen, ladies – we need to discuss female self-pleasure and its link to mindfulness a hell of a lot more. Think about it: how often do you hear men freely chat about masturbation and how it relieves their stress after a bad day? Well, that goes for us too. But why is discussing our self-pleasure still absent from society? If self-pleasure has multitudes of mindfulness benefits, it’s something we should be singing to our sisters (and misters) about.
In a new survey conducted by sex toy brand Womanizer, nearly one in three British women said they do not masturbate. This is astonishing considering the health benefits masturbation promises. From stress relief and better sleep to eased PMS symptoms, it seems we need to chat more about how masturbation positively impacts our bodies.
The problem is that our society here in Britain still associates female masturbation with ‘sluttiness’ or oversexualisation. And that’s not just an assumption – this same Womanizer survey also found that only 14% of British people think society accepts female masturbation, compared to nearly 50% who see male masturbation as the norm through its depiction in pop culture.
So how can we help eliminate these myths? Everybody Does It filmmaker Megan Brotherton believes the main way forward is to talk openly about it.
‘If women talk about masturbation openly, like the healthy and normal thing that it is, then more women will do it,’ she says. ‘If more women do it, then they will know their own bodies, own their sexuality and, ultimately, be more empowered all around… empowered to ask for what they want, to say no, and to take care of themselves.’
1) Self-pleasure can destress and relax you
Stimulation of female genitals lowers the stress hormone cortisol and heightens all those feel-good endorphins. Usually released during activities like exercising and meditation, endorphins are also released when masturbating. Cool, right? So not only can you get a good dose of endorphins by working out, but also by masturbating. A good reason to skip the gym from time to time, eh?
2) It helps you have a better night’s sleep
After an orgasm, your body releases a mix of neurochemicals that can help prepare you for sleep. The hormone oxytocin calms your mind while dopamine and serotonin leave you feeling, oh so content – a match made in heaven for previously-sleepless nights.
3) Say good-bye to painful periods
Too good to be true? Female masturbation is great for relieving those awful period pains and cramping. How, you might ask? During an orgasm, the body releases a rush of dopamine and serotonin – these hormones act as natural pain relievers.
4) It can help increase your libido
‘Masturbation can help keep your sexual pilot light on,’ says Megan Fleming, a sex and relationship therapist. ‘If you can get into a good routine of bringing yourself to orgasm, you won’t struggle getting warmed up when it is time to have fun with a partner. If you have a lower libido, solo sessions can help you know what turns you on.’
5) It can help improve your confidence levels
If it can help you feel more confident and comfortable in your own skin, why wouldn’t you masturbate? And women’s health expert Kelley Kitely agrees. ‘I really believe in it building confidence and self-esteem for women and knowing their own bodies and what they like,’ she says.
Not only can masturbation help you learn about your sexuality, but it can also help you understand what your like and what you don’t – and how you best reach orgasm.
So…let’s go, girls.