Seriously, sexual solitaire has enough physical, mental, and emotional health benefits to fill a book—or a few books. But for today’s purposes, I’m going to share with you seven of the best arguments I’ve heard for spending some erotic time with Y-O-U:
1. It’s natural.
Bonobos do it. So do dolphins, horses, dogs, kangaroos, porcupines, and most other animals, including humans. Ultrasounds show us that many fetuses in utero put their tiny hands between their little legs and masturbate. Powerful gods of various major and minor religions and their emissaries on Earth may rail against it, but the science tells us that masturbation is natural.
2. Our sex drives don’t dry up when we’re single.
Imagine you’ve recently gone through a breakup. You’re probably not ready or eager to go out and find somebody new to get frisky with. And even if you are, as Truman Capote once pointed out, “You don’t have to dress up for it.” Come as you are. The Greek philosopher Diogenes praised the extraordinary physical efficiency of masturbation: “Would to heaven that it were enough to rub one’s stomach in order to allay one’s hunger.” The folks who brought the world the concept of democracy understood the powerful, positive benefits of solo sex. So did their gods. Maybe we should too.
3. It’s eco-sexual.
It produces very little real pollution (unless you toss your tissues out the car window). You can try getting even more eco-sexual with your self-love by doing it in the great outdoors, where you feel at one with nature (but maybe not in a park, where you’ll get arrested). Love the earth you make love on—just watch out for the poison oak.
Speaking of nature…have you ever noticed some fruits and vegetables seem shaped for masturbation? Could this be a divine sign? Try a nice cucumber or turnip—nature’s own dildos!
4. It’s a great stress reliever.
Partner sex is romantic, but it can be stressful in ways that masturbation is not. There’s no pressure, just pleasure. Much like partner sex, orgasms through masturbation can relax you deeply, release your stress, and help you to get the rest your body needs.
5. Masturbation is a learning experience.
When it comes to learning your own turn-ons physically and mentally, you can’t beat the education of masturbation. You can use your self-pleasure time to practice your Kegels, tantric breathing, or the stop-start technique. You can test new sex toys more easily when solo-sexing than when you’re with a partner. But mutual masturbation is also educational: Show and tell your partner what you like. Talk about home schooling! You won’t want to play hooky from this.
6. It’s good for your health (seriously).
Masturbation, especially if you have a good, heart-pumping orgasm, is a cardio workout that benefits heart health, blood pressure, and brain chemistry. It also helps fight off yeast infections in women and prostate cancer in men; not to mention, masturbation releases mood-boosting endorphins. It also keeps you in shape for partnered sex. Use it or lose it, right? Self-pleasure is healing in a million different ways. Heal your sexual shame through self-pleasure!
7. The most important relationship you’ll ever have is with yourself.
Nobody talks about it, but the longest relationship you’ll ever have is the one you have with yourself. So, why not make it a good one? Masturbation is totally Socratic, after all. It’s one of the best ways to “know thyself,” at least sexually speaking. So, get into it, and get to know you. Treat yourself. Even if it’s just for a few moments, focus on your pleasure without worrying about anyone else. Turn self-pleasure into self-love. And no, that doesn’t make you selfish. It makes you feel nurtured and abundant. And when you feel abundant, you’re more likely to be able to give of yourself to others when they need it.