Psychology

Why Masturbation In A Relationship Is Perfectly Normal And Healthy

There are so many silly myths about masturbation.

Like, masturbation causes acne. Or, masturbation will turn you into a pervert.

And if you’re doing it while in a relationship, then there must be something missing.

The truth is, of course, that masturbation is a perfectly healthy, nothing but natural, and extremely satisfying physical expression. Notice how we didn’t say sexual? That’s because, and this may come as a surprise to a lot of people, self-pleasuring doesn’t have to be about sex at all.

Here’s why and when liking masturbation over partnered sex is absolutely okay:

Believe It or Not, Everyone Masturbates

More than half of American adults happily admit that they masturbate between one and four times a week, according to Indiana University’s National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior.

So what’s with the other half?

A confusing number of people masturbate in complete secrecy, fearing to admit what they’re doing even to themselves. As if masturbation was something wrong. As if self-pleasuring was some kind of deviation. Or, God forbid a sin. For a confusing number of people, masturbation is a taboo.

Of course, the Catholic Church was behind it, for reasons only they know.

Be that as it may, masturbation was both religiously and culturally stigmatized as either “dirty” or “dangerous.” Some outdated textbooks define it as a form of self-abuse, more harmful to the moral fiber than stealing or lying. And that’s why we’re still so ashamed of loving ourselves.

But in reality, masturbation has countless benefits for mental and physical health.

Masturbation is a Brilliant Stress-Relief Hack

Numerous studies have confirmed the following boons of self-pleasuring:

● Masturbation releases dopamine, endorphins, and oxytocin.

● It keeps both men and women happy, satisfied, and fit.

● Frequent masturbation improves sperm quality in men.

● It also eliminates problems with digestion and bloating.

● Masturbation soothes menstrual cramping and headaches.

Let us explain:

Dopamine, endorphins, and oxytocin – hormones associated with happiness and love – are released through orgasm, in turn lowering the amount of cortisol – the main stress hormone – in your body. That’s why people feel happy and satisfied after pleasuring themselves.

Masturbation is linked to weight loss too, simply because the happy hormones eliminate the need for comfort food. It’s like a catharsis for your body – you’re letting go of tension and getting awestruck with positive emotions that affect you whole, from your gut to your head.

But isn’t this something you can get from traditional sex too?

And, why do you need masturbation when you have a partner?

Masturbation Is the Fastest Way to Orgasm

Here’s a simple explanation: masturbation is very, very quick.

Unless you’re young, crazy, and drunk, there’s always one too many factors that affect not only the quality of sex but also the prospect of it. Especially in long relationships. Maybe you’re gassy. Or you’re not feeling very sexy today. Or maybe you’re in a hurry to get to work.

These are all legitimate reasons to postpone sex for another day, right?

If so, then why not exercise stress-relief through masturbation?

Let’s be honest about it – nobody knows how to touch you better than yourself, not even your partner. If it takes you ten minutes to climax with him (which is so, so rare and fabulous), then it will take you maybe a minute to reach orgasm by yourself. It works both ways.

Why deny yourself all the benefits we’ve just talked about? And even more importantly, why shame your partner for wanting to do the same? At the end of the day, masturbation is simply a faster, more convenient way to reach an orgasm and heal your hormones for the day.

And it’s purely physical.

Repeat after me: masturbation is not about emotional connection.

It Removes All Stigmas About Your Sexuality

Then again, masturbation can be a great exercise in sexuality.

About 75% of all women never reach orgasm from intercourse alone. Never.

This is not (only) because a lot of men don’t know how to pleasure women. It’s more about women not knowing what makes them tick. Masturbation is a brilliant way of finding that out. Consider it a safe, embarrassment-free zone of daring sexual experimentation.

And you know what else happens when you start experimenting with your body? You register that it feels good and you assume that it must be natural and healthy too. They say that practice makes perfect, and that’s absolutely true when it comes to your sex life.

Masturbation makes you better at sex and helps you enjoy it more.

When Does Masturbation Become an Issue?

Some couples get turned on by watching each other masturbate.

Others simply like talking about it as friends.

In a lot of rock-solid, successful, and sexually fulfilling relationships, partners masturbate in separate rooms at the same time without knowing what happens in the other room.

But when does this become an issue?

Too much masturbation may or may not lead to intimacy issues. If you’re happy playing with yourself but you’re not happy playing with your partner, then it may be the time to talk about it and maybe visit a sex therapist. Whatever you choose, open communication is crucial.

Generally speaking, there’s nothing wrong with masturbation as long as you and your partner still nurture a healthy sex life. Masturbation is supposed to bring you closer, not tear you apart. If you stop making love and start masturbating alone, then there might be something missing.

Or not.

Let us rephrase:

If you’ve stopped making love and started masturbating alone if this is something you’ve discussed and both of you are happy with the decision you’ve made, then who are we to judge? Enjoy your sexual dynamic. This is a great time to be different, both sexually and socially.

Related

Sylvia Smith is a featured writer for Marriage.com, a reliable resource to support healthy, happy marriages. Read more articles from Sylvia on Thought Catalog.