Self Pleasure For A Healthier You

Discover the surprising added benefits of masturbation

Looking for a fun and easy way to improve your health that doesn’t involve counting calories or sweating it out at the gym? Say no more: what you need is some self pleasure. Yes, that can and does include masturbation.

It's important to realise that masturbation is both a privilege and a right. So it's time to not be so private about what we do in our private time. Not only is masturbation very enjoyable, but it actually comes with a bunch of brilliant benefits for your physical and mental health, as well as working wonders for your sex life.

Whether self pleasure is part of your daily routine, or you regularly enjoy a ménage-à-moi, these surprising side effects of masturbation (the good kind!) will encourage you to love it even more.

What is Self Pleasure?

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The meaning of self pleasure is a little different for everyone, but we like to think of it as making mindful time for you and your satisfaction.

Masturbation is about experiencing erotic pleasure on our own, in our own time. Notice that's pleasure, not orgasm.

Yes, orgasms are great and amazing, and all the other words for WOW, but they don't need to be our end goal. In fact, we don't even really need an end goal. Follow your pleasure through your body, and you might end up falling into orgasm, but let's not forget to enjoy the journey!

Another thing to consider is shame. It's important to give yourself permission to move past shameful thoughts and embrace the normality of self pleasure. If you want to masturbate but think it's something dirty or shameful, it's going to be hard to relax and fully enjoy the moment.

With a bit of research, you can learn about all the positives of masturbation (and trust us, there are many more than just an orgasm).

Why Should You Self Pleasure

Let us count the ways. There are so many reasons why you should be engaging in self pleasure right now.

Self Pleasure is Healthy

No matter what anyone else has told you or what you’ve read on a questionable internet forum while spiraling on Google… The answer is a big fat YES, self pleasure is good for you!

There are plenty of reasons to masturbate. But don’t just take our word for it. Scientists have proven that masturbation - and climaxing in particular - causes your brain to release lots of different hormones that have a range of positive effects.

“Masturbation is a cocktail of neurotransmitters/endorphins, all of the feel good ones, including dopamine and serotonin plus the attachment/cuddle hormone of oxytocin. This is self-love on steroids, not only does it feel good in the moment, the physiological changes of arousal and orgasm are just plain good for your body, health and overall wellbeing.” - Dr. Megan Fleming

And those aren't even the only health benefits.

Stress Relief


Masturbation is a fantastic way to relax your whole body and de-stress, as it reduces the stress hormone cortisol.

By reducing cortisol in our body, self pleasure aids in relaxing our muscles, particularly stress-induced tension (which can make masturbation particularly useful just before bed for an excellent night's sleep - more on that later).

In addition to this, de-stressing has a myriad of positive flow-on physical effects, including offering support to the immune system.

And would you believe it also has benefits for your skin? Dermatologists have referenced stress as having a hugely negative impact on skin due to its cause of inflammation in the body, which can show up in a variety of skin conditions including acne, wrinkles, and other skin-related woes.

Immune System Boost

Another epic side effect of masturbation is its immune-boosting power. Once again, you've got hormones to thank for this one. During climax, levels of immunity-boosting cortisol in the body are elevated, making it easier for you to fight infection and illness.

Having regular orgasms can help to increase the number of microbe-killing leukocytes in your blood, which help reduce your vulnerability to germs and decrease your recovery time during sickness.

You’re giving your body a helping hand, in every sense of the word.

Combat Prostate Cancer

A 2016 study revealed that ejaculating at least 21 times a month lowered the risk of prostate cancer by around 20%.

The reason for this is that over time, cancer-causing toxins can build up in your bladder, urethra, and testicles.

Regular ejaculation helps to flush them out, reducing the chance of a tumor-forming.

As excuses for beating the meat go, we think that's pretty…unbeatable.

Pain Relief

Of all the reasons to masturbate, this is one of the most badass. Did you know that the endorphins released during climax can actually act as natural pain relievers?

Many people find that indulging in a solo session while on their period helps to ease the symptoms of menstrual cramping as well as boosting their mood.

There are also studies exploring the potential of orgasms to reduce headaches and migraines. Who would’ve thought that showing yourself some self-love is sometimes the best medicine?

Enhance Sleep


Everyone's experienced that blissful post-sex snooze, and post-solo-playtime isn't any different.

As we've mentioned, one of the side effects of masturbation is the release of oxytocin and the relaxation of the muscles after orgasm. This helps to prepare the mind and body for a restful night’s sleep.

So if you’re ever experiencing insomnia or you just can't switch off after a busy day, you know what to do…

Increase Endurance

This practical side effect of masturbation is particularly relevant for people who have issues with finishing too quickly.

According to sex therapists, people who struggle with premature ejaculation helped improve their stamina by masturbating around two hours before they had sex.

Masturbating regularly and trying techniques such as edging has also been proven to aid with climax control and improve stamina over time.

So the next time you’re thinking of rocking chairs and baseball during sex to stave off the inevitable, you may find that a tactical tug can help.

Close the Orgasm Gap

We know, we know. Everyone's tired of hearing about the so-called orgasm gap

A term coined fairly recently, the orgasm gap refers to the fact that in heterosexual relationships, women on average are having far fewer orgasms than men. If you're interested, you can learn more by listening to the episode of the Sexual Happiness Podcast about the orgasm gap.

But we're talking about self care in the form of self pleasure, so what can that do to help people who may not be having as many orgasms as they'd like?

Well, much like training for any big event, there are many, many ways that masturbation can help prepare you for more satisfactory sex.

Not only does it teach you what you enjoy (which you can then share with your partner), but it can also help strengthen your pelvic muscles. This can in turn lead to more powerful orgasms during sex with a partner.

Put simply, you can feel good about feeling good when it has so many positive effects on your health and wellbeing.

How to Enjoy Mindful Self Pleasure

Focus On the Journey


Most of us are trained to be so goal-orientated when it comes to sexuality. We aim for orgasm and can forget to enjoy the process and how our senses are engaged during self pleasure. So, don't focus on orgasm. Instead, focus on sensation, pleasure and engaging your senses. Put some music on, jump into a clean, warm bed, bring out a sex toy and take your time. You will be much more satisfied as a result.

Many people can give themselves a quick orgasm when feeling that erotic itch, but it can be great to set aside time for ourselves. We give ourselves time to work out and be social, we need to give ourselves time to explore our own bodies, too. This also means maybe not going straight for our genitals, because we need foreplay when we are alone too!

Maybe spend some time thinking erotic thoughts, and watching or listening to erotic material to get in the mood. Then you can start physical pleasure, working your way down your body, so that by the time you get to your genitalia it's aroused and ready to go.

Change Things Up

Many people masturbate in the same position and environment every single time. Why? We don't have sex in the same position and place every time, so why don't we spice it up for ourselves, too?

If you're always lying on your back, explore sitting up, on all fours, standing up or try masturbating in the shower. If you're a morning masturbator, try before bed or a solo afternoon delight session. Keep it interesting – you want to expand your solo sexual repertoire!

Take a risk, and change location from your bed. Move to the shower, kitchen, or even the workplace bathroom (don't forget to lock the door). Nothing like a little adrenaline and a new experience to help you feel sexy.

Carry a small vibrator in your bag, such as the travel-sized Lovehoney Deluxe Rechargeable Mini Massage Wand Vibrator, so you can always give yourself a little pick-me-up.

Add Some Music

Just as you might prepare the space and yourself for eroticism with someone else, take the time to set the scene for yourself.

Get in the zone by playing some tunes. You can check out Chantelle Otten's sex playlist for ideas or make up your own. It will get your head in a place to be relaxed, sensual and should banish distracting thoughts.

Always Use Lube

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Lube is EVERYTHING. Always has been, always well be. There are different types of lube for different functionalities.

A good silicone-based lube is great for masturbation with fingers alone. If you're using a silicone toy, a good water-based lube is best to keep it in optimal condition and not damage the material.

Lube helps with sensation and makes sure that comfort is tip-top during self pleasure. You can even try stimulating lubes that warm up or add tingles to your solo sex session.

Get More Guidance

Do we have you convinced? Check out our detailed guides on how to masturbate for men and people with penises and how to masturbate for women and people with vulvas to get some anatomy-specific self pleasure tips.

How Often Should you Self Pleasure?

There’s no right or wrong answer to how often you need to jerk off; [some people do it daily]/blog/blog/everything-you-need-to-know-about-daily-masturbation.html), and others can go weeks without. But as we’ve already explored, masturbation is perfectly natural and can help us be happier and healthier in our everyday lives.

Our recent survey for ‘Masturbation May’ revealed that 70% of our 2,000 participants masturbate at least once a month. When it comes to weekly wanking, 50% of single people said they enjoy self-love sessions multiple times a week, compared to of those in new and long-term relationships.

This may not come as much of a surprise, since people in relationships tend to choose sex with their partner over solo sexual activity.

However, renowned ‘sexfluencer’ Ashley Cobb still emphasizes the importance of masturbation for everyone. She says:

“Single or coupled, masturbation should still be a regular part of one’s self-care routine as solo sex can help us with more than just sexual satisfaction.”

Discover more about the population’s solo play habits and kinky confessions in the Masturbation May blog.

How Much Masturbation is Too Much?

While there’s no limit to how many times we can enjoy our bodies, just as with all things enjoyable (such as fast food, lie-ins, and binge-watching Netflix), you can definitely have too much of a good thing.

Excessive or rough masturbation can irritate the skin, and in some extreme cases can even cause tearing of the frenulum (a.k.a. snapping your banjo string) or the flinchingly-titled 'penile fracture'. Ouch.

So make sure that you listen to your body, and, if you experience any unusual side effects of masturbation including redness, soreness, or discomfort, don't power on through it.

Stop. Have a break. And, if it continues, go and see your doctor.

Using a good squeeze of lube can help reduce friction and add extra pleasurable extra slip and slide to your self-stimulation sessions, helping you masturbate for longer and more frequent periods.

Masturbation Not Everything you Dreamed Of?

If you struggle to experience self-pleasure without shame or guilt or if you have concerns that your masturbation practice is out of control or having a negative impact on your sexual experiences with a partner, know that there are qualified sex therapists and counselors that can help. The American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists ( is an excellent resource that provides the names of qualified professionals in each state and internationally.

Written by Lindsay, Lovehoney Editorial team. First published 05/05/2023.

Medically reviewed by Chantelle Otten and Megan Fleming.

Chantelle Otten is an award-winning sex therapist and relationship specialist in Melbourne, Australia. You can follow her on Instagram, and find out more at

Dr Megan Fleming is a world-renowned speaker, Clinical Psychologist, and a Lovehoney Sex & Relationships expert. As a successful marriage counsellor and sex therapist with over 15 years of clinical experience, Dr Megan blends neuroscience and academic experience to help couples build relationships they love to love.


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