Skip to main content

Verified by Psychology Today

Sex

How Masturbation Can Improve Your Sex Life

Masturbation may help boost your well-being and improve sex with your partner.

Key points

  • Sex education often covers pregnancy prevention and sexually transmitted infections but not pleasure and masturbation.
  • Masturbation can help people feel more positive and confident about their body.
  • Sexual exploration during masturbation may also translate into better sex with a partner.

Learning about our sexuality is important for our development. The information we receive growing up impacts and shapes the way we view and experience sex. At the same time that we experience the changes and challenges of puberty, our malleable minds are often fed misinformation about sex and our sexual awareness.

The problem seems to revolve around the fact that the sex education people receive growing up often only covers how to prevent pregnancy and avoid contracting an STI. Yes that information is essential, especially when speaking to middle school and high school students, but important elements are often overlooked. The bottom line is: The information we receive growing up shapes the way we view and experience sex, and many of us need to take some time to "re-program" as adults.

Sex Education Often Ignores the Importance of Pleasure

Whether you are having sex with yourself or a partner, the foundation of the experience is how pleasure is defined. Everyone deserves a fulfilling sex life. Finding erotic zones and what arouses you is key. This sexual understanding begins with masturbation.

Masturbation, as a whole, has only recently made its way into the mainstream conversation. We have the “Condom Queen” to thank for that. In 1994 the former Surgeon General Dr. Joycelyn Elders shared her thoughts about including the basics of masturbation in sexual education classes in public schools. Immediately following this statement, she was asked to resign.

Today, masturbation is a widely used term. But some might only think about genital stimulation when thinking about masturbation. Masturbation preferences and performance differ from person to person. It’s far more of a mental exercise than physical stimulation of a particular zone, and it’s important to keep in mind that constitutes masturbation will vary.

Masturbation can also come with stigmatized feelings. These feelings can creep in and tell you it is wrong to touch yourself. Keep in mind that masturbation can be essential in living a healthy lifestyle, creating a fulfilling sex life, and feeling sexually empowered. When one achieves orgasm, or engages in sexual pleasure, the brain releases happy hormones and neurochemicals. This chemical release helps balance your mood, sleep, and thoughts.

Masturbation Can Enhance Sex with a Partner

While masturbation positively impacts one’s mental health, it can also increase the pleasure one feels when having sex with a partner. Masturbation not only provides physical pleasure, but it also comes with emotional benefits.

Masturbation creates and encourages an emotional and physical connection with our body. Sex is experienced between the ears, not just the legs. Sex and masturbation are both mental experiences. For example, everyone has insecurities about their body, which can lead to anxiety about sex. Masturbation can help embrace body positivity. The more a person has a healthy experience exploring their erotic zones, and learning their pleasure principles, the healthier and sexier they will feel and appear to a partner.

To experience the optimal amount of pleasure during sex, we must be fully present with our body and our five senses. Here's a pro tip: Before automatically reaching for the vibrator or lube, spend 10 minutes touching your body. Explore your body with your hands while taking deep breathes. Embrace your skin and curves, while using your breath to sink deeper into the pleasure. With your hands and mind, identify new erogenous zones.

There are so many erogenous zones on the body. Too many of us are taught to only think of the main erogenous zones: clitoral, g-spot, penis, nipple, anal, etc. I encourage you to explore new areas—you might be surprised.

By learning what you find pleasurable, you can then communicate your pleasure pathway to your partner. Whether you are in a committed relationship, or having a one night stand, the person responsible for your pleasure is you. Spend time learning something new about yourself and what you enjoy. It can make a big difference for your mental and physical well-being.

advertisement