You’ve got a fridge full of celery juice to cleanse your colon, a beauty cabinet stocked with CBD products to optimize your sleep, and a travel bag packed with Naomi Campbell’s favorite anti-bacterial, cashmere, flight face mask. But have you achieved peak wellness if you haven’t had an orgasm today?
Gurus, celebrities, and fashion magazines promise a happier future with glowing skin through a well-being market that is expected to top $4 trillion by 2020. If we buy into the idea of holistic wellness, we need to normalize sexual health the same way we do physical and mental health.
Masturbation should be touted with just as much zeal as our meditation practices are. If we combine these activities, even better! I speak from experience that mixing breath work, pelvic floor exercises, and masturbation can lead to transcendent bliss. (See the “Orgasmic Breath” essay at TheSexEd.com for step-by-step pointers.)
Why spend thousands of dollars on face cream that promises a postcoital glow when you can get one yourself in less than 10 minutes? Think of how much more blissed out your fall ’19 Celine boots will make you feel when you wear them naked while, at the same time, bringing yourself to climax with either your hands, your trusted Hitachi Magic Wand, or the latest Dame Products vibrator.
The late, great style icon Isabella Blow used to openly tell friends, “I’m going to masturbate around five, so come by after.” She knew that paying attention to one’s sexuality is as integral to being fashionable as having a wardrobe full of McQueen. I personally feel more empowered whether engaged in public speaking, heading into a business negotiation, or attending an event if, beforehand, I’ve attended to my own orgasm. It gives me an edge.
The health benefits of masturbation include reduced stress, better sleep, improved self-esteem, and, often, a temporary easing of muscle tension and menstrual cramps. During orgasm, endorphins, oxytocin, and dopamine are released, amplifying sensations of pleasure in your body and brain. As a woman reaches orgasm, her body discharges DHEA, a hormone known to boost the immune system, improve cognition, and keep skin healthy. Male orgasms release testosterone, which helps regulate sperm production, muscle strength, and sex drive. Furthermore, orgasms can also strengthen muscle tone in the genital-and-pelvic-floor area, leading to better sex and stronger orgasms.
She knew that paying attention to one’s sexuality is as integral to being fashionable as having a wardrobe full of McQueen.
Getting exercise without having to leave your bed—amazing! Mutual masturbation is a great way to work out with a partner—it’s much easier to please someone when shown exactly how he or she likes to be pleasured.
No, you won’t de-sensitize or overstimulate your genitals by regularly using your vibrator set on a single speed, and, no, you won’t grow hair on your palms if you masturbate too much.
Anti-masturbation myths such as these were widely propagated in the late 1800s by freaked-out physicians who claimed that most women were frigid, possessing only one-tenth of the sexual energy of men. Female orgasms (known then as “voluptuous spasms”) were said to interfere with conception, and “impure thoughts” were to be suppressed at all costs. Doctors and reformers alike urged women to steer clear of romance novels, lest reading them cause blood to flow to the sex organs and induce excessive excitement.
Such inane claims even made their way into the creation of the most American of products: breakfast cereal. Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, founder of the Kellogg’s brand (Corn Flakes, Raisin Bran), was a vehement anti-masturbator. Kellogg created the original cornflakes recipe in 1898 as part of his overall diet plan for preventing sexual arousal by feeding children this “healthful” cereal each morning. He believed masturbation caused cancer of the womb, urinary diseases, nocturnal emissions, impotence, epilepsy, insanity, and mental and physical debility, among other ailments. Kellogg also advocated rehabilitation for masturbators, advising circumcision for boys and the application of phenol, a carbolic acid, to young girls’ clitorises. Yikes. What to do with all this information? Start manifesting your orgasm! It’s time we got back to the pleasure potential of sex in our post-#MeToo universe. Stop scrolling through Instagram! Switch off the news! (I can’t think of a bigger turnoff than the orange in chief in the Oval Office.) Pursue your own form of pleasure—today!
Need some inspiration? I recommend: indie erotic-film maker Erika Lust’s XConfessions series as an ethical-porn alternative to sites like PornHub and YouPorn; the Dipsea app for audio erotica; and adult superstar Jessica Drake’s Guide to Female Masturbation for those who may want some expert tips. Go ahead. It’s five o’clock somewhere.
Liz Goldwyn is an author, filmmaker, and founder of the Sex Ed. She is based in Los Angeles