Mental Health Awareness Week - 9th - 15th May 2022
Mental Health Awareness Week takes place between 9th-15th May this year. A whole week dedicated to raising awareness of mental health struggles whilst encouraging us to pause and take a moment for ourselves. These days, we hear the importance of establishing a self-care routine to help manage stress, anxiety and low-mood. You might have a self-care routine that consists of face-masks, meditation or relaxing solo walks, however, did you know that masturbation can also positively affect your energy levels, mood and boost your confidence? Solo-sex is now becoming a new form of self-care - so why not add masturbation to your self-care routine.
Therefore, this Mental Health Awareness Week, we thought we’d focus on the benefits of masturbation, how often you should masturbate, and some top tips to enhance masturbation for a self-care routine.
Benefits of masturbation
Playing out fantasies
Having solo-sex allows you to play out fantasies or sexual desires in your head, without having to share it with another person. One study explored changes in sexual fantasy and solitary practice during lockdown and found 34.3% of British adults surveyed had engaged in more sexual fantasises during lockdown. Therefore, whether you desire to be dominated, or test out a threesome, masturbation allows you to visualise a fantasy in your mind, become sexually aroused and satisfy yourself through self-pleasure.
Mental health benefits
During orgasm, the body naturally produces several feel-good hormones. These hormones are; oxytocin, endorphins and dopamine and are responsible for increasing trust and love, reducing stress, pain and low mood. Therefore, by adding regular solo-sex to your self-care routine, you could help to increase your feel-good hormones, reduce stress and improve your mental health.
Increases sexual confidence
Having regular masturbation allows you to discover what type of things you enjoy. Do you love to be touched hard or soft? Do you love to be teased? What type of lubricant feels the best? Are there any sex-toys that make you orgasm quicker? Do you love anal foreplay? All these questions can be answered through regular self-exploration and can also increase your sexual confidence when you’re next with a partner.
How often should you masturbate?
Everyone’s sex-drive is different, those with a high sex-drive may need to orgasm daily or several times a week, while others may prefer to masturbate once a week. There’s no laws on how much solo-sex you can have, so if your current masturbation regimen feels good, then keep at it. And if you are not already having solo-sex this Mental Health Awareness Week, try giving it a go - you may have found yourself a new favourite self-care activity.
5 ways to enhance masturbation for a self-care routine
- Start slow. While it may be tempting to go straight for the clitorus or rub vigorously on your penis, try starting slow. Spend time rubbing the surrounding area of the vagina or gently stroke your penis. Work out how you love to be touched - perhaps you love to fondle your breasts, or cup your testicles while masturbating, spend time working out how your body responds. If you start slow, you can build up to a better and more intense orgasm.
- Use lubricant. If you’re finding yourself a little drier than usual, add some lubricant to your fingers and rub it on your genitals. Our mint lubricant is one of our favourite items for solo-sex - with a tingly sensation, it can help to enhance your sexual pleasure.
- Breathe slow and deep. During sex, our breathing can often become shallow and rapid, especially around orgasm, which can minimise a longer-lasting and deeper orgasm. Taking the time to control our breath can help to maintain control in slowing down or speeding up our sexual energy, which helps to increase our sexual experience.
- Carve out a space in the draw of your bedside table for all your favourite sex-care items. Perhaps you like to light some incense, maybe you have some sex-toys that you love to use or an erotic novel that helps to get you in the mood. Whatever it is, having it close to hand will help you to relax and enjoy being in the moment.
- Focus on the moment. Use masturbation as a way to practice mindfulness by noticing the different sensations your body and mind experiences, and leaning into what feels good.