Great news, girls: the year is 2016, and sex-toy sales are topping their charts. Lady-centered sex tips are a real thing now and each new day brings us a step closer to denaturing the enigma that is the female orgasm.
Maybe even better, women are shedding that role of passive receiver and becoming active participants in the act of sweet, sweet love-making. And now it’s time for something new — to finally lift the taboo on female masturbation.
That’s right. Now, more than ever, studies show the numerous physical and psychological benefits of taking the time to pleasure yourself. The world is our oyster, ladies. Our picky, complicated, little oyster.
Anthony Santella, a public health scientist at the University of Sydney, believes masturbating can help ward off cervical infections and UTIs thanks to a process known as “tenting,” in which old fluid is flushed from the tented cervix, ridding it of bacteria that cause infections.
Santella also found that masturbation improves cardiovascular health, fights insomnia and helps build a stronger, healthier pelvic floor.
While orgasm accounts for the majority of the physical benefits of masturbation, UCLA sexuality researcher Nicole Prause says that even without climax, there is a clear mood benefit to flicking the bean. The arousal process alone acts as a stress-reliever, increasing blood flow through the body and activating areas of the brain associated with pleasure.
Contrary to the common folklore surrounding masturbation, it is a safe and healthy activity.
Regularly masturbating does not, under any circumstances, cause blindness, and even if practiced excessively, long-term physical damage to the genitals is extremely unlikely. It is important to note, however, that repetitive techniques can reduce your responsiveness to other types of sexual stimulation when it’s more than just you involved.
Mix things up a little, and be creative. Light a candle. Listen to some Hozier.
Though it’s safe to say that sex with yourself is a pretty dependable means of achieving orgasm, only about 25 percent of women consistently climax with a male partner, according to Elisabeth Lloyd’s comprehensive analysis of 33 studies involving the female orgasm. Out of the remaining 75 percent of women, Lloyd found that about 50 percent report “sometimes” achieving orgasm, about 20 percent report “seldom” achieving orgasm and about five percent report never achieving orgasm at all during penetrative sex.
Despite these disheartening percentages, women are not inherently bad at orgasms.
While the male orgasm has been extensively researched for centuries, the female orgasm is still a bit of a mystery. It probably comes as a surprise to you that the clitoris, the female sexual organ responsible for achieving orgasm, looks more like a meaty wishbone than a little pinkish nub.
Take a moment to search the medical world’s first, complete 3-D sonography of the stimulated clitoris, provided by Doctors Odile Buisson and Pierre Foldés back in 2009.
Fortunately, where science fails us, personal exploration prevails. Along with its many physical benefits, masturbating can also provide women with an intimate and individualized understanding of whatever wets their whistle best.
Ultimately, we owe it to ourselves to own that sexual liberation, and while it’s probably true that no one can get you off better than you can, there’s no reason this intimate appreciation of yourself can’t be shared with someone else.
With enough communication, understanding, and respect, a fulfilling and dynamic sex-life is undoubtedly within reach of our outstretched fingers.