Guest written by Rain Andersen (@wearenotfriends_) a veteran sworker with eight years in adult entertainment and three years working for Lovers.

We don’t need any reason to masturbate.
We masturbate because it feels good.

It turns out that there are hundreds of benefits to masturbation, and many of these changes are occurring just beneath the surface of our skin. We’ve rounded up ten health benefits to masturbation that are backed by science so that you can get a peek at what’s happening behind the scenes. It all starts with a collection of hormones and neurotransmitters that interact with one another to trigger a series of bodily responses. Continue reading to see how these chemicals interact with one another to improve our cognitive and bodily functions.


1) 10 Health Benefits of Masturbation
2) 8 Chemicals Released During Masturbation
3) The Science Behind Masturbation
    A) Cardiovascular
    B) Pelvic Floor & Prostate Health
    C) Chronic Pain & Mood Disorder
    D) Self Esteem & Body Image
    E) Sexual Communication & Satisfaction
    F) Mensural Pain & Muscle Tension
    G) Sleep Aid

10 Health Benefits of Masturbation

1) Improves Cardiovascular Health and Reduces Chances of Heart Attack or Stroke
2) Strengthens the Pelvic Floor allowing for Bowel and Urinary Control
3) Reduces the Chances of Erectile Dysfunction and Prostate Cancer
4) Balances Mood and Reduces Stress
5) Mitigates Pain from Menstrual Cramping and Muscle Tension
6) Increases Vaginal Lubrication
7) Improves Self Esteem and Body Image
8) Enhances Sexual Communication Skills
9) Leads to a More Satisfying Sex Life
10) Aids in Restful Sleep

8 Chemicals Released During Masturbation

1) Adrenaline: The flight or fight hormone, responsible for regulating heart rate, blood circulation, metabolism, and airway passages.
2) Endocannabinoids: A complex system of neurotransmitters, also found in hemp plants, that processes pain, cardiovascular response, memory, metabolism, depression, anxiety, addiction, and inflammation.
3) Dopamine: A neurotransmitter known as the "happiness hormone," responsible for motivation and reward-seeking behaviors.
4) Serotonin: A neurotransmitter that enhances mood, optimism, and satisfaction.
5) Endorphins: Pain reliving chemicals, also emitted during exercise and referred to as the "exercise high."
6) Norepinephrine: A neurotransmitter that regulates dopamine levels.
7) Oxytocin: The love chemical, Oxytocin helps to support well-being, improved social interactions, and partnered interactions.
8) Prolactin: A hormone that supports emotional regulation and stress relief.

The Science Behind Masturbation

Cardiovascular Health

Sexual arousal promotes blood flow and increased heart rate. When we masturbate or participate in partnered sexual activities, our bodies begin to vasodilate in order to supply blood to the genitals. This occurs predominantly during foreplay, before orgasm, and during orgasm. These measured spikes in heart rate, coupled with the physical nature of sex make for one, intensely aerobic workout.

The Supporting Research:

  • The American Journal of Cardiology reported that individuals who orgasmed twice a week or more were 50% less likely to suffer strokes or heart attack.
  • The American Heart Association reported that the metabolic changes that occur during orgasm are similar to the effects of mild to moderate exercise. They concluded that sexual activity is equivalent to physical activity in the range of 3 to 5 METS (measure of exercise intensity based on oxygen consumption).

Pelvic Floor & Prostate Health

The pelvic floor is a group of muscles located in your pelvis that extend from your pelvic bone to your tailbone. These muscles help to determine bladder control, bowel control, vaginal wetness, orgasm intensity, and orgasm frequency. Individuals can strengthen their pelvic floor by doing Kegel exercises but are able to activate and strengthen these muscles through orgasm as well. As you orgasm, a series of micro contractions occur that flex and release this muscle. Think of your insertable vibrator as a type of Kegel weight. Firm vibrators provide a particularly rigorous workout to the pelvic floor as your muscles work to wrap around the sex toy. Men are also encouraged to exercise their Kegel muscles, which can reduce the risk of Erectile Dysfunction. Kegels done by men target the bulbocavernosus muscle which allow the penis to engorge with blood during erection, empty the urethra after urination, and pump during ejaculation.

The Supporting Research:

  • United Kingdom’s University of the West reported that pelvic exercises allowed 40% of men with Erectile Dysfunction to regain normal erectile function. 33% of men with E.D. significantly improved erectile function.
  • New York Urology Specialist, Dr. Benjamin Brucker released a study that reported Kegel exercises to have a 30-90% success rate for women with urinary stress incontinence.

It’s no secret that orgasms are a major mood enhancer. Sex and masturbation can lower cortisol levels, trigger the release of oxytocin, dopamine, and other pleasure enhancing endorphins that help to mitigate chronic pain. Our bodies nervous system is designed to alert us when we are in pain, allowing us to treat illness, injury, or malady. Individuals with chronic pain may find that these signals are firing for weeks, months, or years. These “happy chemicals” act as neurotransmitters that regulate the central nervous system and alleviate pain.

The Supporting Research:

  • The University of Alabama conducted a study on the use of Oxytocin as a treatment for chronic pain with positive results. They found that Oxytocin not only helped to treat chronic pain but sexual dysfunction, as well.
  • The Journal of Neuroscience found that dopamine helps to modulate erections and ejaculation. A balanced level of dopamine is said to be essential in optimal sexual functioning in males.

 Masturbation plays a role in the normalization of our bodies. Body image and self esteem are directly linked to these experiences, due to the vulnerable nature of the activity. By seeing ourselves in this role, and by experiencing mutual masturbation, we can further normalize the act of self-pleasure. Masturbation further validates our right to access pleasure, and can be an incredibly empowering and affirming experience.

The Supporting Research:

  • The Iranian Journal of Public Health studied the biological factors of happiness and health. They found higher levels of salivary and urinary adrenaline, present during arousal, linked to higher levels of personal growth and sense of purpose.
  • The Archive of Sexual Behavior conducted a comprehensive study on masturbation among young adults. They found that among women, masturbation in childhood and adolescence has been associated with positive sexual experiences later in life and a improved body-image.

 Frequent masturbation leads to more confidence, and confidence is a result of practice. Individuals who masturbate regularly are more self-reliant when it comes to pleasuring themselves and can better communicate their needs to partners. Masturbation can contribute to a greater sexual literacy and confidence when it comes to expressing your desires, communicating your concerns, and defining your boundaries.

The Supporting Research:

  • In one of the largest studies conducted on masturbation, sex toy company Tenga Inc. revealed that individuals who have used sex toys reported higher sexual satisfaction across all metrics, but especially when looking at quality (82 percent vs. 55 percent) and frequency (78 percent vs. 55 percent) of masturbation (*in the United States).
  • A famous, 1991 study from the Journal of Sex Education and Therapy found that individuals who masturbated had significantly more orgasms, reduced arousal times, higher self-esteem, and greater sexual satisfaction. These findings are still used to support scholarly studies on the benefits of masturbation worldwide.

 During menstruation, the uterus contracts in order to shed the uterine lining. As the uterus contracts, it can come in contact with neighboring blood vessels that can trigger powerful cramping and muscle tension. Masturbation or partnered sex that ends in orgasm can help to alleviate symptoms of pain by increasing blood flow to that region. Micro contractions that we associate with climax help to sluff the uterine lining. Hormones and neurotransmitters released during arousal can help to further reduce pain.

The Supporting Research:

  • In May 2020, the sex toy company, Womanizer partnered with menstrual cup company, Lunette to conduct a worldwide study called Menstrubation. This study intended to prove the benefits of masturbation during menses. During this study, they found that menstrual pain decreased by 1-2 points on a 10-point rating scale, following masturbation. In the same study, an incredible 90% of the research group recommended masturbation for menstrual pain with 85% of the research group committing to follow a masturbation routine after the study was completed.

The hormones, endocannabinoids, and neurotransmitters activated during sexual arousal trigger a drop in blood pressure and heightened relaxation. Masturbation triggers the ideal combination of chemicals and responses for a restful night of sleep. Partnered with your routine sleep patterns, masturbation can help to calm the central nervous system so that you can rest.

The Supporting Research:

  • A study released by the Appleton Institute for Behavioral Sciences surveyed over 700 adults on the subject of sex and sleep. They found that masturbation not only reduced the amount of time needed to fall asleep, but provided deeper, better quality sleep. They stated, “Whilst orgasms with a partner appear to have the most benefit in terms of sleep outcomes, orgasms achieved through self- stimulation can also aid sleep quality and latency.”

Further Readings

Is Masturbation Healthy: Planned Parenthood

5 Things You Didn't Know About Male Masturbation: WebMD

17 Benefits of Masturbation: Mind Body Green



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