It’s time to love yourself

It’s time to love yourself

April 26, 2020 2 By Rick

Warning: this post has a great deal of “hands on advice” and is not for the prudish or squeamish. Have I got your attention? Great! Then read on. Have you got time on your hands nowadays? Are you wringing your hands and twiddling your thumbs? Why not put them to better use? Forget the old “apple-a-day” saying you heard from your parents. The new mantra in these trying times of self-isolation and social distancing is “an orgasm a day will keep the doctor away.” Is this true? I don’t know, but with all this time on our hands (pun intended), it’s certainly worth trying. If you’re staying inside alone or with a partner due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there’s only so much TV/Netflix you can watch. So, what’s a person to do? According to many researchers, masturbating will not only give you something to do in these boring times but keep you healthy as well. It’s time for some self-love.

Self-love therapy
Being in quarantine is difficult enough, but it’s even tougher if you live alone. The New York Health Department issued a guide about sex during the quarantine order. “You are your safest sex partner,” the guide said. “Masturbation will not spread COVID-19, especially if you wash your hands (and any sex toys) with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after sex.” According to Dr. Jennifer Landam, a hormone-therapy specialist, masturbation helps strengthen your body’s defense – your immune system – by raising your white blood cell count, which helps fight infection. Moreover, the Department of Medical Psychology at the University Clinic of Essen in Germany conducted a study that examined orgasm through masturbation that supported Dr. Landom’s views. Orgasms also help you relax, unwind and sleep better, all of which benefit your body.

Pleasure chemicals and hormones
Despite all the research, there’s a great deal to be learned about the way our brains and bodies react during and after an orgasm. A couple of neurochemicals come into play, namely dopamine and oxytocin. Masturbation gives us a massive dump of dopamine that helps us feel pleasure, i.e., that great feeling you get during an orgasm. It also plays a role in motivating us to feel that pleasure again. Oxytocin, often called the “love hormone,” also is released during orgasm. Oxytocin provides that “let’s be together forever” feeling that is so important in pleasurable climaxes and the great feeling we have after we’ve reached climax. Not only do these boost our moods by decreasing stress and promoting relaxation, but oxytocin also lowers cortisol, the stress hormone that appears when we experience anxiety, panic, fear or distress. Dr. Gloria Brame, who researches BDSM and fetishes, calls orgasms “the biggest non-drug induced blast of dopamine we can experience.”

Positive reactions
While people have long debated the benefits of masturbation, more and more research is revealing the many positive reactions that take place when we have an orgasm. Aside from boosting the immune system, we now know that orgasms can prevent or alleviate pain and prevent colds and flu. They can even help relieve migraine attacks, according to neurologist Stefan Evers, who conducted an experiment with 1,000 patients to see how their experiences with sexual activity and orgasms affected their pain levels. Some 60% of migraine sufferers reported that orgasms relieved their pain.

Good sleep
As if you didn’t already know, orgasms help you fall asleep, thanks to the cocktail of serotonin, norepinephrine and oxytocin that’s released during sex and orgasm. They help you relax, and that enables you to fall asleep. Serotonin and norepinephrine assist our bodies move through REM and deep non-REM sleep cycles, which in turn release cytokines, according to several studies. Cytokines target inflammation and infection. We can’t forget sexual intercourse, either. When we have sex, a lot of things happen in our bodies and brains simultaneously. Not only does the flow of blood increase, but we also experience an increase in nitric oxide released when we have sex. This helps keep our blood vessels healthy and is what causes our skin to become flushed when we’re aroused. 

Don’t worry, be happy
When I was growing up, parents pounded into our heads the horrible things that would happen if you masturbated. Males were told that you could go blind or grow hair on the palm of your hand. I don’t know if females received similar advice (they probably were told something different but equally stupid), but both genders know by now that this was a crock of shit, even if guys tended to inspect the palms of their hands in their early teens. As an adult, I’ve never understood the thought process behind telling children these lies. I’ve never told my children that masturbation was a bad thing. On the contrary, I’ve simply said, “don’t worry, be happy.” So, if you find yourself with a lot of time on your hands (notice how hands keep coming up), enjoy some solo sex or share the pleasure with your partner. I intended to write more, but my eyesight seems to be fading. Hmm!