We all know that masturbation is the the only surefire way to orgasm without the risk of contracting a fetus or an STI, but it turns out that self lovin' rocks for many other reasons.
Researchers say buttering the bagel (aka fluffing the kitty, paddling the pink canoe, stirring the soup):
1. Improves your self esteem
Research shows that women who masturbate—or at least, admit to masturbating—have higher confidence than those who do not.
2. Keeps you cold-free
Apparently, orgasms earned through masturbation help boost your immune system. No seasonal flu for you, dirty girl.
3. Is good for your cervix
You can't see your cervix, but you know it's there and mighty important. Turns out, masturbation helps prevent cervical infections. It opens when you're feeling hot and bothered and —here's the unsexy part—bacteria exits in the process.
4. Helps you understand your turn-ons (and offs)
People who masturbate are more in touch with their bodies. Knowing your hot little buttons is perfect for a solo flight, but it also helps your partners please you. It's much easier to get off (especially with someone new) when you know exactly what you like.
5. Decreases stress
Feeling anxious? Have a stress headache? Masturbation helps alleviate stress and tension—which can ease numerous aches and pains throughout your body (cramps, insomnia and muscle aches, to name a few).
6. Leads to a more robust sex life
People who masturbate on a frequent basis are prone to have more sex and sexual partners. Why? Probably from all that confidence and good health.
7. May help with restless leg syndrome
Though it's not 100% proven, research has shown that masturbation aids those suffering from that icky pins-and-needles feeling in the legs. Downside: you probably are super turned off when you're feeling this way, so good luck with that.
8. Helps you get happy
Clap along if you feel like a . . . yeah, we're not going there. Anyway, masturbation releases endorphins that improve your mood and can even fight off feelings of depression.
9. Keeps your sex muscles in shape
OK, it's not your entire body, but masturbating does help strengthen muscle tone in your pelvic area. This leads to better orgasms and a more satisfying sex life overall.
10. Improves your blood pressure
Hey, masturbation can be a workout! Getting your heart pumping has numerous benefits for your overall health, and self-love is a lot easier than hitting the gym.
Given all that awesomeness, why is the subject still taboo? Many religious groups have attached an unfair stigma to this perfectly normal practice. There are also movements that tie masturbation to unhealthy fantasies that may impede the sexual growth of an individual—like a guy who is obsessed with porn and can't have healthy sex. Sure, it's possible masturbation is not for some—but, come on, it's definitely for most.