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Why Does Masturbation Feel Good

by Kristin Beck
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Why Does Masturbation Feel Good

Why Does Masturbation Feel Good

“What is masturbation? It’s an ancient practice that has been around for a long time. In fact, it’s probably one of our oldest forms of sexual expression and certainly one of the most common today. We all do it at least once, maybe even more than once. But why does it feel so good? And how can we get better orgasms from sex with another person?

This post originally appeared on The Simple Dollar.

Let’s take a look at what masturbation actually is. First off, it’s simply having some kind of physical interaction (either directly or through fantasy) with yourself while you’re alone. That doesn’t sound like much to me, but it’s really just about as simple as I’m going to make it here. If you’ve never had any contact with your own body before, this seems pretty easy to understand. However, if you have done it before, then you may be wondering why it feels so great.
There are many reasons why masturbating can feel good. Here are just two of them:
1. Masturbation activates your reward center. This means that when you touch yourself sexually, you stimulate parts of your brain that produce feelings of euphoria and relaxation. These areas include dopamine pathways, which are activated by pleasurable activities such as eating food, watching TV shows, playing games, etc. Dopamine also gets released in response to drugs, including cocaine and heroin. When you orgasm, you release endorphins into your bloodstream, which are proteins that help regulate pain and create feelings of euphoria. Endorphins also play a role in addiction, where they block pain signals produced by opiates like morphine. So there is clear evidence that these neurotransmitters are essential to feeling good.
2. Masturbation releases oxytocin. Oxytocin is known as “”the love hormone”” due to its key role in social bonding and attraction between people. It is also associated with childbirth and breastfeeding as well as maternal care. People who receive oxytocin injections report increased trust, friendliness, empathy, and affection toward others. Those who regularly use masturbation to increase their levels of oxytocin also report greater satisfaction with their relationships. As mentioned above, oxytocin plays a big part in social bonds, especially those formed between couples.
So masturbate away! You’ll find both of these effects happening simultaneously during orgasm. Both of these factors contribute greatly to making masturbation feel so good.
But let’s say that you already know this stuff. What else could possibly explain why masturbation feels so damn good?
Well, there are other ways that masturbation can activate your pleasure centers. One way is through erotic visual stimuli. For example, if you watch porn videos, you will experience similar responses to those felt by someone who is aroused by real-life partners. Pornography stimulates both dopamine and oxytocin production. Watching pornography can lead to a sense of emotional detachment. Your mind becomes focused solely upon the images being shown rather than on the emotions of the characters in the video. This allows you to detach yourself emotionally from the rest of reality.
You might think that this would only apply to male viewers, but there is research that suggests women who view erotica enjoy the same type of effect. They become mentally absent from everything else around them. Women who are not able to achieve orgasm via intercourse often report that viewing explicit imagery helps them reach climax. There are also studies showing that men who masturbate tend to develop stronger erections after viewing erotic material than those who don’t.
Another way that masturbation can trigger positive feelings is through sensory stimulation. Touching yourself in a certain way can bring on feelings of arousal and pleasure. Some people prefer using fingers to masturbate; others go for a vibrator. How you choose to engage in self-pleasure depends largely on personal preference.
As well, masturbation itself can trigger positive feelings. This happens when you perform the activity over and over again until you reach a state of deep relaxation. With repeated stimulation, your muscles relax more quickly each time, allowing you to enter a deeper trancelike state. In addition to triggering feelings of relaxation and pleasure, this process can eventually cause muscle spasms and sensations of tingling throughout your body. These effects are usually quite strong for anyone who engages in frequent masturbation.
One final point regarding the ability of masturbation to trigger positive feelings: the longer you spend engaging in this behavior, the easier it becomes to last longer during partnered sex. This is because you learn to control your breathing patterns and heart rate, two things that affect how long you stay aroused. Basically, you learn to calm down so that you can remain aroused without passing out. Learning to extend your duration of arousal makes partnered sex more enjoyable for you.
All of these points add up to explain why masturbation can feel so good. Once you start doing it, you will likely want to continue. After all, you won’t be getting any benefits from masturbation unless you keep doing it. Masturbation can trigger powerful feelings of pleasure and relaxation that carry over into other aspects of life.
If you aren’t sure whether masturbation should be something you try, I encourage you to give it a shot. Start small. Try touching yourself five times in a row. Then build up to ten times. Get comfortable with it. Soon, you’ll see that you can easily maintain arousal for minutes, perhaps hours. From there, you can move on to different types of fantasies. Orgasmic techniques can help you learn new tricks. Eventually, you’ll be able to do it just about anywhere – in class, work meetings, or wherever.
The bottom line is this: masturbation can and should be enjoyed by everyone. Not only can it provide tremendous mental relief, but it can also improve quality of life overall. Enjoy!”

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