Why Masturbation Matters


Article by Charlie Wührer


Ask yourself: Are you bored? Restless? Sleepless? Distracted? Sad? Hungover? Hungry? All of the above? Perhaps you’re so unrequitedly in lust that you’re more raw, electric nerve-endings than put-together person. Or just plain horny. You know what to do! Our friends at the Japanese sex toy company Tenga, which aims to revolutionize sexual pleasure, asked us to share our thoughts on masturbation. 

Go Ahead And Try This At Home

With or without porn, or your favorite solo-fun-times sex toy. Behind drawn curtains or with the windows thrown wide open — there’s a certain exhibitionistic thrill in having your own Sally-esque orgasm, but much realer, ricocheting back at you from across the courtyard. Off the very building, in fact, where your landlord lives. Only he’ll never know it was you, mwuhaha. Alternatively, have you thought about doing it at work, like 39% of New Yorkers? Squashed into a plane cubicle several miles high? Or sitting on a commuter train, having honed your secret and enviable party trick: instantaneous and invisible orgasm? A deserted beach is the dream, but alone-time is often hard to come by (ahem), so maybe it’s time to master the art of cumming stealthily and silently, like a dastardly masturbation ninja. 

Healthy Selfie  

Wherever you are and however you do it, chances are you’ll be a little less whatever you were before, hunger aside. Orgasms release a flood of natural chemicals into the body, and who would say no to a saucy mix of serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin? This chemical cocktail will lull many of the hardiest insomnia sufferers to sleep. It has doubtless spurred thousands of grown-ups with real adult responsibilities to sing, with reckless abandon and falsetto voice, Teenage Dirtbag into a hairbrush. It accounts for your flushed grin at the cantankerous delivery man at your door, which communicates the uncontainable smug glee of sexual fulfillment with such force that he physically recoils and trips over the resident stairwell cactus. To boot, it reduces blood pressure and elevates the pain threshold. Win – win.

And for those times when mindfulness and meditation don’t cut it, masturbating is a fail-safe guarantee of stress-relief. Here’s how: have a little sexy time with yourself, and then look at your 27-post-it-notes-long to-do-list again. Cross off “sexy time with self.” Not so overwhelmingly undoable after all. Almost half of us have cottoned on: Tenga’s study found that 46% of men and 41% of women in Germany masturbate to relieve stress. New Yorkers, we hear ya. While we’re waiting for health insurance companies to announce that we’re legally required to take 10 minutes out of our jam-packed lives for a little mental and physical health-boosting pleasure, read more about the mental and physical benefits of masturbation here and here

It’s Just You And Your Hand Tonight

Pink makes it sound like a punishment, with the unsung implication being that it’s not the real deal. And sure, sex à deux (à trois, à many), is the bomb… if it’s good sex. But it cannot be curtain-bitingly mind-blowing every time. Sometimes it doesn’t even come close to satisfying. Your hand, though — no other has as high a success rate. You know what hits the spot, and how. If anyone else hits it, it’s usually because you showed them. Boiled down, loving yourself is knowing yourself. And particularly for all of us not in stable, longer-term-than-one-night relationships, sex can be a gamble. Uncertain times romance-, politics- and weather-wise, call for certain measures. So if the options tonight are 1) you and your hand or 2) you and the girl who went all vampire-fangs on you down there, you know which should win, right? 

A Penny For Your Thoughts

Should we ask? Should we want to know? Tenga asked for us, and found that of those men in relationships, 35% in the UK and 30% in Germany think of their partners. We’re no statisticians, but that leaves a lot of headspace for other thoughts. Relax, no one’s reading them; your sexual imagination is your very own property. But go ahead and talk about them, anyway! One-fifth of millennials masturbate to explore their sexual preferences and desires, and whole new dimensions may be added to your sex life if you communicate these. It can be a real turn-on to know that your partner, if you have one, is not thinking of you every single time. Rock the boat a little, a small dose of jealousy can be fun. Maybe you swap fantasies and find you both thought of that hot redhead you saw on the train platform together.

“You get off thinking about yourself” was not an answer that featured in the survey, but this does not mean it’s an unacceptable one. Nay, it’s entirely warranted to think about how frigging hot we’re looking and how sexy we’re feeling when we’re dancing around the hob making coffee in our underwear. In the words of Alia Shawkat’s character to Ilana, in what is arguably the hottest Broad City scene ever: “That’s what’s so hot about [sleeping with your doppelgänger]. It’s like hooking up with yourself. […] Nobody knows our bodies the way that we do.”

And in the words of Ilana herself: “Of course I’m drawn to myself. I masturbate in the mirror.” Who doesn’t want a slice of that confidence? Don’t worry, neither mirror nor doppelgänger is a prerequisite. Just do it. Sing about it. Talk about it. Although perhaps not with your ex, unless you, too, want to be told that masturbation is sex with someone you really love.

All fired up for a self-love session and want to learn more about what brings people round the world to the point of YES, YES, YES when operating solo? Check out more masturbation statistics courtesy of Tenga here.


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