A college-student contributor friend of ours, who wishes to remain anonymous, has a confession to make:
Woodly Allen famously quipped, “Don’t knock masturbation; It’s sex with someone I love.” True that, Woody. Whether alone or incorporated in partnered sex, masturbation is easily my favorite hobby. Below, my 10 favorite reasons to indulge.
1. Falling asleep: When I first started regularly tickling the little man in the boat at the late-ish age of 16, just before bed was the only time I could count on privacy. Somewhere along the way I began to associate bedtime with sexytime and I now have a Pavlovian response that makes me both horny before bed and sleepy post-self-lovin’. While this is potentially annoying when trying to incorporate masturbation into coupled sex, I find that an orgasm is a much more enjoyable soperific than, say, a glass of warm milk.
2. Waking up: Along the same lines, nothing says, “Hello, world!” quite like a first thing in the morning solo-quickie. It yields the same endorphins and glow as a morning jog without the whole getting out of bed annoyance. The trick here, though, is to get out of bed and shower promplty post-pleasure-sesh. Otherwise, you might as well be repeatedly rubbing the alarm clock’s snooze button instead of your own.
3. Safe sex: Ain’t nothin’ safer. Goodbye pregnancy worries! See ya’ STD woes. Tonight, it’s just me and my hand and possibly a pleased onlooker. You’re not invited.
4. Intimacy: Sometimes, intense desire and intense laziness strike concurrently. In that situation, wrapping some limbs around a partner and slowly diddling myself to dreamland is heaven on sleepy-earth. It’s also been a surprisingly intimate experience. Masturbation has traditionally been a very private and closeted thing. Letting someone watch and feel me do it is vulnerable and exposed and hot and potentially very sweet.
5. Bridging the gap: For me, sexual intimacy is a crucial part of being in a relationship. That can make taking that relationship long-distance especially difficult. In these circumstances, masturbation can become a tool for self-soothing and an enjoyable way to reflect on times spent horizontal (or vertical or diagonal) together. Masturbating together via phone sex or Skype sex (thank you technology!) has thankfully kept my and my partner’s sex lives actively linked, despite the 3,000+ miles between us.
6. Boredom reduction: How you could you ever get bored hanging out with yourself when you have the ability to hone your skills at such various and excitingly named diversions as The Amazing Disappearing Finger Trick, the Two-Finger Tango, and Sending Muffin Morse Code? Turns out my masturbatory habit has diversified my extra-curricular resume substantially.
7. Procrastination: History paper? Impending orgasm? History paper? Impending orgasm? Hello procrasturbation, my favorite late-night studying friend.
8. The Alternative to “Cold Showers”: To my mind, there are two ways to frame a sexual endeavor cut frustratingly short: it’s either a disappointment requiring a cold shower or the start of some extended foreplay lasting until the next opportunity to “jill off,” as it were. I don’t know about you, but one of those options seems like way more fun to me.
9. It’s Monday (Or Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, or Sunday).
10. Politics: Sometimes, I masturbate as my own little private “Fuck you!” to the social pressures telling me that good, normal girls and women shouldn’t enjoy their bodies the way that I do. Screw you, puritanical patriarchy! And screw me, too!