Masturbation: You’re Doing It Wrong

This is nothing new: Almost every guy masturbates. And recent research continues to remind us why it’s a good idea: The release of dopamine, endorphins, and oxytocin during masturbation can help with everything from relaxation to insomnia to good metabolism. The activation of muscles, nerves, and blood vessels create internal genital tone, prevent sensory damage, and might treat erectile dysfunction issues. Losing a few swimmers prompts the creation of new sperm with decreased instances of DNA damage and increased motility. There’s even some research to suggest that ejaculating can decrease the risk of prostate cancer, boost immune system functionality, and (in at least one case) relieve Restless Leg Syndrome.

Yet, despite the benefits, few people spend much time thinking about the best ways to actually do it. Part of the reason is because everyone’s different — we feel stimuli in our own ways. “I don’t think there are best practices,” says Spring Chenoa Cooper, professor at the City University of New York School of Public Health. But sex therapists still offer a few solid guidelines that most (although not necessarily all) men should keep in mind.

Vary your technique.
According to Vanessa Marin, a sex therapist, it’s not uncommon for men to get stuck in a rut, using the same grip, pressure, and rhythm every time. This can lead to conditioning, making it harder to respond to other sexual stimuli — one of the problems Cooper acknowledges, although she doubts how common it is. If you get so pigeon-holed you might miss out on the sensual and health benefits of sex. That goes double for guys who condition themselves to watching porn while masturbating. “Vary your routine,” Marin says. “Change the hand you use, your level of pressure, your speed, your specific technique, and your timing.”

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