THE IMPORTANCE OF SELF PLEASURE (FT MY IOBA OHMYG)
Raise your hand if you feel weird talking about self pleasure!
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We are, when we strip everything down, human beings. We crave and deserve pleasure for a variety of reasons and there shouldn’t be any shame in admitting that. Masterbation is normal, sex is normal and neither of them should carry a taboo about speaking about them.
I remember the first time I was reached out to by a company to promote self pleasure. It was a year or two ago when I was in the depths of postpartum living, learning to embrace the new aspects of my healing body. I immediately turned it down – I thought, my main audience is parents. We don’t have the time for this and it’s a subject that doesn’t relate to parenthood. It won’t make sense and it’s too personal.
What I learned since then is how wrong I was that pleasure, especially self pleasure, doesn’t belong in parenthood.
Every time I’m asked how someone can learn to love themselves I really struggle to answer and I think the main reason for that is how many layers there are to self love. We’re all different, we all have a variety of reasons why we don’t love ourselves and we all have varying degrees of trauma and unlearning to work through.
But self pleasure is one of those layers. It’s a way to connect with ourselves and check into our body and feelings. It’s an amazing way to relieve stress and stimulate our senses. It’s a way to find joy with our bodies and understand you can love it for what it does for you even if you aren’t always happy with how it looks.
Much like some other taboo-type subjects (hello, cannabis!), self pleasure makes me a better mother. Here’s some reasons why:
It’s a stress reliever, helps with relaxation and can boost your mood.
There are a number of hormones that get released when you masterbate. In these include endorphins, dopamine and oxytocin. These are mood boosting hormones – they relax you, they make you happy and they are a great way to reduce tension and stress. They’re also known for reducing pain and lowering blood pressure!
Can self pleasure alone fix your problems? No, probably not. I wouldn’t take self pleasure as a replacement for therapy or your prescribed medications. But it’s a great way to relax, calm nerves and get out of the funk of a bad day. As a parent who generally feels overwhelmed and stressed it can be a great way to keep yourself a little more chill and ready to tackle the difficulties of parenthood.
It helps with sleep.
There are two reasons I manage to fight my insomnia: weed and orgasms. I won’t lie, it’s frequently both, but either or on their own work too.
The oxytocin and endorphins that are released are linked to relaxation which allow my forever racing brain to slow down and shut down for the night.
It can help increase your libido.
There’s an old rumour that masterbation will ruin your sex life, or that it’s only for those who are single and not able to mingle, but it’s actually the opposite!
Having self pleasure in your regular routine (even daily, don’t be shy) can help increase your overall sexual functionality and make your sex life better. In parenthood the common struggle is finding time to actually have sex with your partner or be in the mood for it more often. Masterbation can help increase your sexual desire and arousal and lead to a more pleasurable sex life with your partner!
It can help your pelvic floor.
It’s not uncommon for humans who have given birth to struggle with their pelvic floor. Peeing a little bit is one of those things we’ve allowed to become the norm after child birth – but what if I told you it wasn’t?
When I learned more about our pelvic floor after my second birth experience I was shocked at how much we can actually do to aid our pelvic floor and, guess what? ITS NOT NORMAL to pee a little bit when you jump, run, sneeze, cough, and so on.
So what can we do? My biggest suggestions is to see a pelvic floor therapist. They’ll assess you, they’ll assess your pelvic floor’s history and they’ll give you a plan of attack to help strengthen it if needed. Outside of that, masterbation can help strengthen your pelvic muscles. Orgasms are like weight lifting for your crotch! You can do some kegels too, but let’s be real here, kugels aren’t as fun as an orgasm.
It can help your body confidence.
With the uptick in recent years of the body confidence movement, the body normalization movement and the constant boost in self love content on social media, many are on a journey to learning how to love themselves.
Here’s the thing: I truly believe there is no quick way to learn how to love your body. You are fighting against a lifetime of diet culture, weightless promotion and photoshopped media. For most of us we haven’t grown into our adulthood seeing our body or skin types promoted around us.
There is a lot of learning, unlearning and trauma to work through. I believe that learning more about how our bodies work, the normal changes they go through and what gives us pleasure are crucial parts of letting go of our body hate.
Self pleasure allows us to disconnect for a little while and explore what make us happy. How we like to be touched, what excites our body and knowledge of what to tell our partners. This self awareness is a self-esteem booster, a body confidence helper and an overall happiness increaser.
Parenthood is long and hard. It’s not always easy to find time for ourselves or our partners. But we need to start making a point of finding the time to date ourselves and remember who we are outside of being a parent.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Take care of yourself.
All ways to love yourself.
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