It’s no secret that spending more sexy time with yourself reduces stress, anxiety, and keeps you in tune with your own sexual energy, says Arlene Krieger, Ph.D., marriage and family therapist and board certified clinical sexologist.
More specifically, getting handsy lowers blood pressure, produces endorphins in the body, increases blood flow to the pelvic area, and also releases cortisol (that pesky stress-building hormone), she says.
Alright, alright, so you get that masturbation is the bomb, but how can you take advantage of all its magical powers when you need them the most? We’ve got the five best times to cash in on the benefits of coming solo.
1. After a Really Bad Day
We’ve all been there. If you bombed that work presentation or your DVR failed to tape the Bachelor finale (hey, avoiding social-media spoilers all day can be stressful), this is the perfect opportunity to snag that relaxing release of endorphins. “Masturbation is one of the easiest ways to blow off steam after a stressful experience,” says Krieger. Find a comfy spot where you won’t feel anxious that someone may walk in on you. You might not be in the mood right away, so start slowly seducing yourself with a little mental stimulation. “Let your mind go and start fantasizing about whatever is erotic to you,” says Jane Greer, Ph.D., New York-based relationship therapist and sex expert. Then you’ll be ready to start feeling yourself.
2. First Thing in the Morning
You’re cranky and tired, but you’re also in the highest state of relaxation you’ll be in all day, says Krieger. “The morning may be the optimal time to masturbate,” says Krieger. Set your alarm 15 minutes earlier than normal so you have the time to satisfy yourself, she says. “Take the time to get busy under the covers and start your day in a great mood!”
3. Your Partner’s Still Sleeping, But You’re Turned on AF
Hey—your partner might be damn good in bed, but he or she is not the end all be all of your sex life. “You should take some responsible for your own sexual needs, too” says Greer. Whip out that vibrator or use your hands, and start applying different levels of pressure to the walls of your vagina—twist, turn, and do whatever it takes to bring yourself closer to zeroing in on that O, she says.
4. After Having Sex Sans Orgasm
Despite what we see in the movies, most sex does not end in two people orgasming together at the exact same time. But if he comes before you do, that opens the door for a killer finale ending. “When this happens I tell my clients to masturbate in front of each other,” says Krieger. Masturbate however you want, and invite your partner to get involved by touching or kissing you—even if he isn’t the one getting you off.
5. While Recovering from a Breakup
The end of a relationship doesn’t mean you’re at the beginning a dry spell. “Post breakup is the best time to learn how to love yourself,” says Krieger. Boost your mood stat by getting it on with yourself, she says. “Your body’s already used to having consistent sex, so it won’t be difficult getting yourself to the point of orgasm.” Here are five must-try moves to get you started.
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