You know you want to.
First up, let’s just be honest – 95 percent of men and 72 percent of women reading this are just here to feel good about what you’re already doing behind closed doors (hopefully). But if the rest of you have been holding out your entire lives, just waiting for science to give you a reason to enjoy your alone time a little too much, it’s time to cancel your plans and get down to it, because according to the latest episode of AsapSCIENCE, you’re doing yourself no favours by… doing yourself no favours.
Despite rumours that masturbation can lead to infertility and even blindness, research has shown that it’s actually got a whole lot going for it. On a very basic level, it releases dopamine – a neurotransmitter that activates the ‘pleasure centre’ in your brain, and endorphins that actively decrease your perception of pain. For women, that means it can actually reduce the pain of menstrual cramping. Plus you’ll get a surge of the hormone prolactin, which will help you fall asleep afterwards.
Men in particular seem to benefit the most, with high ejaculation frequency correlating with a decreased risk of prostate cancer, says the video above. Scientists aren’t yet sure why, but maybe all that ejaculating is clearing more carcinogens out of the prostate.
And this isn’t the only reason why humans and other animals evolved to masturbate. It might look like a waste of sperm and energy, but studies have shown that it could actually be a strategy to improve the fitness of the sperm by expelling the older ones more regularly.
But while masturbating is a sure-fire way to exercise the muscles you’ll need to have sex with an actual human partner, make sure you’re strategic about it. As the boys from AsapSCIENCE explain, if you don’t “mix up your techniques”, you could actually render yourself unresponsive to other types of sexual stimulation when you’re not alone.
So what you do on your own time is your business, but just know that if you feel like getting a little sexy, don’t worry – science has got your back.