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Masturbation Myths: Debunking the Stigma Attached to Self Pleasure

From the Show: Naturally Savvy
Summary: Masturbation is often thought of as something to be shameful of; especially in women. But, this natural technique has so many health benefits.
Air Date: 5/20/15
Duration: 10
Host: Andrea Donsky, RHN and Lisa Davis, MPH
Guest Bio: Alexandra Jamieson, Certified Holistic Health Counselor
Alexandra-JamiesonAlexandra Jamieson is a Certified Holistic Health Counselor, food blogger, and professional gourmet chef. Part of the dynamic duo behind the award-winning 2004 documentary, Super Size Me, Alexandra has appeared on Oprah, CNN, and MSNBC, among others. She is the author of Vegan Cooking for Dummies (Wiley, 2010), Living Vegan for Dummies (Wiley, 2009), and The Great American Detox Diet (Macmillan, 2006). Alexandra offers one-on-one and group coaching sessions aimed at leading healthier, fuller lifestyles. She resides in Brooklyn, New York.
  • Book Title: Women, Food & Desire
  • Guest Twitter Account: @deliciousalex
Masturbation Myths: Debunking the Stigma Attached to Self Pleasure
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STAFF WRITER
Masturbation is often thought of as something to be shameful of, or kept secret; especially in women.

But, according to Certified Holistic Health Counselor, Alexandra Jamieson, this natural, common tool/technique has so many health benefits.

For instance, masturbation can provide a healthy dose of dopamine, endorphins and oxytocin, which are all helpful in easing stress and providing better sleep. 

Self pleasure can be a kind of a meditation and bring you into a calm state of awareness. It can also can lead to less pain. Orgasm and sexual arousal increases blood flow to brain and reproductive organs. So, if you're experiencing headaches or painful menstrual cramps, masturbation can provide relief. Even daydreaming or reading "fantasy" type fiction can boost testosterone in women, which in turn boosts libido.

In men, it can help improve sperm quality. There is less DNA damage and motility damage in fresh sperm.

Masturbation is completely healthy in married or long-term couples. In fact, most people in happy, healthy relationships are still masturbating. More than half of men and a little under 50 percent of women self-report masturbating within their marriage.

According to Jamieson, this is a good thing; you just need to talk about it and share with your partner what's happening so there's no secrecy or shame. It's actually a great way for men to support female partners in feeling more confident in their own bodies.

In essence, it allows you to experience what your body is capable of. 

Whether you're approaching menopause or are a young mom who is exhausted (yet wired) at the end of the day, 5-15 minutes can make a huge difference.

Masturbation can also be helpful if you're feeling disconnected, sexually; like if you've been single for a while or are going through a divorce. You may not know what feels good to YOU anymore. Masturbation can help you get that back; it can be a huge confidence builder.

Finally, says Jamieson, it's important to talk about masturbation with your kids and take the shame away from this very natural act. In boys, it's considered all part of "growing up." But in girls, it's oftentimes still looked upon as shameful. Research has shown that young women who masturbate are more likely to be in healthy physical relationships and know their own physical boundaries. 

In the accompanying audio segment, Jamieson joins Naturally Savvy host Lisa Davis to share more about the stigma surrounding masturbation, the benefits, and how you can start to be more open about this completely natural act.
Sylvia Anderson

Originally from Minnesota, Sylvia moved to California for the sun, sand and warm temperatures. She graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in English and Communications, both of which she has put to good use in her work with RadioMD as Senior Editor.

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