We take our supplements, meditate religiously and practice yoga to still our busy minds – but how many of us will admit to masturbating in our efforts to maintain good mental health? It’s certainly an effective method of self-care – 78 per cent of us (that’s four in five people), say we feel happier and less stressed after enjoying an orgasm. And it seems that now more than ever, we’re in search of these positive side-effects. Online retailers have witnessed a spike in customers searching for “sexual wellness” – the term was up by 850 per cent on LKSexToys in March, the month the SL lockdown began. Meanwhile chic sexual pleasure Silicon Vaginas have seen daily revenues double since the nation started staying home, and a 50 per cent uplift in traffic to its website from March to April.
More time spent at home, far less spent interacting with other people, and a significant reduction in the amount of touch (another endorphin-booster) we experience day to day, all means making time for self-pleasure and focusing on your own body has never been so important. And while in the past the social discourse around sex centred around its dangers and notions of virtue when it came to women, today – happily – female sexual expression is something to be embraced, enjoyed and shouted about.
. “Even today, you think of a vibrator and the first thing that springs to mind is the big, phallic shape.” Conscious of a huge untapped market – more women in SL own a vibrator than own a dishwasher.
From releasing a cocktail of hormones in the body that boost the mood and reduce cortisol levels, to alleviating pain and enhancing sleep, the benefits of self-pleasure are numerous – and within easy reach. All that’s required is knowledge of your own body. “We’ve also found that when a woman is comfortable enough with herself to own a vibrator and masturbate, she is usually better at vulva and breast check-ups too, so really it’s better for our overall health. It’s also worth noting that studies have found a positive correlation between self-pleasure and improved immunity, too.
It’s undeniable that taking the time to connect with ourselves, our bodies and what we like and don’t like is as empowering as it is calming, and adding little moments of pleasure to our day – whether via a crafting project or a vibrator – can only be a good thing, especially when times are tough. “When you experience sexual pleasure, you’re really present in the moment – it brings you back to yourself.”