Quarantine is stressful for all of us, whether you’re bored out of your mind at home or an essential worker trying to go about business as usual in the middle of a pandemic (in which case, we appreciate you so much). No matter your situation, we’re all looking for ways to unwind and distract ourselves from the COVID-19 madness. But one of the best ways to tap into some pleasure in the middle of a lot of stress and uncertainty is something you may already be intimately familiar with: masturbation

At Bellesa, we already believe masturbation is essential to self care. And making time for your pleasure should absolutely be a priority during quarantine — not just because there’s nothing else to do (or no one else to do it with), but because of the many benefits for your mental and physical health and well-being. Most importantly, according to the New York City Health Department, “you are your safest sex partner” right now. Masturbation will not spread COVID-19, especially if you wash your hands (and sex toys) with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after using them. Not only is masturbation one of the safest ways to get busy, but it can also relieve stress, improve sleep quality, and even improve your health (all things we could really use right now). 

Here are some of the reasons masturbation can help you cope in ways that watching Netflix or cracking open a bottle of wine can’t. 


1. Improve your health 

Masturbation helps prevent cervical infections and relieve urinary tracts infections by stretching the cervix, flushing out cervical fluid full of bacteria. Masturbating is also associated with improved cardiovascular health and lower risk of type-2 diabetes. Finally, the contractions from masturbating strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, which improves bladder control and overall sexual and reproductive functioning. All great reasons to update your workout routine.

2. Relieve stress

Pleasuring yourself releases mood-enhancing chemicals like oxytocin, dopamine, and endorphins, even without reaching climax. These relaxing hormones can ease your worried mind, even in times like these. They can also relieve tension in the body, and even help cure headaches and migraines. Additionally, the extra blood flow to your pelvis can relieve menstrual cramps. A natural chill pill? Yes please! 

3. Sleep better

Having trouble sleeping? Masturbation is a natural sleep aid that can help prevent insomnia through hormonal and tension release. Once you reach climax, the hormone prolactin is released, leading to a refractory period and increased drowsiness. Additionally, the feel-good hormone oxytocin surges through your system, lowering the stress hormone cortisol to help you drift off. 


4. Practice mindfulness 

Not only does masturbating improve your overall mood, but it also promotes body mindfulness. Pleasuring yourself helps you get to know your body and its responses, which in turn makes it easier to tune in to and take care of your physical needs, sexual or otherwise. Mindfulness can help ease anxiety and ground yourself in the present. It can be difficult to tell how and what our bodies are reacting to when our usual routine is thrown off, especially if we are paranoid about getting sick. For a lot of people, much of the personal time that used to be part of our daily routines is not available, which means it’s extra important to be intentional about creating space to recharge and get in touch with our bodies (literally and figuratively). 

5. Take charge of your sex life

Let’s face it, a lot of us are horny right now. And while some of us might have partners to help ease the sexual tension, some of us don’t. And even if you are in quarantine with a partner, you still need to make time for your own pleasure. We are all reacting differently to quarantine, and that includes our sex drives. So if your partner isn’t in the mood, you still can (and should) take care of business. Masturbation empowers you to be in control of your sexual pleasure — and for some us, that may be one of the few things we’re in control of right now. Even if you can’t have sex with another person right now, you can still take comfort in the fact that you can continue to experience sexual pleasure.