The holidays can be stressful, but masturbation is part of a health & wellness routine that keeps you feeling good into the new year.
Read on to learn why self-pleasure should be your #1 gift to yourself this holiday season.
Here’s Why Self-Pleasure Relieves Holiday Stress
‘Tis the season for sweatpants and oversized sweaters to be a totally acceptable everyday look. It’s also the season for seeing your relatives, which can be a source of alternating joy and stress for many of us.
We would understand if masturbation was the last thing on your mind… yet also if it was the first.
While you’re basking in the spirit, making time for self-pleasure is a very effective way to breathe, relax, and reconnect with yourself in difficult moments.
Self-Pleasure Should Be Your Gift to Yourself
We often think that holidays are for focusing outward on our family and friends, and that’s certainly what many ads will tell you. While it can be a rewarding hallmark of the winter months, making me-time is for the whole year. The holiday season is no exception!
For some, holiday-time surfaces uncomfortable memories that create an undercurrent of tension. When it comes to family gatherings, it can go either way: Your family may stress you out or make you feel happier and less anxious.
This is why it’s important to consistently check in with your feelings with a moment or two alone, whether that’s to think, touch yourself, or both!
Jaiya Love is a sex advocate who describes herself as “a unique mix of Dr. Ruth, Lady Gaga and a Yogi.” She writes about her Erotic BluePrint™ as a way to “put pleasure first on your to-do list this holiday season.” It involves discovering your erotic type, which can be energetic, kinky, sexual, sensual, or shapeshifter.
Here’s some inspiration for keeping the festive season sexy:
- “Connect with your partner (or your genitals!) when you are at the table, before bed, or in the movie theater ([while being] conscientious and respectful of your surroundings)”
- “Wear clothing that gives you that cuddly feeling [so] you can touch yourself all day long”
- The ultimate low-key commandment: “Don’t put pressure on yourself to do any of it.”
Never forget what makes holiday stress-relieving stimulation feel so good. You don’t have to pressure yourself to “get it done” like all the other tasks on your list, but if you can steal a few minutes for masturbation, it can help take the pressure off.
The Science Behind Stress and Self-Pleasure
Touching yourself can feel good on its own without having an underlying goal. But whether you use a vibrator or your hand—or sneak away the rolling pin in a down moment of pie crust-making—having an orgasm or two can result in the release of oxytocin and powerful stress release.
Need an excuse? Here are some fun facts from Science Alert:
- Stimulation + sexual arousal shuts down the logical part of our brain, decreasing fear and anxiety
- Orgasm releases feel-good hormones dopamine (involved in feelings of pleasure and the reward system) and oxytocin (promotes feelings of love, affection, and satisfaction)
- During + after arousal, orgasm activates some of the same brain areas as pain and may reduce your pain sensitivity
- Women’s brains continue releasing oxytocin after sexual arousal is over, resulting in a desire to get cozy and cuddle
- Orgasm facilitates the release of serotonin, a hormone that promotes a good mood and can help you feel happy, calm, or even sleepy
What does this mean for you? When it all gets to be too much, take a break from thinking about the backhanded comment Aunt Betty made about your pumpkin pie. Her frosting is canned anyway.
You can blame your craving for orgasm on too much turkey, which also contains serotonin. Give yourself permission to food coma after coming or let the food coma give you permission to retire to your room for a self-pleasure session. Your choice!
Cultivating Self-Love and Self-LOVE
When finding time to decompress, you may not be incentivized by the many things that require our time (think bills, career, family), wellness and mindfulness are more crucial than ever.
Since these mean a lot of different things for a lot of different people, let’s break it down. You know the great metaphor about how we have to fill our own cups before we contribute our energy to filling others? (I’m not talking mulled wine—yet.)
As much as we may want to give our love to those around us, we cannot when we are depleted and running on empty. In fact, we may find ourselves crankier than we even realize.
Taking care of yourself means prioritizing your mental, physical and emotional health. Not only does this commitment create a ripple effect in your work and relationships, it will help you get more pleasure from these holiday visits.
(Bonus points: Check out these 3-Ps for intimate, happy indulgence with your favorite holiday foods this season.)
We know it’s not as easy as saying, “Okay, it’s time to love myself!” Instead, prioritizing your needs is part of cultivating self-love and respect for the long term.
And self-pleasure is a healthy part of cultivating self-love (literally and metaphorically!) year-round.
Guess What? Everyone’s Into It
To stay warm in the winter, many people do it solo and with their partners.
Researchers had an interesting question: “Do people feel more intimate during the holidays, and if so, why?” They delved into the data and analyzed people’s “collective unconscious” during holiday time by way of Google searches and tweets in over 130 countries.
Amazingly, they found a large uptick in searches for “sex” and other sex-related terms during seasons of cultural and religious holidays worldwide. This was coupled with an uptick in birth rates 9 months afterwards. The researchers realized, however, that this phenomenon is social, not biological…but how?
The higher concentration of sexual searches worldwide corresponded with local holidays. For example, many countries showed more searches during Christmas while Muslim-majority countries showed more during Eid-al-Fitr, the celebration that ends Ramadan.
It seems that intimacy simply complements an atmosphere of celebration!
If your interest in sex is also peaking, why not do a quick search for what to do when you’re kinky but broke (those pesky gift lists again), how to use your toothbrush vibrator safely (a popular masturbation method), or why our founders decided to explore this under-served sex toy niche.
How to Make More Time for Masturbation During the Holidays
If you feel guilty adjourning for an orgasm, it can be a good idea to frame these moments of me-time as part of the larger goal of whole-body wellness.
Taking a step back can mean taking a step closer.
Holiday-time involves a lot of talk about gratitude, making this a good time to reconnect with the needs of whomever you’re getting in on with. Tuning into your inner desires can help center yourself for the new year. Prioritizing communication with your partner can help you focus back in on what makes your bond special and set healthy priorities for your relationship.
Plus, there can be positives to getting it on at home.
Getting aroused can be extra exciting when done in “forbidden” places like your family home (or Aunt Betty’s). Doing it in your childhood bedroom might take you back to masturbation fantasies of middle school past while the garage is perfect for playing with sensations of hot and cold. If being home brings on some sensitive memories, this can be a healthy way to stay present and begin reclaiming your comfort zone.
Last but not least: You set aside time to buy presents for everyone else, don’t you?
Why not make a wish list for yourself and put “self-pleasure” at the top? In the last-minute mad dash (we’re side-eyeing you, people who are done with gift-wrapping by December 1st), you’d never forget your favorite family members. You shouldn’t forget to prioritize your presents either.
Not only do they attach seamlessly to your electric toothbrush (which you’re bringing for that family sleepover anyway), they are airport security and travel-friendly no matter where the family gatherings are this year. These powerful vibrator accessories make me-time in the bathroom or bedroom easier and more discreet. After all, you do have to brush your teeth after all those treats.