1. You learn what techniques you like.
Exploring self-pleasure is a great route to understanding what kinds of physical stimulation you enjoy.
Once you know what kinds of pressure you enjoy, what areas you prefer to be stimulated, and whether you want or need several areas to be stimulated at once, you’ll be able to bring this knowledge into the bedroom with your partner.
This means better sex, which can also lead to increased desire.
2. You get acquainted with your fantasies and turn-ons.
When you masturbate, it's easier to explore more taboo fantasies and ideas. After all, you don’t need to explain to anyone what you want or why you’re interested in a particular idea.
You can simply explore it without going on a hunt for deep-seated psychological reasons.
Another positive thing about masturbating is that it helps you work out what gets you going.
You're naturally drawn to the things that you really enjoy when you’re on your own. No pleasing your partner or anyone else — it’s just you and yourself, experiencing pleasure.
3. You understand your dislikes.
Just as knowing what turns you on is important, it’s equally as important to understand what doesn’t get you going. In order to have great sex with yourself and someone else, knowing what turns you off is key.
For example, knowing that particular move turns you off, sex with the lights off does nothing for you, or hearing your children playing in the background is a big no-no for your desire and arousal — these are all really important pieces of information when considering when to have sex and what kinds of sex to have.
Without this crucial information, you might believe you’re struggling with low or no sex drive, when in actuality, there are small tweaks that can be made in order to experience more desire and more pleasure.
4. You get to know your boundaries.
Having solo sex is an exploration of all of you. Not only does it teach you what your likes and dislikes are, but it’s also really informative about your boundaries.
These might be boundaries pertaining to certain sexual fantasies, but also to certain areas of your body that you don’t want to be touched.
By masturbating, you get to explore these boundaries in a safe environment, free from the fear of judgment of others.
This way, you can test things and react to what your body and mind are telling you, instead of thinking of your partner and how they would feel about it.
Once you understand your boundaries, you’ll be able to communicate them more easily during partnered sex.
5. It increases your general well-being
After reading this list, it would be easy to assume masturbation is mostly beneficial to your partnered sex life. But, actually, masturbation is good for you in its own right.
Masturbation can decrease stress through the release of feel-good hormones (this is one of the major emotional benefits of sex in general, too), make you feel happier, and can help you feel empowered in your sexuality and, thus, in yourself as a whole.
Knowing your body, and connecting with your sexuality can have this positive, ripple-like effect on your general self-confidence and self-esteem. Why? Because giving yourself pleasure is telling yourself you’re worthy of pleasure.
And feeling worthy does wonders for your confidence.
Is sex with yourself a requirement?
While sex with yourself can be wonderful for many reasons — like to improve your general well-being and have better sex — it's not a requirement to be sexually healthy.
Your sexuality is not a measurement of how "normal" you are — its existence is based on pleasure. And how you want to experience that pleasure is completely up to you.