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5 Reasons Every Woman Should Consider Sex For One

11/29/2012 05:11 pm ET | Updated Jan 29, 2013

Prince was the first person to "teach" me about masturbation. Well, sort of. The first time I had heard the term was in his song, "Darling Nikki." He sings: "I met a girl named Nikki, I guess you could say she was a sex fiend. I met her in a hotel lobby masturbating with a magazine."

That, of course, confused me. How do you masturbate with a magazine? To a magazine I understand. But could you do it with a magazine? And why would you be doing it in a lobby? And what's a sex fiend? Quite frankly, it was all too much for my ten year old brain to take.

Fast forward a decade or two, and here I am, writing about why you should be masturbating (regardless of whether or not you have a magazine or are in a hotel lobby). It sounds kind of funny, do we really need a reason to do it, let alone five? I know that you are itching to rattle off a joke or two, but this is serious. There are still people who need a reason to engage in solo pleasure. Maybe they've been told masturbation is sinful; maybe they are uncomfortable with their own bodies. Maybe they have just never felt like it was appealing. It doesn't matter to me, but there is no time like the present.

Think about it. Masturbation isn't exactly a subject that parents are excited to tackle at any age. At least if you have a young or teenage boy around, masturbation often comes up in the context of a family joke. It's not perfect, but in those homes at least the word exists. In many families where there are daughters in the house, masturbation rarely, if ever, gets talked about. It wouldn't be surprising for many girls to grow up thinking that masturbation is a "boy thing." That's often how it feels, until we figure out just how wrong we've been.

So if you are one of the women (or men) who need a reason to close the door and enjoy some deeply intimate personal time, this one's for you:

1. You want good partnered sex.

If you want better sex you need to figure out what feels good. It is impossible for a partner (of any gender) to have sexual ESP; what I mean is, no person is going to know exactly what turns you on unless you tell them. And if you don't know how to turn yourself on, it's going be pretty difficult for someone else to figure out. Being a selfish lover isn't just about being concerned with your own pleasure, it's also about not being willing to share what you know about your body with someone else. And to those of you who worry that your reliance on vibrators (during masturbation) makes sex with a partner more challenging -- stop using vibes solely for solo play. They are a great partner accessory. It can never take the place of a penis and can be a great way to ensure that both of you have maximum pleasure.

2. You want to be sexually empowered.

Yes, masturbation is empowering. You are a sexual being. Knowing that your body is capable of producing pleasure on its own (regardless of your relationship status) is powerful. Think about all those unfulfilling fumbling in the dark you could have avoided during your lifetime. A partner doesn't make us sexual; we are sexual all on our own.

3. You want good health.

In a recent study about vibrator usage, researchers at Indiana University (2009) found that women who used vibrators were more likely to have had a gynecological check up in the past year and were more likely to have performed a genital self-exam in the last month. In layman's terms, people who are concerned about their personal pleasure are concerned with their overall sexual health. If that weren't enough, if you aren't familiar with your genitals, how on earth can you identify when something is unusual for your body? Pleasure and sexual functioning are (whether you choose to believe it or not) essential components of our overall health.

4. You have trouble going to sleep.

And these days, who of us isn't stressed out? Our mind is always racing, making it near impossible for fall asleep. If you can't sleep - or if you want to sleep - an orgasm can send you into deep relaxation caused by the release of endorphins. Consider an orgasm world's best tranquilizer. Getting some zzzs has never been more enjoyable.

5. Because why the hell not?

You're tired, bored, stressed, you have menstrual cramps, you're just plain in the mood -- it doesn't really matter, does it? Masturbation can alleviate (or solve) all of these things. Don't kid yourself. Pleasure (whether or not that leads to orgasm) is important. And you deserve it.

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