I’m feelin’ myself, I’m feelin’ myself- I’m feelin’ my, feelin’ myself.
Feeling yourself? GOOD! Because it’s good for you!
For a long time, we have been told that masturbation is unhealthy because it can cause blindness, and even infertility. In addition to these rumors, there is also the social stigma that surrounds masturbation within social settings like family and friends. After all, masturbation feels so good and here are the reasons why:
- It reduces stress: through masturbation, dopamine is released and this chemical helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centers, and thus reduce feelings of stress.
- Reduces perception of pain: when one orgasms, they release another chemical called, endorphins. This chemical decreases your perception of pain. This means that masturbation for women can reduce menstrual cramping.
- Cures colds: One study found that in males, components of the immune system are activated during masturbation, increasing the number of white blood cells in the bloodstream so you will not feel sick again.
- Makes you fall asleep faster: prolactin is a chemical that is linked to sleep. So when one masturbates, they release this chemical and will induce feelings of exhaustion and will then have the chance to catch up on some sleep.
- Increase sexual performance: Both men and women have pelvic floor muscles that stretch from your pubic bone to your tailbone. When we age, these muscles weaken and cause sexual dysfunction in women and erectile dysfunction in men. However, stroking the penis or clitoris can activate the bulbocavernosis reflex, resulting in pelvic floor muscles contracting. It’s basically a workout for your sex muscles.
- Self-love increases the quality of sperm: a study showed that male masturbation reduced the number of sperm inseminated at the next copulation, but not the number retained by the females. From this, it was concluded that masturbation is a male strategy to improve the fitness of their sperm, as younger sperm have a higher likelihood of insemination.
While masturbation has its physiological benefits, it is important to switch up your techniques. Using the same hand to masturbate can make you sexually unresponsive to other types of stimulation. This means a decrease in sexual arousal, or sexual performance when you encounter a sexual experience with a partner. So light some candles up, play some music, and have fun!
On Tuesday, September 8, 2015, Justin and I presented a workshop on sexual debuts for the Health Workers. The Health Workers work in the Health Promotion department of the Tang Center along with us, SHEP. This marks the first workshop for SHEP this semester and I was glad to be a part of it. The health workers were familiar group with the topic of sexual debuts, which made it easier discuss this topic with them. The participation level was great. They were answering our questions and interested about what we had to say. At the end of our presentation, Karen Hughes had Justin and I act out some health worker skits. This was a little unexpected and nerve racking because I do not have any experience being a health worker, but I was prepared to do my best because I am a Sexpert! I’ve got to represent! Justin and I nailed our performances and the Health Workers had time to critique and give feedback to both of our performances. Overall, I felt our message went across well and the Health Workers enjoyed our workshop!
On Wednesday, I complete my “Random Act of Sexiness”. I completed it with a friend, so we had 60 bags of condoms to hand out. We started at approximately 3 o’clock so there weren’t many people out on Sproul at that point but it only took us around 15 to 20 minutes to hand out all of the bags of condoms. For the most part, a lot of the people seemed really uncomfortable when I would say “free condoms” or “safe sex” and just walk quickly away or laugh at us awkwardly. Some people, however, were really grateful and even sought us out rather than waiting for us to asking them whether they would like a bag or not.
More girls than guys seemed uncomfortable with the idea of taking the condoms. All the people who were excited about it were men that I can remember except for one woman who looked to be towards her 30’s in age. Another interesting thing that I noted was that a lot of the men who seemed to be actively excited were Caucasian. This was just an observation, but it made me more aware of culture differences that surround sex. I’m also curious as to whether the reason that more men were excited about the condoms is because women tend to get more comfortable with sexuality as they get older or if it’s because women tend to feel that it’s the man’s responsibility to provide the condoms? Either way, there was clearly a discrepancy between men’s and women’s responses to the free condoms.
Overall, the experience was really rewarding. Not only were we advocating a good cause, those who took the condoms genuinely seemed grateful about it, and with Valentine’s Day on Saturday, I’m sure a lot of them will definitely be grateful!
I gave out condoms on February 9, 2015 and February 12, 2015 in various locations around school including Sproul, the benches in front of Dwinelle, and Memorial Glade. It was around 4PM when I handed out condoms. I was able to distribute a total of 30 bags of condoms.
The experience was pretty nerve racking for me at first. The first day that I attempted to give out condoms, I was only able to give it to a couple of girls before losing my courage. It seemed especially difficult to give it to guys at first; however, my second attempt at handing out condoms went a bit smoother. Once again, it took me awhile to build up my courage to even begin handing out condoms again. I ended up making a lot of eye contact with people, but couldn’t bring myself to give them the condoms. I must say that they made me look pretty suspicious. It was hard to scope out individuals I should give condoms to. There were people who just looked were probably old enough for me to give condoms to such as freshmen or sophomores; however, I just felt awkward about giving it to people who looked younger than me.
I found that girls were more uncomfortable about taking condoms compared to guys. I ended up just giving out the rest of the condoms to males because of the positive response I kept getting. They were more comfortable about accepting it and made it a more positive interaction. They showed excitement and were pretty thankful for receiving it as though it was a gift. Overall, the response I got from the males made passing out condoms so much easier. For females, I felt extra self-conscious and worried that they were judging me. In my experience, females were also more prone to not accepting the condoms or simply brushed me off.
Giving out free condoms was surprisingly easy. I quickly established an efficient routine, and after 25 minutes, I had distributed all of my condoms. I approached the person or group and asked if they were interested in some free condoms. If they said yes, I would hand them the packet, explain what was in it, wish them a happy National Condom Week, and tell them to stay safe. If they said no, I told them to have a good day and I moved on. I was surprised how few people asked why I was handing out condoms. Most people had a simple yes or no answer and said nothing more. Many people avoided me by looking at their phones or walking around me without making eye contact, but most people were friendly and happy to receive free condoms. I would happily do it again.
I was surprisingly nervous Friday morning because I knew I was going to go out and give people condom-baggies. Honestly I was building it up to be bigger than it was, college kids love having free things handed to them! Right off the bus I turned around and gave three people each a baggy, telling them to check out our table on Sproul. I saw a friend walking my way so I gave him a bag, and I gave two more random students a bag on my way west toward the Tang center. So far all of the recipients were grateful and that made it all the more encouraging. After we grabbed the goodies for the table and brought it to Sproul, I decided to do an all out give away. I walked directly into the swarming 11am crowd and called out “Free condoms stay safe!” Literally 30 seconds… all gone. This felt very thrilling, both guys and girls grabbed the bags, some of them saying thank you (manners people…) I’m glad to know people have some condoms in hand now. Often times sex doesn’t happen because the guy doesn’t have condoms ready, and that’s a sad fact. Stay prepared, stay safe, stay classy Bears.
I did my Random Act of Sexiness at Sather gate on Wednesday, February 11, 2015.
I did my shift for National Condom Day(February 13, 2015) from 1:10 to 2:30 and in that time a lot of interesting things happened. Since the table was already manned by people, I decided to hand out individual condoms to people walking by Sather Gate. At first, the act of giving condoms to people is awkward, very awkward. Reactions were varied and interesting. Some people took offense and recoiled in disgust for some reason. Others laughed and happily accepted a handful of condoms with a smile. After a while, the initial awkwardness began to wear off and I was eventually more confident to ask people if they wanted condoms. Though I was comfortable asking people if they wanted condoms, asking if people wanted lube was pretty embarrassing. When my shift ended, I helped deconstruct the table for SHEP and carried supplies back to the Tang Center.
Overall, the experience of handing out condoms was pretty awkward, but my apprehension eventually faded away and I was ok with standing there with a handful of condoms in my hands. People for the most part were friendly about accepting condoms; many were enthusiastic to take multiple condoms and lube and that made me feel less awkward. Others were rude and gave me a bad look for wanting to hand them a condom. I think if I had to do this again, I’d still be awkward, but I’d still have fun watching people react in various ways to being offered a condom.