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Making Love To Self: The Benefits Of Masturbation

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I don't know how readily people often admit that they masturbate.

I just remember while growing up that for a long time, masturbation was something I kept a secret even before I knew what it was called or why I felt inclined to do it or why I felt so exhilarated after. I do remember, however, a clear distinction in how proudly a man spoke about jacking off. He could joke about it and was even advised to do it as a means to last longer when he finally became sexually active. But on the flip side, as a woman, I wasn't really allowed to talk about it. In fact, I didn't realize it could be something heralded until an ex enjoyed watching me as I did it.

But that's something that I notice a lot about women and our bodies, it is okay to be a vessel for sexuality for the male consumption, but not our own and in our own way. I guess you can tell that masturbation means a lot to me. My weapon of choice is my handy dandy six-speed vibrator I picked up from Starship (might need to upgrade my life soon though)! It not only taught me about what I love done to my body, but also gave me a release when others could not.

In addition to those two things, here are some benefits of making love to self, aka masturbation if you're nasty. ;)

It Relieves Sexual Tension

Sexual tension is a dirty, pretty thing. It's intense, it's compelling, and sometimes it makes you believe that you want something you might not really truly want. Sometimes you do really truly want it, but the tension or build up is far better than the actual pay off. Why cross that line when you're not really sure either way? Being sexual does not mean having sex with anybody.

You can be selective even while ravenous, and masturbation helps to clear up any uncertainty you might have towards a member of the opposite sex and your attraction towards them. In addition to relieving sexual tension between two people, it is also a very good stress reliever by stimulating the body's ability to produce endorphins, which helps with stress and pain.

It Promotes Sexual Health

I cannot tell you how many times masturbation has come in handy as it relates to my ability to have self control. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a dog humping at whatever leg is within my reach, but there have been times that I've gone on dates and felt so attracted to my date, that I was like, “Hmmm, even though this isn't going anywhere, let me throw caution to the wind and just go to Poundtown with this dude." But, I didn't. I refrained because I was like, what's the point in having sex with this guy I'm not even the least bit interested in aside from this free meal? So I kept in mind the fact that me and my vibrator could have a hell of a time later on that night without the messiness of bringing a completely new sex partner into the mix.

The less partners you have, the less risky your sexual behaviors. Masturbating means you can open your legs and keep it tight at the same time. It's also form of safe sex while abstaining (for those who wish to abstain).

Develops Sexual Identity

Masturbation is typically the first sexual experience a person has. And with all this talk of love yourself first, it seems rather fitting. Men can use it to help prolong the arrival of their orgasms, while women can use masturbation as a way to guide them to achieving theirs. Although a vaginal orgasm is very possible, the clitoral stimulation that we learn during our solo acts can very well be a catalyst to how we orgasm with future partners. You're able to learn which parts of you tingle when you touch it and can be adventurous in your journey with yourself through the use of toys. Masturbating is a great way to learn your body, what works for you, and what doesn't.

It Feels Damn Good

This benefit is rather self-explanatory but it ought to be said. I love the human and connection aspect that comes with having sex with someone, however, I love the way I know myself and my body like no one ever will – and that in itself can be a stimulant while masturbating as well. If I wanted to, I could get myself there in three minutes – that's how in tune with my own body I am.

An orgasm is one of those feelings that are hard to rival. And you haven't lived until you've mutually masturbated. It's one thing to watch yourself touch someone, but to watch that someone touch themselves? One of the sexiest things I've ever endured in my life. Try it tonight if you haven't already. It's a beautiful and intense experience.

Do you masturbate? Do you view it as more of an experience to be savored or as a chore? Hands or toys? Share below.

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
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Featured image by Shutterstock

Lawd, lawd. I'm assuming that I'm not being too presumptuous when I start this all out by saying, I'm pretty sure that more than just a few of us can relate to this title and topic. I know that personally, there are several men from my sexual past who would've been out of my space a lot sooner had the sex not been…shoot, so damn good. And it's because of that very thing that you'll never ever convince me that sex can't mess with your head. The oxytocin highs (that happen when we kiss, cuddle and orgasm) alone can easily explain why a lot of us will make a sexual connection with someone and stay involved with them for weeks, months, years even, even if the mental and emotional dynamic is subpar, at best.

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