Why Does Masturbation Feel Good? Pleasure Explained

Why Does Masturbation Feel Good? Pleasure Explained

Masturbating seems intuitive, but what is it exactly? And why do we like it so much? 

Self-pleasure is the stimulation of your own body by your hands or via an instrument. It’s a perfectly normal act that results in delightful sexual sensations or an orgasm. 

There are several explanations for why masturbating feels good, and in this article, we’ll expand on every factor during our deep dive into the human body and masturbation. 

Why Does Masturbation Feel Good?

The human body is complex. Even though pleasure seems simple, it’s an intricate mechanism, and understanding why jacking off feels fantastic is key to boosting sensations. 

Here’s all you need to know.  

The Biological Explanation

Your brain’s pleasure center is responsible for a good portion of those feel-good sensations we associate with masturbation. Let’s break down how hormones like dopamine, oxytocin, and endorphins play a role in your nightly solo session:

  • Endorphins: These hormones are the body’s natural painkillers, closely mimicked by morphine (the most frequently prescribed opioid). They create a general feeling of well-being and are released during sex and self-pleasure. 
  • Oxytocin: This is the love hormone, and it evokes feelings of intense sexual arousal during masturbation. 

Remember that some of these hormones won’t be released or completely flood your system until you achieve orgasm. Masturbating sans-blowing top will still feel amazing; it just won’t be as mind-blowing as an orgasm. 

The Anatomy Explanation

This aspect of your sex life seems straightforward, touch your genitals enough, and you’ll cum. In reality, the anatomy of masturbation is multifaceted and complex. There is an interplay of three main factors: nerve endings, erogenous zones, and the physical effects of orgasm.  

To put it simply, nerves are complex. There are four major types of nerve endings in the human body:

  • Merkel's disks pick up on sensations such as touch and pressure. 
  • Meissner's corpuscles pick up fluttering and tapping on non-hairy skin. 
  • Ruffini endings identify sensations such as touch, pressure, and proprioception.
  • Pacinian corpuscles identify vibrations. 

There are even more specialized nerves in and near your genitalia, including the pudendal nerve. This major nerve takes all the reports from your nerve endings and sends them directly to the brain. (Fun fact: The pudendal nerve also helps you poop, which is part of the reason anal feels so good.) 

These nerves work in unison to direct minute differences in touch, allowing your brain to understand the differences between delicate oral, play with a powerful sex toy, and a classic handjob. 

Your erogenous zones are areas of the body outside your genitalia that have a higher concentration of nerve endings. The areas include the lips, hands, lower abdomen, neck, butt, shoulders, and lower back. Erogenous zones aren’t guaranteed to deliver powerful sensations in the same way that stroking your member will, but in the right setting, they’ll still feel amazing.

Once you’ve received enough stimulation, you’ll commonly experience an orgasm. The physical reactions that take place during orgasm are extremely powerful and contribute significantly to your overall pleasure. Here’s how it works:

  1. Initial Contraction: All at once the muscles in your vagina/penis and anus will contract and squeeze. 
  2. Contraction Period: For about five to eight seconds, these areas will squeeze and release every second. 
  3. Release: After the contraction period, your entire body and genitalia will lose tension, and you enter a hazy “buzzed” state. 

This contraction process gives a wild amount of stimulation to your nervous system, delivering one last and major feeling of pleasure. 

The Psychological Explanation

Most individuals have experienced a moment where they’re physically horny but not in the ‘mood.’ This is because hormones and physicality don’t completely control the masturbation process. Your mental headspace and psychological influences also play a large role. 

These are the most common mental factors that affect masturbation:

  • Fantasy: Your imagination is capable of almost anything, including getting you rock hard without lifting a finger. Some people turn to the same fantasy night after night, while others create new fantastical scenarios. While fantasy isn’t always necessary for an intense self-pleasure session, it’s a powerful factor. 
  • Sexual Imagery: Between erotica, pornography, and erotic audio, the options for indulging in sexual imagery are huge. However, if you typically use erotic imagery to get off and you’re struggling to find the right media, it can be tough to get hard. 
  • Headspace: A stressful day or upsetting news can completely throw off your sex drive and subsequent masturbation game. Remember, the right headspace is almost always necessary for a fulfilling jack-off session. 

Your psychology during masturbation plays a large role in how enjoyable your experience is. Focus on getting in the right mood and procuring the best media to ensure a fantastic self-care session. 

Additional Benefits to Masturbation

The toe-tingling good feelings are reason enough to masturbate, but there are plenty of other benefits to masturbation. Here are some of the best health benefits of solo sex:

  • Get a better night’s sleep: The rush of neurotransmitters that fire during masturbation can also bring on a lethargic, sleepy feeling and a reduction in cortisol. 
  • Explore your sexuality in a safe manner: Unlike partnered sex, there’s no risk of contracting an STD or conceiving when you’re masturbating. Plus, masturbation can actually increase your self-esteem and confidence during new sexual experiences (and even work to treat cases of erectile dysfunction). 
  • Lower your risk of cardiovascular disease: Jacking off can actually improve heart health, similar to how exercise tones your heart. It can also work to tone your pelvic floor muscles and other key muscles. 
  • Natural pain medication: Masturbating releases feel-good hormones that serve as a natural pain medication. These hormones may not boost your immune system, but regular masturbation works to improve overall wellness and lower the amount of stress hormones active in your body. Skip the Tylenol next time and pleasure yourself instead.
  • Boost your mental health: Good sex therapists and sexologists will tell you that solo sexual activity works to boost your mental and sexual health. The dopamine and oxytocin that flood your body during an orgasm work to strengthen your mental health and give you a deserved pick-me-up.  

The benefits of masturbation are numerous and powerful, but even without these perks, self-pleasure is an amazing aspect of sexuality everyone deserves to partake in. 

Embrace the Pleasure With Fleshlight

At Fleshlight, we work to enhance your masturbation routine. Our top-of-the-line sex toys are made in the United States and designed with body-safe silicone. These discreet tools are created to deliver intense orgasms and novel pleasure that keep you coming back for more. 

Here are some of our best-selling toys:

  • Pornstar Pocket Pussy: This fantastic device is a snatch modeled after your favorite pornstar. 
  • Vibrating Male Masturbator: Our Virbo line delivers mind-blowing vibrations that get you cumming in no time or help you practice your ejaculation stamina. 
  • Dildos for Women: These girthy dildos are made with female pleasure in mind. Discover how a primer dildo can level up your self-love sessions. 

Check out our entire sex toy lineup for access to the best tools for sexual pleasure.  

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