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Masturbation: The Alternative Study Break

Marisa Zocco |
November 22, 2014 | 12:53 a.m. PST


The sun is rising while you stare blearily at a blank page and a blinking cursor with a final essay due tomorrow. The caffeine rush from the bottle of 5-Hour Energy you knocked back at midnight wore off long ago and you look longingly at your bed. Even if you had the chance to get some shut-eye, you'd probably have nightmares about sleeping through the final that was scheduled at 8:30am on a Saturday. Who does that to college students, anyway? Sadists. That’s who.

Take a deep breath. Let go of your books. Put your papers away. With the end of the semester coming, there are more important things to get a hold of than your class materials. Namely your most-intimate self. What you should be doing is masturbating.

Yes. Masturbating.

With finals drawing nearer and the holidays creeping up, it’s time to go south for the winter. The chemicals and endorphins released during masturbation and orgasm do more than pump up libido, but can also help in contributing to personal well-being and academic performance during these last few weeks of the semester.

Although a study reported that approximately 92 percent of men and 85 percent of women masturbate, about half of both men and women feel shame after doing so. Here are four reasons to find your happy place and let yourself off the hook for getting off.

1. Put yourself to sleep

It’s an experience many have had. You stay up late working on something. Your body is tired yet your brain is still wide awake. Some may reach for a natural sleep aid or—let’s be honest—a hit off the bong. Others may opt for a prescription sleeping pill.

But what’s the use of putting a foreign substance into your body when you can trigger your own chemistry to work for you in similar ways? 

Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to your new sleep aid.

Masturbation and orgasm trigger the part of the brain that releases endorphins into the blood stream. When these endorphins are released, they can produce a relaxing, sleepy effect, helping the body to fall asleep. 

2. Stress less, think best

While masturbation itself can lead to a small decrease in stress thanks to the release of those same endorphins that help us sleep, for many, regular masturbation helps to produce regular orgasms. 

And orgasms are very good for both stress and sleep because they add another chemical release to those already helpful endorphins—oxytocin.

When we climax, our body releases a potent dose of oxytocin. This chemical, when partnered up with endorphins, creates the perfect cocktail for stress-relief. During orgasm, nerve cells in a region of the brain called the hypothalamus release oxytocin, causing it to surge through the blood stream. As a result, a warming and calming feeling spreads throughout the body, reducing stress

One recent study found that when women orgasm, the area in the brain that controls anxiety and fear is virtually inactive, ensuring that fear and stress do not become obstacles to the moment.  

Another study found that orgasms are better for the brain than mental exercises like crossword puzzles and Sudoku. During an orgasm, there is an increase blood flow to every single part of the brain, bringing nutrients and oxygen to them. In contrast, when doing mental exercises, only certain areas of the brain are stimulated. 

In other words, you could essentially set your brain abuzz via the buzz of your vibrator. So get yourself hot and bothered. It could be of great assistance in staying calm and collected when it comes to homework, test-taking and comprehension. 

3. Build your immune system 

Speaking of study stress, say you have a down week before exams when professors are being somewhat generous and lax, quite a change from the rest of the semester. You start to feel yourself coming down with a bug. Your throat is sore, you’re exhausted and you know it's going to get a lot worse if you don't do anything. That’s another good time for a few rounds of solo sex.

Self-pleasure strengthens the immune system as a result of triggering the release of cortisol. The way that cortisol works is that it is released into the blood system during stressful times. It is partially responsible for a fight or flight response in emergencies and helps to suppress the immune-response in the body, telling it not to react to any bacteria or diseases it may come up against. 

The problem is that over time, when put under stress for a sustained period such as a particularly demanding semester, cortisol levels begin to diminish despite still being needed in the system. They may drop significantly when there is a shift after exams into vacation. That’s when you get sick

Masturbation releases small doses of cortisol which could help your immune system to function as best as it is able between exams and just after them when you’re feeling more relaxed. 

4. Find your happy place

No, really. 

No one wants a serious case of the blues. Especially not during the holidays or the already stressful final examination season. 

Depression is a great host for many symptoms that lend themselves well to poor productivity and performance. Sleep disruption, sadness, loss of interest, slowed thinking and trouble concentrating are just a few signs of depression. 

While not a cure for depression, it turns out that a little self-love coupled with an orgasm can help prevent the onset of depression due in part to oxytocin, but more so thanks to endorphines

As a result you get to put on a happy face and walk to classes with a hop in your step as opposed to trudging along with a cloud over your head.

The case for masturbation as an alternative method for stress relief is certainly a non-traditional one but it’s a fun one worth exploring. This season, when it comes time to battle blue books and become paper-writing warriors, don’t beat yourself up. Instead, just beat off.


Contact Contributor Marisa Zocco here; and follow her on Twitter.



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