In popular culture, men have masturbated with an apple pie, wanked before a big date with Cameron Diaz in There’s Something About Mary and “cranked” – a term coined in the Channel 10 show Offspring meaning the act of “crying and wanking”. Yes, the references to masturbating men in mainstream media are many and common. But when it comes to the topic of female masturbation, it’s still taboo! Think the creepy scene in Black Swan.
According to a recent survey by Australian website My Little Black Book, 11% of Australian women never masturbate. “Many women may have learnt from friends, family or society that masturbation is wrong. So it is important to talk about it in order to normalise and disarm any sense of shame or embarrassment women may have around masturbation,” MLBB’s resident sex expert Christina Spaccavento explains.
So without further ado, ladies, MLBB’s resident sexpert has put together 6 tips on why we all should play with ourselves more – why not get started tonight?
1. Masturbation helps you relax.
During sex and orgasm, feel good hormones and chemicals that help us to experience relaxation are released in the body. Masturbation is simply sex with yourself, so by masturbating we are able to experience the same relaxing and calming effects as we all do when we have sex with someone else! Research has even shown that masturbation can help you sleep.

2. Masturbation improves your love life.
Masturbation gives you the opportunity to connect with your body and understand exactly what it is that you like. By doing this, you’re in a better space to communicate your sexual needs to a partner. Research has shown that women who can communicate with their partner, both about sexual and non-sexual matters, tend to have better relationships. I always tell my clients, if you can’t pleasure yourself and you can’t talk about exactly what you like, how can you expect your partner to do that for you?
3. Masturbation can assist with period pain.
Forget pain killers, there are more fun ways to get rid of those monthly aches! It has been noted that the rhythmic contractions of the uterus during orgasm can assist with period pain.

4. Masturbation is empowering.
Masturbation is incredibly empowering because it helps us women take control of our sexuality; you’re the one taking charge rather than leaving it up to someone else to fulfill your needs. Women often learn to compare themselves to and compete with other women, but in order to have a truly fulfilling sex life, it is essential to look inwards towards the self and do what is ultimately right for you as an individual. When you are sexually empowered, you take that intimate time to be with yourself, become comfortable with your body and all of its wonderful curves. Ask yourself, “What is it that I like? What gets me going? How do I like to move in my body? Consciously connecting with your body in this way is truly empowering because you are honouring your own needs and desires rather than living by the values or norms prescribed by someone else. 
5. Masturbation boosts your self-esteem.
Masturbation helps you to become comfortable with your body, can help build self-confidence, sexual confidence and self-esteem – all the building blocks of self-love.

6. Masturbating with a toy can intensify your orgasm.
There a heaps of benefits for women to use sex toys. The first is clearly the amazing orgasmic pleasure that can be explored through using a machine that is designed specifically for just that. But what’s more, sex toys also give women the opportunity to explore their bodies, erogenous zones and sensitive zones in a variety of ways. And all of this can be done where and when you want it!
So why don’t you treat yourself – or a friend – to the gift that keeps giving, a luxury sex toy? My Little Black Book’s products have been hand-picked for their elegant designs and high quality smooth, body-safe silicone construction. The products are exclusive to MLBB in Australia, and are all water proof. Pedestrian TV readers get 10% off all purchases by entering the code “YesYesYes” at the checkout. MLBB offers free delivery within Australia, and your sexy product will have discreet shipping and billing. The products are all available here.

Christina Spaccavento is a Sydney-based sex therapist and My Little Black Book ambassador.