Is there a link between depression and masturbation?

Does masturbation cause depression?

Masturbation doesn’t cause depression despite many times throughout history where that was believed. It was once believed that ‘nocturnal pollutions’ could make you mad, blind or insane.

Nowadays we know that’s been disproved and we understand that masturbation or self pleasuring or solo sex can help someone understand their body and sexual response, boost theirs self esteem and help them feel good.

If someone feels shame or guilt around self pleasuring it’s more likely it’s their culture or religion that has negative views about masturbation that’s making them feel terrible rather than the act itself.

The benefits of solo sex

Masturbation can help you have a much better nights sleep because after orgasm your body is flooded with delicious feel good hormones such as endorphins, dopamine and oxytocin.

Studies have found that women who have never or just don’t self pleasure themselves are less sexually satisfied in their marriages. Learning to give yourself pleasure and orgasms on your own can very often mean you will find it easier to orgasm with your partner and have more enjoyable sex.

There might also be a connection between self pleasuring yourself and having a bigger sex drive. Researchers found that women who regularly engaged in solo sex have a much bigger sex drive than women who don’t masturbate.

Orgasms get you out of your head and into your body and can almost be used in a meditative way.

Combining solo sex with tantra breathing meditation can fill you full of sexual and creative energy and help you to feel aligned with your life’s purpose. I show you how to do this at my retreats.

How does depression impact your libido?

Depression can make one lose interest in usual things that they perhaps once loved or found interesting. It can make one lose interest in sex or solo sex and as it reduces their overall energy can reduce their sexual energy and libido.

If you’re in a relationship and you’re feeling very depressed and noticed your sex drive has become very reduced it’s important to keep that connection and intimacy going with your partner or partners. Choose ways to do that like cuddling and spending one on one time together that make you feel close.

Certain anti-depressants can reduce your sex drive too and you should definitely talk to your Doctor or a sex therapist if you notice this is happening.

Overcome your orgasm block

           She struggles to orgasm

 

SHE STRUGGLES TO ORGASM BLOG

 

Were you punished for simply exploring your body as a child? It’s a common way that we learn to repress our sexuality and young girls seem to be punished a lot more for self exploration than little boys.

This repression can continue into adulthood. When women don’t know how to orgasm after growing up with this shame about their own bodies it’s important to awaken your own body on your own terms.

I’m going to say that again because it’s so important- awaken your body on your own terms! What would that look like to you? How could you do that?

A lot of young people are brought up with the abstinence only model which can lead to repression and confusion about desire and pleasure.

A lot of girls are accessing porn earlier and earlier and using it as their main form of sex education despite the fact it’s mainly focussed on male sexual needs, made for the the male viewer and documents the male sexual response cycle which is very different to the female sexual response cycle.  There can be a lot of frustration when women are trying to make their body respond in the same way a man’s body does.

Learn how to self pleasure yourself on your own.

Get a lamp and a mirror and rub oil on your genitals and give yourself a loving and sensual massage.

Learn how to orgasm yourself on your own first.

Learn the rhythm, pressure and patterns that feel good so that you can then show someone else what you like when you’re ready.

For women of menstruating age and not on hormonal contraception that blocks ovulation, notice the times of your cycle that your body is most responsive, most easily aroused and most lubricated.

Notice how your vulva, body responses and discharge changes throughout your cycle.

Learn to love your body and your genitals in new and radical ways.

Masturbation and sex are skills that need to be learnt like riding a bike.

Imagine you’re training for the Tour de France! Start putting all of that focus and concentration on traning yourself! Don’t let your pleasure go to the bottom of your ‘To Do’ list.

If you struggle to orgasm get to know what’s in between your thighs intimately and make it a priority to master the art of self pleasure and orgasm.

Understanding how all of your body works and responds is important to unlocking sexual pleasure. A lot of my work is starting off with sex education and eradicating so much of the myths that my clients have been brought up with surrounding their sex drive and their bodies.

A clinical sex therapist such as myself can help you if you’re struggling with orgasm and can set you specific homework techniques depending on your specific situation.

This is especially relevent if you’re struggling with past sexual trauma.

Get in touch with me today if you want to reclaim your sexuality, your pleasure and your body.

Catherine O Dowd

Sex therapist- Relationship Counsellor- Art Psychotherapist

www.creativesexpression.com

New Year Sex and Relationship Resolutions

Happy New Year! Here’s my column that appeared in Ciao magazine…

Celebrate and respect that initial sexual attraction you both first felt when you met.

This is what first drew you together and should not be forgotten. It can be very destructive to a relationship if the times between sexual contact are too long. No matter how fast paced and busy our lives are or how familiar our partner might become to us; it is crucial we never stop seeing them as our lover first and foremost. I see so many clients who have put sex and intimacy on the back burner and this creates a myriad of problems.

Lots of good sex with our partner is beneficial for our health, our blood pressure, our hearts and the health of the relationship! ­ This leads to my next resolution…

Prioritise sex and make time for it.

Schedule in sex dates. If you are too busy and don’t have time to have sex with your partner then it’s time to sit down and re-schedule! If you can start saying no to that party or function that is road blocking your desires and spend time with no one but your partner. Have a night in (or outside if that’s what you like!) with your skin pressing against theirs.

If you’re single, prioritise your self loving practice. Explore your body and new ways of pleasure! Think of your sexuality like a plant that needs watering and attention to grow, flower and thrive. It doesn’t grow on its own if you don’t nurture it. Working on your own sexuality will open you up to greater pleasure and creativity.

For singles looking for a partner or wanting to stop meeting the same types of people all the time; book in a session with me to discover how you are blocking your own happiness and changing the patterns that are keeping you back.

 

 

 

Resolve to “fight fair” for 2015.

9d8fd7accf094a12361a59f9b1cb8a8bArguments will happen but try to stay calm, truly listen to your partner and notice the pain that is prompting their words. My clients have transformed their relationship by learning how to communicate, listen and resolve conflict in a relationship more effectively.

Masterful business communicators can crumble and struggle with communicating in an intimate relationship because the stakes are so much higher and the rules can be a lot less clear.

Resolve to stop doing these things with your partner that are not conducive to a healthy relationship; stonewall (silent treatment), storm out, hanging up, go to bed angry, slam doors or lash out with cruel and personal attacks.

Don’t be a “kitchen sink fighter” and throw in every past blunder your partner has ever made! This will inflame the situation and build resentment. Keep things relevant and specific and try to be assertive not passive, aggressive or passive aggressive.

Book in a therapy session with me if you’d like to learn good relationship communication skills and transform how you relate with your lover.

Broaden your definition of sex for 2015.

Photo Manipulations by Alexandria ThompsonLet’s embrace our sexuality and the many different ways we can have “sex.”
Sex is not just about actual intercourse but about any erotic activity that involves some sort of touch. Some could say touch isn’t even needed- (why look at tantra and breath orgasms­) but it’s about being present and in your body!

Put down your mobile, get out of your head and connect with your lover! Explore different ways of giving and receiving pleasure that don’t focus on performance and goal orientations! And of course above all ­have fun! Joke, play and laugh. Sex with the right person is good for you!

 

 

Here’s to a lush and pleasure ­filled 2015!

Catherine O Dowd

A sex education game about female masturbation.

Look athappy-bubble this latest game that aims to make Female Masturbation Friendly. Happy is your friendly neighbourhood vulva and it’s your job to make her feel good! It’s great to see different ways to promote positive sex education and reduce stigma around female sexuality. I love that it portrays masturbation in a fun and non threatening way! This helps to normalise female masturbation and shows how self pleasuring can be fun and light hearted and doesn’t have to be a serious affair filled with guilt and shame.

HappyPlayTime is a sex education game whose aim is to eliminate the stigma around female masturbation. It’s a fun way to learn about the female sex organs! It’s designed to use on mobiles but you can also play it on your computer..
I loved the write up so I thought I’d share it here;

“Sexuality is one of the most basic instincts of human beings. Being comfortable with your own sexual pleasure is a prerequisite to both being able to healthily accept pleasure from others, and pleasing others. How can you exchange pleasure with someone else if you don’t understand what your own body likes? That’s why masturbation, and learning how to masturbate is such a fundamental life lesson.

Unfortunately for many women, there has been a cultural stigma that blocks access to self-stimulation. HappyPlayTime is here to eliminate this barrier as much as possible. By talking openly and lightheartedly about female masturbation, we are taking the first step to becoming truly sexually liberated.”

 

It was disappointing to discover that Apple refused to include the game on their app store because they said it was “excessively objectionable” and “crude.” I’m confused why Apple stocks games about dealing drugs and yet finds an educational game designed to reduce body stigma so unappealing. The vulva itself is very simplified in a cartoonish way.

Searah Deysach, owner of an American sex toy shop Early to Bed thinks the stigma about women’s genitals goes much deeper than just the cartoon animations.

I think vulva imagery and education about female masturbation are still so taboo in society mainly because folks are scared of women having sexual agency. Allowing women to love their vulvae and practice the radical art of self love could lead to better self esteem which could lead to women feeling they have the right to be in charge of their bodies. I cannot speak to what specifically happened with Happy Playtime, but I talk to women every freaking day who struggle with loving their bodies and I can see how that directly impacts their sexual lives and self esteem.

What do you think? Check it out at the link below, decide for yourself  and happy masturbating!

http://happyplaytime.com/

Self love without guilt and shame! Let’s celebrate our self loving sexual practices!

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Wank, wanker the anchor,  groping the grotto, shaking hands with your John Thomas, shaking the sausage, walk through the valley of love, petting the kitty, feed the beaver, buff the python… There’s countless sland words to describe masturbation! How about we use the word self love or self sex!

Self love without guilt and shame! Let’s celebrate our self loving sexual practices! Masturbation is universally part of human sexuality. There’s so much stigma attached to masturbation when it’s perfectly healthy and good for you…

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45% of women first masturbated between the ages of 10 and 14, according to a recent study.

Women who started masturbating in adolescence reach orgasm more often during sex (with others) and report less arousal difficulties.
20% of women masturbate at bedtime to help them get to sleep.

 

Masturbation is a great way to get to know how your body works. Some people say you should stop masturbating once you’re having regular sex or in a new relationship. I’d say you should masturbate even more, it keeps the libido on fire in between partnered sex session and reminds yourself that you can still have great orgasms on your own.
In fact, I’d even advise couples to masturbate in front of each other so that you can witness what techniques they use and learn what your partner likes. Everyone likes different things when it comes to pressure and speed, and what better way to learn than watching!
Improving your self-sex techniques improves sex with your partner! The life force is sex energy, and we can view masturbation as part of our own regime of self love.

 

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Perhaps you could attempt to redefine masturbation as regular sexual meditation with yourself. Try an hour long session with music, oil and candles. Try different breathing techniques and pelvis movements. You could experiment with orgasm control, stop just before you have an orgasm, or after orgasm breathe into it and have another and another. Masturbation is a perfect time to learn how to have multiple orgasms and full body orgasms and for women, learn how to ejaculate.

Learning how to have full body orgasms through masturbation shows us we can have as many orgasms as we like whether we have a partner or not. We can pleasure ourself forever if we are single for the rest of our days. It’s an unconditional self loving practice that will always be there for us regardless who “abandons” us or what relationship you might end..

If you’d like to learn more book a session with me in my Sydney rooms today. I also have skype sessions available for people outside of Sydney..
https://creativesexpression.com/book-a-session/

Orgasms are good for you!

Are you feeling down? An orgasm could be the pick me up you need. Orgasm releases endorphins, dopamine and oxytocin. These three are the big three of mood enhancing hormones. Dopamine is the same hormone that your body releases if you use a drug like cocaine or eat a really delicious food.  Mmm and orgasms are much better for your health than drugs!
A recent survey of 1,800 women found that over 30% of them used sexual release as a natural sedative. Is that how you get to sleep when you’re having trouble relaxing?  This brings to mind a certain Seinfeld episode, if anyone can remember that one? No one could get to sleep when the characters were having a little competition amongst themselves!
Orgasms are a natural painkiller. Victorian Doctors were onto something when they said orgasms could soothe certain aches and pains-expecially migraines and menstrual cramps. Who needs panadol?
Apparently the contractions that women have during orgasm can actually evacuate blood clots during menstruation, which can give temporary relief.
Guess what? We actually do “glow” after sex. The hormone DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone), can actually make your skin healthier and this hormone skyrockets during sexual activity.When Harry Met Sally
Orgasms are wonderful for stress relief. A lot of us live hectic and busy lives and don’t have much time for relaxation. Hormones during orgasm help us relax and cope with stress and they help our mind have a break. Being sexual helps you be in the moment and only think about one thing only. Often we are always thinking of many things at once.  For many people the only time they have an experience similar to meditation is when they have sex or masturbate.
Orgasms also nourish the brain with oxygen. MRI images show that our  brains use much more oxygen during orgasm than usual. So a bit of self loving is good for your brain!
Orgasms benefit your emotional health..  If you know how to pleasure yourself and take yourself to orgasm it may actually increase your emotional intelligence and sexual confidence. You make much better decisions in relationships when you understand how your body works and that it is capable of amazing pleasure on its own.  You don’t need to affirm our status as a sexual being by looking to someone else. You know that you are a sexual being on your own and you can have mind blowing orgasms on your own.
Need some help or advice? Never had an orgasm or have a partner that hasn’t had an orgasm? Get in touch with me today for a confidential session.

Orgasms are better for your brain than crosswords..

Well, well, well. I love it when a study proves what I’ve always thought! Orgasms are incredibly good for your mind!!

In America, Barry Komisaruk and Nan Wise, (the aptly named “human pleasure researchers”) did a big call out for women who were willing to masturbate themselves to orgasm while lying in a MRI machine. Now I applaud the women who did this, because I would personally find that claustrophobic MRI machine slightly offputting for some good ‘ole self loving, or maybe the confined space  aided the experience? Anyway, I digress..

There was a reason for this self loving in a MRI machine though. The machine actually measured blood flow to different parts of the brain and the researchers wanted to see what happened at the point of orgasm.  We already knew that mental exercises like crosswords, increase brain activity but they only do this in fairly specific areas of the brain. This study found that orgasm activates the whole brain. Orgasm brings nutrients and oxygenation to the brain and increase blood flow to all parts of the brain.

Orgasms can also decrease stress, ease depression and increase your life expectancy. You don’t need a partner for orgasm, you can indulge in some healthy self-loving! It’s good for you! The aforementioned human pleasure researchers are  also starting new research on how orgasms can block pain. The perfect way to get rid of that headache!

When Masturbation made you blind and insane.

“Facial effects of masturbation.” From ‘Boyhood’s perils and manhood’s curse’, 1858.

I’ve always been fascinated with studying history and how we have perceived sex and sexuality through the ages. It is quite freeing to learn about the sexual ‘norms’ of particular times in history, as it really sheds new light on what we view as ‘normal’ and ‘acceptable’ sexual behaviour in our contemporary society.

This diagram from 1858 shows the terrible facial effects of masturbation in a time when self-love was seriously frowned on! These ‘nocturnal pollutions’ could lead to all sorts of debilitating illnesses such as drooling, skin problems, laziness, hairy palms, blindness and more!

It’s an amusing diagram to look at now, but sad when you think that the medical and psychological powers-that-be seriously believed this and worked to stop masturbation.What sexual myths do you think people 50 to 100 years in the future might chuckle about that we believe today?
How does this make you look at mainstream pornographic material as presenting supposedly “normal” sex? I’m always fascinated by how people seem to think that very formulaic approaches in pornographic movies present what is “normal” sex! People have actually told me that to not “follow the rules” so to speak in a highly formulaic, mainstream pornographic movie would be “abnormal,” because “that’s how everyone has sex!”

A few centuries ago, oral sex was seen as a deviance and I’ve seen many pictures of sad and sorry looking characters like the above fellows, locked up in mental institutions for enjoying fellatio!