Takeaway: Men often go for a quick orgasm rather than slowing down and exploring their sexual selves, but masturbation has so much more to offer.

May is National Masturbation Month - a perfect time to talk about male masturbation practices and ways to make your self-pleasuring practice better!

We don?t talk much about male masturbation, not in a serious way. We make jokes and use cute terms to hide our discomfort. There are plenty of legitimate reasons we should all engage in masturbation. Giving oneself pleasure is the best reason of all.

When I write about masturbation, or self-pleasuring, for women I talk about the reasons women should explore their genitals. Developing the capacity for pleasure and learning how to communicate that to partners is important. We do that by learning how to bring ourselves to climax. We learn how our bodies respond to touch, discover erogenous zones, and develop a better sense of our sexual capacity. All of these things are equally important for men.

To talk about male masturbation is to take the "ick" factor out of the conversation. Let's talk about masturbation as a tool for enhancing pleasure. I?m not talking about a quickie in the shower; I?m suggesting you guys schedule some quality time with your penis.

Little boys touch themselves and discover that it feels good. They see their erection and are fascinated by the transformation. They explore and play in all kinds of ways, but at some point that play turns into a goal-oriented experience. Get hard, ejaculate, and then get on with the day. The idea of slowing down, of exploring your genitals and giving yourself permission to be that curious kid again isn?t something many men think about doing. But maybe they should. Here's why.

A Better Way to Masturbate

You don?t have to do it the way you?ve always done it. Here are some tips on how to do it better.

Use Lube
I can?t say that enough. Lube is not just for women. Men can benefit from using it, too. Lube makes everything feel better. It reduces friction and creates a gliding motion that enhances sensation.

Slow It Down
What?s the rush? The goal of masturbating is to feel pleasure and there's no time limit for that. Try slowing down and touching just to discover how good it feels. Is a slow build-up more exciting than a fast hand motion? Firm pressure or light stroking? Where do you find the most sensation? Where and how do you like to be touched? Imagine how you feel if you discover a spot that drives you wild. Slowing down can also help prolong ejaculation time. It gives you a longer build-up to pleasure and more time for fun with a partner.

Try Toys
There are sex toys that are toys designed specifically for men, but it may also be fun to play with toys designed for females, such as vibrators. This is about opening yourself up to new and different experiences.

Benefits of Masturbation for Older Men

Young men typically have a reputation for masturbating a lot, but keeping up the practice as you age is important too. Men who aren?t having regular sex can masturbate for pleasure to increase blood flow to the penis, and to maintain sexual desire. We often forget that pleasure and desire continue throughout one?s lifetime. Masturbation is useful for relieving stress, increasing those 'feel-good? hormones, and giving men a sense of vitality.

The penis is an organ with tissues and blood vessels. It also has connections to other vital organs. Keeping the penis in good physical shape will help with pelvic floor muscles and the prostate and can help fight off erectile issues.

Men who worry about erectile dysfunction can use self-pleasuring practices to reassure themselves and work at strengthening their sexual response. Practice bringing yourself to arousal slowly while thinking about the touch and sensations. The mind is a powerful tool for sexual arousal. You can use that to your advantage.

The Benefits of Masturbation

Men of any age will agree that the following are great reasons to learn to masturbate differently:
  • Mastery of your penis. Need I say more?
  • Learning to prolong your erection and delay your climax gives a female partner more time build arousal during intercourse (though she may need clitoral stimulation as well). A female partner will like it when you take more time satisfying both of you. A speedy ejaculation isn't all that useful in partnered sex. We want you to take more time.
  • Your partner will benefit from your experience of taking it slow and indulging in the sensuousness of your (and their) body. The man who is in touch with his own sexuality makes a better partner.
  • There is some evidence from a Harvard study that links lower rates of prostate cancer with frequent ejaculation.

Sex is more than just intercourse. Learning more about our sexual organs and sexual desires is all about expanding our ability to achieve pleasure in many ways. As we age, intercourse isn?t always the best option. Learning to expand our definitions of sexual pleasure is one way to ensure that we can remain sexually active for years to come.

May is National Masturbation Month, so why not give yourself permission to explore? Masturbation has far-reaching benefits. And the worst that can happen is that you'll have a little fun.