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Getting Handsy With Yourself: Psychologist and Sex Therapist, Dr. Kate Balestrieri, Talks Self-Love This National Masturbation Month

·3-min read

Balestrieri dives into the pros of masturbation and the ways to spice up a party of one

Due to people’s isolation as a result of the pandemic, the booming sales of sex toys and increased traffic to porn websites all point to a trend of self-pleasure during quarantine. This is further proof that masturbation is more common than anyone wants to believe, and while many still feel it to be a taboo topic, it is a healthy practice.

There are not only health benefits of masturbation, such as helping the production of mood-boosting hormones, reducing the risk of prostate cancer, and increasing one’s life expectancy, but it also has the ability to amplify self-confidence and body image and improve sexual satisfaction.

"National Masturbation Month is a unique point in time of the year where people are invited to feel a little less awkward about self-pleasure and learn to truly embrace the power in getting to understand themselves and their sexual desires," Dr. Kate Balestrieri, Psy.D., CST. "Let’s highlight the ways you can celebrate a solo soiree."

Change it Up!

Switching up one's sex routine can provide some added "heat" to the usual session. Slowing down can also help shake things up, helping create more of a build up to the end goal. Try changing up the intensity, movements and positions while masturbating to see what else brings pleasure.

"You’ve been around this block before, but maybe you can take a different route this time," says Balestrieri. "A little kink or change of environment can add to your pleasure. Move the fun to the shower, or to the bath. Using water and shower accessories to stimulate external parts of your body can contribute to the power of your orgasm. Exploring the option of anal play can provide another way to achieve an orgasm. The anus is surprisingly full of sensitive nerve endings that can result in anal orgasms and intense pleasure."

Try to Use More Than Your Hands

The world of sex has so much to offer. Introducing sex toys, like vibrators or dildos, into the bedroom (or room of your choice) can open the door to endless possibilities of pleasure when it comes to masturbation. New toys for people of all genders and sexual orientation are released into the market every year. The use of lube can also transform one’s relationship with masturbation.

"The right lube can make masturbation more pleasurable and special," says Balestrieri. "A universal and accessible lubrication can be used with sex toys and accessories and can help people explore the pleasure potential in their bodies with ease."

Here are some of Dr. Kate’s top recommendations for lubes and vibes to get things going:

Leave the Shame Behind

"Considering the relationship between mental health and sexuality, it is clear that fostering a shame-free dialogue about masturbation in the mainstream is a key component of the self-care movement," says Balestrieri. "Everyone deserves a healthy, safe and empowered relationship to sex which includes masturbation."

If you are interested in keeping up with Dr. Balestrieri, tune into her podcast, "Modern Intimacy with Dr. Kate Balestrieri" launching in May on Apple Podcast and Spotify, follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok or visit her website at

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George Protopapadakis
Global Communication Works

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