No one likes first-date jitters, but pretty much everyone likes masturbation. So how about using masturbation to quell your anxiety before your date? According to experts (and science), masturbation can be the ultimate stress buster and confidence booster, which is exactly what you need before you meet your date for the first time.
“Many people think about masturbation as being solely about pleasure,” Dr. Justin Lehmiller, Lovehoney Scientific Advisor, tells Lifehacker. “However, when you look at the most common reasons reported for masturbation, they really have a lot to do with self-care and well-being, both physically and mentally. Masturbation is a handy way to relieve stress, to relax, to help fall asleep, and to engage in self-exploration.”
It helps you relax
According to Lehmiller, two of the most common reasons for masturbation are stress relief and relaxation. “Data from nationally representative U.S. surveys find than one-third of men and women say that they’ve used masturbation as a means of relieving stress, and more than a quarter say they’ve used masturbation in order to relax,” he explains. “Given that going out on a first date can be a little stressful (for example, you might be worried about making a good first impression), self-pleasuring before a date might help you to feel more relaxed, at ease, and able to be yourself in that situation.”
It helps clear your mind
Masturbation relieves sexual tension, which can be a good thing when you’re about to engage with someone who makes you nervous.
“A date can be a sexually charged situation. After all, people tend to go out with partners they have a strong physical attraction toward,” Lehmiller says. “Masturbating before a date might help to satiate those sexual feelings so that you can focus more on connecting with your partner and determining whether the attraction is more than just skin deep.”
It helps lead to better sex
In the long term, Lehmiller says, masturbation can help to build sexual self-confidence by allowing you to better understand what does (and doesn’t) bring you pleasure. Which means if the topic of sex comes up with a new partner, that self-knowledge and confidence can make it easier to communicate your wants and boundaries.
“Another relatively common reason people masturbate is to explore their sexuality,” Lehmiller says. “About one in eight women and one in thirteen men say they’ve used masturbation specifically for this reason. To the extent that masturbation helps you to better understand your sexuality and what you do and don’t like, that could translate to greater sexual self-esteem and confidence in the bedroom because you’ll be better equipped to ask for what you want.”
Basically, solo sex helps lead to better partnered sex. In other words, masturbating before your date could lead you to have the best sex of your life.
The logistics of masturbating before a date
So if you’ve decided you’re going to try masturbating before your next first date, and you might be wondering when you should self-pleasure beforehand and for how long. After all, you don’t want to get so caught up with yourself that you miss out on your date!
Javay Frye-Nekrasova, a Lovehoney Sex Educator, says ideally if you’re going to masturbate before a date, she would recommend doing it an hour or two before the date—“but definitely with enough time to shower before the date.”
The length of time is going to depend on the person. “Some people are good with just a quick session and others may go for longer amounts of time and more rounds,” she says. When it comes to orgasm, while Frye-Nekrasova says they’re nice, they shouldn’t be the focus of a pre-date masturbation. “You are focusing on pleasure to help heighten your mood, relieve stress, and get you in a good place to meet someone new,” she says.
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