Sex
Masturbating before a date has five benefits, doctors say.

5 Reasons To Try A Little, Ahem, Self-Love Before Your Next Date

The psychological benefits of a big O will set you up for success.

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Should you shower before a date? Yes. Should you masturbate before a date? Also yes. Maybe reverse the order of those two things, though. First date jitters are the worst, and masturbating can help you feel more at ease before you meet someone new.

Masturbation is amazing for many reasons, and not just because it makes you feel good. For one, it gives you something to do other than pacing in your apartment all afternoon. If only for a few minutes, you get to redirect all of your attention and energy to appreciating you. This is probably even more effective than any pep talk you were going to give yourself in the mirror, but you’re welcome to throw in a couple complimentary chants while you get yourself off.

Best of all, masturbating before a date is a great way to remind yourself that your happiness is literally in your own hands, which helps to take the edge off. It's reassuring knowing you don't need anyone else to make you feel sexually desirable or fulfilled. If the date goes poorly, that’s their loss, not yours! You’ve got all you need — with the help of a sex toy or two.

What do the experts have to say? Good news: masturbating before a date has real benefits for your mindset. “It is an awesome idea to masturbate before a date,” Dr. Donna Oriowo, clinically licensed social worker, sex and relationship educator, and therapist, tells Elite Daily. “Just be sure to wash those hands or toys before and after.”

Forget blasting the “Confidence Boost” playlist on Spotify — welcome to your new pre-date routine.

Masturbating Before A Date Clears Your Mind
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Dr. Tami Prince, OB-GYN and owner of Women’s Health and Wellness Center of Georgia, LLC, says, "Masturbating before dates can release any sexual tension that may hinder a woman from being fully present and concentrating on the date. If a woman is constantly thinking about sex during a date, she may miss out on meaningful conversation and quality time with her partner."

Dr. Oriowo echoes this. “When it has been awhile since you last met your sexual needs for pleasure, you could be more willing to have sex with someone you may not like very much just to get some action,” she says. “Having an orgasm helps you to take the edge off, so to speak, and also clears some of that sex haze so you can determine if the person in front of you is who you want.”

You don't want to be sitting there thinking, "Wait, what did she say her dogs' names were again?" because you were too busy fantasizing about the two of you together. And if you’re not super into the other person, you’ll be in a better headspace to call it a night.

Masturbation Improves Your Mood

Dr. Prince explains that masturbation can help people release more than just sexual tension in their bodies. When you masturbate, your body produces endorphins, which put you in a generally pleasant mood, and dopamine, which reduces stress.

You can even think of masturbation as a totally legitimate form of meditation. It centers you in your body and allows you to focus on the here and now. “When masturbating, be attentive to the specific area where you're touching, the rhythm, the pressure,” CalExotics’ resident sexologist Dr. Jill McDevitt previously told Elite Daily. She added, “the benefits [of masturbating] come from approaching the practice with curiosity, a beginner's mind, [and] gratitude.” Conveniently, this is also a great way to approach a first date.

Masturbation Builds Self-Confidence

August McLaughlin, author of the book Girl Boner: The Good Girl’s Guide to Sexual Empowerment, previously told Elite Daily that she recommends prioritizing masturbation "as you would any important self-care practice, such as your yoga classes or doctor's appointments." It can help you feel confident, sexy, and powerful. "Prioritizing your own pleasure can be a very self-strengthening thing," she says. "It's like the oxygen mask adage: Take care of yourself first." Now, you're ready to socialize.

Masturbation Leads To Better Sex

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According to Dr. Prince, "Masturbation can increase vaginal lubrication, as well as sexual desire which can then in turn enhance the orgasm phase." Even if you are planning on getting frisky after the date, masturbating beforehand can help get your body in the mood.

“Mastubation before a hookup is helpful in making sure that you have already taken care of some of your own needs,” Dr. Oriowo says. “It also can remind you what you like and how you like to be touched, and it allows you to share what you know works with your next sexual partner — whether or not that’s the person you’re seeing tonight.

Masturbation Helps You Guide A New Sex Partner

Those aren't the only benefits it offers for partnered sex. Dr. Prince adds that people who masturbate more frequently have better sex because they're better able to guide their partner and articulate what they like in bed. "A sexual partner can't be expected to pleasure to the point of orgasm if a woman is unable to tell them what her likes and dislikes are," she explains.

Who knew that denying yourself solo sex could actually have a negative impact on your partnered sex life, too? Masturbating before a date isn't just a good idea to calm your nerves. It's also pretty important for any, ahem, post-date activities.

And hey, if the date doesn't go as well as you'd like, now you know how to cheer yourself up. That works out fine, too, since the prolactin your body secretes during masturbation also acts as a sleep aid, so you can drift off to dreamland immediately afterward. See? No matter how the date goes, you’ve got this. You really are your own soulmate.

Studies referenced:

Brody, S., & Krüger, T. H. C. (2006). The post-orgasmic prolactin increase following intercourse is greater than following masturbation and suggests greater satiety. Biological Psychology, 71(3), 312–315. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsycho.2005.06.008

Parenthood, P. (n.d.). Is Masturbation Good For You?: Benefits of Masturbation. Planned Parenthood. https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/teens/sex/masturbation/masturbation-good-you.

Experts:

Dr. Donna Oriowo, clinically licensed social worker, sex and relationship educator, and therapist

Dr. Tami Prince, OB-GYN and owner of Women’s Health and Wellness Center of Georgia, LLC

August McLaughlin, author of the book Girl Boner: The Good Girl’s Guide to Sexual Empowerment