The gift-giving season is coming around once again. The season to be jolly can be fraught with anxiety-ridden shopping sprees trying to find the perfect Christmas gifts for your loved ones. You want to surprise them with something they will truly love. Provoke squeals of unbridled delight when the wrapping paper comes off. Avoid awkward smiles while surreptitious fondling said package to see if the gift receipt is still intact.
Inclusive sex toy store kandid.com (opens in new tab) and the brand's sexual wellness doctor, Dr Elesha Vooght, have put together 10 reasons why a sex toy is the best most thoughtful gift you can give this Christmas. They are on a mission to remove the stigma surrounding sexual pleasure and make masturbation part of our self-care routines due to the amazing mental and physical health benefits.
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1. The gift of better orgasms
Seriously, tell us a better gift?! You’re basically playing god. Remember that rumour about regular masturbation with a vibrator means you can never orgasm from manual stimulation again? This isn’t true. Regular masturbation with a vibrator can actually improve nerve sensitivity. If you happen to have a clitoris, this tiny powerhouse has 8,000 nerve endings, so imagine what improving that sensation could be like. Regular vibrator use can also lead to higher levels of desire, arousal, wetness and orgasm. It’s essentially a natural way to help kick start your libido, with almost no associated side effects.
2. Rabbits are for life, not just for Christmas
A good quality sex toy is the one present option almost guaranteed to be used again and again, loved, cherished and never ever put in the bin. Unlike many other self-care gifts that will be gone in a few expensive pumps or squirts, this is the gift that keeps on giving.
3. It's great for your mental health
Mental health is a key issue for many of us at the moment, with 'self-care days' often touted as a way to combat anxiety and depression. Dr Elesha says: Solo-sex is a great way to combat this, especially with a vibrator. Masturbation activates and releases the brain’s store of “happy hormones”. The big players here are dopamine and oxytocin. Dopamine acts to give you a temporary mood boost. Oxytocin reduces levels of cortisol in our blood. For those of you who don’t know, cortisol is the hormone produced by the adrenal glands which is the chemical signal for “stress”. By reducing the levels of cortisol in our blood, we become more relaxed.
4. Wave goodbye to pelvic floor problems
An amazing present to give new mums, as many sex toys such as pelvic floor trainers and kegel balls (opens in new tab) help rebuild muscles that are damaged during childbirth. Dr Elesha says: ‘The pelvic floor is the group of muscles that support our bladder, bowel and the internal parts of our genitalia, lining the base of the pelvis. If you gave a vagina, sex toys known as kegel balls can be great at improving the strength of these muscles.
A stronger pelvic floor leads to more intense orgasms, an increased likelihood of multiple orgasms and gives you better control over your bladder. Using an internal vibrator, can improve the elasticity of vaginal walls and increase your natural levels of wetness, making sex much more comfortable.
5. They won’t break the bank
Sure, you can spend hundreds on a sex toy if you want to, but there a plenty of high quality sex toys on the market for under £50. Kandid’s small vibrator (opens in new tab) packs a small but mighty punch, comes in a gorgeous discreet gift box for just £45. Dr Elesha says: "Buying a sex toy doesn’t have to be expensive, but make sure you buy from a reputable store. Amazon and Ebay are flooded with cheap toys made from non-safe materials like jelly, which is a porous substance. Kandid’s vibrators are great as they are all made from 100% silicone, which is completely body-safe and lovely and silky to touch."
6. It can help improve sleep
How many of us struggle with how to sleep better at night? How many nights do you switch the light off then lie there for what seems like hours? A million thoughts deciding that they want to flicker through your head? Masturbation can help with this! To masturbate in a satisfying manner, you have to concentrate completely and give over to your own pleasure, emptying your head of thoughts.
The motions involved in getting yourself off are often repetitive and consuming. These two elements combined make masturbating the perfect mindfulness activity, allowing your restless mind to empty itself. When we orgasm, oxytocin and prolactin are released, which are the biochemical agents we need to ensure deep sleep. Endorphin release also leads to a decrease in blood pressure, leaving you deeply relaxed.
7. Skincare that actually works
Dr Elesha says: "Along with great sleep comes great skin. A good night’s sleep reduces the likelihood of acne developing. More than this, the hormones released during masturbation have a variety of anti-inflammatory properties, which helps your skin’s overall health. When we masturbate, especially to the point of climax, our heart rate goes up. This gives you a full body workout, leaving your skin with a dewy glow. When women orgasm, there is a huge rush of oestrogen into the bloodstream. High levels of oestrogen are associated with improved skin elasticity and fewer wrinkles."
8. Masturbation can boost self-esteem
Regular masturbation has been shown to be directly related to how good we feel about our bodies and about ourselves. This could be easy to interpret as people with high self-esteem tend to masturbate more regularly, but actually what it means is that anyone who starts to masturbate on a regular basis will have a subjective increase in their self-esteem. That’s pretty amazing, right?! It's thought this is due to the fact that masturbation requires us to acknowledge and appreciate our bodies, predominantly the amazing things it can do for us, like orgasms. Once we are able to consciously accept what we are capable of on our own, we experience an overall increase in confidence levels.
9. A natural remedy for PMT cramps
When we masturbate, our body releases endorphins. These are the body’s natural pain relief, which also happen to be released during exercise, such as running or when eating dark chocolate. Endorphins act in a few different ways. One way is that they act directly on receptors to kill pain. They also hang around in our system, dulling our ability to notice pain up to hours later. This is great for any general aches and pains, especially post workout soreness! When we masturbate, there is improved blood flow to the pelvis. This is very useful if you happen to be on your period. The increased blood flow can help reduce abdominal cramping and back spasm. So next time instead of popping a pill, you can think about popping an orgasm instead.
10. The gift of better sex!
We have talked about better orgasms, but did you know that regular masturbation can also lead to better partnered sex? Masturbation allows you to understand how your body works. Ultimately, it tells you what you enjoy and what brings you the most pleasure. Once you know what you enjoy, it is easier to talk to someone else about it. You can directly tell your partner what you enjoy and even give them instruction on how to do it. Partnered sex should be about mutual enjoyment! A happy side effect is that when barriers around talking about sex are broken down in relationships, it then also gets easier to talk about the stickier stuff like condoms and boundaries, which can often place strain on a couple.