Studies show that having frequent consensual sex and or orgasms reduces stress levels, lowers blood pressure, and may even get us more sleep. Sexual arousal floods our brains with hormones such as dopamine, endorphins, and oxytocin. These hormones make us feel pleasure, serenity and even alleviate pain. It has been said that sex has the capability of even increasing the length of our lifespan. However, some say that the younger generations are not having as much sex as their older counterparts did in their youth. A familiarity towards this for us students in Maastricht would be the infamous “Maastricht syndrome”.
Maastricht syndrome is a term used to justify the lack of sexual interactions that students have within the city. The syndrome is caused by high levels of stress, tight deadlines, and huge workloads, challenges that students may face on a day-to-day basis. It is no surprise that this continues to be a hot topic within our community. Whether you have personally felt its effects or someone close to you keeps grumbling about it, this syndrome has affected many in the city and seems to be robbing some of the crazy college experiences that we have been led to believe go on elsewhere.
The rise of the coronavirus means that we are stuck at home for an indefinite period of time. This makes the chances of us beating the Maastricht syndrome significantly smaller as we now do not have a myriad of social situations to engage in that help us find that special someone to get freaky with. Trying to stop the virus from spreading and affecting more lives than necessary is an important responsibility that we all share, and it is strongly advised that we just stay put. Being placed in lockdown does not mean that the deadlines and workload are also locked down. Oh no, it is very evident that many of our courses expect us to soldier on and finish the year on a strong note. In theory, this may have seemed like a piece of cake but staying at home for some does add extra pressure on top of the schoolwork and bring about feelings of anxiety and isolation. Finding ways to turn this tension into good energy may be difficult and this means that we either have the feeling of starting some new hobbies or that we are bored out of our minds and staying productive and motivated is becoming more and more of a struggle.
Perhaps baking a multitude of banana loaves is out of the picture and when the mere thought of doing squats brings about an unruly sweat upon your brow, the question of what to do to release stress remains. Well, if studies have shown that sexual arousal induces hormones that make us happy, blissful and stress free, then it only seems sensible for us to buckle down, pull out the lube and get to work. Yes, you guessed it right; it is masturbation. Masturbation has been a topic treated as a taboo for generations. Whispering about dildos, fleshlights and pornography is a norm in a lot of societies, but now that we are in confided spaces with extra energy to release there is no better time to bring the issue to the forefront and talk about the benefits of having a little wank when you please.
A big reason for one to masturbate is to be able to take the time you need to explore your interests. This time indoors may be a time of self-reflection, you might be taking a look at all the things that you have a genuine curiosity for, so why not do the same for your body. It is often a tendency to neglect figuring out what feels good for you on your own, so we rush to the finish line and forget to enjoy the marathon. It may be in your best interest to take a deep breath and try those new things out in the comfort of your own presence. Get that alone time, this too is part of self-care.
The days may seem as though they fly by in a blur and you hardly get any work done. Taking the few minutes out of your day to touch yourself might actually help improve your concentration. If you have an assignment due or are not fully psyched up about an exam that you have to take, plan that hour out, play that music or video and get lost in yourself. The increased concentration will definitely help you narrow in on those things that you find difficult and the work you produce may be even better.
Endorphins are the body’s natural pain killers that are released when our bodies are aroused. If you are suffering from a headache or perhaps menstrual cramps, foregoing the painkillers and opting for this more natural option may be worth a try if you have the extra time on your hands. It may save you a trip to the store and a few extra euros to order in that snack you have been thinking about all week.
Most importantly during this time, masturbation is known to take that edge off and give you a platform to drop all that weight from your shoulders. Stress can lead to some serious health issues if it goes on for a prolonged period of time such as fatigue, ulcers, depression, and high blood pressure just to name a few. Most importantly stress suppresses the immune system, and this is something that cannot be taken for granted as of late. Having a healthy immune system helps in the fight against harmful bacteria that might be floating around. Stress reduction may also take place in many other ways such as meditation, reading a good novel or drinking a cup of tea, however, masturbation to reduce stress may be a fun way to get that little workout in while having a good time.
The myths surrounding masturbation have only increased with the start of lockdown as some speculate that masturbating regularly will prevent you from contracting the coronavirus. This is not a fact. It has been proven in some studies that the cocktail of hormones released during masturbation can aid your immune system in ways as mentioned earlier by reducing stress. This does not mean that if you pleasure yourself you are safe from the virus and there have been no conclusive studies to prove this either. Sorry folks, going at it the whole day does not mean that you become invincible.
Alas, there are many ways to keep yourself occupied at home. Whether it is by exploring your body, binge watching shows all day, trying a new recipe or calling the people you love, the important thing is to look out for yourself during this difficult time. Staying at home is so important and if treating yourself to that new toy or bottle of lube will help you keep your peace of mind while you do it, then there seems to be no reason as to why you should hold back. Find out what works for you, what really gets your blood pumping and make sure to wash your hands before and after you are done.