Nyna Nickelson | Correspondent

Why is it when thinking about sex and love, the most important person is often left out: yourself?

Sure when daydreaming we think of ourselves with that special someone doing the deed, but we hardly imagine ourselves, alone. After all real love involves another person, right? Wrong! Real love begins with YOU.

Masturbation, to most, is a dirty word reserved only for horny teenagers, tube socks in the hush hush of the night and middle-aged women on late night HBO. This stereotype could not be farther from the truth.

According to Planned Parenthood’s website, seven out of ten males masturbate and only three out of ten women do.  Masturbation has been linked to improving confidence and creating a high sense of well-being for individuals.

Unfortunately, the stigma behind masturbation is more talked about than the benefits, especially for woman. While men may not always be vocal about what they do alone behind closed doors there is more of an acceptance of masturbation for them than there is in female communities.

Masturbation is often seen as a shameful act. However, masturbation is sexual autonomy.

Allowing people the express themselves sexually can facilitate positive feelings about sexual awareness and can to safer choices down the line.

Perhaps, you’re thinking something along the lines of: “I don’t need to masturbate for sex because I can get a willing participant any time I want!”

First, let’s come down off our high horse, shall we. Second, it is time to dispel the myth that masturbation equals desperation.

Masturbation is the epitome of self love and taking the time to understand one’s own body and sexual needs on a deeper level.

Sources on Planned Parenthood state, “Masturbation can enhance our physical, mental, and sexual health in addition to the health of our sexual relationships.” Those who masturbate are more likely to have greater sexual experiences and more likely to climax.

Another key point for masturbation, not that it needs much more selling, is how it helps the ability for individuals to understand their likes and dislikes before another person ever enters the bedroom.

This way, sex is less awkward when a new partner is introduced because you will be more confident, and with a little communication a pleasant and comfortable sexual experience can occur.

So go ahead and try it, the only person that has to know is you.