Reap the benefits of solo sex and throw the best party for one.

The sex life you have with yourself is just as crucial as the one you have with your partner. Yes, we’re talking about masturbation, self-love, getting hands on, DIY sex—whatever you call it, know this: More than half of women ages 18-49 report masturbating within the past three months, according to the results of research conducted by the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction.


“The key to having great sex is knowing your body, and masturbating is one way to discover what turns you on,” says Jane Greer, Ph.D., a New York City-based sex and marriage counselor and author of “What About Me? Stop Selfishness from Ruining Your Relationship.” “Plus, you can incorporate what you’ve learned into your sex life with your partner.”


Here are some of the many reasons why masturbation is oh-so-good for you:


Masturbation boosts your sex life. Let’s be clear, self-pleasuring isn’t only for the lonely. On the contrary, many women engage in solo sex to complement their already-hot sex lives, according to a study conducted by the University of Chicago. Call it bedroom maintenance. “Sex begets sex,” says Kat Van Kirk, Ph.D., a clinical sexologist and marriage and family therapist in Los Angeles. “The more often a woman is sexually aroused—even by herself—the more likely she is to not only want more sex with a partner, but also be more orgasmic when she does.”


It comes with health perks. For some women, the only way they can reach climax is by masturbating. Obviously, orgasms feel amazing, but they also offer a slew of health benefits. For starters, they’re a stress-reliever and mood-booster. They can also curb headaches, according to research published in the journal Cephalalgia. This may be thanks to a flurry of neurotransmitters such as endorphins and the hormone estrogen that are released post-orgasm.


Yup, orgasms are basically a pain protector: Famed sex researcher Beverly Whipple found that a woman’s pain threshold spiked by nearly 75 percent after climaxing through masturbation.


Self-pleasuring can help you fall asleep faster. Masturbation can be a handy—if you’ll pardon the pun—sleep aid, which likely comes as no surprise to anyone who has ever climaxed and then passed out. That’s because the chemical prolactin is released after orgasm and has been linked to sleep. In fact, 32 percent of women sneak in a solo sex session when they’re tossing and turning so they can fall back to sleep.


It can improve the health of your hair. YouBeauty co-founder Michael Roizen, M.D., points out: “Each hair follicle has a blood vessel to it, and your blood flow is a major determinate of both internal and external beauty.” More blood flow via a self-love-induced orgasm means you’re Habits for a Good Hair Life –