Saturday, May 25Royal Holloway's offical student publication, est. 1986

Afternoon Delight, anyone?

Elizabeth Rosenberg discusses a method that will relieve all of your stress.


When you tell someone you’re stressed, here’s what your housemate/family/the internet will tell you to do: go for a walk, meditate, eat a pizza, change your perspective, have a cuppa (or a pint), do some yoga, learn better coping strategies. Being in my third year, I have tried most of these and let me tell you – you won’t want to exercise, instead you will want to wallow in your bed; the pizza will make you feel bloated so you’ll feel fat and stressed; the “learn better coping strategies” plan (albeit completely correct) isn’t really a short term fix.

Luckily, I’ve come up with a stress relief tactic that works nearly 100% of the time and means 1. You won’t have to leave your bedroom. 2. It makes you feel really good about yourself. 3. Isn’t on the first page of the google search for “ways to relieve stress”.

It is, Masturbation.

Woah! I know! Taboo subject! Abort, ABORT.

No no my friends, this is the 21st century and it’s about to get sexual up in here.

I would love to have done a study where I stood on the bridge into RHUL and asked every student if they thought masturbating reduced their stress levels but I expect that no one would have responded to me. All I can go off here is my own experience and basically, well, it’s a winner. Masturbating means that you have to focus on one all important thing and takes your mind completely away from the school work, home life, weight of the world’s problems that was taking up all of your head-space previously. In this way, it gives you a well needed break and everyone knows that once you take your mind off something, the solution you’ve been searching for immediately pops into your head. If not, well, you’ve had a break at least.

Scientifically, masturbating releases dopamine in the brain which gives us a sense of pleasure and, the all-important endorphins that everyone goes on about are also released, these give us a sense of well-being. Low dopamine levels can lead to a lack of motivation, fatigue and memory loss so if you’re struggling with a late night essay, masturbating is DEFINITELY going to help you. Orgasms = great essays. However, if you go too crazy you could end up falling asleep.

Additionally, masturbation is free! Unless of course you want to go crazy and get yourself some sex toys then the world is your oyster. I can’t promise that masturbation is going to work as a tool for stress relief for you, all I know is that it works for me and I’ve heard that sharing is caring.

So next time you feel at your wits end and you could really do without having any responsibilities at all –  shut the door, lay back, let your hands travel south and treat yourself to some afternoon delight.