OrchidA few weeks ago, I was alone in my house for 24 hours, which hardly ever happens. My husband was out of town and my kids were with their father.

And I was feeling a little horny.

So I went upstairs to my stash of erotica, pulled out my favorite sex toy, and enjoyed a little "alone time."

When I was done, I felt relaxed and content. And I went back down to my computer to get some work done.

I hadn’t even known that May was National Masturbation Month. But I'm happy to see masturbation celebrated in such a public way. Women seem much more reluctant than men to talk about it. I know that masturbation is such a personal thing, but that doesn’t mean that we aren’t doing it. At least I hope everybody is doing it.

Why? Because there are quite a few benefits to self-pleasuring. Here are a few of them:

1. Guaranteed orgasm. If you do it yourself, your chances are greater of being able to climax. And that just feels good. No worries about taking too long either.

2. Stress relief and mood changer. Masturbating and orgasms cause the body to release endorphins, the natural chemicals that give us a sense of well-being and can make us feel elated. Don't you feel better after a good orgasm? I know I do.

3. Keeps you in touch with yourself. Masturbation helps you know your body and is a way for you to learn what feels good during sex. When you are with a partner, you can then use this information to let them know what works for you.

4. PMS relief. Masturbation, and the subsequent orgasm, increases blood flow to the pelvic region -- which can help alleviate not only pre-menstrual symptoms but also cramps.

5. Insomnia aid. Can't sleep? Help is just a vibrator or a few fingers away. Just like a good romp in the sack with your partner can help you sleep more soundly, so can a self-induced orgasm.

So in celebration of National Masturbation Month, go ahead. Don't be shy. Touch yourself and reap the benefits! If you want, you can even bring your partner to the party. Mutual masturbation can be very rewarding too.

Will you be celebrating this month with a little 'self love'?