On good lockdown days, isolation helped us rediscover ourselves, giving us time to focus on dusting and polishing what's needed within. On bad days, it became a scary echo chamber of questionable behavior sparked by overwhelming emotions and counterproductive coping mechanisms.

A version of life similar to before the pandemic has begun unfolding, but the amount of stress we've had to deal with over the past year and more still haunts our daily life. You may still find yourself coping with complicated emotions with your poison of choice, including self-pleasure.

Self-pleasure for sleep, or more?

Using masturbation as a sleep aid is one of the oldest tricks in the book. But what happens if masturbation morphs from a supplement into a method for escaping reality? Or a necessity on busy days? Can chasing the high of climax get counterproductive?

Indigo Stray Conger, an AASECT-certified sex therapist based in Colorado, said masturbation is a behavioral activity with access to our neurological