Growing up, we were told and taught that masturbation was a sin against the almighty God who created us (never mind the fact that God created sex…) and that sex was reserved for married people. If there wasn’t a ring, sex (and masturbation) was out of the question.
In our communities, that are very conservative, sex and all topics surrounding it were and are still forbidden. Sure, there was usual boy talk and discussions back then in school about which guy had the biggest “piece,” but really, sex as a topic of conversation was intolerable.
Even more unacceptable was masturbation. It wasn’t something any of us were comfortable talking about. When it would come up in our "Hot Seat" discussions especially in unisexual groups, many avoided the questions. No one really wanted to talk about it. Never mind the fact that it is the safest sex a human can possibly have.
Conduct an Internet search for "masturbation," and you will find hundreds, if not thousands, of slang phrases for the act. This proliferation of slang phrases suggests people want to talk about masturbation, but are uncomfortable about doing so directly. Using comedic terms provides a more socially acceptable way to express themselves.
Masturbation, the act of pleasuring oneself through the touching or stimulation of one’s genitals, is not a new concept. Rather, it is something that has been depicted throughout history.
If masturbation is found throughout history, how did it get twisted into something so unspeakable and taboo?
So before we talk any more about it, let's normalise it a bit. Masturbation, or touching one's own genitals for pleasure, is something that babies do from the time they are in the womb. It's a natural and normal part of healthy sexual development.
Lots of people masturbate! Even if they don't talk about it, it’s common for people of any gender or age to do it. Even before puberty, children sometimes discover that touching their genitals feels good. If you have kids and notice them touching their genitals, let them know that masturbating is completely normal, but something they should do in private
But societal perspectives of masturbation still vary greatly, and there's even some stigma around engaging in the act. Related to this stigma are the many myths about masturbation, myths so ridiculous it's a wonder anyone believes them.
They include: masturbation causes erectile dysfunction, low sperm count, blindness and insanity; masturbation can make sexual organs fall off; and masturbation causes infertility.
In actual fact, masturbation has many health benefits.
It’s totally normal to masturbate (touch yourself for sexual pleasure) whether you’re sexually active with other people or not. Masturbation even has health benefits, like reducing stress.
People masturbate for different reasons- it helps them relax, they want to understand their body better, they want to release sexual tension, or their partner isn’t around.
But most people masturbate because it feels good. Many people think that masturbation is only something you do when you don’t have a sex partner. But both single people and people in relationships masturbate.
Some people masturbate often, others rarely, and some people don’t masturbate at all. Different people masturbate in different ways, for different reasons. Masturbation is a totally personal decision, and there’s no “normal” way to go about it.
Most people who masturbate, have admitted to having orgasms. When you have an orgasm, your body releases endorphins, which are hormones that block pain and make you feel good. The good feelings that accompany an orgasm happen whether you’re by yourself or having sex with a partner.
Lastly, lots of people in relationships masturbate. Masturbating when you’re in a relationship doesn’t mean your partner isn’t satisfying you. It’s a great way to figure out what you like and what makes you have an orgasm.
As shared in one of my articles, on what makes one great in bed, you can then show or tell your partner what feels good. Talking about sex with your partner can make it more fun and can even make your relationship stronger. Some people masturbate at the same time as their partner.