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Masturbation Myths Debunked

Masturbation Myths Debunked

Masturbation has numerous health benefits including:
– Stress relief
– Sleep aid 
– Reduces menstrual cramps
– Mood enhancer 
– Strengthens pelvic floor muscles
– Release of tension and sexual frustration
– Allows you to find new pleasure spots, positions, and pace that you find pleasurable and can later communicate with your partner 
 

Due to the shame and stigma that exists in the topic of masturbation, the act of administering self-pleasure has also dealt with a lot of myths that I believe are overdue for debunking.

Some of them may be quite obviously false, such as the age-old tale that “masturbating gives you hairy palms” or that “masturbating too much can make you go blind”. Although masturbation is one of the most common forms of human sexual activity that may be practiced through the lifespan, it remains one of the least studied aspects of human sexuality (Carrera, 2002). Due to the lack of information and comprehensive sex education, many of myths that exist about masturbation remain unanswered and worth discrediting. So, let’s take a look at one that may still be up for debate!: 

 

MYTH #1: Masturbating too much is bad for you 

 

Like most things in life, too much of a good thing could be bad for you. However, as long as you are not detracting from your day-to-day life responsibilities, there is no limit as far as how much you can masturbate. Masturbation has been found to be the best way to improve the sexual health of an individual (Coleman, 2003). There is no assigned limit as far as how little or how often you should do it, but stay mindful that the act is always there to bring you pleasure and not take over your life, but be an added benefit. As long as masturbating remains a pleasurable experience for you, keep it up!

 

If you tend to lean towards battery operated self-pleasure practices – it is important to shed light on the fact that using a vibrator will not kill any sensitivity no matter how often you may be using it. If there is some numbness that occurs, it is expected to go away within a few minutes following the session.

 

MYTH #2: Females don’t masturbate as much as men 

 

It is worth mentioning that female masturbation in particular, bears the brunt of the myths. Female self-pleasure is something that is still seen as a very taboo topic, much more so than of our male counterparts. Due to the sexual double standard that exists, it is more commonly assumed that almost every male we encounter masturbates, but not the same can be said for women. But the reality is, that nearly a third of women of all lifestyles and relationship status, masturbate and find that masturbation as a beneficial part of their sex lives (Berk, 2019). 

 

Masturbation, at times, can be seen as a surefire way for females to reach an orgasm. According to the National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior, there exists a Gender Orgasm Gap, that exists especially in heterosexual relationships. Nearly 90% of hetero men account to having an orgasm after partnered sex, while only 65% of hetero women states they reached an orgasm. Since a female is more likely to reach an orgasm when masturbating than with a partner, they might be reaching for the vibrator more often than sending the cheeky “you up?” text. 

 

MYTH #3: Masturbation is only for single people

The idea that masturbation is only helpful when you are not currently sexually active is completely false. Both single people and those in partnerships engage in masturbation.

However, many adults in relationships feel that a partner’s masturbatory practices are synonymous with being sexually dissatisfied in our relationships. The truth is, the shame that we may have received growing up towards giving ourselves self-pleasure has now seeped into our adulthood and our relationships. Instead of viewing our partner’s masturbatory practices as a healthy form of self pleasure, some people tend to become jealous or look for what is wrong in the relationships.

There is no such thing as a “normal” libido. However, someone who is dealing with a particularly high libido can begin to feel sexually frustrated and deal with a lot of feelings of rejection from their partner. A high libido can be caused by a number of reasons, some being age, hormones, medication, mental health, exercise, sleep, etc. The list goes on! 
 
How do we deal with having a higher libido than our partners? First thing is to recognise that the balance is just off and this can just be a temporary thing. Also, that a man always having the higher libido in a heterosexual relationship is a total myth. So, leaning towards masturbation is the way to go. 

However, masturbation and sex with your partner don’t always have to be viewed as mutually exclusive activities. Some couples find the benefit of mutual masturbation, or masturbating together, as a new way to engage in sexual pleasure and spice things up in the bedroom. 

POSITIVE BENEFITS OF MASTURBATION

 

The positive benefits of self-pleasure definitely outnumbers the myths. Masturbation has been connected to both physical and mental health benefits such as enhanced quality of sleep, a stress reliever, pelvic floor strengthener, a way to release tension, build a healthier immune system and a tool to improving your sex life. 

Masturbation is the key to finding what you enjoy sexually and can relate later to a partner. When we practice self-pleasure, we learn the sensations and locations which bring us the most satisfaction. By becoming familiar with our bodies, we are able to communicate with our partners what will get us off in the future. Not all are created equal and that pertains to our sensory receptors as well. What may have been pleasurable to your ex may be the biggest turn off for your current partner, so being able to communicate to your sexual partners what feels good to you is speaking your own truth and guiding them to having improved sex and orgasms. 

Given the misinformation that floats around about masturbation, it is important to note that there are far more benefits to rubbing one off than not. It has been said time and time again that you are your safest sex partner and masturbation is the perfect way to give yourself an orgasmic experience without the risk of contracting an STI or unwanted pregnancy. 

It is time that we celebrate masturbation for what it always was and is so useful for now: a form of releasing tension, of loving being alone, of reconnecting with our erotic side, and for reminding ourselves that masturbation is not a substitution to sex with a partner, but as a vehicle to honour the importance of self-pleasure and intimacy with our own body.

If you would like to explore any sexual concerns so you can meet sex and sexuality with a healthier and more pleasurable approach, get in touch to work with our Clinical Sexologist.

You may also like to read our other information about sex and sex therapy:

What is Sex Therapy?

sex therapy

Mindful Sex with Therapy in Barcelona’s Collaborating Sexologist

Love in the Time of Covid

If you are located in Barcelona, our Clinical Sexologist suggests exploring toy options which can make your new venture into masturbation more exciting. You can check out the store Amantis, which has two locations here, in Gracia and in Sant Antoni. They have knowledgeable staff and are extremely female friendly.

If you are able to reach an orgasm best by clitoral stimulation, consider the ever-popular satisfyer

 

By Avril, Therapy in Barcelona Collaborating Clinical Sexologist

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