Common Myths about Masturbation
Sexuality has been a taboo subject for many centuries, and unfortunately the embers of that fire are still burning. As such, even though we supposedly have sufficient evidence to refute these censorial fallacies, there is still some resistance to breaking down these senseless walls. It isn’t easy to eliminate the lies that have survived year after year and that have determined society’s ethical standards, no matter how wrong they are.
The subject of masturbation is not often portrayed publicly, as it tends to be performed in private. Many people consider it to be completely private, and believe it’s not good to talk about it. In addition, many people still believe it’s a forbidden act, mainly because it’s intended for the exploration of individual pleasure, not for satisfaction in a relationship.
“I got a little homework assignment for you. Go home and touch yourself. Live a little.”
-Black Swan (movie)-
Even today, there are some who believe masturbation is harmful. These are inaccurate, if not completely false, statements. They go from saying that masturbation leads to madness, to stating that it’s a practice for selfish and lonely people.
According to The Hite Report and subsequent studies, around 82% of men and 66.6% of women masturbate intentionally. And I say “intentionally” because some people touch themselves unintentionally or have sexual fantasies while they’re sleeping, even achieving orgasm. Anyway, in the face of all the misinformation and myths, it’s only fitting to oppose these arguments. Below are some of the statements about masturbation that have become obsolete.
Masturbation is only for adolescents
This is false. The first autoerotic explorations take place during childhood, at a very early age. In the process of recognition of their own bodies, children explore their genitals and often become stimulated and excited. Of course, this is unconscious, because children lack a sexual consciousness, as it were.
Similarly, a large number of young and older adults masturbate regularly. According to the study “Sex Behavior” published by McCary in 1983, 59% of men and women over 60 admitted to masturbating with relative frequency.
Masturbation is only for single people
This is another widespread myth. From this point of view, masturbation is simply a substitute for sexual relations with a partner. This is not true. Autoeroticism follows a different logic, as it constitutes an individual practice that has much more to do with self-knowledge than compensation for a lack of intimate relations.
In fact, many married people masturbate. And masturbation has a therapeutic use regarding sexual dysfunction. It’s used as a way to overcome the mental blocks that prevent one from experiencing pleasure in the relationship.
Masturbation does not result in real orgasms
This is another false statement. Although there’s not much information on the matter, The Hite Report, a true pioneer on the subject, revealed that masturbation is the most pleasurable sexual practice for women. According to the data collected during the investigation, women achieve orgasm during masturbation 95 percent of the time, and they take less time to achieve it.
In the book The Sex Researchers by Brecher, he states that men between the ages of 35 and 60 masturbate 70 times a year on average. Although most prefer sexual relations with their partner, they also say that they consider masturbation to be an indispensable complement, and that the orgasms are just as intense.
Masturbating frequently will cause mental problems
False. When it comes to humans, it’s always unwise to point out fixed rules. “Many” or “few” are relative terms that depend on the characteristics and circumstances of each person. A person who masturbates daily is not a pervert, or sick, or on the brink of craziness. The same is true for people who masturbate very little, or not at all.
As always, if it’s a behavior that alters the normal progression of daily activities or disrupts other aspects of life, it can become a problem. But if it’s integrated into the rest of one’s obligations and pleasures, it’s not a problem.
Masturbation causes physical problems
Actually, it’s quite the opposite. People who live their sexuality freely are healthier both physically and mentally. However, some myths assure that masturbation leads to hair loss, acne, decreased fertility, and even blindness.
This is all false. Masturbation is normal and healthy, and it doesn’t cause any physical harm. It promotes self-knowledge, strengthens the pelvic muscles, increases libido, relieves stress, and decreases inhibition.