The full eBook is OUT NOW for $6.13 including VAT. Click Here to Preview or purchase “SEX, Not as a separate Subject” now! So assuming it’s common knowledge that masturbation does not make you blind, cross eyed or give you hairy palms, and if we can safely say that enjoying some self lovin’ does not kill innocent kittens, let’s take a look at a few more myths that surround the greatest source of free pleasure and entertainment ever!
This is one of the worse and most harmful myths that is still perpetuated to this day. The belief that pleasuring yourself is just something you have to do in the absence of “real” sex causes a huge amount of shame, guilt and feelings of sexual inadequacy in teens and adults alike. The amount of trashy literature that I’ve read in books and on the internet saying things like “You don’t wanna go home and jerk off like a loser do you?” or “Don’t you feel bad that the only thing you’ve screwed is your hand?” is just shocking, wrong and not very helpful at all. Masturbation is a totally valid form of sexual expression and is no better or worse than sex with another person. In fact I, and I’d assume most people, have had sexual encounters with others which were less pleasurable, less satisfying and even less meaningful that some of their masturbatory experiences! There are even people who actively choose a self-sexual lifestyle. These people essentially decide that they wish to remain single and love and enjoy only themselves in a sexual manner. Sometimes people choose self-sexuality for a period of time, others do it their entire life. And despite not having “real” sex with other people they can live equally, and in many cases, more sexually fulfilling lives than those who are married or engage in regular sex with a number of people!
So listen, masturbation is not a cheap substitute for sexual intercourse, it is just as valid a form of sexual expression as anything else. We need to understand this. No more guilt, no more shame, we require a sense of masturbation pride! It is vital to our sense of self love and acceptance, it’s vital to enjoying meaningful and pleasurable relationships with others and it’s vital to our overall emotional and physical health. Let’s use the example of eating again. Sure it can be fun to go out to dinner with friends and share a meal, but it can be equally enjoyable to make yourself a nice sandwich and eat it out in the garden under the sun alone. There simply is no better or worse when it comes to sexual experiences, only difference.
Masturbation Myth 2: “You’re Too Old to Masturbate!”
This is another big one. Boys in particular worry about this. I know when I was younger I used to wonder “When will I stop masturbating?” I wasn’t too concerned, I grew up in a sex positive environment and I enjoyed myself. However it didn’t stop me wondering. As I grew older and learned more about the subjects of sex and masturbation I realised the shocking truth: There is no such thing as too old! Everyone is different of course, and we all go through phases of heightened or lowered sexual virility and potency, but there is simply no set age at which to stop masturbating or engaging in sexual intercourse. Take for example the celebrated American sex educator, author and artist Betty Dodson. Born in 1929, Betty is still writing articles and making videos on sex and masturbation. Never have I seen an octogenarian more vibrant and full of life, and Betty claims it’s all down to her regular and lengthy sessions of self-love and self sex. Annie Sprinkle is another amazing example. Annie spent time as a sex worker and pornographic actress before going on to earn a degree in human sexuality from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality. Born in 1954, she is another example of someone who has dedicated their life to the celebration of the human body and human sexuality in all its glory. These are just two high profile examples of people who continue to enjoy their sex and masturbation long into their twilight years. There is simply no age at which the human body stops being capable of enjoying sexual stimulation and orgasm. And the benefits of sexual stimulation and orgasm continue to improve our health all the way into our hundreds and beyond.
So if you or someone you know is worried that they might be too old to still be masturbating, just remember our friend Betty Dodson. If she can do it into her 80’s so can you! I genuinely feel sorry for those who give up masturbation through abstinence at any point in their life. Ironically abstinence is a form of fetish just like any other. If that’s what you’re into that’s cool, but at least be honest about it.
Masturbation Myth 3: When You Have a Partner You Should No Longer Need to Masturbate.
There is a scene at the start of the film American Reunion where a married couple are both secretly engaging in masturbation on their own. When they discover that each other were getting themselves off, they both felt offended. As if their masturbation suggested that they weren’t good enough for each other sexually. The couple assumed that if they needed to masturbate there must be something wrong with their relationship. What a ridiculous and harmful message! Many people assume that once they get into a steady sexual relationship with someone they will suddenly no longer require masturbation as they are getting “the real thing”. And when the urge is still there to enjoy their own body and sexuality, it can become worrisome, they might think “what the hell is wrong with me?!” There’s nothing wrong with you, this is completely normal, in fact it is often the case that masturbation can become a more common occurrence once we are engaging in regular partner sex! The increase in sexual activity fills us with wonderful, pleasurable experiences and brings our focus to sex even more. We find ourselves in a heightened state of arousal and potency so this naturally increases the likelihood of engaging in masturbation.
So forget about this myth. Married couples, partnerships and those who get a lot of regular casual sex all engage in masturbation as well. This is perfectly healthy and normal. You don’t suddenly stop wanting and requiring self-pleasure when you hook up with someone, and you should certainly never worry about it. Masturbation is not a sign that there’s something wrong with you or your partner. The healthiest relationships feature a good, positive attitude toward partner sex and toward each other’s own masturbation as well.
Masturbation Myth 4: You Can Masturbate Too Much.
This assertion is false, for the most part. Common sense dictates that anything done too much or for too long will be harmful. You can drink too much water, you can inhale too much oxygen, you can exercise too much and yes you can, technically, even masturbate too much. If you find yourself masturbating (boys or girls) to the point where it hurts, or damages your genitals, by all means stop. If you are chafing, blistering, or causing callouses on your hands or genitals then do take a break, and try to plan out a masturbation regime that does not result in such injuries. In order to incur such injuries you would have to be at it hours at a time on a daily basis which is very rare. However if you do have an problem with this, there may be some underlying issues and you might want to see a good sex therapist. But for the most part it is virtually impossible to masturbate too much. Both men and women can do it every day, and many sex educators actively encourage daily masturbation! Multiple times per day is fine too, but as with anything use common sense and don’t damage, hurt, or exhaust yourself. Everyone has a different intensity of sexual desire, and our sex drives vary as we go through different periods in our lives. Some people might find that they enjoy masturbation only a few times per week, others might enjoy it every day, and others still might go longer periods of time without even thinking about it. The length of time between self-pleasure is not important, it’s not a competition. The important thing is that you pleasure yourself when it feels right for you, and in the way that is natural and enjoyable. There’s no right or wrong way, and there’s no right or wrong amount!
Thanks for reading! All the best
Rohan Healy is the author of “Greeks to Geeks: Practical Stoicism in the 21st Century”, “The 7 Things That Made Me Genuinely & Irreversibly Happy: And How They Can Do The Same For You” and Sci Fi Action/Adventure novel Gyaros: The Mice Eat Iron!
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