We are in the midst of Masturbation May which brings to light a lot of myths about self pleasure. We are here to reveal the truth about solo sex!
Michael Castleman reveals and busts 7 of the most common masturbation myths:
Myth # 1: Ninety-eight percent of people masturbate—and the other 2 percent are lying.
Truth: Masturbation is common but not as universal as the myth suggests. According to a recent survey of a representative sample of 5,865 Americans aged 14 to 94 by researchers at Indiana University’s Kinsey Institute, depending on age, 67 to 94 percent of men have masturbated at least once, and 43 to 67 percent have done it in the past month, with younger folks doing it more often than elders. Among women, 43 to 85 percent have masturbated, with 21 to 43 percent having enjoyed it in the past month. Because masturbation is still stigmatized, even in anonymous surveys some won’t admit it, so it’s likely that actual rates are somewhat higher. But clearly, masturbation is not universal. If you do it, that’s fine, and if you don’t, that’s fine, too.
Myth #2: Masturbation can damage the genitals.
Truth: Men stroking their penises or women rubbing their clitorises or using vibrators is extremely unlikely to damage the genitals. The biological purpose of life is to reproduce life, so genitals have evolved over eons to be tough, resilient organs. Your biggest risk is a little chafing of tender genital skin during extended sessions. The solution: A lubricant. Try saliva, vegetable oil, or a commercial lube.
Myth #3. Masturbation causes mental health problems.
Truth: It causes only one, guilt, usually the result of a youth spent hearing that it’s unnatural, perverted, and sure to send you to hell. If your religionvilifies masturbation, that’s between you and God. But every sexualityexpert agrees: Masturbation is normal, healthy, and doesn’t cause physical or mental health problems.
That said, it’s possible that obsessive masturbation—several times a day—might interfere with school, work, or other life necessities. Like other innocent diversions—TV, golf, ice-cream—masturbation can cause problems if it becomes a major focus of your life. If you have difficulty reconciling your masturbation with the rest of your life, I suggest consulting a sex therapist. To find one near you, visit the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists, or the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, or the American Board of Sexology.
Myth #4: Masturbation can sexually use you up.
Truth: At birth, you’re not given some predetermined number of orgasms, and once you run through them, that’s it. There’s no limit on the number of orgasms people can physically experience. There may be a limit on the number you want, or can enjoy comfortably, but there’s no limit on the number of orgasms you can have, so masturbation can’t use them up. Nor does masturbation use up men’s sperm or semen. In normal, healthy men, the testicles are always making sperm and the prostate is always making seminal fluid.
Myth #5: Vibrators ruin women for sex without them.
Does driving ruin you for walking? No, it just gets you there faster. The same is true for sex with and without vibrators. The vulva, clitoris, nipples, and other parts of the body respond to erotic stimulation no matter where it comes from: fingers, tongues, penises, or vibrators. Vibrators produce the most intense sensations, so most women reach orgasm faster. But using vibrators—even frequently—does not change women’s ability to respond to other types of sexual stimulation.
Vibrators actually help women respond to other erotic stimulation. They allow women to experience the full range of their sexual responsiveness, and to become more comfortable with their erotic selves. Greater self-knowledge learned with a vibrator usually helps women respond to other types of sexual play.
Myth #6. Women can become addicted to vibrators.
Truth: No. Over time, some women become particularly fond of vibrator stimulation and enjoy it during both solo and partner sex. It’s a personal preference, not an “addiction.” And if women need vibrators to have orgasms, that’s fine. Some do. There’s nothing wrong with incorporating vibes into partner sex. Many couples who try it never go back.
Myth #7: If you’re in a committed relationship, it’s wrong to masturbate.
Masturbation is our original sexuality. It’s one of the first ways children learn to experience physical pleasure. Left to themselves, children are enthusiastic masturbators. Why not? It’s such fun. Kids stop masturbating (or do it in secret) largely because the adults in their lives make them feel ashamed of it.
When people enter sexual relationships, some think it’s wrong to continue masturbating, that it should no longer be necessary. That’s like saying there’s no reason to go to the movies once you have Netflix. While both masturbation and partner sex are sexual, the two experiences are different—just as the big and small screens produce different entertainment experiences.
Consider these myths busted. For more information on masturbation, click here.