5 Things to Know About Masturbation
Throughout history, masturbation has variously been a sin, a mental illness, a threat to sanity, the cause of blindness and much more. Those beliefs have fortunately been largely banished from mainstream thought nowadays, but we are still finding out new details about an old practice.
You have perhaps carried out your own research on masturbation over the years and built up a sizable base of knowledge regarding this pleasurable topic.
But you may not be aware of the following facts we have collected.
1. There’s no normal amount of masturbation.
Each of us has particular needs when it comes to masturbation. How many times per day or week you masturbate isn’t really very relevant. What’s more important is how you fit masturbation into your life. You can masturbate upward of five times a day, and the only consequence might be running up your hand lotion expenses.
However, if you find yourself compelled to masturbate at work or in other risky situations, or if you prefer masturbation over sex with a partner, you may need to deal with deeper issues. Masturbation becomes problematic when it becomes an addiction and interferes with the rest of your life, as with any other addiction. Do seek help if you feel your masturbation addiction is getting out of control.
2. Not all orgasms are created equal.
Studies demonstrate that ejaculation from sex with a partner affects your body differently than having an orgasm from masturbation. Men realize health benefits for their prostate, heart and blood pressure from sex with a partner that can’t be matched by orgasms from masturbation.
Research has provided no clear explanation for why this might be, but the phenomenon is genuine and measurable. Even the content of your semen is different when you ejaculate due to sex with a partner. However, masturbation by any measure is still pretty great.
3. Masturbation is probably beneficial for your health and sex life.
“Exploring one’s body” is a euphemism that also holds a lot of meaning. When you masturbate, you learn what gets you aroused, how long you can last, and how to recognize the sensations of approaching and reaching orgasm.
Knowing what you like and what feels good to you—and being comfortable enough to talk about it honestly and openly with your partner—are vital components of a healthy sex life, and masturbation is a piece of that puzzle.
What’s more, masturbation releases a storm of “happy” neurochemicals such as dopamine and oxytocin, which activate the reward centers in your brain. Masturbation is even under study for its impact on the immune system.
4. Masturbation isn’t without risk.
The good news is you’re not likely to give yourself a sexually transmitted infection (STI) by masturbating. However, excessive masturbation can lead to uncomfortable chafing and sores. Make sure you use an actual lubricant; the saliva alternative may be convenient, but it can lead to bacterial infections.
Also know that strict adherence to a specific (and possibly damaging) technique sometimes known as “death-grip syndrome” can lead to problems. For example, when you can’t replicate that precise form of stimulation with a partner, you might experience ejaculation issues.
Last, be aware that it’s possible to give yourself a penile fracture if you’re overenthusiastic. It’s not common, but you definitely don’t want to become one of those statistics.
5. Masturbation doesn’t reflect on your relationship.
Guys masturbate. Women masturbate. Even when they’re in a relationship. Period. End of story.
If masturbation is crowding out sex with your partner, if it is being used as a means to create an unhealthy distance between the two of you, or if it becomes a compulsive behavior, you have a problem. Reach out to your doctor, talk to your partner, and admit there’s an issue and solve it.
If that’s not the case, masturbating is normal and a relaxing pastime that’s to be encouraged, enjoyed and, if you’re both up for it, shared with your partner.