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- | February 10, 2021, 6:09 CST

The Facts About Masturbation
The benefits of self-pleasuring go well beyond the obvious.
Giddy Staff

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Giddy Staff

Masturbation refers to the act of individuals stimulating different parts of their own body for sexual pleasure. Although this act is the target of many myths and misconceptions, it is in fact normal, healthy and beneficial to one’s sex life.

Not only has masturbation been proven to provide benefits such as releasing sexual tension, improving sleep, reducing stress and improving overall mood, some experts also believe it can play an important role in sexual development, as the act of masturbation allows individuals to get to know their own bodies and sexual desires.

Research has found that among teens ages 14 to 17 in the United States, about 74 percent of males and 48 percent of females reported they have at some point masturbated. But it’s not just young people who do so. The research also found that approximately 63 percent of men and 32 percent of women ages 57 to 64 reported masturbating from time to time.

Though masturbation is generally a harmless and healthy activity, there are many myths about side effects it can cause, ranging from blindness and impotence to physical weakness and low sperm count. However, these notions have been repeatedly debunked by medical experts.

How is masturbation related to sexual wellness?

Masturbation is directly related to sexual wellness in a number of ways. Exploring one’s body through masturbation can help an individual learn what type of stimulation works best and what doesn’t. This may help equip individuals with the knowledge they can communicate to their partner, which will result in a more satisfying sex life.

Masturbation is also known to help with conditions like low sex drive by increasing sensitivity and arousal.

Also, because masturbation isn't accompanied by the same risks as sexual intercourse, it's a safer way to experience pleasure, not just alone, but with a partner as well.

Risks related to masturbation

There are some potentially negative side effects that can accompany masturbation.

Some people who masturbate struggle with feelings of guilt due to religious, spiritual or cultural beliefs. If you associate with this type of guilt, try confiding in a friend or a professional counselor.

Another potentially negative side effect is decreased sexual sensitivity. This mostly applies to people who have a particularly aggressive masturbation method. Though consistent, aggressive masturbation can decrease sensitivity, a solution might be to simply change technique.

As happens with any act that provides some sort of gratification, some people can develop a compulsion to excessively masturbate. Very few people who masturbate begin to develop addictive behaviors, but if you notice that you’re struggling to control your urge to masturbate, you should talk to a healthcare professional about your concerns.

Giddy Staff

Written by

Giddy Staff

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