You’ve probably heard about it, you may even participate in it; however, most of you would never admit to it….Masturbation! Although masturbation is becoming a little more socially acceptable to talk about and a little less taboo, people still tend to hide the fact that they enjoy pleasing themselves. This is probably because of the guilt and shame people associate with masturbation because they may have been caught touching themselves as young children and were berated for doing such a thing: “What are you doing?” “Don’t do that!” “That’s gross!” “Touching yourself is a sin!” “If you touch yourself you will grow hair on your palms!” What I would like to do is explore some of the actual benefits to masturbating throughout one’s lifetime! (That’s right! Masturbation is actually a positive thing!!)
Masturbation & Children
Children start exploring their bodies a little more in depth around the ages of 5 & 6 years. This is the most impressionable time for them to find out whether or not what they are doing is okay! So, parents, if you catch your child masturbating, don’t shame them. When the time is appropriate you may talk to them about privacy and assure them that what they are doing is normal, and that you know it feels good, however, it’s only okay when they are alone in their bedroom or in the bathroom.
Masturbation & Adolescents
This topic is probably a given with the raging hormones that come with puberty! However, some parents still discourage their teenager from masturbating or the teen may associate that guilt and shame we talked about earlier to masturbating; thus, turning them away from finding sexual release. If parents stopped to think about it, allowing their teenager to masturbate could possibly lessen the chances of their teen becoming sexually active with a partner. This, in turn, decreases their teen’s risk of getting pregnant/getting someone else pregnant and decreases their chances of contracting an STI. Another benefit to masturbating during adolescence is it can help teach them that they shouldn’t be ashamed or embarrassed by their bodies. It promotes being comfortable in their own skin!
Masturbation & Adults
If one begins masturbating during childhood and continued on into adolescence, chances of them still masturbating as an adult are pretty high! Even if an adult was told not to masturbate when they were younger, this may possibly be the time they start. This is typically the time of sexual exploration (whether it is with themselves or a partner). Adulthood masturbation is all about self-exploration and finding out what feels the best to you. Once you know what you enjoy and what brings you to climax, you can share this information with your partner and guide them on the ways you like to be touched. This can definitely enhance your sexual experience and lead you to those toe-curling orgasms you’ve always wanted.
Masturbation & Menopause & Prostate Cancer (Oh My!)
The onset of menopause for women typically occurs during their 50’s, while the highest risk of a man getting prostate cancer occurs during ages 40 through 60. If a woman masturbates during menopause, it can help keep her vaginal tissues pliable and lubricated. Masturbating with a penetration toy can even help keep the vaginal walls from narrowing.
Now for masturbation and prostate cancer…there are current studies that are being done that are looking at the link of masturbation with lower chances of getting prostate cancer. These studies are trying to determine if masturbation helps rid the prostate gland of fluid that may contain cancer-causing substances. This would be a nice incentive to practice healthy self-pleasuring; however, much more research needs to be done!
Masturbation & Sex Therapy
If you read my last blog post you’ll know that there is no touching going on in session, and the sex therapist will not be teaching the client how to masturbate. There is, however, a technique that a lot of sex therapists like to use in order to help treat a lot of sexual dysfunctions, such as: erectile dysfunction, low desire, premature ejaculation, and female anorgasmia. This technique is called sensate focus. There are three steps in this technique and the second step includes partner genital stimulation through masturbating your partner. This step mainly allows effective communication between the partners and what feels good to them and at what speed. Thus, through this open and honest communication, the partners not only learn how to communicate more effectively, but it also allows for a more healthy and pleasurable sexual experience!
I hope this blog post has given you a little more insight into the positive aspects of masturbating! If you don’t practice it already, maybe this will give you a little encouragement. After all, if you don’t know how to please yourself, how do you expect someone else to please you?!