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Masturbation Myth Busting

By: Lisa Finn

Masturbation Myth Busting - The Truth About Masturbation

It's Masturbation May and we're here to celebrate all of the wonders of masturbation and the great ways that it can improve not only your sex life, but life in general. Unfortunately, not everyone is as savvy about the real masturbation truths, and misinformation still spreads like wildfire - even despite all of the cultural strides we’ve made towards a more sex positive world.

So, we’re here to talk about solo play, self-love, jacking off, me time - whatever you love to call it - and debunk some of these masturbation myths so you can enjoy your pleasures confidently.

What is masturbation?

Masturbation is the act of sexual self-stimulation with the goal of arousal or pleasure. Masturbation is a great (and natural!) way to explore our bodies to learn more about our sexuality, to discover new desires, to feel pleasure, to release sexual tension, or simply to connect to ourselves in a physical and erotic way.

Your body is yours, and you are always deserving of giving it love - and that can include giving yourself sexual love, too!

Masturbation Myth Busting - The Truth About MasturbationHow to masturbate

Something we love about masturbation is that there’s no wrong way to do it! While most will explore masturbation through stimulation of the genitals, really, you can do so by touching your body in any way and in any place that feels good.

With a vulva

Since most people with vulvas require some form of clitoral stimulation to reach their O, it's no surprise that the most popular way to explore masturbation this way is through clit stimulation - usually using fingers or a sex toy like a clitoral suction toy or external vibrator. You can also enjoy solo vaginal penetration during masturbation, using fingers, a dildo, or internal vibrator - exploring the G-spot or simply enjoying the sensation of fullness and all of the fantastic nerve endings surrounding the vaginal opening and throughout the vaginal canal. To really ramp things up, try out some blended sensation techniques through stimulating your body vaginally and clitorally all at once by pairing your movements or using a dual-stimulation toy like a rabbit vibrator.

With a penis

When we think about masturbation with a penis, jacking off - aka stroking the penis manually - is probably the first thing to come to mind, but that’s not the only way to enjoy some solo penis play. There are plenty of toys for the penis - vibrators, hand-held masturbation sleeves, and automated strokers to name a few - as well as other erogenous hot-spots like the scrotum and perineum. For those who like internal stimulation as well, solo prostate play is a popular way to enjoy getting off through the back door, either by itself or paired with penis pleasure for a blended experience (like we mentioned for folks with vulvas, too!). 

Masturbation Myth Busting - The Truth About MasturbationWith an anus

Anal masturbation isn’t just for folks with a prostate - the booty is filled with so many feel-good nerve endings from the sensitive rim of the anus to the pleasurable sensation of fullness that can come from anal penetration. Using a vibrating butt plug, a rimming toy, or a dildo to include your butt on your masturbation menu can open up a world of opportunities for sensation. Don't forget the lube!

Myths about masturbating

As we mentioned above, there are a lot of rumors about masturbation, and unfortunately a lot of these mistruths prevent people from really allowing themselves to dive in and enjoy self-stimulation to its fullest. So, we’re going to go over some of the most common questions we see regarding solo play and debunk these masturbation myths (hopefully once and for all!).

Is masturbation unhealthy?

Actually, it's the opposite - many experts believe that masturbation is actually good for your health! Masturbation has been proven to provide a variety of health benefits - and that includes perks for both our physical and mental health. When we masturbate, our brains release endorphins, dopamine, and oxytocin - feel-good chemicals that are directly associated with reducing stress and boosting our mood, and these effects stick around for a while after we’re done with our solo play sessions as well.

Physically, masturbation can aid with release of tension in our bodies - helping with things like relieving headaches, lessening the severity of discomfort from menstrual cramps, relaxing tight muscles, and helping us to get a better quality sleep. We benefit a lot from good sleep—not to mention overall relaxation!

Like any part of a self-care routine, there are wonderful benefits that come from taking time to really pay attention to our bodies and listen to their needs, to learn about what makes us feel good, and to celebrate and thank our bodies for everything that they do for us.

Masturbation Myth Busting - The Truth About MasturbationDoes everyone masturbate?

Nope - but if you really like dessert, would you stop getting it just because some other people don’t like sweets? What I’m trying to say is that not everyone likes masturbating, and that’s totally okay - some folks just don’t have the desire to explore themselves sexually (or explore sexuality at all), but if you do, by all means go for it. One of the most wonderful things about masturbation is that it’s a private affair that’s by you and for you - and that can mean for you only. However you masturbate, whether or not you masturbate, is nobody’s business but your own.

BTW, masturbation isn’t limited to any particular group either. A common question we see posed is if female masturbation is a myth - and we’re here to tell you confidently and proudly that women masturbate, men masturbate, queer folks masturbate, trans folks masturbate, older folks masturbate, differently abled folks masturbate… if you’re a person with a sexual desire to do so, regardless of your gender, orientation, or any other identity you may or may not have, you can masturbate, too.

Can you masturbate too much? How often is it normal to masturbate?

The reality is that you can do anything too much. There’s nothing inherently addictive about masturbation, but if - like anything else - how often you masturbate begins to affect your daily life, if it begins to cause emotional or physical problems, if it’s affecting your work or social life, if it’s disruptive to your relationships, then yes.

Other than that, how often is normal to masturbate can vary from person to person, and can even vary for each individual depending on things like how much free time you have, how you’re physically feeling, and so on. It’s perfectly okay to masturbate multiple times in a day, just as it’s perfectly okay to barely masturbate if at all. As long as your solo playtime isn’t deterring from you leading a healthy and satisfying life and that you’re doing it in the appropriate moderation for your lifestyle, there’s no right or wrong answer here.

Masturbation Myth Busting - The Truth About MasturbationIs it okay to masturbate when you’re in a relationship?

Absolutely. Your body is yours to do what you want with it. Like we mentioned earlier, whether you’re single or in a relationship - and we'll say it louder for the folks in the back - your masturbation habits are nobody’s business but your own.

On the same topic, masturbating while you’re in a relationship doesn’t mean that you’re unfulfilled with your sex life with your partner. Masturbation and partnered sex are two totally different experiences, and each can offer unique sensations and fulfill different sexual desires. Sure, masturbation can be a great outlet if you’re someone who experiences a differing libido or desire from your partner, but wanting to get yourself off doesn’t automatically mean that you’re not satisfied with your relationship’s sex life. In fact, sexologist Carol Queen, PhD, reminds us that there has been research that suggests people in a satisfying relationship may masturbate more! Can't get enough of a good thing, maybe.

Also, masturbation can be a private experience, but it doesn’t have to be. Mutual masturbation, or the act of masturbating with a partner, can be super hot. Watching each other get off can be an exciting way to play with voyeurism and exhibitionism, can be a fun new way to switch things up in the bedroom, and can help us to show our partner hands-on (pun intended) how we like to get ourselves off which can give some insight to our bodies and how they respond to touch. After all, one positive impact of masturbation is helping us learn what we like sexually—sharing that info ​with a partner can take your sex life to a new level.

Masturbation Myth Busting - The Truth About MasturbationCan masturbation or using sex toys desensitize my genitals?

Not if you’re doing it safely! The pressure of a vibrator can change your sensitivity temporarily, but doesn't cause harm. Playing with yourself isn’t going to kill your sex drive, desensitize your body, cause sexual dysfunction, or ruin how good sex with a partner feels - in fact, masturbation and using sex toys can actually help you improve your sex life by helping you to better understand your body’s signals and even help you discover new ways to reach orgasm. And these perks can be applied to future self-love practices or partnered sex, so it’s a win/win!

However, if you’re getting yourself off with enough vigor to cause physical discomfort or not listening to your body’s signs that something might not be right, you can hurt yourself - just as with any physical activity. The easiest way to avoid this is to make sure that you’re taking time with arousal, not pushing yourself past any physical limitations, and using plenty of lubricant - especially if you’re playing with toys like powerful vibrators, enjoying penetration with larger toys, or exploring self-love via anal play.

Will masturbating too much make me go blind?

Unless your go-to method of getting yourself off includes a fetish for staring directly into the sun, or you’re reaching orgasm with enough force to pop a blood vessel in your eyes, there’s nothing about masturbation that will inherently affect your eyesight. This one, as well as the urban legend that masturbating will cause you to grow hairy palms, are ages-old myths (read: total cap) that were made to shame people away from self-pleasure under the puritanical belief that sexual proclivity would cause out-of-control behaviors that would lead to the demise of society. Yikes, and also, nope - not factual.

Masturbation Myth Busting - The Truth About Masturbation

It's healthy to embrace your own pleasure.

The benefits of taking the reins on our own sexual pleasure are so vast and so incredible - so, please don't worry about ill effects from masturbation. Listen to your body, pay attention to your needs, and let self-love help you release that anxiety!

You deserve to give yourself permission to feel good.

Self-pleasure is natural and can be the foundation of a satisfying and healthy sex life - for yourself or with a partner. And remember, nobody knows your body better than you, so you do you, babe!

 

 

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