Debunking Eight Masturbation Myths
May is National Masturbation Month. While we here at the Condom Depot Learning Center like to celebrate National Masturbation Month, well, every month.
We thought we'd celebrate by alleviating some of the potential anxiety people have about going downtown on the self-pleasure bus-- by bringing you the facts about these popular masturbation myths.
MYTH: People don’t masturbate after marriage/when they’re in a relationship.
If this is the agreement that you have with your partner, you may be in for a rude awakening. Don’t be too hurt. Self-love is a great thing. After all, they say you can’t love someone unless until you know how to love yourself, right?
Masturbation is a healthy part of life. You wouldn’t stop buying apples if you suddenly decided to plant a banana tree, would you? In the same vein, jerking it can just be a part of a sexual preference-- same as liking a particular position or toy. Since it doesn’t hurt anyone (provided what you’re doing to masturbate isn’t harmful to any non-consenting parties and is legal), it’s not something that should be restricted just because you’re in a relationship.
MYTH: If you masturbate, you’re addicted to porn.
Porn and masturbation are not the same thing. A person can watch porn and not masturbate, just as they can masturbate without the aid of porn. While sometimes the two can go hand-in-hand, they aren’t indicative of one another. And just because someone watches porn doesn’t mean they’re addicted, just like enjoying a beer every now and again doesn’t mean that you’re an alcoholic.
Addiction happens when you can no longer function without something.
If you can’t get aroused or orgasm without looking at porn, you may want to reconsider your habits. If you find that you can’t look at people of your preference without imagining them naked or engaging in sexual acts, you may want to lay off the porn. If you find you can’t function during the day without cruising your favorite site for the latest and greatest, you may have an addiction. If you can no longer enjoy your partner because they don’t measure up to the probably-photoshopped and definitely staged stuff you’ve seen in porn, you should seek help. None of these behaviors are healthy and they are getting in the way of your very real interactions with other people.
MYTH: Masturbation can lead to blindness/hair on your palms.
If it were true, there'd be a lot more seeing eye dogs and palm-hair trimmers on the market. A lot.
MYTH: Cornflakes can stop me from masturbating.
If you’re shaking your head in disbelief at this myth, perhaps it’s time to read up on the history of the Kellogg’s company. But the answer is no-- while there are some foods out there that are aphrodisiacs and while you may not want to ride the pleasure train to Self-Love City after eating a ten pack of tacos in a single sitting, there’s no food out there that can keep you from masturbating.
MYTH: I shouldn’t tell my partner that I masturbate.
For many couples, the thoughts of their partner masturbating when they’re apart can be titillating or enticing. Phone sex and sexting are, of course, not new nor unusual.
But if you think the idea of your partner masturbating without you might make you uncomfortable, it may be best to enact a See-Nothing-Say-Nothing policy with them. Sometimes that might be choice anyway-- because it keeps the self-diddling about the self.
If you're too busy texting your partner and letting them know what you're doing instead of actually doing it, you're focusing a little too much on their pleasure instead of your own. Which is very nice of you, but it's not what masturbation is about. So feel free to be selfish and keep it a secret-- just don't let it become a dirty secret or something you feel ashamed of.
MYTH: You’ll ruin your ability to climax during sex if you masturbate.
We want to say a big, fat, “NO!” to this myth, because it’s mostly not true. However, if you want the full disclosure, look no further than this article on too much masturbation. Masturbating often won’t hurt your sex life. But if it gets to the point where it begins to interfere with your life and relationships, you know you’ve got a problem.
In truth, if you're new to sex, masturbation can be a great way to figure out how to best let your partner pleasure you. Instead of the frustration and potential embarrassment some people feel when figuring their bodies out for themselves for the first time, masturbation can allow you to figure things out first. And don't worry, it won't replace that exciting, figuring-things-out phase with your partner-- every partner is different and you'll still get to have those fun moments of discovery, but now, you have a road map to help guide you along.
MYTH: Masturbation can affect your fertility.
Nope. No. Not at all. Testicle-havers, you don't use up your sperm. Your body is constantly making more. Ovary-owners, you don't eject eggs every time you orgasm like some crazy egg cannon at a Cirque du Soleil show. Using toys, even ones as powerful as the Magic Wand also won't destroy your chances of having a baby (although they may make you less sensitive to pleasure if you use them too often).
MYTH: Masturbation causes mental problems.
The only mental problem masturbation causes is guilt-- which can have a negative effect on your personal well-being and can even eventually lead to more serious problems. It's perfectly normal to have sexual urges and to satisfy them in a way that feels good, even if you're doing so alone. So long as your actions are legal and consensual on behalf of all parties, you have nothing to worry about.
Imagine how silly it would seem to have a world where brushing your teeth was considered sinful or dirty. It feels good to brush your teeth. If you have something stuck in them, or you've eaten something smelly, brushing your teeth an provide a lot of relief. But in this world, it's something shameful. People do it, but we don't ever talk about doing it. And if you admit to doing it, there's clearly something wrong with you. Maybe you're a toothpaste addict. There's no logical reasoning why we consider tooth-brushing to be bad. It's just something that has always been considered dirty.
This is like masturbation. I'm not advocating shouting from the rooftops about your love of using WET's Synergy for handy-dandy. But you shouldn't feel shame for doing something that both feels good and doesn't hurt anyone. In some cases, masturbation can even help alleviate some medical woes-- as a stress-reliever, by giving your immune system a boost, as pain relief (particularly for women on their periods), and many other reasons.
MYTH: We have to masturbate to stay healthy.
You may be surprised, but no, this isn’t the case. While masturbation does have some amazing health benefits, you can be perfectly healthy and remain celibate-- even from yourself. So if you don't ever feel the need to masturbate, don't freak out. You could be asexual, or it could just not be for you.
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