Masturbation

For most people the first experience with orgasm appears after Masturbation. For others it occurs during sexual intercourse, touching, or dreams. Some adolescent’s believe that masturbation is wrong and experience guilt and other negative feelings after masturbation which they need not at all. Many sex therapists believe that masturbation serves an important function in adolescence by serving as an outlet for sexual tension and makes it easier to experience orgasm during sexual intercourse as an adult.

One of the most important changes in puberty is sexual desire. Hence, masturbation is a natural and one of the safest behaviors which protects from AIDS and sexual problems. So it is an individual choice to masturbate or not and the decision should be made without any guilt, fear or shame.

  1. Masturbation is not evil, dirty or harmful - it will not make you go blind, drive you insane, turn you in to a pervert, stunt your growth, give you an Sexually Transmitted Disease, make you sterile or get you pregnant.
  2. Both boys and girls masturbate; it is a normal and healthy part of sexual development.
  3. Masturbation is a very personal thing and should not be done in public places or around people who are not willing partners (think safer sex activity).
  4. You are normal if you masturbate, normal if you wonder about it but don’t do it, and normal if you never give it a second thought and don’t do it - it is one of the few things in life that is “normal if you do and normal if you don’t”.
  5. Masturbation may make sexual intercourse more enjoyable because you will already know what it takes to “please you”.
  6. Masturbation alleviates stress and releases endorphens (the pleasure hormones) in to your system making you more relaxed.
  7. Masturbation as exploration of the body is common in children between the ages of three and six, in teens masturbation becomes more sophisticated and sexually motivated.
  8. Many experts believe that masturbation is more prevalent in the teen years due to a strong fluctuation of hormones; masturbation alleviates the strain of this build up and is a necessary part of development.

Some Common Myths and Facts about Masturbation

Myth

It’s more acceptable for boys to masturbate than girls.

Fact

It’s natural for boys and girls to masturbate - both do it.

Myth

A child who masturbates has been exposed to sexual information that is not appropriate for his/her age.

Fact

From birth, children explore their bodies by touching. They learn this feels good. Showing knowledge of sexual acts besides masturbation could mean they’ve been exposed to inappropriate sexual information.

Myth

Masturbation causes acne or loss of eyesight.

Fact

This myth probably ties to the fact that teenagers generally start masturbating around the same time puberty hits, which is also the time of acne and when many teens get glasses.

Myth

Masturbation causes sexually transmitted diseases.

Fact

In order for a disease to be ‘transmitted’, you need two people. Mutual masturbation is actually taught in some sex education courses as a way to avoid sexually transmitted diseases.

Myth

Masturbation causes hair to grow on your palms.

Fact

About 98% of adults have reported that they’ve masturbated at some time in their lives. I don’t know anyone with hair on their palms. How about you?

Myth

Teenagers shouldn’t masturbate often, as they will lose the ability to have children.

Fact

Teenagers tend to masturbate more often than adults as their hormone levels are at the highest they will be in their lifetime.

How much is too much?

Masturbation is not harmful as long as it is done for sexual gratification. Some individuals tend to masturbate only occasionally while others do it more frequently, reaching up to multiple times a day. So when do we say that a certain individual is masturbating too frequently? As mentioned above, masturbation just like intercourse results in release of certain chemicals in the brain (e.g. acetylcholine) and body (e.g. serotonin and dopamine) which in turn cause psychological as well as physical relaxation. These chemicals are good for us as long as they are released in a limited quantity. However, if these chemicals are produced in higher proportions, they tend to stay longer in the body producing harmful psychological and physical effects such as lack of concentration, decreased ability to memorize things, sleep disturbances and physical lethargy. When a person masturbates excessively, he repeatedly stimulates the cells responsible for the production of these hormones. These cells in turn respond by not only increasing their function but also their numbers so that whenever the person masturbates, more than usual amounts of the said chemicals are produced in the body producing more than usual effects.

These chemicals also control a type of nervous system in our body called the parasympathetic nervous system. This system is responsible for penile erection. Excessive production of these hormones also affects the parasympathetic nervous system which might result in erectile dysfunction in males.

So how can one find out whether he is masturbating that frequently? The answer is quite simple. Whenever a man feels that he has become addicted to masturbation and tends to do so not for sexual pleasure but for mental and physical relaxation. This is the time when he has to control himself and seek help if needed.

Masturbating to porn.

Pornography has become extremely common over the past few years. Amongst the individuals who masturbate, 80% men and 40% women masturbate most of the times to porn. Although, masturbation is not harmful but it can create problems especially in men, if done while watching porn. As mentioned earlier that masturbation just like intercourse causes release of certain chemicals in the body that not only cause physical and mental relaxation but also control the parasympathetic nervous system. This nervous system controls the level of sexual arousal (and erection in males) and works in a very precise balance with another type of nervous system called the sympathetic nervous system which controls orgasm (and ejaculation in males). Masturbating while watching porn causes excessive release of these chemicals in brain resulting in enhanced sexual pleasure. However, if this practice is made a habit, it results in increased functioning capacity and numbers of the cells producing these hormones which can ultimately disturb the precise working balance between the 2 nervous systems resulting in sexual dysfunctions especially PE in males. In females, since their brain becomes used to increased amounts of these hormones, there can be development of difficulty to reach orgasm during regular sexual activity.

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