Masturbation is the sexual stimulation of one’s own sexual organs for achieving sexual pleasure or arousal, usually to the point of orgasm. One may use hands, fingers, everyday objects and sex toys to touch, massage, press, rub or stroke the penis or clitoris until they reach a sexual climax. Some may also press the genital area against an object for example pillow to achieve sexual pleasure.
Masturbation is generally a great way of releasing the sexual tension that builds over time, especially for those who are single, unmarried or those whose partners are not available for sex.
Couples can also stimulate themselves at the presence of each other for sexual pleasure. It is believed that masturbating at the presence of others or watching another masturbate allows the couples to explore each other and learn how one enjoys being touched.
Sex partners can also sexually stimulate each other playing with one another’s erogenous zones using hand or orally preceding to sexual intercourse.
Males masturbation involves holding the penis with a loose fist and then moving the hand up and down the shaft while lying face down, sitting, squatting, kneeling or standing while masturbation. Circumcised males can use masturbation cream, saliva or lubricant to perform masturbation.
Females commonly stroke or rub the vulva, especially clitoris using an index or middle finger or both when masturbating. Sometimes, the finger is also inserted into the vagina to stroke its frontal wall where the G-spot may be located. Also, some may choose to use objects such as a vibrator stimulate the erogenous zones. Many women caress their breasts or stimulate a nipple with the free hand and anal stimulation is also enjoyed by some.
HOW NORMAL IS MASTURBATION?
The concept of masturbation has evolved over a period of time—varying widely from different cultures.
Although Sumerians, ancient Greeks, and Egyptians considered masturbation as a normal and healthy substitute for other forms of sexual pleasure, in the 18th-century western world, it was thought as an act of private crime, heinous act, incurable disorder and violation of moral law. In the 19th century, the act of masturbating was declared insanity. Procedures such as electric shock treatment, infibulation, restraining devices like chastity belts and straitjackets, cauterization and wholesale surgical excision of the genitals were recommended to curb masturbation.
Christianity considers masturbation as moral sin and Islam does not approve masturbation while Hinduism grants complete freedom in sexuality and does not criticize masturbation. However, it is discouraged in Yogic traditions.
Masturbation is considered a normal and healthy sexual behavior among the singles or even partnered when done in private. According to a study, 95 percent of males and 89 percent of females reported having masturbated at some point in their lives.
Normally, a child experiences masturbation while exploring his or her body parts. Some continue the sexual act in their adulthood and even throughout their lives. However, the frequency of masturbation varies from more than once in a day to do occasionally. Some also reported having never masturbated at all.
Although masturbation is normal, most of the teenagers shy away from talking about it even if they masturbate. According to a study, almost half of the teenagers do masturbate even if they tell it.
Medically and psychologically, masturbation is totally healthy and normal behavior, although several taboos and strange rumors–such as it causes infertility, shrinks genitals, depletes one body of energy, cause erectile dysfunction and produce premature ejaculation–are associated with it. Some even call it a dirty habit.
First and foremost, masturbation releases sexual tension. When one experience orgasm of sexual climax, the body releases endorphins, which are the hormones that block pain and make one feel good.
Orgasm also helps one relax, making us sleep better.
According to a study conducted by the Cancer Council Australia in 2003, frequent masturbation lowers the probability to develop prostate cancer in males. The study states that males who ejaculated five or more times a week during their 20s had a significantly lower risk of prostate cancer.
Ejaculation reduces swollen nasal blood vessels freeing the airway for normal breathing, according to a study conducted by Tabriz Medical University in 2008.
It is the safest form of sex thus prevents us from sexually transmitted diseases.
It reduces anxiety and relieves depression.
It improves our self-esteem and body image.
It relieves menstrual cramps and muscle tension.
It strengthens muscle tone in our pelvic and anal areas.
Masturbation also helps one figure out what he or she likes sexually. It is also okay to masturbate even if one is in a relationship because learning how to have an orgasm on your own makes it easier to have one when with a partner, which can improve sexual health and relationship.
WHEN IS MASTURBATION ABNORMAL AND UNHEALTHY?
Masturbation is considered abnormal when it is parent-oriented, done public and becomes compulsive causing distress.
Inserting objects into the vagina while masturbating can also be risky since they may get stuck inside.
Compulsive masturbation can be signs of emotional problems.