Masturbation is the sexual stimulation of one’s own genitals for sexual arousal or other sexual pleasure, usually to the point of orgasm. The stimulation may involve hands, fingers, everyday objects, sex toys such as vibrators, or combinations of these.
People masturbate for many reasons. These include pleasure, enjoyment, fun, and tension release. Some individuals masturbate alone, while others masturbate with a partner. Masturbation can be a lifetime activity or for certain periods of life. Reading or viewing pornography, sexual fantasies, or other erotic stimuli may lead to a desire for sexual release such as by masturbation.
In discussing masturbation, it’s worth mentioning the two major perspectives bordering on the rightness/wrongness or benefits/side effects of masturbation: Medical & Religious. Masturbation is thought to be a common behavior, and in studies of older adolescents and adults, masturbation is nearly universal among males and reported by a majority of females.
Despite its apparent widespread prevalence, masturbation is a highly stigmatized topic viewed negatively across settings which has created myths about masturbation. There are many myths about masturbation. Even though many of these have been debunked several times, they seem to resurface time and time again.
Most claims about masturbation are not backed up by science. There is often no scientific evidence to show that masturbation causes most of the adverse effects suggested. Masturbation will not cause:
- hairy palms
- impotence later in life
- erectile dysfunction
- penis shrinkage
- penis curvature
- low sperm count
- mental illness
- physical weakness
Although not universal in all denominations or branches of the world’s major religions, guilt, shame, and indulgence continue to be themes all religions associate with masturbation. This being said, lots and lots of religions condemn it, some don’t yet, while some don’t even discuss it. Just like other Sexual matters, Masturbation isn’t exactly the best of topics to be discussed in religious gatherings often.
In the least, the practice of self-pleasure is viewed as not honoring the purpose of God’s gift of sexuality. The sexual sins of fornication, adultery and masturbation, as well as hatred, jealousy, drunkenness and other sins are considered to be sins of the heart as much as the body. While masturbation isn’t a sin itself, it can lead to sinful behaviors.
Pastor Chris Oyakhilome of Christ Embassy had sometime taught on Masturbation as not being a sin itself, but only few people understood his point while majority just did not care to listen or read to see the angle he was coming from before launching scathing remarks on him.
Despite the myths, there are actually no known physically harmful side effects of masturbation.
However, excessive masturbation can harm your relationships and everyday life.
Feeling of Guilt– Some people may feel guilty about masturbating because of cultural, spiritual, or religious beliefs. If not checked it could seriously affect their psyche.
Quest for Instant Gratification– Masturbation gives Instant Gratification You get orgasms whenever and ( wherever) you feel horny. It practically eliminates the drive to hustle for a sexual partner, which isn’t particularly easy, unless you visit prostitutes.
Destroys Self Confidence– Confidence is very essential for success in our lives. And the best way to build this confidence is through trying, failing or succeeding and learning. When we try out some new task, like cooking, for the first time, we are more likely to fail, but on repeated trials, we learn to carry out the task and in no time, we become experts. Masturbating instead of trying to get a sexual partner or build a relationship gradually kills the confidence to attempt uncharted territories out of fear of failure. This isn’t a good thing.
Addiction to Masturbation
Some people can and do develop an addiction to masturbation. You may be spending too much time masturbating if masturbation causes you to:
- skip your chores or daily activities
- miss work or school
- cancel plans with friends or family
- miss important social events
Addiction to masturbation can harm your relationships and other parts of your life. Masturbating too much may interrupt your work or studies, which can lower productivity.
It may also hurt your romantic relationships and friendships, because you don’t spend as much time with your loved ones as you used to, or don’t pay attention to their needs.
If you’re worried you may have an addiction to masturbation, speak with your doctor or a counselor about ways to cut down on masturbating.
Talk therapy can help you manage your addiction. You could also cut down by replacing masturbation with other activities. Next time you have an urge to masturbate, try:
- going for a run
- writing in a journal
- spending time with friends
- going for a walk
Benefits of Masturbation
According to studies, there are several mental and physical benefits of masturbation. It helps you to relax, improves the quality of your sleep, release tension, improves concentration, alleviate pain, elevate mood, get rid of the menstrual cramps and improves sexual health.
Basically, the subject of Masturbation is more subjective than objective for most people as the acceptance or rejection of it is predicated of certain ideological leanings.
Inspired by works of the following:
Jamanetwork, Medicalnewstoday, Quora and Healthline.
– Iweajunwa Princewill