Before we get to the tips, let's talk about why masturbation is good for your health. Not only is it totally natural to masturbate, but it can also help reduce stress, help you sleep better, improve your body image, and more, according to Planned Parenthood. And as an added bonus, there's no chance of contracting STIs, unwanted pregnancy, or any of the other risks involved in partnered sex.
I was minding my own business and going my usual rabbit hole online when I ran into an article on masturbation. On Teen Vogue. Yep. Teen Vogue. A publication that I thought until now was about how to apply lip gloss, apparently has articles on culture and politics that can be as incisive and interesting (and better!) as any other online publication. Who knew?
So I started thinking that there IS a lot of stigma still attached to masturbating. Why, I wonder, it still seems to be something kind of less-than or shameful to do if it's so good? And if it's something most people do? I understand some people don't do it (or don't do it as often) but really, who hasn't masturbated lately? Can I see hands? Yeah, that's what I thought.
I was trying to remember when is it that I started masturbating and I think it was when I was around thirteen or fourteen. Yeah, I had an early start. I think jerking off came into my radar when I was hanging out with some older boys and one of them had a porn magazine. A straight porn magazine, of course. Remember I went to an all-boys Catholic school and it was bound to happen, sooner or later.
After that first taste of erotic material, I think I found some underwear catalog and discovered the joys of using that to spend some quality time with myself. I started having sex soon after that, but jerking off became a regular pastime and I got better at it. As the article says, it gave me a better knowledge of my body and how it worked and it was also a release valve for all those thoughts I was having about sex.
So we al did it and we all do it. Why is it then still such a taboo thing to talk about and it is still relegated to whispered conversations between fourteen year olds? Is it because it is done alone? Is it because partnered sex is considered the ideal situation and having sex alone is kind of a consolation price? Have we attached so much value to having a partner in sex that having sex alone has become a no-no topic?
I remember once reading Dan Savage and finding out how somebody was incensed that her male partner was masturbating. Dan kind of explained that it was only an issue if he was masturbating and not fucking her, that masturbation was a valid sexual expression and that many people did it. I was kind of surprised about the question. Me masturbating has nothing to do with the man I'm with (well, one can and do bring images of him or memories of him to help set the mood, of course) and all to do with me. It does not mean I enjoy him less or that I'd rather spend time with myself than with him (nothing like a real dick to get me going). It has to do more with the moment or with my libido than with other people.
Could it be that masturbation is seen as a replacement of 'real' sex and therefore threatening? But the feelings and sensations masturbation brings are very different to the feelings and sensations we have when we have sex with somebody else! Anybody who has had sex with somebody else can tell you that masturbating is a totally different experience: it's more leisurely, there's less pressure, it allows for edging and trying different things that we may have not introduced to our usual coupled sex repertoire and it gives us an idea of what we like and how our body reacts. I find it to be a very sex-positive experience.
I also think that masturbating allows for a more diverse, rich, fantasy life. I am one of those people who enjoys erotica. I think it is fantastic to read erotica and indulge in fantasies that really have nothing to do with real life. You see, what we fantasize about sometimes has nothing to do with what we actually like to do in bed. Sometimes it actually helps us discover things we didn't know we liked. So does masturbation. I think it allows bottoms to get in touch with their dicks, tops to get in touch with their holes and vers men the chance to switch it up to their little heart's content.
So yeah. Jerking off. And to think that it all started when I stumbled into that Teen Vogue page. Who knew it would end up being so sex positive? So go ahead, enjoy yourself. There's nothing wrong about it. You may even enjoy it (I'm kidding! I know you're a pro, after all, you read this blog and have checked out my Pages). And now, if you excuse me, I think I'm going to have go take care of some things. As one is prone to do.