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General topics on sexuality

Masturbation

 

To masturbate is defined in my dictionary as "to fondle one's own genitals, or those of someone else, to cause sexual pleasure". Or to put it another way, masturbation is about touching yourself, maybe just your genitals or maybe also other parts of your body, to experience sexual stimulation or an orgasm. Masturbation normally involves using mainly your hands, but can also  involve using a sex toy such as a dildo. It is often something we do on our own, whether we are in a sexual relationship or not, but it also has an important function within relationships which we talk about later on.

 

First off, despite all the myths that still seem to be hanging around even in the 21st Century, masturbation is completely healthy. It will not hurt your body or mind in any way to masturbate either on a regular basis or just once in a while. During the Victorian period in Europe, but also worldwide in other cultural and religious contexts, masturbation has been seen as a bad thing, something to be forbidden. And although some people may still hold this belief, it is not based on any facts. You may or may not agree with masturbation, but whatever your opinion, it will not hurt you. Masturbation does not harm your mental abilities nor does it shrink your genitals. It is a normal sexual behavior in humans.

In terms of occurrence, most of us masturbate, whether we are male or female. Alfred Kinsey, an important sexologist in the US during the 1940s and 1950s, found that 95% of males and 85% of females masturbated. His study is a quite few decades old now and those numbers will probably have increased even further with less sexual repression in the Western world. Again, masturbation is a normal sexual behavior which most of us enjoy.

People vary greatly in how often they masturbate. As you can see from the figures above, a few people do not masturbate at all. Some people masturbate on a monthly basis and others do it every day. All are OK - and normal. People in their teens and early twenties probably masturbate the most (even several times a day).

 

Masturbation for men

 

Masturbation is a normal part of your sex life even if you are in a relationship. Additionally, masturbation can have an important aspect for men: enjoying the sense of touching your penis and testicles and experiencing different types of stimulation can help you to find out what you enjoy sexually. Then you'll be able to ask for the same thing from your partner in a sexual relationship. When you masturbate, enjoy the freedom to touch yourself in any way that feels good. You can listen to your body and let yourself be guided by pleasant sexual sensations. This can also help you to learn more about the rhythm of your body. You can experiment with images in your mind or sexual fantasies to see what is erotic for you.

Allowing yourself time and going slowly when you masturbate will help you to identify different levels of excitement in your body. You can use masturbation to learn to control the point at which you ejaculate. Do it slowly and get a feel for when you might go beyond the "point of no return".  Being able to control your ejaculation will probably give you a lot of self-confidence as a lover. Also, when you go slowly, more sexual tension and semen will build up in your body, and your ejaculation and orgasm will be stronger and more satisfying when you do let go. Masturbation is the ideal means of getting to know your body and exploring your sexuality.

Additionally, masturbation is an important aspect of treatment for sexual difficulties. The sex therapists talk of "'masturbatory exercises" for men with problems around premature ejaculation or erectile dysfunction. In both cases it's important to masturbate slowly to get to know your body and sexual reactions.

 

Masturbation for women

 

Although women tend to masturbate less than men, it seems to me we need it more! It is an ideal way of getting to know your body, enjoying sexual sensations and finding out what kind of stimulation you really enjoy.  Maybe because our genitals are less accessible then men's, many women don't tend to explore themselves in their teens. However, women's needs for sexual stimulation are often more complex than men's. What works for one woman may not work for another, or may only work at certain points in time. Masturbation gives you the chance to explore slowly, carefully and attentively your sexual anatomy. You can safely find out how it feels to be touched in certain ways. For your exploration you may use your fingers or a sex toy such as a dildo or a vibrator. It's also helpful to use some lubricant or oil to minimize friction and to maximize erotic sensations.

Allow yourself to masturbate slowly and really listen to what your body is telling you. You can let your mind wander and develop sexual fantasies or images to explore what turns you on. Once you know what you enjoy sexually it will be possible to share that information with a partner -and  you can ask for exactly what you want. When you don't know yourself, it's impossible to ask for what you want.  If you want to read up on developing your sexuality as a woman, I suggest reading Deborah Sundahl's book "Female Ejaculation and the G-spot," published in 2003 by Hunter House Publishers. Whether you get into the idea of female ejaculation or not, Sundahl is very good at supporting women who want to explore themselves lustfully.

 

Masturbation for couples

 

Masturbation can have an important part to play in a couple's sex life. You have a partner? Fine - you can still masturbate! You may always keep some space in your sexuality just for yourself and masturbate when you're alone. However, masturbation is also very helpful when two partners have different levels of sex drive. For example, when one partner is just interested in a cuddle, but the other wants more, it is OK to negotiate for a cuddle, while the partner with the higher sex drive enjoys masturbation to an orgasm (if that's what he/she wants) in the other's presence with or without a little help from the partner. This allows both partners to get some of what they want and stops them feeling sexually frustrated or pressurized to have sex. It is a sign of familiarity and ease when partners are able to comfortably masturbate in front of each other. It can be an important way of taking responsibility for your own sexual needs without requiring your partner to satisfy you each and every time!

Masturbation may also be an option when you both want sex but you're too tired for anything energetic. Mutual masturbation, where both partners stimulate each other, or just masturbating in your partner's presence, can be a relaxed way of releasing some sexual tension. Masturbating together can also simply be a way of having fun or changing your sexual routine. The fact is, mutual masturbation can be a very intense experience and it's in no way second best after intercourse. It can help couples to chill out about sexual performance and expected routines. It can be especially liberating for men who experience performance anxiety, premature ejaculation or erectile difficulties.

 

Masturbation for gay and lesbian couples

 

If you're in a homosexual relationship, masturbation will probably already be rather  important in your sexual repertoire, which is great! You may have an advantage there over heterosexual couples, who may feel more inhibited by the sexual norms of society. Within your relationship, allow yourself to really explore masturbation and all it has to offer to both of you, whether you are masturbating together or separately. It can be an important part of your sex life and may be much more stimulating and sexy than what the average heterosexual couple's doing in bed.

To get the most from it, take your time to explore yourself and your partner. The slower you go, the more time you give yourself to pick up nuances of sexual feelings and bodily sensations. This will help develop the lustful side of your sexuality and strengthen your overall connection with your body. It is important that you affirm your sexuality as being as valid, enjoyable and sexy as anybody else's.

 

Some programs for sexual improvement which we recommend:

Women: Would You Like To Attain Orgasm More Easily?

If you have trouble reaching orgasm during sex or masturbation, you can explore the secrets reaching orgasm now and help yourself to enjoy sex and masturbation much more. There's also plenty of advice for anyone who's not yet enjoyed an orgasm: How to reach orgasm - easily!

Men: Beat Retarded Ejaculation and Ejaculate Easily During Sex!

Retarded ejaculation means a man finds it difficult to ejaculate during sex. This problem can be cured quickly and easily at home with a simple treatment program. This unique cure is a powerful treatment for retarded ejaculation.

Men: Are Erection Problems Ruining Your Sex Life?

Almost all cases of erectile dysfunction can be cured easily and quickly. If you'd like to get your full potency back, check out end your erection problems now!

 


 

References and helpful further reading:

ABC of Sexual Health (2005) Second edition edited by John M Tomlinson, British Medical Journal Books and Blackwell Publishing.

Francoeur R. (1995) The Complete Dictionary of Sexology. Continuum New York

Lorius, C. (1999) Tantric Sex. Making love last. Thorsons

Sundahl, D. (2003) Female Ejaculation and the G-spot. Hunter House Publishers

Zilbergeld, B. (1999) The New Male Sexuality. Revised edition, Bantam Books

written by Anna 12.01.07


 
 

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