Masturbation or stimulating your genitals is a natural activity to learn about your body and what feels sexually satisfying. It is common among most of the people irrespective of their background, gender or race.
On contrary to the myths surrounding masturbation, it is completely normal to masturbate. You might have heard it can make you blind, grow hair on your palms or make you infertile & tons of other myths. These myths might scare you into thinking it is bad, but masturbation is perfectly safe.
If you are masturbating in a private area, without irritating your genitals, masturbation won’t cause any medical issue. However, if you experience pain in your genitals while masturbating, talk to your healthcare provider without any delay.
Is masturbation a normal activity?
Just like physical development, emotional development, learning, communication skills are normal for growth & development, sexual development is an essential part of it. There is absolutely nothing wrong with masturbating.
It is okay if you don’t masturbate. Some people may abstain from masturbating due to lower levels of sexual desire or might abstain due to religious reasons. It’s up to you to indulge or refrain.
Do most people masturbate?
Yes, lots of people masturbate. Even if they shy away from talking about it, it is common for people of any gender or age to masturbate but the reasons may differ.
Some people masturbate to relax their minds by freeing up the sexual tension or their partner isn’t around.
While some people masturbate because it makes them feel good exploring their bodies. The frequency might vary but masturbation is an individual decision.
From a health-science perspective, masturbation is harmless. If men masturbate frequently within a short time, it may cause swelling on the penis, which disappears within a few days. Excessive masturbation can cause potential side effects like:
- Masturbation & guilt
People with contrasting religious, spiritual or cultural beliefs may feel guilt-ridden. Self-pleasure is not shameful & there is nothing immoral in masturbating.
If you feel guilty over masturbating, discuss it with a close friend, healthcare professional or a therapist in sexual health to help overcome the feelings of guilt while masturbating.
- Fatigue & weakness
Some people may tend to develop an addiction to masturbation. This affects your day to day lifestyle. Masturbating too much may interrupt your work or studies & miss an important event.
This, in turn, lowers your productivity. Excess masturbation may also cause fatigue & weakness. Speak to a sex therapist or counselor if masturbation is becoming an addiction. To reduce the urge, you can try different activities like jogging, yoga, outdoor games.
- Inhibits sexual life
Though masturbation does not have any negative effect on your sexual performance, frequent engagement in masturbation can cause discomfort while engaging in any sexual activity with your partner.
This can affect your relationship by lowering the sex drive when you ejaculate early. Try talking to your partner & developing healthy sexual habits like masturbating during intercourse to maintain your testosterone levels.
Is it Good or Bad?
The act masturbation in itself is not good or bad. The cultural beliefs might label it “bad”. As long as masturbation does not affect your energy levels, does not hinder your daily life and activities, it is fine. After all, a little self-pleasure can help you understand your body better.
Health Benefits of Masturbation
Masturbation has a lot more to offer than feel-good friction. Masturbation is healthy & normal. It’s the safest way to have pleasure without any risk of pregnancy or STD. here are some of the health benefits of masturbation:
- Reduces Stress & Elevates Mood
Masturbation releases feel-good neurochemicals like dopamine and oxytocin which are known to lift spirits, boosting satisfaction and activates the reward circuits in your brain to make you feel pleasure. It aids stress release & lifts your mood making you happier & healthier.
- Boost immunity system
When men ejaculate, it releases a stress hormone named cortisol. This helps in boosting the immune system by regulating metabolism & helps control blood pressure. Masturbation also exercises the pelvic muscles which help prevent incontinence.
- Induces sound sleep
Masturbation releases the stress and tensions from your body by swamping the system with endorphins. Endorphins or the feel-good chemicals are known to trigger a positive feeling in the body & inducing sound sleep. Plus, orgasms can be a natural painkiller.
- Learning more about your sexual desires
Masturbation can help you learn about your likes and dislikes sexually. Exploring your body will improve sexual pleasure. Plus, if you decide to have sex, you can let your partner know what turns you on.
- Promotes healthy sexual life
Since you know yourself physically, masturbation can enhance your relationship with your partner. Couples may also self-masturbate to explore different desires and to avoid pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).