Guess what? I know that you know we all masturbate. I know you have that special way you like to orgasm with your special toys, or special position or that special pillow you lay on. I know that you have masturbated in places you'd never admit to—let along vocalize that you do it. And while I don't have a psychic streak in my body, I can tell you our bodies, senses, brains are made for pleasure i.e. we all do it and you shouldn't feel ashamed!
Self-pleasure has a long, fraught history of puritanical oversight that has modernized and evolved as science has provided healthy benefits to solo play. An act that was once said to make you go blind, grow hair on your palms, send you to hell has spawned a projected $35.5 billion dollar sex toy industry
dedicated to not just cumming but decreasing stress, better circulation, relieving menstrual cramps, improve body image, and strengthening your PC muscles.
In short. The answer is yes, masturbation is good for you. Like, to the point where it's surprising the wellness industry hasn't co-opted it and started making boutique masturbatoriums with accompanying juice bars. Even though the benefits are a laundry list of good, masturbation is rarely talked about outside of the physical act; making way for high emotional stakes from an already secretive function. Sometimes it’s not just about putting your hand down your pants and getting off for the sake of pleasure—its entirety is rooted so heavily in shame, it’s difficult to look past certain aspects of it without question why we do it and if we should do it and when are we allowed to do it.
In an effort to alleviate the irksomeness of those ponderous masturbation moments, here are some common mental barriers resolved so that you can enjoy solo time in peace.
Is Masturbation A Desperate Act?
No. Not in any way, shape or form. Society has a tendency to lump being alone and desperation in the same category; not taking into consideration that learning what you like, dislike, when, where is incredibly beneficial to a healthy and satisfying solo, partnered, casual sex life. Masturbation puts pleasure in your own, literal, hands making you a more confident lover and communicator. Let's move on from this myth.
Should I Masturbate In A Relationship?
Yes, you should! Sexuality, exploration, and pleasure do not solely operate when you’re in a relationship. Pleasure has been part of your life since you were a child steaming our first brushes with masturbation—did you think humping a pillow was just a game that felt good? Our development into the sexual beings we are comes from our solo time. It allows us to do the things we like, think about those fantasies we aren’t ready to talk about yet, try new methods and sensations, and free from being watched as we embark on those adventures. Sure, it’s super hot to masturbate and try new moves with a partner. Nonetheless, performance anxiety is very real and can absolutely get in the way when you’re trying something new (or just want to get off) and your partner is there. Plus, a relationship doesn’t equal both people having to do the same thing at the same time forever. Masturbating in a relationship allows the person to connect with themselves and in turn be a better lover.
READ: Why Mutual Masturbation is Healthy (And How You Can Try It!)
Is Masturbation Cheating?
Ah, this question! This depends on what you consider cheating and the level of emotional maturity that exists inside the current relationship. The ubiquitous definition of cheating involves one person involving themselves sexually with another person who is not their partner. In that case, it’s not cheating to give yourself pleasure absent of your partner. Usually, this uncertainty comes from when the masturbating party has a fantasy or watches porn that has nothing to do with the other party. This should be less of a cheating conversation (because it isn’t) and more of a conversation around boundaries, what makes the other person feel good or bad and why, and some introspection as to why a fantasy would be considered infidelity. But again, masturbating solo absent of your relationship is normal!
Is It Bad To Masturbate With A Sex Toy?
Nope! There is nothing wrong with using a sex toy to masturbate! In fact, there are stimulations you can achieve with sex toys that a hand can’t live up to—penetration, vibration, rhythmic vibration, using multiple toys at the same time. Sex toys are the perfect accompaniment to masturbation or sex! Often, the concern is a sex toy will ruin “normal” sex or make it more difficult to orgasm without a sex toy in the future. Neither of these are true. For one: The sex you have, doing the things you do, with the toys you use is normal sex. And two, using a sex toy will not damage any of the thousands of nerve-endings residing in your genitalia to ever make receiving pleasure from your hand any less enjoyable in the future.
Is It Normal To Masturbate Anally?
Very much so! Not only are you getting pleasure, but you're also learning how your body reacts to different stimulation making it significantly easier if you decide to engage in anal sex with a partner. Learning what makes you feel good is easier translated when you’ve done the prep work and not on the spot to figure it out! Take your time and do some research on relaxation, anal hygiene
, anal lube
, anal toys
, arousal—the whole lot! It’s perfectly normal!
Is It Okay Not To Masturbate?
Yes! It’s okay to masturbation, not masturbate, masturbate laying down, standing up, in the shower, etc. The amount in which you masturbate is entirely up to you!
Will You Lose Your Virginity To Masturbation?
Let’s take a quick step back. Virginity is this arbitrary cultural concept that has nothing to do with the physical act of sex or masturbation. It’s incredibly archaic that we correlate the “breaking” of the female hymen to the loss of innocence via a biologic penis—but this doesn’t take into consideration the different ways people have sex i.e. oral, anal, hands, etc. Masturbation will not make you lose or gain anything in relation to the concept of virginity.
Basically, folks: Masturbation is so good for you that tonight should be a celebration of that goodness. Happy soloing!