Hey there! So I just got back home after a long 3-hour discussion with some teenagers at a local support group pretty close to my office. The discussion was quite intense as one of the local women had brought her son to the group for some counseling. According to her, she came home from work one evening and found her son pleasuring himself on the couch. She thought it was a problem and needed to understand if there were medical implications tied to the act. Apparently, she wasn’t the only one who needed clarifications about masturbation. Nearly all the teenagers at the support group wanted to know if what they had been doing behind closed doors had extreme medical implications. This led to an intense and interactive three-hour session and we all learned a lot. I will share some of the things we talked about with you. Let’s get talking.
What Does it Mean to Masturbate?
Masturbation is a common activity that many persons engage in as they begin to recognize and explore their bodies sexuality. It involves the stimulation of one’s sexual organs by one’s self for heightened sexual pleasure. This stimulation may be with the use of one’s hands or other everyday objects. Sex toys may also be used too.
Although many persons assume this activity is common with youthful exuberance, masturbation is not an age-specific act. In fact, some persons argue that adults masturbate a whole lot more than teenagers do. This practice cuts across persons of different age ranges. In the same vein, it is not a culture or gender-specific act. Basically, quite a number of people masturbate although some persons are simply more open about the act.
Yes! Women Masturbate
So, for some reason I cannot fully understand yet, many persons believe that masturbating is something that only men do. And this is all definitions of untrue! While men have been more open about discovering their sexuality, many women have occupied the backseat in this regard. This is not to say that they do not explore their sexuality too, it just means that many women prefer to be discrete about it and this is why many persons believe that women do not masturbate. A survey conducted by a health-based research organization reveals that nearly 81% out of 600 female respondents in the United States of America masturbate.
In recent times, however, more women have become more open about their sexuality, sex, and masturbation.
Why do People Masturbate?
Masturbation is a great way for people to take control of their own sexuality. While we discussed, I asked some of the teenagers and women present why they masturbated. Almost all of them said these three things. Many of the women said masturbating was a means to reduce stress and sexual tension. The teenager who was brought for counseling said he started to masturbate to relieve school stress and more importantly because he wanted to discover what sexual pleasure felt like. I wasn’t surprised about this though. We, humans, can be extremely curious; especially as teenagers.
Everyone was so anxious for this part of the discussion. Of course, there are many health benefits associated with masturbation; especially with regards to your general sexual well-being. We discussed five of them. Here they are!
Helping you Sleep!
Sleep disorders are a common source of worry for many persons. Apart from sleeping pills and all other therapeutic methods, masturbating may just be another way to get to hit the sack easily. Masturbating helps your body relax and eases off the stress and tension that comes with the day’s activity; helping you fall asleep easily and sleep more soundly.
Lowering the Risk of Prostate Cancer
Masturbating reduces the risk of prostate cancer in men. Many medical experts argue that the frequent ejaculations that come with masturbating reduce the risks of having prostate cancer. A 2011 study by medical practitioners in the United States revealed that men who masturbated and ejaculated more than five times a week reduced their risks of prostate cancer by almost thirty percent.
Dealing with the Bad Mood
Many persons suffer from depression and mood-related problems. Masturbation helps to do away with the bad mood; leaving you happy and cheerful. When you masturbate, the body releases more endorphin which is the happiness hormone. In addition, mood-boosting hormones like Dopamine and Epinephrine are also secreted in larger quantities. All these contribute to making you happy.
A Happy Heart
Heart-related medical conditions like cardiovascular diseases can be curbed through regular masturbation. Masturbation increases the blood flow to your heart and makes you less susceptible to cardiac arrests. It also improves your heart functions. Regular orgasms also reduce the risks of heart failures.
What about Stress?
The hustle and bustle that comes with daily survival often leave us extremely stressed out and worn out. Stress can lead to extreme medical conditions like blood pressure and hypertension and so, it is important that you engage in activities that can relieve stress. One of such activities is masturbation. Just like sex, masturbation is a great way to unwind after the day’s activities. Many persons who masturbate testify to how the act is a great stress reliever.
Apparently yes! The side effects that are associated with masturbation are things that come up when you engage in the act excessively. Just like everything else, moderation is key.
Masturbation is Addictive
The real danger in masturbating is you can get addicted to it and begin to avoid other life activities just to engage in the act. Science says that excessive indulgence in the act leads to increased secretions of Dopamine; an endorphin that is responsible for your ability to react to pleasure giving stimulus or sensations like orgasmic pleasure. While this may seem almost harmless, it definitely isn’t. This is because continuous indulgence in any behavior that gives such intense pleasure and floods the brain with so much of Dopamine supply can desensitize you so that you will require more of that behavior to experience heightened pleasure; hence you become addicted to it.
In addition, this addiction can make it impossible for you derive pleasure from your usual activities. You begin to withdraw from friends and from other things you used to love to do like playing games or reading a book. Nothing else will be able to stimulate your body to release Dopamine and other pleasure hormones apart from masturbation. You will not mind missing an important event just to experience the intense pleasure that comes with self-stimulation of your sex organs. And when you can’t find the time or the privacy to engage in the act, you become depressed. This was what the local lady’s son said he had begun experiencing.
Taking a Flight
This is another thing that may arise when you masturbate without control. The hormone released during masturbation; Dopamine, is actually the forerunner of an adrenal hormone; Epinephrine. Excessive secretion of this hormone can lead to a condition known as flight stress which is characterized by an increased heart rate and the release of stored energy in the form of glucose. This, in turn, increases the rate of blood flow to the skeletal muscles. All these leave you feeling physically exhausted and stressed out in the long run.
Myths about Masturbation
Masturbation is probably the world’s most controversial subject. Everyone seems to have a different view on the subject; guided by either religious or social ideologies. As a result, there exist so many myths that surround the act. I’ll tell you four of them.
Myth 1: Masturbation can lead to erectile dysfunction also known as impotence.
Myth 2: Masturbation slows down your sex drive.
Myth 3: Masturbation leads to acne and loss of hair (This is a ridiculously funny one.)
Myth 4: Masturbation causes the shrinkage of the male sexual organ.
Masturbation is a normal and natural way to discover and explore your own sexuality. However, too much of it can lead to a reversal of its many benefits. As such, you must exercise control even as you assume control over your sexuality.