15 Things People Believe About Masturbation (That Just Aren't True)
When it comes to masturbation, everyone has an opinion.
For some, it's the highlight of their day, and they can't get enough of it; for others, the appeal is completely unfathomable.
Over the years, a ton of myths have sprung up around the concept of self-love, and it can be tricky sometimes to seperate the fact from the fiction.
Will you go blind? Is it bad for you? Will it ruin sex if you do it?
Particularly when it comes to our upbringing and the beliefs of those around us, the benefits of masturbation can be a bit of a murky area.
But the good news is, if you're still on the fence about flicking the bean or doing the five-knuckle-shuffle, here are 15 common beliefs about masturbation that just aren't true.
1. It's only using your hands
In fact, whilst almost all sex toys are suited to use with or without a partner, some like the magic wand style of toy really come into their own when it's just you, your bed and earth-shattering, awesome power.
2. It's unhealthy
One of the biggest concerns many people have about masturbation is the looming threat of long-term health effects. In reality, this couldn't be much further from the truth.
The health benefits of masturbation are well documented and extensive, some of which we'll dive into later in this list.
3. It has to be solo
While it's true that one of the big appeals of masturbation to many people is the chance to unwind, relax by yourself and really experience the true meaning of 'me time', there's no reason this needs to always be the case.
Masturbating with a partner can be super rewarding and a great way to learn what makes each other tick.
4. It's bad for productivity
All too often, masturbation and procrastination are lumped 'hand in hand', but that doesn't need to be the case.
Orgasms have actually been shown to help boost memory, focus and other mental attributes, which is definitely worth bearing in mind with exam season looming.
5. Most women don't do it
Just because female masturbation is talked about far less than male, doesn't make it any less common!
The stats may vary from survey to survey, but it's generally agreed that more women masturbate than don't, though typically not as frequently as men. In fact, some figures estimate up to 85.5% of women indulge in bean-flicking from time to time.
The abundance of sex toys aimed at women speak to themselves, especially the popularity of toys like the rabbit which are designed with solo play in mind.
6. It's all about the orgasm
There is much more to masturbation than a mad dash to the finish line, just like in good sex.
It's a chance to explore what works for you, to relax and de-stress after a long day or even just play with seeing how long you can last. Orgasms are great ,but they're far from the be-all and end-all of masturbation.
7. There are no benefits to masturbation compared to sex
It's a question that comes up time and time again: why would I masturbate if I have the option of having sex?
It's true that most of the time the majority of us would choose sex over solo play, but that's not to say that there's anything wrong with sometimes favouring some no pressure, single-minded sexy solo fun.
8. People in relationships stop masturbating
Sometimes your partner isn't around, sometimes one of you isn't in the mood, sometimes you'd just rather take your pleasure into your own hands - the start of a relationship certainly doesn't mean the end of masturbation.
9. You'll go blind
It was shocking to discover whilst researching this article that many, many people out there still believe this old wives' tale.
The only threat masturbation can be to your vision is if you're getting a little kinky and forget to take off your blindfold: a low-cost twist that can take your solo pleasure to the next level.
10. If it doesn't feel good, you're not doing it right
Sometimes your body just doesn't feel it, even if your mind does, and for some people masturbation just isn't a pleasurable experience.
That's OK! Everyone has different sexual preferences and lacking a penchant for masturbation is just as valid as any other.
11. Using solo sex toys can ruin sex without them
There are plenty of urban myths and horror stories of a women trying a vibrator and never wanting to have sex with her partner again, but this really isn't something to worry about.
There is a primal aspect to simple, passionate sex that can never be replaced by a toy, only enhanced.
12. Masturbation makes men less fertile
While men's 'recharge times' vary, masturbation only impacts a guy's fertility for up to a couple of hours after discharge. In the long run, there's nothing to worry about.
13. Masturbating is bad for your mental health
Far from making someone an anti-social shut in, the positive effects of masturbation on stress, tension and mood can be just the boost you need at times.
14. Everyone masturbates
So masturbation might not be for you - so what? Some people don't like films, some people don't like pizza and some people don't like masturbation.
Just like those who 'treat themselves' twice a day everyday shouldn't feel ashamed, neither should those for whom masturbation just isn't something they enjoy or are interested in.
15. People will judge you for masturbating
While in most circles it may not exactly be dinner party conversation, acceptance of masturbation (especially female) has come along leaps and bounds in recent years.
Although you certainly shouldn't be throwing the details at strangers in the street, there is a growing notion in society that yes, most of us do it and no, we shouldn't be ashamed.
The ViBlogger is a student at the University of Leeds, where he studies Astrophysics. When he's not writing for The Sextbook, he can usually be found in a Yorkshire field reenacting the 12th century.
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