I have one distinct moment in my life that I remember about understanding masturbation. It was in my 8th grade home-ec class. My teacher was probably in her mid forties early fifties and our class, like most home-ec classes, included a cooking segment, sewing, some other random “how to be a housewife” type skills but the most popular aspect of this class was not to learn how to bake the best chocolate chip cookies but the desire of a bunch of teenage girls to lug around a 5lb sack of flour dressed like a baby for a week. My school district, now that I look back on it, was fairly liberal in the sex ed department. For an uber Christian area we got a pretty good education on sexual health and contraceptives. Despite out good education on Sexual Health, masterbation was a no-no topic. At 13 I had no clue what it was, we didn’t talk about it in class, didn’t joke about it (as far as my group of friends went) and didn’t really talk about it at home at all either. But I distinctly remember sitting in my home-ec class in preparation for the stupid flour baby project and somehow masturbation came up with some of the girls around me. I remember sitting there thinking why would you do that? And what is an orgasm? As the girls around me giggled our teacher must have heard our conversation. Our teacher responded to our conversation with absolute disgust and made it clear to us that masturbation was disgusting and nasty (I don’t remember her exact words, but I remember thinking that masturbation was not something girls should do because its gross, dirty and shameful).
I look back on that moment and time after that and I think to myself how that single moment in time changed my entire attitude about masturbation until I became an educated adult on the topic.
Masturbation is not nasty, dirty, gross and you should most certainly NOT be ashamed to do it.
Believe it or not, there are quite a few benefits to masturbation!
- One of the most important things masturbation does for you is to help you explore your own sexuality. It helps YOU learn what it takes for you to reach an orgasm. How can you expect someone else to do it for you if you don’t know yourself?
- Masturbation can help increase your ability to orgasm during regular sex.
- It can release stress and sexual frustration or tension.
- It can help you sleep! (knock one out before you go to bed and you’ll sleep like a baby!)
- Masturbation can also help relieve menstral cramps and muscle tension.
- Can also help strengthen the muscles in the pelvic walls (yaaaa kegels!)
According to Planned Parenthood’s website, nearly 50% of all men and women who masturbate feel shame or guilt. Those negative feelings are more likely to negatively impact your life than the actual masturbation itself. The only time it should ever be considered a problem if its interfering with your daily life.
And for most of us, we’ve felt those feelings of shame or guilt, its instilled in us at a young age. But its definitely ok to masturbate and its certainly not anything to be ashamed of!