Since I have your attention, I need to be completely honest – I’m not a sexologist or expert of any sorts to be telling you what’s right or wrong. It’s simply an opinion about something people refuse to talk about. No matter what the issue, people refuse to address anything that makes them uncomfortable instead of asking themselves why it even makes them shudder in the first place. We grow up in an environment which sets norms for us ever since we’re children. Schools do not deal with sensitive issues because they haven’t been explored and till adulthood, anything which is new is shunned off because knowledge about the unknown is somehow devastating to people. I beg to differ. One of these highly stigmatised topics is self-pleasure. Not only do we refuse to talk about it, but we also strongly condemn indulging in it or being associated with people who do. I don’t know if you’re ready to hear this but news flash, 78% of the world indulges in it and the word is masturbation.
If the word itself makes you take a step back, maybe you aren’t ready for this discussion but please know that there is absolutely nothing absurd in it. From a young age we aren’t taught about pleasure. When we do learn about it, we see it as sex as a part of marriage, a bond between a man and a woman but, it is not. Sex isn’t the beginning and end of pleasure and is not the only way of deriving it. For most people, masturbation is the first form of sexual activity that they experience. Touching yourself cannot be something you are shamed for because how will a sexual partner ever know how to satisfy you if you yourself don’t know what you like. It’s not something reserved for just one gender either, everyone has the same amount of right to experiment with their bodies and learn about themselves. Bringing religion to the table and characterizing it as ‘dirty’ or ‘impure’ doesn’t make the person bad or guilty, it only shows how having a natural process of self-gratification is what someone’s faith is being reduced to and that sounds absurd.
While a lot of people tend to hate this topic, they also conveniently forget about the benefits this has on the mind and body, both. Self pleasure eliminates the scope of a foreign body or substance coming in contact with you, thus making you less prone to catching an STD. On the plus side, it also strengthens your pelvic floor while increasing your muscle tone, heart rate and respiration. It helps you explore and love your body while reducing performance anxiety as you have no one to please but yourself along allowing you to find out for yourself what you like and dislike. It mentally helps you get rid of stress and uplifts your mood because when you are aroused, the dopamine and epinephrine increase, and these are mood buster hormones.
It’s very easy to dismiss things we aren’t very informed about but that is where we need to learn to understand before we judge or pass comments. No one is bashing sexual pleasure or anything pre-existing when we talk about self-pleasure, it is another thing to know about. The lack of sex education provided at a school and college level is exactly where we are falling back along with the society around us which shapes our mindset, but we need to reach a place where we ask ourselves some important questions about our body, our wants, and our needs before letting someone else decide.
It is important to remember that while masturbation is way more than the myths associated with it, this is not a necessity in any way. Self-pleasure should be a form of self-care, what you want for yourself and not an idea you’re pressured into because you cannot enjoy then. I am no one to convince you but it is important to have the knowledge regarding something because you take a decision based on solely negative outlooks, so I hope this has given you a little insight. It’s the 21st century and times have changed. Masturbation may still be a taboo but if you give yourself the space to at least talk about it and learn, it opens a dialogue which is a start for something new.
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