Pros and Cons of Masturbation
By McKenzie Collins on 2017-02-09
Unsure about masturbation? Here's what to consider before you engage in the act.
If there is one elephant which has found its way into every room, it’s the topic of masturbation. For some unexplainable reason, masturbation has become more taboo in mundane conversation than sex. Remove the second individual from sexual practice, and suddenly, an act inducing pride and confidence, becomes shameful and awkward. To talk about what we do in the most private of all our moments for most proves an extremely difficult task.
As with most topics, not talking about them is much, much worse. It simply makes space for a roomful of ambiguities. At about 16, a friend of mine - very nervously, I might add - asked me about masturbation. She had never discussed it with anyone prior. However, she perceived me as easy-going; as someone who was going to give her a straight answer and most importantly, not make her feel shameful for her question. She felt ultimately relieved to discover that she wasn’t weird or crazy. She was one of many - in fact, one of an arguably universal group.
The truth is, whether we let it on or not (some of us are more conservative than others), most of us do or have taken it upon ourselves to masturbate. It’s no saddening truth. It is simply fact; one that makes sense considering we are humans with sexual organs. It is not unnatural that these experience arousal, and that we desire to satisfy this.
Indeed, there is a point to which masturbation does become unproductive. However, before we endeavor to look at the negatives of the act, or rather, where it can be lead astray, let us first look at masturbation by virtue of its plentiful benefits.
First and foremost, masturbation aids in the process of learning about one’s self. How can we possibly expect someone else - who is much less acquainted with our body - to please it, if we can’t do so ourselves first? Knowing the constitution of the body you live in is like knowing the U.S. constitution. It’s confusing, it’s going to take some time to get your head around. But at the end of the day, it’s fundamental for maintaining both individual and group wellbeing. It’s worth getting to know.
For some individuals, the actual act of masturbation provides more satisfaction than sexual intercourse. With masturbation comes the ability to cater to an individual’s needs and their needs only. You’re able to control your own movements. This means if you locate a particularly arousing area, you can hone in on this. A partner may be less likely to locate and sustain the pleasuring of a certain, sensitive area.
A further benefit to masturbation, despite how obvious it may seem, is that you just don’t get pregnant. If you’re a particularly paranoid person and this affects your sexual experience with others, consider that you’re more likely to be satisfied through masturbation. You won’t have to worry about the condom breaking or falling off mid-intercourse. You won’t have to force anyone to wear one to complete the task, either.
What’s more, masturbation evokes a certain kind of orgasm, differing slightly to the one you’ll get when having intercourse with a partner. This orgasm, by nature, is an endorphin-releaser. After engaging in the act, you should feel ready to sleep, less stressed and less sexually-deprived. According to Medical Daily, it also boosts your metabolism. Who knew one could become more fit thanks to masturbation? Perhaps teenage boys aren’t simply hermits accustomed to their beds and excessive sleeping. In their room is where they're getting into their greatest shape!
The health benefits of masturbation don’t conclude with increased metabolism for males. Masturbation results in the production of more fresh sperm. More fresh sperm means less likelihood of infection. Masturbation aids, then, in the avoidance of prostate cancer and other types of cancers to the genital areas.
There is such a thing as excessive masturbation, and this is exactly when the act transgresses into something of a more negative nature. Overproducing your sex hormones has some pretty concerning side effects. One can expect to lose hair, memory, vision and energy. You may even suffer from erectile dysfunction. In this circumstance, arousal proves difficult due to an overworked sexual organ.
Of course, these are quite severe cases. It would take masturbating multiple times a day, everyday, for a series of years to reach this state. It’s important to remember that masturbation is a healthy release in moderation. We should be careful not to overdo it nor to develop any obsessive tendencies. In the case all our thoughts are of a sexual nature, we’ll only struggle to be productive in other facets of our lives.
Further downsides of masturbation tend to be of a social nature. Most people find they needn’t masturbate if they are receiving good and pleasurable sexual intercourse. For this reason, sometimes masturbation is a sign of an unsatisfying sexual relationship. In this case, talking to your partner about the improvement of your sex life is a better idea than simply choosing to go solo.
Particularly if you haven’t engaged in sexual intercourse and are still learning about yourself, masturbation is important. Simply watch that you don’t begin to rely on the act. Self-love is beautiful, but it’s only intended to prepare you at the end of the day, for loving someone else. Only ready yourself so much as you need to endeavor to the next stage.