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Masturbation is Self-love

This article first appeared on PublicHouse.sg.

Mention the word “Masturbation” and what do you think of? While masturbation means different things to different people, it is one of the most misunderstood subjects in the world, as it is enshrined in mystery and secrecy because of the simple reason we speak so little about it. Masturbation may evoke massive levels of guilt and shame, as many of us were told from when we were young not to touch ourselves “down there”.

You might be scowling as you read this, but do you ever stop to recognise the tremendous good that can be found in this solo-sex activity we often perform quietly, quickly, and secretly? Also known as self-pleasuring, solo sex or self-love, masturbation is 100% safe sex, relieves depression and leads to a higher sense of self-esteem amongst many other benefits.

Females masturbate too, of course. However, I decided to include some of the most frequently asked questions on masturbation by men, and my answers:

1. Is masturbation bad for you?

All human beings are born sexual and there is no limit placed on the frequency of sexual encounters humans can engage in, including masturbation (which is a good thing). Masturbation is perfectly healthy and an important part of sexual health. Like all sex, masturbation is related to our physical, emotional, psychological, social, and even spiritual state. Be aware of your body – watch for signs of soreness or sensitivity, and slow down if needed. If your masturbation is causing you continued distress, pain, or feels compulsive, you might want to talk to a qualified sexologist.

2. Does frequent masturbation cause premature ejaculation?

For most men, their earliest sexual experiences are with masturbation, done secretly and quickly for fear of being found out. It is often believed that such early experience actually condition some men’s sexual response to a pattern of rapid ejaculation. In reality, masturbation is one of the best ways for men to learn about their bodies and develop confidence about their ejaculatory control in a pressure-free environment. Using lubricant, slowing down on the stroking action when you masturbate and letting yourself enjoy the sensations more are all part of the learning process. So stroke away and take your time.

3. Should I masturbate before sex to last longer the second time?

The real question appears to be about lasting longer. To last longer, you can learn the stop-start technique by yourself, which is essentially slowing down before reaching the point-of-no-return. Breathing more deeply, being more present, and engaging in more foreplay will all help you to last longer. Masturbating beforehand can actually reduce your own pleasure. There is nothing wrong in masturbating early in the day or as many times as your body desires.

4. Will I run out of sperm if I ejaculate too many times in a day?

There is no limit in the amount of sperm that a man’s body produces. If you ejaculate several times in a row, while you may have less sperm in each subsequent ejaculation, it will return to normal levels within a day. Doctors actually remind men to ejaculate frequently to help keep the prostate gland healthy. So rest assured, you can have all the orgasms you want without your sperm ever running out. In fact, you can learn to have an orgasm without ejaculation, but that is another subject.

5. Is it normal to masturbate after marriage?

Many men and women continue to masturbate when they are in a relationship, even those who are married. It does not imply that there is something wrong in the relationship. Some of the reasons married people still continue to masturbate include using it to release stress, not wanting to go through the whole process of sex, as a quick energiser, stress reliever or when partner is not available.

As Woody Allen famously said, “Don’t knock masturbation – it’s sex with someone I love”. Masturbation is a great way to learn about your own body, including ejaculatory control and mastering your orgasm potential. Let go of the guilt.

Dr Martha Lee is Founder and Clinical Sexologist of Eros Coaching in Singapore. She is a certified sexuality educator with AASECT (American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists), as well as certified sexologist with ACS (American College of Sexologists). She holds a Doctorate in Human Sexuality from Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality as well as certificates in practical counselling, life coaching and sex therapy. She is available to provide sexuality and intimacy coaching for individuals and couples, conduct sexual education workshops and speak at public events in Asia. For more, visit www.eroscoaching.com.

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