So far we have received almost three digits worth of questions, but I’m greedy, and I want more! Ask us your anonymous questions here!
What is masturbation? What are the risks?
Masturbation is when a person derives pleasure from touching oneself, either their entire body and/or specifically their sex organs. Orgasm does not have to be the primary goal of masturbation.
Positives to masturbation
Planned Parenthood did a superb job of covering this, so I’m just going to summarize a few points here.
Masturbation is great for your mental and physical health. You become more aware of your body’s needs and how you can meet them. People who masturbate are also more likely to protect themselves against STIs, because they are more comfortable with their bodies and the idea of sex, they are more likely to discuss protection with their partner. Also, they become familiar with what turns them on, and are able to communicate that to their partner when they have one.
In my research, I have found two main risks to masturbating.
This one is easy to solve. Use lube. Saliva works well, water based lubricants are safe, and there are some oil based lubricants out there as well. If you are using a toy (a topic for another week), be sure to ask the staff at the store that you bought it (or read the packaging) what kind of lubes are safe to use with it. Some toys should not be used in combination with oil based lubricants.
2. Shame and Guilt
This is a little more difficult to deal with. Since masturbation is considered a taboo subject, a lot of people have heard negative things about it while growing up. This translates into guilt and/or shameful feelings bubbling to the surface. This can threaten our health and mental well-being. The best way to shake the guilt is to talk about it with a trusted friend, doctor, or therapist. Masturbating is all about feeling good and happy. Get rid of the negativity!
Wow…I managed to bring communication into a topic that focuses on a single person. Seems like it’s a pretty big deal, doesn’t it?