Of the many taboos that exist in our society, one of them is masturbation. This word raises eyebrows whenever it is spoken. Most of the times, there is no discussion about this process as people are not comfortable in discussing it openly. What’s more, many regard it as a sin. What is masturbation? It can be defined as the process of sexual stimulation of one’s own genitals, usually to the point of orgasm. The stimulation can be performed using the hands, fingers, everyday objects, or dedicated sex toys. Male masturbation clears out old sperm with low motility from the male’s genital tract. Female masturbation provides a safeguard against cervical infections by increasing the acidity of the cervical mucus and by moving debris out of the cervix. Females masturbate as much as males do. Nevertheless, they tend to report it less than males due to the social stigma and humiliation attached to it in our society. The process is a perfectly normal part of the sexual life of a person, yet there exist all kinds of myths about it. Some of them are-
- It causes ill effects on a person’s health by hampering the functions of sensory organs.
- People masturbate only if they have an unfulfilling sexual relationship with their partner.
- Teenagers will lose the ability to have children if they masturbate more.
- Masturbation makes a person less responsive to stimulation by a partner.
- It determines a person’s sexual orientation.
Contrary to these beliefs, studies and research have shown that masturbation has no relation whatsoever with the functioning of sensory organs, people masturbate for self-satisfaction, not because they have an unfulfilling sexual relationship. The belief that teenagers cannot have children if they masturbate has no scientific basis because teenagers masturbate more than adults as their hormone levels are at the highest point. Masturbation in no way determines a person’s sexual orientation and does not negatively affect sexual relations with the partner. Here are few things that everybody should know about masturbation-
- Masturbation normally starts during the phase of adolescence.
- It is nothing but the process of releasing one’s sexual energies and a part of the sexual development of a person.
- It assists people in knowing about their sexual receptiveness.
- Masturbation is a perfectly harmless sexual substitute for people who wish to avoid the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy.
- Occasionally masturbation can be more fulfilling than the sexual act because, an individual is in control of his own movements and can maximize the pleasure according to his or her needs.
- Masturbation helps stimulate sleep because it lowers blood pressure and produces endorphins, the chemical responsible for helping ease stress and increase relaxation.
- Masturbation eases urinary tract infections. Masturbation helps flush out old bacteria from the cervix, thereby preventing these infections.
- Masturbation reduces menstrual cramps as it increases blood flow to the pelvic area, easing pain.
Therefore, it can be seen that masturbation is nothing to be ashamed of. It is a normal phenomenon that is not harmful to the health of a person; rather it has a slew of benefits. However, it care must be taken to ensure that it does not become an addiction. Other than that, there is nothing to be scared of. We should start talking about this process to burst the myths that surround it. Teenagers specially must be told about it so that they do not freak out thinking something is wrong with them. Females should start being open about it as they can only fight the stigma that is particular to female masturbation.
About the Author: This article is contributed by Kudrat Agarwal, our Intern.