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Monday, June 11, 2007

Myths About Masturbation

Despite the fact that there is no evidence that masturbation impairs physical or mental health, there are many people who still believe that it’s harmful – or worry that it might be.

Masturbation is a natural sexual expression. People in most cultures masturbate. Even many species of animals do. Yet, some people hesitate to do it – even when it might really serve them well during a particular phase of their life.

Despite the fact that many people masturbate throughout their lives, there are still some who believe that masturbation causes insanity, epilepsy, acne, blindness, nosebleeds, warts, uninhibited sexuality, and hair on the palms. And some believe it causes headaches, when it actually can help relieve some types of headaches.

Many sexually healthy people who have available partners masturbate as additional gratification. Partnered sex and masturbation should be viewed as complementary sexual experiences, not as mutually exclusive.

Masturbation can be a very good way to learn about one’s own body – particularly because it can help with communication of knowledge to a partner. Many women learn to have their first orgasm through masturbation. So, rather than being a substitute for partner sex, it can be a supportive path to having better sex with one’s mate.

Masturbation is not for the “simple minded,” the antisocial, or the immature. It is not something one must give up after their teen years. And, it can certainly amplify the sexual possibilities as people age or encounter physical limitations due to health conditions.

Much attention is given to people who currently masturbate “too much.” While it’s certainly true that the Internet has given many people more access to more visual stimulation, there are millions of people who use that imagery without destroying their lives – we just don’t talk about them much because there’s no problem.

Our culture has individuals who overdo many things. Part of responsible sexual education involves learning moderation and how to fit activities into one’s life without destroying other parts of it. That includes masturbation.

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Posted by: WebMD Blogs at 10:53 am

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