Let’s face it, our bodies need lots of self-love to feel healthy and happy. Self-love and pleasure can look like many different things, but the most common is masturbation – and yes, we all do it. Masturbation is a healthy, normal part of sexuality that we should absolutely embrace. But there’s still a staggering amount of shame, stigma and false information surrounding it. We hear or are told so many crazy masturbation myths that are meant confuse or discourage from doing it.
So to help the cause, we’re here to debunk some of the biggest, baddest (and craziest) masturbation myths! We’ll prove that it’s not only totally natural, but good for you, too.
If you’re in a relationship, masturbation is unnecessary.
REALITY: The idea of not needing self-love just because you have a partner is, by far, one of the most tragically common misconceptions in the book. Sure, being able to have an orgasm without a partner present is a great perk, but it’s about SO much more than that!
The benefits of masturbation is a list that goes on and on. Among them is being able to learn about your body and discover how you like to be touched and stimulated. You can relax, get in tune with your sexy side and, ultimately, boost your self-confidence both in and outside of the bedroom. So if you and/or your partner like to rub one out on the regular, it doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with your relationship or that either of you are dissatisfied. Rather, it’s a super healthy part of your sex life that your partner will benefit from as well.
It desensitizes you.
REALITY: This myth definitely not true … for the most part. As with any muscle or other part of the body, your sexual function works best when it’s frequently exercised. Regular masturbation is not the kiss of death to your sensual sensitivity. It actuality helps bolster your intimate performance.
However, since variety is the spice of life, it is possible to get “used to” a sensation when you do the same exact thing over and over again. If that’s something you start to experience, all it takes is switching up your technique or taking some time away from the vibe. Simple as that!
It’s only for when you’re alone.
REALITY: We tend to think of solo sex as a solo activity, but that doesn’t always have to be the case! Masturbation is a great way to get down with yourself, but it can be a powerful tool for couples to implement together as well.
One person can masturbate as a part of foreplay before getting down to business. Or the main course could be mutual masturbation itself. Self-love can be an incredibly spicy addition to your intimate routine that also shows your partner first-hand how you like it done.
Masturbating is all about the orgasm.
REALITY: You know how they say life’s about the journey, not the destination? Well, the same goes for masturbation. If your self-pleasure sesh ends in the coveted “Big O,” that’s great! But don’t think it’s the only thing that matters.
Masturbation is something we often (though not always) do by ourselves. This makes it a great opportunity to pay close attention to your body. Experimenting with different hand movements and toys can elicit a huge range of sensations. Throw in tricks like edging to extend the “orgasmic plateau.” That way, regardless of whether you reach a killer climax in the end or not, it was still a wild and incredibly enjoyable ride.
It’s unnatural/wrong for kids to masturbate.
REALITY: Sexual curiosity is an intrinsic part of human nature. So even though everyone discovers things at their own pace, it’s not the craziest thing for children to stumble upon ways to make themselves feel good. They likely won’t understand what they’re doing until much later in life. But it’s important to remember that it’s a totally normal part of sexual development/the human experience and nothing to be embarrassed about.
It can change one’s penis size over time.
REALITY: Another concern among penis-owners at large is the idea that jerking off can potentially affect their member’s appearance. Although, much to either your dismay or delight, this masturbation myth is not true either.
Male-bodied individuals do experience a drop in testosterone after orgasm. But it’s temporary and doesn’t have a lasting effect on the overall penis size itself. No lengthening. No shrinking. What you see is, and will remain, what you get.
You can control your urges with cereal.
REALITY: False – obviously! It’s contested how large of a part Corn Flakes specifically had in the matter, but John Harvey Kellogg is historically well-known for both creating a cereal empire and spearheading a very public crusade against masturbation, thus creating a crazy bowl of masturbation myths. Believing that it’s one of the worst, most abominable things one can do, he encouraged people to adopt a simple, bland diet in order to decrease interest in sex. According to him, this type of food wouldn’t “self-pollute” the body…hence the inception of plain, unsweetened and arguably boring Corn Flakes.
But sorry, Kellogg. The jig is up for this one.
It’ll cause hairy palms, blindness and/or insanity.
REALITY: I mean, really? These types of myths were perpetuated back in olden times before sex-positivity was a thought in anyone’s mind. But these days, we’ve finally wised up – and now thankfully know the real truth. What happens after you masturbate? You’ll be your same old self … but feel a lot better and satisfied.
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Moral of the story: masturbation is great! As always, so long as it’s done in a happy and healthy way. Keep these masturbation myths away from your mind and the bedroom. Rather than seeing masturbation as a replacement to partnered sex, it’s important to see self-love as an integral piece of the pleasure puzzle that can help us grow closer to our sensual sides and feel like comfortable in our own skin.
So pleasure on, party people! Have fun getting down with yourself.
Alex Anderson is an LA-based lifestyle designer proactively raging against the cultural grain. By day she works in television production, and by night enjoys writing, sewing and seeking guidance from the stars. She also finally has an all black kitty named “Cher.” You can follow her alt-lifestyle blog MSFT Living and on Instagram!