The idea that women masturbate and enjoy it as much as men is one that’s just now gaining traction. Moving past negatives views on masturbation, many of which were held by years, is difficult, which might be why so many people ask “Is masturbation bad for you?”. But the truth is that not only is masturbating not bad for you, but there are some benefits that might surprise you!
IS MASTURBATION BAD FOR YOU? NOT IN THE LEAST!
But this leads us to our first question. If masturbation truly isn’t bad for you, why do some people have such a big problem with it?
Masturbation may not be shunned but talking about it may be taboo because it is difficult for parents to talk to their children about something as personal about touching themselves. Who wants to view their “baby” as a sexual being? But there are anti-masturbation sentiments that run far deeper than this.
For example, there may still be people who view masturbating as something that’s sinful. They may feel that people who masturbate are defiling themselves when all of their sexual pleasure and exploration should be done within the confines of a married relationship. Many of the websites that warn against masturbation have a religious slant because of this.
Furthermore, here are some of the previously claimed possible side effects of masturbation.
- Hair growth
- Erectile dysfunction
All of these sensationalized risks of masturbation have been proven wrong. We now know that a variety of factors play into erectile dysfunction, and unless a guy has conditioned himself to come only from a certain stimulus, masturbation has nothing to do with ED.
There were also lists of reasons that might drive people to masturbate: perversions/sinfulness, prior abuse, and mental illness, among others. But we know better than that, now. Plenty of people masturbate (More than half of all women aged 18-49 have masturbated in the last month with women in their upper 20s getting down the most , and men may do it even more frequently!), and none of them have gone blind.
Still, if you were taught that masturbation is bad for you, then you might have some feelings of shame or guilt – some people find themselves seeking drugs or making other bad behavior to combat their feelings – that conflict with your natural sexual feelings. There’s good news, however. Masturbation has plenty of benefits!
MASTURBATION IS GOOD FOR YOU
Most sex educators are quick to point out that not only is masturbation not bad for you, but it has benefits. The perks of masturbation are plenty, and we’ve written about them before. But here’s a quick rundown to remind you.
- Masturbation relieves stress.
- It can help you sleep better.
- You can learn what your body likes so that you can then teach your partner.
- You can become a better lover.
- Masturbation enables you to get in touch with your body better.
- You can learn skills such as squirting or multiple orgasms.
- It just feels good!
Masturbating doesn’t come with the same risks as sex, including pregnancy and transmission of STIs. So, in some ways, sex might be bad for you in ways that masturbation isn’t.
Many of the benefits of masturbation are also benefits of sex on a smaller scale, but that doesn’t mean they serve the same purpose or that you shouldn’t masturbate when you’re in a relationship. The nice thing about masturbation is that you can do it nearly any time without preparation. Your hair doesn’t need to be done or legs shaved. You don’t have to perform for anyone else or care about someone else’s pleasure, either.
For some people, masturbation is only a substitute for sex that they can’t have, but we don’t think this is the right way to look at it. Don’t be concerned if your man still masturbates. As long as it’s not getting in the way of your sex life, there’s no harm. Why not enjoy both activities yourself?
IS MASTURBATION BAD FOR YOU IF YOU’RE A WOMAN?
Many men would stop after reading the list of benefits of masturbation and go at it. They don’t tend to psychoanalyze their sexual and masturbatory habits as much as women do. A man’s sexuality is often taken for granted, a given. Not so for many women.
Perhaps this is because many people, including women themselves, think that a woman’s sexuality is a response to a man’s. She doesn’t have the same desire – or the same potential for pleasure – as a man. This is patently false as many of our readers can attest.
IS MASTURBATION BAD FOR YOU AND YOUR RELATIONSHIP?
Nope, you won’t find reasons that masturbation is bad for your relationship! In fact, we think masturbation for two is great.
You can make masturbation into a partnered activity. Masturbating in front of your man can be quite a turn on, even if it leads to sex. He gets to see you being naughty, so you can plan a show the next time you’re in the mood or even “let” him walk in on you while you’re masturbating.
If you want him to join in or you want to manually stimulate one another, you can look into mutual masturbation as a sexy activity.
One thing to be aware of is that mutual masturbation can potentially spread STIs like HPV, which is spread through skin-to-skin contact.
THE RISKS OF MASTURBATION
While masturbation, in general, isn’t bad for you, it can pose risks. This is especially true if you’re not as smart about masturbating as you should be.
For example, if you use any item that might carry bacteria in your vagina, you could encourage a bacterial infection. Similarly, you might get an infection if you use a toy anally and then vaginally without disinfecting it first.
Another potential risk of masturbating is being too vigorous, leading to spotting or cervical pain. Some women like deep penetration, but if you prefer rough thrusting, hurting yourself is a risk.
If you choose a toy that’s too rigid or use a household instrument that has edges, corners or could even break, you might cut yourself while masturbating. Any bacteria on the item might lead to an infection, just like a cut on your skin could become infected if not kept clean. Even if it doesn’t become infected, a cut on your genitals is no fun! This is why it’s unwise to use household items to masturbate.
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Keep in mind that anything you use anally needs to have a flanged/flared base or handle to prevent it from getting stuck in your rectum. No one wants to deal with that visit to the doctor!
Finally, one type of masturbation is pretty risky, and you need to understand that risk before trying it: autoerotic asphyxiation. Choking during sex is already potentially dangerous, but it’s safer because there’s a partner who can help if something goes wrong.
However, choking yourself while masturbating is incredibly risky. Preventing oxygen from your brain can cause you to black out, and this has even been the cause of death for celebrities in the past! If you tie anything around your neck and pass out, you could accidentally hurt yourself when your weight is suspended. It’s not necessarily any better if you try to rig a system where your body will fall in these instances because you could hurt yourself from the fall.
For these reasons, we DO NOT recommend autoerotic asphyxiation.
THE REALITY OF MASTURBATION
Is masturbation bad for you? No way! In fact, masturbating will probably help you learn to orgasm and experience pleasure. This can benefit your sex life and relationship. You might become impressed with what your body can do or experience relief because a vibrator makes getting off that much easier.
Some women feel “addicted” to their vibrators, but this isn’t a real addiction. Rather, it’s conditioning yourself to orgasm in a certain way, and that can happen even if you don’t use a vibrator! If you’re concerned, simply stop using your toy – or use a different toy – for a while to add variety.
Did you know? Men can do something similar when they masturbate too vigorously or with an iron grip. It can make it difficult for him to orgasm during sex, but he can recondition himself, too.
If you’re an avid masturbator, you might find yourself a little sore. This passes quickly if you give yourself a break, so be careful that you’re not rubbing or pressing too hard and that your nails are cut short and filed smooth. Take a few breaks if you overdo it before returning to your regular schedule; otherwise, it might make masturbating bad for you.
WHEN MASTURBATION BECOMES A PROBLEM
Finally, we need to talk about when masturbation becomes a problem. If it’s taking over your life, so you’re not doing basic things like sleeping, eating or showering or you don’t make it to work or school, then the habit of masturbation may be bad for you — but it’s not masturbation itself. In moderation, masturbation is no worse than casual drinking or using a slot machine every once in a while. But it’s not masturbation that’s the issue per se; it’s the obsessive behavior that you can’t pull yourself away from.
As you can guess, this is not good for your relationship. We’re not just talking about normal masturbation in addition to a healthy sex life. You’re probably not spending quality time with your man, with or without sex, if all you do is masturbate, which can breed resentment on his part.
So, is masturbating bad for you? It’s not likely that self-pleasuring is going to cause any lasting damage, and there’s no reason to judge yourself if you want to do it. So it’s time to ditch your negative thoughts and enjoy the positivity that masturbating can bring into your life!