As society has become increasingly liberal when it comes to discussing sexuality, masturbation continues to be something of a taboo subject. While magazine articles discuss the best way to find a woman’s G-spot or the diet that can help men improve the quality of their sperm, discussions involving masturbation remain rare. Are there health and sexual enhancement benefits to taking things into your own hands? Or might there be a down side to self-love that has people rethinking whether or not masturbation is a harmless way to relieve sexual tension?
How the View of Masturbation Has Changed
There was a time when masturbation was seen as being downright dangerous. Victorian era doctors claimed masturbation could lead to anything from mental deficiency to homicidal maniac and everything in between. Doctors, parents and psychologists all devised a number of methods to keep people – particularly young boys – from engaging in the practice and, in some cases, those devices were known to cause permanent damage both physically and emotionally.
Over time, however, the public perceptions of masturbation began to change as people developed a better and healthier understanding of human sexuality. The sexual revolutions of the 1960s and 1970s gave the public a new appreciation for the benefits of a healthy sex life as well as the benefits of masturbation. Further research over the next several decades linked masturbation to helping to reduce prostate cancer risk, improving sexual performance for men with premature ejaculation and helping women to overcome body and self-esteem issues which had been preventing them from enjoying sex fully.
The public perception and understanding of masturbation has come full circle, however, with new concerns being raised that indulging in pornography and masturbation too often could be affecting a whole generation of men. In some cases, men have cited chronic masturbation as contributing to poor sexual performance, erectile dysfunction and waning sexual interest. These extreme cases remain rare and often involve people who have taken masturbation to an extreme. Meanwhile, therapists have found that targeted and controlled masturbation can be used as an effective form of therapy.
Putting Masturbation in Its Place
Although some concerns about masturbation have been raised, more and more therapists are using it as a way to treat sexual performance issues and even increase libido. How can both ideas be true? Is masturbation harmful or can it be used as a part of effective and healthy sexual therapy?
As with many other things, the key to having a healthy relationship with masturbation lies in moderation. Masturbation, when used wisely, can indeed help to improve the sex life of anyone. Men who struggle with premature ejaculation, for example, can use controlled masturbation techniques to help improve their stamina and gain better control over their orgasm. For those who want to increase libido, healthy doses of masturbation and erotic images or literature can help to keep them aroused and get their creative juices flowing in order to think of new ways to spice up their sexual encounters.
However, relying on pornography and masturbation too much can become problematic. While healthy masturbation habits can increase libido, engaging in masturbation too often can leave you drained – literally and figuratively. As with any form of sexual play, engaging in it too often can make it become the only way you can achieve orgasm and, over time, even that begins to wane. Masturbation is a completely normal and healthy activity, but over indulging or using it as a way to avoid more complex relationships can turn it into a problem. Healthy masturbation, however, can improve your sexual performance, reduce stress and increase libido over time.
The old saying about absence making the heart grow fonder is often used for long-distance relationships but it can also be applied to self-love. Refraining from sex will naturally increase libido, particularly if you find yourself thinking about it more often while still refraining from physically doing anything about it. Instead of giving in by taking matters into your own hands, let yourself revel in the sexual tension, feeling it build and even taking steps to stoke the fires over the course of a day, a week or even a month. The pay-off will be worth it.