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Seriously, Let's Try Letting Go of Guilt Around Masturbation

It’s not a sin and you won’t grow warts, we swear

Recently, I realised just how taboo the ‘masturbation’ topic still is. I assumed that because I’m comfortable talking about it with my friends and partner, everyone else is too. Naive, I know.

It’s saddening that something that feels so natural to many of us can still cause others to feel shame. So how do we bash through the barrier of guilt surrounding masturbation? According to Laurie Mintz PhD who specialises in women’s sexuality, there are a few things that need to happen.

We need to recover from a lack of education that likely stems from our youth

In her article on Psychology Today, Mintz shares her findings from a recent poll she did with female students.

‘The majority of the women in my class say that when growing up, no one ever talked to them about self-pleasure,’ Mintz explains, adding that ‘Another author found that 80% of the women who responded to her survey were never talked to about masturbation being a normal aspect of human sexuality. ‘

We need to know masturbation isn’t ‘sinful’

‘The idea that masturbation is sinful isn’t surprising since many religions condemn it,’ Mintz says. ‘A lot of them point to a Bible story where a guy named Onan is supposed to have intercourse with his brother’s widow to make a baby. He refuses, “spills his seed,” and is struck dead.’

The thing is, Mintz explains, modern Bible experts aren’t even certain if poor ol’ Onan is struck dead because of his inability to knock up his dead brother’s wife, or if it had to do with the masturbation. ‘Some think he didn’t even masturbate at all, but “spilled his seed” when he pulled out so as not to ejaculate inside her.’

Another point made by modern Bible experts is that it says little about masturbation in general, and nothing about female masturbation. ‘That’s why these experts disagree about whether the Bible is against masturbation or not,’ Mintz explains. ‘It’s also why a lot of respected religious leaders from diverse faiths actually say masturbation is acceptable.’

Listen, I’m not saying your mom was lying, but your hands won’t become wart-infected because you’ve flicked the bean

Mintz says that oftentimes, women still grapple with the idea of masturbation because they were told it was harmful in their youth.

‘In the 18th century people were warned that if they masturbated, their hands would get covered in warts and hair. Yikes! People were also told that masturbation caused blindness, acne, and infertility.’ Doctors did little to educate people otherwise. In fact, many of them saw patients in the mental hospitals pleasuring themselves, and concluded that the masturbation was a contributing factor to their mental illness. ‘The truth is that the patients were just doing what most of us do—although with less privacy and at more frequency since they were cooped up with little else to do.’

Anyway, the bottom line is that in previous generations, medical experts told people that masturbation was the root of many illnesses.

Here’s a little help from SCIENCE

You’ve got a headache? Masturbate. Feeling a little down? Masturbate. Feeling immensely stressed out and suffering from low self-esteem? Masturbate, masturbate. This list goes on and on and according to extensive research, which includes other conditions that can be remedied through self-pleasure. These include: sleeplessness, suffering from a low sex drive, feeling uninspired creatively, and chronic pain.

Still not convinced?

‘Pleasuring yourself burns calories and enhances your immune system (so you get sick less often)’, Mintz explains much to our delight. ‘It also can help relieve menstrual cramps and strengthen the muscle tone in your pelvic region, which in turn will make your orgasms feel more intense.’

‘In short, there’s absolutely no doubt that solo sex has enormous psychological and health benefits.’

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