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Masturbation



Masturbation or self-stimulation, is a common practice among both men and women, and there is no evidence that it is in any way physically harmful, despite all the myths to the contrary.

For many years it was felt that only men masturbate. It does not cause blindness, madness, make the penis fall off or cause impotence. Masturbation is not addictive, and whilst compulsive drinking or gambling lead to ruin or destroy health and happiness, masturbation has no medically harmful effects which can be demonstrated. The myths arose because for thousands of years, when life expectancy was short and infant normality was high, sex was seen to be for procreation, and wasted semen was a failure to fulfill a man’s potential.

Soon after birth most humans start to get pleasure from their bodies, first out of curiosity about the world around them, then, usually accidentally, children stimulate themselves genitally, find the sensations pleasurable and start to seek such enjoyment quite deliberately. After infancy there may be a period of some years when the child shows little or no interest in masturbation or sexuality, but at puberty the practice is often resumed. For the majority of people masturbation is practiced throughout life, gratification being achieved by stimulation of the penis in men and the clitoris in women.

Statistics show that over 90% of males masturbate by the age of 18, but the figure is far lower in young women, being perhaps 35 or 40%, although it continues to rise with increasing age until a woman is in her 60”s, by which time probably 80% or more women do masturbate, at least occasionally.

Children need to be taught that masturbation is a normal, but PRIVATE behaviour, and that genital touching in public is socially unacceptable.

There is evidence to suggest that masturbation can make an adult more relaxed and better able to cope with life’s frustrations, but such sexual relief is less likely to be needed when one is in a good, sexually active relationship.

However, there will be times when those who are married or in a relationship cannot have intercourse because of the presence of other people, a partner’s illness or other causes, and in these circumstances relief of tension may be appropriate. If one feels guilty because it is against one’s religious beliefs then try to avoid putting yourself in such a position.

Except for those who feel extremely guilty, masturbation is usually regarded by most people as a mature pleasure and should not be condemned as childish behaviour.

The usual principles of personal hygiene must always be followed - clean hands and fingernails, and the stimulation should not be too vigorous. Women should never insert anything sharp, breakable, or which cannot easily be removed, into their vagina .

If you are worried about issues related to masturbation then go and talk with your general practitioner or family doctor. Sometimes it may be appropriate to see a counsellor, perhaps from the Family Life Movement, but remember that the person you are talking to may also have inhibitions about masturbation, because of their upbringing or beliefs, so might prefer to refer you to someone who is comfortable talking about the whole range of sexual issues.

- Ageing - AIDS
- Anorgasmia - Barrier Methods of Contraception
- Frigidity - Genital Herpes
- Impotence - Loss of Libido
- Masturbation - Miscarriage
- Post Natal Depression - Pregnancy
- Premature Ejaculation - Retarded Ejaculation
- Sex and Disability - Sexual Activity during and after Pregnancy
- Smoking and Pregnancy - Stretch Marks in Pregnancy
- Syphilis and Gonorrhoea - Termination (Abortion)
- The I.U.D. (or Intra Uterine Device) - The Pill (Oral Contraceptive Pill or OCP)
- The Rhythm Method of Birth Control
or Natural Family Planning
- Tubal Ligation
- Vasectomy - What is Normal??


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