Mark W. sent this at the beginning of the month, but I was afraid to post it sooner. I didn't want to be responsible for any of you hurting yourselves.
Ok. I confess. That's a lie. I've been too busy celebrating National Masturbation Month with someone I love. Me.
Anyhoo... you've got three days left. Use them wisely.
May is National Masturbation Month
Masturbation has had a colorful history. By far the most commonly practiced sexual behavior around the world, masturbation has gone from being ignored to being vilified, from a mental illness to a tool of women’s empowerment, celebrated with its very own month of the year.
Yet there remains a great deal of ignorance and misinformation regarding masturbation. Take a first step towards a happy masturbation month by clearing your mind of any myths about masturbation you may still be holding on to:
1) Masturbation is something you do when you're young, but then grow out of.
In fact, masturbation is a life long sexual activity. Surveys regularly show that anywhere from 70 to 95% of adult men and women masturbate. And while this may slow down as we age, many of us continue masturbating into our golden years. One survey of 800 adults over 60 found that that 46% of them masturbated, another found that 20% of seniors masturbated once a week or more.
2) Masturbation isn't "real sex"; it's only for people who can't find a partner.
Masturbation is real sex. When you masturbate you can get really aroused, which can result in very real orgasms. From a health perspective, masturbation is as “real” a sexual behavior as intercourse, oral sex, or kissing. And research shows that people in relationships masturbate, which contradicts the myth that masturbation is only for loners.
3) Masturbation is bad for your health.
This myth originated with an anti-masturbation tract that was written in 1712 as a way to sell a bogus “tonic” that was supposed to stop the disease of “self-pollution.” Through the years there have been many colorful attempts to pathologize masturbation. They say it will make you go blind, it will give you acne, and it will grow hair on your palms. All claims that have been refuted by science. Today virtually all physicians and scholars agree that masturbation is harmless.
4) Masturbation is something men have to do, but women don’t “need” to.
While most statistics show that men do masturbate more than women, there is no evidence to suggest this is due to some biological “need” on the part of men to masturbate. What is true is that social attitudes toward female masturbation are much more negative, and this likely impacts both women’s early masturbation and their willingness to report masturbating in a survey.
5) People in relationships don't masturbate.
This common myth often drives people in relationships to masturbate in private, hiding it from their partners. Survey research shows that people of all ages masturbate when they are in relationships. Kinsey’s survey found that almost 40% of men and 30% of women in relationships masturbated. A study of Playboy readers found that 72% of married men masturbated, and a study of Redbook readers found that 68% of married women masturbated.
6) Too much masturbation is bad for you.
With very rare exceptions, frequent masturbation is not harmful. If an individual is compulsively masturbating or is unable to engage in any sexual behavior other than masturbation (and would like to), it is possible that there may be reason to consult a mental health professional.
7) Only certain kinds of people masturbate.
Survey research debunks this myth that only certain people masturbate. Whether you are 19 or 99, religious and conservative or secular and liberal, whether you are a parent, grandparent, uncle or aunt, almost everyone has masturbated at some point in their lives, and most of us continue to do so.
Thursday, May 29, 2008