What are Some of the Myths About Masturbation?

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Masturbation is still a challenging topic for many to talk about. Even in the closest of romantic relationships, there may be struggles in regards to this subject matter. The most frequent qualm wives have about this is knowing that their husbands still masturbate despite regular sexual relationships together. Husbands have the opposite complaint. They would likely get very turned on by knowing (or watching) their wives masturbate, but the wives may feel quite uncomfortable about that.

However, it is not unusual for men, and quite a few women, to masturbate in addition to regular sex with their partners. Numerous myths still exist in our culture with respect to masturbation. 

What are some of the myths (and truths) about masturbation?

There are many myths about masturbation. What you need to know is that masturbation is okay as long as it does not interfere with your sexual intimacy with your partner. Also, masturbation in and of itself does not contribute to any known physical, mental or medical problems. 

 "Masturbation, once thought evil and the cause of many diseases, has been proven medically not to cause mental illness, physical weakness, or any type of disease or death; it is a normal aspect of human sexual development." Domeena C. Renshaw on ​ Eric.ed.gov

The Truth About Masturbation:

  • Masturbation does not cause hairy palms.
  • Masturbation does not make your eyesight go bad or cause you to go blind.
  • Masturbation does not cause acne.
  • Masturbation will not cause your penis to shrink.
  • Masturbation will not make you go insane.
  • Masturbation does not cause cancer.
  • Masturbation will not make you sterile.
  • Masturbation will not turn you into a pervert.
  • Masturbation will not give you an STD.
  • Masturbation is not self-abuse.
  • Masturbation is not a steppingstone to the homosexual lifestyle.
  • Masturbation is not unnatural.
  • Masturbation will not hinder your social and emotional development
  • Masturbation is not infidelity.

Other Common Word or Phrases for Masturbation:

  • play with oneself
  • jerk off or whack off
  • self-stimulate
  • pleasure oneself

Some Other Points About Masturbation:

  • People still masturbate when they are in long-term relationships such as marriage.
  • Most people are embarrassed about masturbation due to all of the negative and mixed messages received about doing this behavior. 
  • Everyone masturbates different amounts. There is no right or wrong number.
  • Masturbation is a problem if it interferes with day to day life or if it is used as a substitute for real intimacy with another person.
  • Masturbation can help you learn what you like and don't like sexually and how you need to be stimulated (especially for women).
  • Masturbation is sometimes used to relieve tension. 
  • Men often use pornography to masturbate. Again, this is only a problem if it interferes with day to day life and your sexual relationship with your partner. 
  • It is up to you whether or not you tell your spouse or partner that you masturbate.
  • You may have a problem with masturbating too much if you can't achieve orgasm with your partner through intercourse (nonmanual stimulation). 

    If you believe you may have a problem with masturbation based on what you have just read, you can seek out the help of a sex therapist. The therapist can work with you alone or with you and your partner to iron out any concerns you might be struggling with. 

    Keep in mind that masturbation is normal and healthy despite the negative messages you may have received from your family of origin. People who have sexual "hang-ups" have likely heard many negative messages from their family or a religious institution about masturbation. These messages are difficult to change, but it is not impossible. It is also worth the effort to change the negative messages so that you can enjoy a fulfilling sex life with your partner.

    Furthermore, as long as you can maintain a healthy and satisfying emotional and physical romantic relationship, you do not have to be concerned about masturbating!