Around the turn-of-the-century, some adults were so against masturbation they forced girls to wear gloves the texture of Brillo pads at night and put a powder on their genitals that made them painful to touch. Boys had to wear metal chastity belts at night that made it hurt to have an erection.
"The medical community played an incredible part in this," says Howard Ruppel, Jr., Ph.D., executive director of the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists. "Back in the early part of this century, there were actually doctors who prescribed these devices."
These doctors were mirroring the values of their time, namely that sex was meant for making babies, not creating pleasure, says Ruppel, who also teaches sexuality courses at the University of Iowa. That idea is rooted in religious teachings that go back centuries.
"It’s the solitary sin,’" says Ruppel, explaining that the Bible teaches it is wrong for men to "spill their seed."
Masturbation is the self-stimulation of the genitals to achieve sexual arousal and pleasure, usually to the point of orgasm (sexual climax). It is commonly done by touching, stroking, or massaging the penis or clitoris until an orgasm is achieved. Some women also use stimulation of the vagina to masturbate or use "sex toys," such as a vibrator.
Just about everybody. Masturbation is a very common behavior, even among people who have sexual relations with a partner. In one national study, 95% of males and 89% of females reported that they have masturbated. Masturbation is the first sexual act experienced by most males and females. In young children, masturbation is a normal part of the growing child's exploration of his or her body. Most people continue to masturbate in adulthood, and many do so throughout their lives.
WHY DO PEOPLE MASTURBATE?
In addition to feeling good, masturbation is a good way of relieving the sexual tension that can build up over time, especially for people without partners or whose partners are not willing or available for sex. Masturbation also is a safe sexual alternative for people who wish to avoid pregnancy and the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases. It also is necessary when a man must give a semen sample for infertility testing or for sperm donation. When sexual dysfunction is present in an adult, masturbation may be prescribed by a sex therapist to allow a person to experience an orgasm (often in women) or to delay its arrival (often in men).
IS MASTURBATION NORMAL?
While it once was regarded as a perversion and a sign of a mental problem, masturbation now is regarded as a normal, healthy sexual activity that is pleasant, fulfilling, acceptable, and safe. It is a good way to experience sexual pleasure and can be done throughout life.
Masturbation is only considered a problem when it inhibits sexual activity with a partner, is done in public, or causes significant distress to the person. It may cause distress if it is done compulsively and/or interferes with daily life and activities.
IS MASTURBATION HARMFUL?
In general, the medical community considers masturbation to be a natural and harmless expression of sexuality for both men and women. It does not cause any physical injury or harm to the body, and can be performed in moderation throughout a person's lifetime as a part of normal sexual behavior. Some cultures and religions oppose the use of masturbation or even label it as sinful. This can lead to guilt or shame about the behavior.
Some experts suggest that masturbation can actually improve sexual health andrelationships. By exploring your own body through masturbation, you can determine what is erotically pleasing to you and can share this with your partner. Some partners use mutual masturbation to discover techniques for a more satisfying sexual relationship and to add to their mutual intimacy.
EFFECT OF MASTURBATION
When one masturbates frequently or ejaculates, it stimulates something called as acetylcholine and parasympathetic nervous functions. This excessive stimulation may result in over productions of sexual hormones and neurotransmitters like acetylcholine, serotonin and dopamine.
Ample and unusual (large) amount of these sexual hormones and neurotransmitters may cause the brain and adrenal glands to make excessive dopamine-nor epinephrine-epinephrine conversion and make the brain and body functions to be extremely sympathetic. Meaning to say, there is a big change in body chemistry when one excessively and frequently masturbates.
Masturbation is considered as a healthy sexual behavior. Nevertheless, like other behaviors, when it is over practiced or one becomes addicted, it can lead to both psychological and physiological imbalances.
- One may feel fatigue or tired all the time
- A man has lower back pain
- He might face thinning hair or hair loss
- He might be feeling soft or weak erection
- He may suffer from the condition called premature ejaculation
- He may have his eye flickering or fuzzy vision
- He might be having groin or testicular pain
- He might be feeling pain or cramp in the pelvic cavity or/and tailbone.
Masturbation plays a great role in a normal day-to-day sex life. Some of the people discover it when they were children because it starts to feel so good between their legs. Others are shown by their friends. Boys then continue to masturbate because it feels so good. It gets boys ready for mature sexual relationships when they reach their adulthood, and it helps boys taking care of those raging hormonal urges and surges when they are teenagers.
Masturbation can surely enhance mature sexual relationships where two partners use it as a prelude either to other sexual activity or as the main fare. In addition, it keeps men going when relationships weakens, such as when a partner is ill or away. It is a great equalizer in a relationship where one partner needs more sexual activity than the other does.
To define ‘too much masturbation’ is difficult because that depends. However, it is suggested that men should keep their ejaculation frequency down to twice or thrice a week. However, sexual activity can be experienced more than that only if men learn how to reach orgasm without ejaculating. Doing so can actually store bio-energy into his system and make the penis firmer, erections last longer, and the volume of the ejaculation will be more.
Masturbation is a part of life and the sexual practices in modern lifestyles. In fact, most of the sexual experts recommend that is will not only improve sexual experiences but it will also promote good general health. However, like most of things in life, anything too much is too bad. This is true here too. Excessive masturbation can results in some unwanted symptoms such as stress, fatigue, and memory loss. In worse cases, sufferers fall into the pitfalls of impotence and hair loss.
One recently published clinical report suggests, 87% of women and 95% of men had practiced masturbation—but when done to extreme, it caused drastic changes in brain and body chemistry. Too much masturbation can over-stimulate acetylcholine and parasympathetic nervous functions and therefore, disrupt the liver’s release of vital enzymes that synthesize neurotransmitters acetylcholine, dopamine, and serotonin. In addition, the liver’s ability to release enzymes that aid in hormone production can be affected result of which, the brain and adrenal glands will produce too much dopamine, norepinephrine, epinephrine, and other hormones and neural transmitters.
Symptoms of over masturbation, also called sexual exhaustion, are distressing liver and nervous system functions; include youthful impotence/erectile dysfunction (including a soft or weak erection) and seminal leakage. Since more than 30% of men have experienced impotence at one or other times in their lives, impotence in youth is rarer and can often be attributed to the previously described factors.
Over-masturbation can also cause problems such as seminal leakage that can cause sperm to ooze or leak out of the penis with no relation to erection of the organ. Both semen leakage and youthful impotence can embarrass and make person uncomfortable. These are the prime signs of sexual exhaustion.
Semen leakage is a sign that the parasympathetic nerve (which keeps the ejaculation valve shut and holds the erection) is being weakened because of over-masturbation. With this weakened nerve, it is difficult to remain erected.
HOW TO GET RID FROM THIS ADDICTION
The very first step to get better is to reduce the frequency of masturbation and ejaculation. One should overcome this habit. In diet, one should eat more soybean products and should eliminate excessive caffeine from the diet.
Men should also focus on nutty foods such as sunflower seeds, peanuts and eat more seafood, seaweed, vegetables, and try to give up or to restrict the red meat intake. Instead of soda, try drinking orange juice or cranberry juice. One should also drink plenty of water.
In Ayurveda, the masturbation is called as ‘hastamaithuna’. Ayurveda deals seriously with this condition and denies that it is helpful to lead healthy sexual life. If a person does over masturbation, he is inviting the impotency and his body will lose the vitality. He will become weak and will not have strength and masculinity.
In Ayurveda, there are seven Dhatus (vital tissues of the body) from serum to the semen. These vital tissues have particular quantity in our body. They get nourishment from the food eaten and then they perform various body functions. The entire body depends upon these seven tissues (vital tissues – Dhatus). Over masturbation will start expending these good quantities of these Dhatus and the semen that has particular quantity in the body will be decreased.
The semen will be decreased and being the most important and extract of all the other bodily tissues, it will then start shrinking the body. The body will become lean and the physical vitality or strength will eventually decrease with signs of exhaustion, lethargy, numbness all over the body and lack of interest in any routines of the life.
The hidden habit: masturbation
It won't keep you from having children, make hair grow on your palms, or drain off all your energy. And, it won't make you craze.
Ninety-eight percent of men and over one-third of women are or have struggled with this hidden habit, yet very few are willing to discuss it. It's masturbation.
Occasional masturbation is a part of exploring and experimenting with newly developing sexual drives for young teens.
Research has shown that occasional masturbation causes no ill effects--physically or mentally.
It won't keep you from having children, make hair grow on your palms, or drain off all your energy. And, it won't make you crazy! (The mentally ill often masturbate more, because they are mentally ill. They are not mentally ill because they often masturbate.)
Masturbation has become a much larger issue in modern society. Two hundred years ago, a fourteen-year old boy and a twelve-year-old girl could support themselves by farming. In modern society, couples are delaying marriage for educational and financial reasons, and so the age at which people marry has been dramatically delayed.
At the same time, the age of sexual maturity has dropped this century from age eighteen down to around thirteen for girls and fifteen for boys. Masturbation was never an issue when one married before sexual maturity. Today, the time from sexual maturity to marriage has increased to ten or more years.
So, masturbation becomes one way to deal with these trends.
However, there is much confusion, guilt, and insecurity when masturbation becomes a regular practice. As a habit, it often creates feelings of guilt, shame, and sometimes worthlessness. It causes some people to become withdrawn and insecure.
Masturbation, however, loses its humiliating and guilt-producing feelings, when we can discuss our feelings with a trusted adult or counselor. Hidden fears, desires, and temptations cause us the most problems.
DANGERS IN MASTURBATION
1. Masturbation becomes a substitute for healthy friendships or emotional intimacy with others. If you're becoming withdrawn from others or feel you don't need others because of it, you probably need to discuss the problem with a trusted adult or a professional counsellor.
2. Masturbation becomes a substitute for intercourse in marriage. Sex is designed to communicate love and intimacy with your spouse. Stimulating yourself doesn't. In fact, it's really not sexual stimulation at all, but simply self-stimulation. Licensed marriage counselors are trained to deal with this issue.
3. Masturbation becomes an uncontrollable habit. (Check out Breaking Habits Before They Break You.) If you find yourself masturbating in public places, it's definitely time for some professional help.
WHAT DOES GOD SAY ABOUT MASTURBATION
What does God say about masturbation? Is it a sin? Unfortunately, the Bible says absolutely nothing about self-stimulation. (It would be much easier to deal with the issue if there was a verse that said, "Thou shalt not" or "Verily, verily, it's okay.") So, why doesn't God say anything about it? Possibly because it was not an issue in ancient times for reasons we've already discussed. Possibly because God really doesn't care whether you occasionally masturbate or not. God's Word does have a lot to say about our thought life and our moral behaviour, so do check that out.
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT MASTURBATION
"There is not a direct reference in scripture to the sin of masturbation, but we can look at the act as one of sexual immorality," says Rev. Gerald Lamont Thomas, Ph.D., pastor of the Shiloh Baptist Church in Plainfield, New Jersey. "It is not a proper method of sexual relationships."
Some teens agree with Thomas -- and that’s OK.
If you believe, because of your religion or family values, that masturbation is wrong, then that’s a good reason to abstain. So does simply not want to do it. But, it’s important to know that masturbation can’t hurt you or anyone else, as long as you do it in private. Actually, it’s totally normal and risk free, no pregnancy, disease or broken hearts, most sexuality educators say.
"Masturbation is a healthy way to provide pleasure, help you relax and help you discover your body," says Ruppel.
"Nothing is wrong with masturbation," agrees Jay Musely, 15, "as long as it doesn’t interfere with your daily life." Adds Valerie, 16, "I don’t think it is wrong or sinful to masturbate."
CURRENT SURVEY ON MASTURBATION
Nearly everyone masturbates -- at least sometimes. Surveys show that 90 percent of males and 59 percent of females have masturbated by age 18. It’s true that guys generally masturbate more than girls. "The penis is just sort of there," explains Ruppel, and guys touch it all the time, when they go to the bathroom. "The clitoris is tucked away under a little hood."
But the gender difference is also linked to the primeval idea that girls aren’t supposed to enjoy sex as much as boys. That’s changing, though, says Ruppel.
In the end, masturbation still scares some of us and continues to pleasure many of us. We may never agree on the subject, but maybe the more we know about masturbation, the more it will become something that brings safe satisfaction rather than shame.
Here are some additional suggestions that have proven helpful for others who have successfully overcome masturbation:
1. Pray daily, ask for the gifts of the Spirit, that which will strengthen you against temptation. Pray fervently, even out loud, when the temptations are the strongest.
2. Exercise daily. Exercise reduces emotional tension and depression and is absolutely basic to the solution of this problem. Double your physical activity when you feel stress increasing.
3. When the temptation to masturbate is strong, yell STOP to those thoughts as loudly as you can in your mind and then recite a prechosen Scripture or sing an inspirational hymn. It is important to turn your thoughts away from the selfish need to indulge.
4. If you ever do give in, don't give up. The worst thing you can do is say "oh well, I screwed up, I guess I'll stop trying". Simply get back on track and don't look back. Until you commit yourself to never do it again you will always be open to temptation.
5. Change in behavior and attitude is most easily achieved through a changed self-image. Spend time every day imagining yourself strong and in control, easily overcoming tempting situations.
6. Begin to work daily on a self-improvement program. Relate this plan to improving your Church service, to improving your relationships with your family, God and others. Strive to enhance your strengths and talents.
7. Be outgoing and friendly. Force yourself to be with others and learn to enjoy working and talking to them. Use principles of developing friendships found in books such as How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.
8. Be aware of situations that depress you or that cause you to feel lonely, bored, frustrated or discouraged. These emotional states can trigger the desire to masturbate as a way of escape. Plan in advance to counter these low periods through various activities, such as reading a book, visiting a friend, doing something athletic, etc.
10. A careful study will indicate you have had the problem at certain times and under certain conditions. Try and recall, in detail, what your particular times and conditions were. Now that you understand how it happens, plan to break the pattern through counter activities.
11. In the field of psychotherapy there is a very effective technique called aversion therapy. When we associate or think of something very distasteful with something which has been pleasurable, but undesirable, the distasteful thought and feeling will begin to cancel out that which was pleasurable. If you associate something very distasteful with your loss of self-control it will help you to stop the act. For example, if you are tempted to masturbate, think of having to bathe in a tub of worms, and eat several of them as you do the act. It sounds goofy, but it actually works!
12. During your bathroom and shower activities leave the bathroom door or shower curtain partly open. Enough to keep from being totally alone, but still giving adequate privacy. Take cool, brief showers.
13. Get out of bed immediately in the mornings. Do not lie in bed awake, no matter what time of day it is. Get up and do something. Start each day with an enthusiastic activity.
14. Keep your bladder empty. Believe it or not, having a full bladder can cause you to feel sexually stimulated. As strange as it sounds you may find that going to the bathroom often makes it easier to refrain from masturbating.
16. Always wear pyjamas at night (preferably ones that tie or are difficult to open).
17. Avoid people, situations, pictures or websites that create sexual excitement.
18. It is sometimes helpful to have a physical object to use in overcoming this problem. A Bible, for example, held firmly in hand, even in bed at night has proven helpful in extreme cases.