Fact or fiction: Masturbation Myth-Busting

Being a taboo subject, masturbation isn’t spoken about enough. And when it is, the conversation is often clouded with harmful myths that put people off solo sex. The truth is that masturbation is perfectly healthy, and perfectly natural. But what about the untruths?

BY THE ROAM TEAM 7 MIN READ

WORDS TO KNOW
Masturbation

Masturbation is the sexual stimulation of one's own genitals for sexual arousal or other sexual pleasure, usually to the point of orgasm. 

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Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction is when you are either when you're unable to get an erection or unable to keep an erection for long enough to have sex.

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1. People in relationships don't/shouldn't masturbate

Totally false. Masturbation remains healthy and fulfilling whether you’re single or coupled. Yes, we're all thinking of that Fleabag scene where she masturbates to Barack Obama while in bed with her boyfriend...

Each sexual act is slightly different and brings different benefits. Masturbation is satisfying in a way that may not be the same as sex with a partner, and that’s okay! Doing it while in a relationship does not necessarily reflect badly on your sex life. Plus, solo sex is a great way of building your own connection with your body, which enriches your sex with others as a result.

2. You have to be alone to masturbate

False. Sure, it’s wise to avoid masturbating in public places, but it’s not always a lone activity. In fact, many people masturbate together to diversify their sexual experience. Some couples enjoy watching each other masturbate, or cumming from masturbation after having sex to decrease risk of pregnancy. It may not be your thing, but it’s natural and normal if it is!

3. Masturbation is unhealthy

This one couldn’t be further from the truth. There are loads of concerns about masturbation causing things like blindness, hairy hands, and changes to the penis such as curvature or shrinkage. Rest assured, masturbation doesn’t affect the frequency or quality of erections in those with penises, and it’s actually very good for everyone.

When you orgasm, your body releases endorphins (happy hormones) which reduce stress, improve sleep, and elevate your mood. Masturbation also relieves period cramps for those who menstruate, and completely removes pregnancy and STI risks – which makes orgasming way less anxiety-inducing. It also strengthens the muscles in your pelvic floor and anal area, so it’s a work out, too.

4. Masturbation causes erectile dysfunction

False. This a follow-on from the last myth, but the main concern in people with penises is that masturbation will somehow result in impotence.

Masturbation does not directly link to ED, which has many physical and psychological causes. ED is much more likely to be caused by ill health as a result of excessive drinking and smoking, heart conditions, being overweight, and diabetes, all of which carry greater risk with age.

Basically, if you lead a healthy lifestyle, then you don’t need to worry about ED.

5. Too much masturbation is bad

Technically – yes. But you can only masturbate ‘too much’ if you notice that it starts to negatively affect your daily life, your emotional state, or your relationships with other people. Otherwise, you can masturbate multiple times a day and not worry about it. Your body will tell you what’s right and what’s wrong.

The takeaway? Masturbation is fun, safe, and healthy. It’s pretty much totally risk-free as far as sexual health goes, and we should all be cashing in on the wank bank.



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