Are you doing it? Don’t feel so bad and dirty. You’re perfectly normal.
In fact, over 90% of men and women have masturbated at some point in their life and many people masturbate on a regular basis. This does not make people deviant or sex-crazed, it just makes them human.
Although we know that masturbation is not a bad thing, there continues to be many myths and fears about it which make it taboo to talk about. And although no one is gonna tell you this, some people’s first pleasurable sexual experiences involve masturbation.
Is masturbation common?
A lot of people masturbate! Even though people don’t talk about masturbation, which is when a person touches themselves for sexual pleasure, people of all ages, genders, and sexualities do it. In fact, even before reaching puberty, children can naturally discover that touching their genitals can feel good. And although this is normal, it’s important to note that it should only be done in private.
People masturbate for different reasons—to help them relax, to discover what makes them feel good, to release sexual tension, or to pleasure themselves if their partner is not around. But most people masturbate simply because it feels good and in fact, for many, this is how people first experience orgasm and particularly for women, it is how they discover how they enjoy being touched.
Although it’s a common misunderstanding that masturbation is only for young or single people, the truth is that both people who are single or in relationships masturbate. Some people masturbate more often than others, and some people choose not to masturbate at all. At the end of the day, masturbation is a totally personal decision.
What does research say?
According to this study based on a representative sample of adults, 38% of women said they’d masturbated at all during the past year, while the figure for men was 61%. Surveys from other parts of the world show that as many as 95% of men and 81% of women have masturbated in their lifetime.
In the Philippines, more and more men admit to masturbation because although there is still some embarrassment about the subject, male masturbation is considered by many to be normal, funny, or even necessary. However, female masturbation is still not as widely accepted, as are many topics related to female sexuality. Many women also tend to face more criticism and judgment when it comes to experiencing self-pleasure.
But here’s the thing—there are many benefits to masturbation, despite all the myths that exist about it. Masturbation does not cause infertility, it does not shrink the size of genitals, and it does not make a person immoral. In fact, masturbation is one of the safest ways to experience sexual pleasure since there’s no risk of pregnancy or getting an STI. Research has also shown that masturbation can reduce stress, release sexual tension, help people sleep better, relieve menstrual cramps and can strengthen muscle tone in the pelvic area.
Masturbation also helps people understand what they like sexually—where do you want to be touched? How much pressure do you enjoy? Learning how to orgasm on your own can help make it easier with a partner since you can tell or show them what feels good.