May is Masturbation Month!
This month I’ll be spending some time reading the book Sex for One: The Joy of Selfloving by Betty Dobson. I have not read this book yet, but given what I study, I’ve heard about it over and over again. The summary indicates that Dobson works to take the shame out of masturbation. She also views masturbation as a kind of sex. If any of you have read this book, let me know what you thought of it. If you haven’t read it, join me by picking up your own copy!
While masturbation might be the safest sex, it is also the foundation for other forms of sex that might come later.
- Encourages you to learn your own anatomy.
- Helps kids/teens develop healthy ideas of pleasure.
- Allows you to navigate your own system of arousal.
- Helps you have stronger and more powerful orgasms.
- Is a way to relieve stress and tension from the day.
- Can be an easy way to ‘treat yoself’ .
- Is not exercise, per say, but does get the blood flowing.
- Can be done alone, but also with a partner for intimacy building.
- Is a part of partnered sex for added stimulation
- Feels good. Which is, for most people, enough.
I think for me what is most important about masturbation is the focus on sex as something that can be fun and harmless. There is little attention given to this idea in sex ed courses, which I believe to be very dangerous. If we taught young people how to protect themselves but also how to enjoy themselves, we would destigmatize a lot of sexuality. Those who grow up with a fear or inherent shame about their bodies end up really struggling with their sexuality later in life. This is heavily weighed towards women.
I will get questions from male partners and questions from women themselves asking “What do I do? My female partner can’t orgasm. She doesn’t masturbate. I don’t think she has ever orgasmed.” That shame is pointed towards women and the sanctity of the female body. To touch oneself is to ruin oneself. Why don’t people view pleasing the self as a form of respect for the self? Why does it have to be so… wrong?
There are men who get tossed into the mix, too. There are a large number of online support groups for men who can’t stop masturbating. This is at times tied to viewing pornography and the general wrongness these men feel after they are done masturbating. That wrongness is also tied to a sense of shame that they developed as they themselves developed.
So this month do something positive for yourself. Whatever that means to you. Reclaim yourself and your pleasure and learn more about your bodies.
Thanks to Jade for the title of this blog.