Masturbation: Sex for one!

Mere mention of the word ‘masturbation’ could be irritating. In some settings, masturbation is considered an evil act.

Apparently, not many would want to talk about it either because of their religious backgrounds, morality or it is simply considered absurd.

In this part of the world, masturbation is a taboo to discuss but nevertheless remains quite a common and almost natural activity among men and women and even children.

By definition, masturbation means touching one’s own body, including sex organs, for sexual pleasure. It has raised a lot of controversy in religious circles.

Many individuals wonder if the Bible talks about masturbation.

However, while religion does not give thumbs up or thumbs down to it, a study by the Gossard Big M Survey shows that 92 percent of women regularly take time out to masturbate, a huge jump from the findings of previous studies (74 per cent in 1979 and 62 per cent in 1953).

While men and women who masturbate live with guilt, shame and fear associated with it, many have also described it as self-abuse.

But the other side to it is that, scientifically, studies have shown that masturbating more can dramatically increase individuals’ health and cut the risk of infections.

To Miss Bola Oshodi (not real name), who confessed that she started masturbating at the age of 18, it has helped her in so many ways.

“I was not influenced by anyone; it started as a result of my menstrual cramps. Each time I do that, it helps to relieve my pains”, she stated.

“While I was growing up, I tried to avoid keeping boyfriends. I masturbated just to satisfy my urge for sex. Now that I am married, I do it sometimes. But I can tell you it literally replaced my emotion for males then.

Each time I do that, I usually feel like I’m having sex. At the end, I feel good.
“I think, there are so many positive effects of masturbating — and it’s fun. It can help you stay in touch with yourself and your sexuality, and is also an extremely satisfying way to pass the time. I also do that each time I am stressed.”

Bola’s case is one of the many benefits of masturbation, according to medical experts.

According to a study published in European Urology, aside masturbation being a great stress reliever, it has distinct health benefits.

Benefits for men
The study, which linked masturbation and frequent ejaculation, also found that men who ejaculate regularly have reduced risk of prostate cancer.

In the study, which tracked 30,000 men for almost 20 years, scientists found that men in their 20s, who ejaculated at least 21 times a month, were 19 per cent less likely to develop prostate cancer than those who did seven times a month or less.

The study – published in European Urology- also found that masturbating a lot when younger decreases health problems in later life.

Masturbation is important to medical practice – Dr. Adebayo

In an interview with  , a consultant obstetric gynaecologist, Dr Samuel Adebayo,, who stated that there are many ways to look at the issue of masturbation, said apart from the benefit of sexual pleasure, it helps people suffering from premature ejaculation to get better.

“We have been able to see that people with premature ejaculation tend to get better with masturbation”, Adebayo said.

According to him, masturbation also helps in infertility treatment and also in sperm collection for other medical use.

The Medical Director, Dayspring Hospital, Lagos explained that there are two indications for masturbation in medical practice.

“One of the major indications is that it is a procedure to collect male sperm in the case of infertility. We believe that collecting a sample through masturbation is far better than through sexual intercourse where, most of the times, that of the female would have gotten contaminated with bacteria in the vagina.

But if it is by masturbation, you are sure that you will be able to estimate the quantity of the semen and you can accurately estimate the volume, which is one of the parameters we always use when we are estimating the quality of a man’s sperm in relation to infertility.

Then if you culture any growth or bacteria, you are sure it is directly from the semen not that it may came from the vagina”.

He further stated that masturbation is also used to collect sperm for some gynaecological procedures in Intro-fertilisation, IVF, IUI, among others.

On if there is any health implication, Adebayo said he could not say if there are health implications but that masturbation has helped people get better.

However, another research also confirmed that masturbation is an important and wonderful way of knowing oneself physically and emotionally.

Benefits for women
Generally speaking, women often think their sexual desires are less important than their partners. Because of cultural taboos, many women feel that the urge or desire to masturbate is somehow wrong, or the idea of it makes them feel guilty or ashamed.

Experts say there is enormous potential for healing, growth and well-being through exploring your sexuality, expressing it, and experiencing it with joy.

According to them, women who masturbate experience a wide range of health benefits. They say female masturbation helps prevent cervical infections and relieves urinary tract infections.

Studies are showing that female masturbation can provide protection against cervical infections because, when women masturbate, the orgasm “tents” opens the cervix.

Many women with urinary tract infections (UTI) report the desire to masturbate when they feel a UTI coming on, and, for a good reason, masturbating helps relieve pain, lubricates the vagina, and flushes old, “unfriendly” bacteria from the cervix.

Again, studies have shown that masturbation is associated with improved cardiovascular health and lower risk of type-2 diabetes.

In a number of studies, women who experienced more orgasms, and overall greater frequency and satisfaction with sex — with a partner or not — were shown to have greater resistance to coronary heart disease (CHD) and type-2 diabetes.

Masturbation can help prevent insomnia naturally through hormonal and tension release. Many women masturbate to wind down at night or to help them fall asleep, but they might not know that there’s a hormonal reason why that works.

Masturbation makes the body tick and function – Sex therapist

A sex therapist, and Chief Executive Officer, Zee Virtual Media Ltd, Mr. Uche Edochie, the case against masturbation is one that has raged on for ages, especially within religious and political circles.

Edochie, explained that it is no coincidence as well that these are the two circles where people are often pressured to deny the obvious for fear of a backlash from their constituents.
According to him, everybody masturbates.

“Humans need masturbation for the very reasons they need sex, food and sleep. Masturbation, like sex, is part of what makes our bodies tick and function.

There is a raging and insatiable sexual hunger that humans and animals are born with and masturbation helps feed that hunger. Human beings are sexual beings and sexual beings need sex to function and thrive amongst other things.

That is okay. Sex is part of our constitution and we shouldn’t be unnerved by it. I get that we are embarrassed by the crude and animalistic nature of sexual intercourse but that is not enough grounds to deny the obvious.

The human need for food is one that goes without saying and the same goes for our need for medicine when we are ill, sleep when we are tired etc.”

He queried why people should question the need for sex when all harbour sexual desire.

Such denial is childish, dangerous and makes no sense. Masturbation is simple the very act of pleasuring yourself to meet your sexual needs when the opportunity for actual sex with another human being is absent. Society largely underrates the importance of sex and it is alarming.

We take the life we have for granted when we question our need for sexual gratification. Our daughters, sisters, wives and mothers are able to go out and come home relatively unharmed, thanks to a masturbating populace.

Rape, sexual molestation, child sexual abuse, incest and domestic violence are all consequences of sexual deprivation and if you thought the stats are bad now, imagine how horrible it would be if we never had the opportunity to relieve ourselves sexually.

If masturbation is taken for granted, sexual violence will become an epidemic in the society.

Sexual violence will be an epidemic of stratospheric proportions. We have all witnessed how the uncountable incidents of child sexual molestation has ravaged the Catholic Church and robed it of all credibility, empathy and common sense.

As a catholic, it has left me stunned beyond words. This is what happens when priests are denied the opportunity to have sexual relationships and marry.

They turn on helpless children for sexual succour. Priests are people too and they need sex like everyone else.

The sex therapist posited that sex is important for mental health, emotional well-being and social security, adding that there is no need to demonize masturbation.

Celebrate it. Our world is safer because of it.

Experts say Dopamine, the “feel-good” hormone, rises during the anticipation of a sexual climax. After the orgasm, the calming hormones oxytocin and endorphins are released, allowing you to feel a warm afterglow that helps you sleep.

Orgasm increases pelvic floor strength.

There are so many advantages to having a healthy pelvic floor. In the “plateau” stage of orgasm, the pelvic floor gets a real workout.

The clitoris surges with increased blood pressure. Muscle tone, heart rate, and respiration all increase. The uterus “lifts” off the pelvic floor, increasing pelvic muscle tension and strengthening the entire region, as well as your sexual satisfaction.

Psychological and emotional benefits of female masturbation
It is said that fatigue is the main reason for women’s decrease in, or loss of, libido, and it’s a legitimate one.

According to medical experts, tired body should focus on resting and taking care of itself.

The second most common reason for women’s decreased interest in sex is dissatisfaction with their appearance.

Masturbation also has the potential to heal the memory of past negative sexual experiences and replace them with positive ones.

Masturbation can help you feel more confident and connected because it improves your mood.

Masturbation helps relieve depressed feelings. As you become aroused, the hormone levels of mood-boosting dopamine and epinephrine soar in your body.

Many studies show that women who report personal satisfaction with their sex lives live a better quality of life overall.

For couples
Masturbation also relieves stress. According to a sex therapist, avoiding sex due to stress can create body imbalances.

Masturbation also strengthens your relationship with yourself. When you know and love yourself on deeply emotional and physical levels, you gain confidence and let yourself grow through self-awareness.

Masturbation also strengthens sexual relationship with your partner because many couples have different sexual drives and needs; masturbation is one way to meet the personal needs not met by a partner.

Still, it can be shared with a partner. Watching a partner masturbate can teach us what methods our partners use and enjoy. It can also open up communication between partners who might assume that the old routine is okay when it could use a refresher.

The other side of masturbation
However, certain masturbating habits can wreak havoc on sex life.

Studies have also identified negative effect of masturbation as its inability to help in terms of infertility.

The frequent ejaculation of the fluid, semen reduces the quality of the sperm as it gets watery.

Experts say frequent masturbation can irritate the skin of the penis and constant masturbation with the penis pressed down against the sheets can injure the urethra such a way that urine leaves the penis, not in a stream, but in a hard-to-control spray.

This they say can cause severe urethral trauma. Men who masturbate may often fail to satisfy their wives during sex. As you keep masturbating, your desire for your partner decreases and this is one of such situations that can spell doom for your relationship.

Experts have warned that men who frequently stimulate themselves sexually in ways different from what their partner does can develop retarded ejaculation, a sexual dysfunction where you find it difficult to climax during sex with a partner.

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