Article written by Maya Vukovska

People have been masturbating since they realized their sex organs can serve other purposes than just for procreation. Proof of that is the depictions of male and female auto-eroticism in prehistoric rock paintings around the world. Over time, the societal attitude towards masturbation has drastically changed. While the ancient Greeks regarded it as a healthy substitute for sex with a partner, many centuries later, Jean Esquirol, a French physician, would declare onanism to be a cause of insanity, and the German philosopher Immanuel Kant would call it “a violation of the moral law.” Luckily, we live in times when pleasuring yourself is no longer regarded as a shameful and harmful habit, and it’s thanks to most of the masturbation myths being debunked by science and common sense.

Masturbation weakens the penis

Let's compare the penis and the tongue. Both organs are centrally situated, highly vascular, and lacking bones, which makes them quite similar. The tongue doesn’t get weaker when you talk too much, and the same is valid also for the penis. The fear that it will “wear out” by rapidly stroking it X times a week is totally irrational and scientifically ungrounded.

You don’t need masturbation if you are in a healthy relationship

The logic behind this myth is that once we become grownups we realize the meaning and importance of sharing our sexual desires with another human being. Which, however, doesn’t make it less bollocks! The power of sharing feelings and physical sensations with another human being is understandable and natural. However, the fact that you have someone who’s always at your disposal for a fuck or a cuddle doesn’t mean you should deprive yourself of your private moments of sexual exaltation. As a matter of fact, masturbation has little to do with not having a satisfying sex life with a steady partner. People have found pleasure in touching their genitals ever since they were babies in their mother’s womb, which is, by the way, confirmed by sonograms.

Masturbation will do harm to your health

We’ve heard ignorant puritans say that if you touch yourself in an “improper", “sinful” way, you’ll go blind or get hairy palms. Similar myths about masturbation, i.e. that it can lead to mental and physical illnesses and even death, stem from the belief that sex is meant for procreation purposes only. But as you surely know from personal experience, this claim cannot be further from the truth. As to the claims that jerking off can lead to prostate cancer, research suggest exactly the opposite. It's been found that men who do it at least 20 times a month have a 20% lower chance of getting prostate cancer. Experts believe that the more often you ejaculate, the bigger quantities of harmful chemicals are flushed out from your body through semen, thus lowering the risk of prostate cancer.

Masturbation is a total waste of time and energy

The claim that there are zero benefits of masturbation is entirely ungrounded in fact. Actually, genital self-stimulation has plenty of healthy benefits. For starters, it can reduce stress, improve concentration and sleep, and successfully deal with chronic headaches. What’s more, it adds to one’s self-esteem and even to a more youthful appearance. It’s a proven fact that reaching orgasm through masturbation before a workout can better athletic performance.

Masturbation is cheating

Most heterosexual women tend to accuse their masturbating partners of infidelity, because, as they see it, masturbating to porn kills a man’s desire for them. In gay couples, though, partners have an understanding of the true nature of masturbation, and that’s why they are less likely to consider it cheating. What men know for a fact is that the desire to jerk off, to porn or no porn, is rarely an indication of a decline in the couple’s sex life, or a lack of emotional involvement. What’s more, many people enjoy masturbating with their partners, and that is the final nail in the coffin of the masturbation mythology.

Although it is definitely not a suitable topic to discuss over a business brunch, masturbation shouldn’t be considered a cause for embarrassment, shame, and guilt. Or a health threat, for that matter. The fact that it is often the first satisfying sexual experience we have in life, makes masturbation a completely normal and extremely universal practice.