Masturbation. Even the word itself conjures up discomfort for many women. The guilt, fear and anxiety that surround masturbation in our society is astounding. Of course this makes sense. Growing up, most of us were raised in a household where no one ever talked about self-pleasure. Therefore, there is an aspect that makes masturbation seem like it’s not a normal part of human sexuality. Many of us have been told by authority figures that masturbation is bad and should be avoided. Furthermore, we are also told it is unhealthy or sinful. Sometimes women feel guilty because they’ve been told that masturbation is harmful.
Is masturbation bad for you?
In the 18th century, medical experts told people that masturbation was the root of all illnesses. People were warned that if they masturbated, their hands would get covered in warts and hair. And, that masturbation caused blindness, acne, and infertility. WTF? No wonder there is guilt and shame around this topic.
Many religions also condemn masturbation. Experts point out that the Bible says little about masturbation in general and almost nothing about female masturbation.
Many women lack knowledge about masturbation and are silent when it comes to self-pleasure. The truth is, masturbation is completely safe and healthy for you. There is nothing dirty about masturbation. Again, there is nothing dirty, disgusting or gross about masturbation. This is your body to explore – just as you explore your mind for knowledge and your heart for feeling.
Do most women masturbate?
Research shows that most women over the age of 18 have masturbated at least once. Even if they don’t talk about it, it’s common for people of any gender or age to do it. According to a 2018 study, 76% of women in the United States masturbate from time to time. You can check out other countries here.
Compared to men, women take more time to warm up to masturbation. In a study by The University of Chicago, women aged 20 to 39 were the most likely to masturbate, with lower rates among women 18 to 20 and those over 40. Previous research has shown that masturbation becomes more likely with increased education about the topic,
Why do women masturbate?
• Releases sexual tension
• Reduces stress
• Helps you sleep better
• Improves your self-esteem and body image
• Can increase your libido
• Helps treat sexual problems
• Relieves menstrual cramps and muscle tension
• Strengthens muscle tone in your pelvic area
• It acts as a natural detoxification
When you have an orgasm, your body releases endorphins, which are hormones that block pain and make you feel good. The good feelings that come with an orgasm happen whether you’re masturbating or having sex. As always, masturbation is a totally personal decision, and there’s no “normal” way to go about it.
Is it OK to masturbate if you’re in a relationship?
Definitely. Lots of people in relationships masturbate. Many people think that masturbation is only something you do when you don’t have a partner. But both single people and people in relationships masturbate.
Masturbating when you’re in a relationship doesn’t mean your partner isn’t satisfying you or that you are cheating. It’s a great way to figure out what you like and what brings you pleasure in an intimate relationship. And sharing this with your partner can make your relationship stronger.
Not to mention, women are way more likely to orgasm by themselves than with a partner present. There are fewer distractions that come into our minds, “Do I look okay?” or “Am I taking too long?” Women are able to stimulate themselves exactly as they like. Sex Therapist Lonnie Barbach states, “The reason self-stimulation works so well … is that you are the only one involved.”
How much masturbation is too much?
Some women masturbate often — every day, or even more than once a day. At the same time, other women masturbate closer to once a week, once every few weeks, or every now and then. And some women never masturbate, and that’s fine too. All of these are perfectly normal.
Masturbation only becomes “too much” if it gets in the way of your job, your responsibilities, or your social life. If you are experiencing this, you may want to reach out to a counselor or therapist.
Will masturbation improve my sex life?
YES! Women who pleasure themselves have more (not less) sex with partners. In other words, the more sex you have, including with yourself, the more sex you want. In addition, the more orgasms you have (by masturbation or with a partner) the more sexually responsive you will be. Research shows that women who pleasure themselves have more orgasms with partners as well.
Is it OK to talk to others about masturbation?
Many of us learn, when we are young, that masturbating is wrong or bad, so there can be feelings of guilt or shame about doing it. If you feel that way, try to remember that most women have masturbated and may practice regularly. It’s perfectly normal, and there’s nothing wrong with it. Talking to a counselor or therapist may help if you have trouble getting over guilty feelings.
Likewise, talking about masturbation with others is not an easy task for most of us. However, it’s important to keep these conversations going so we can stop the shame and guilt around this topic. Talking to our friends, our daughters, our sons and those we trust may make us nervous and that’s okay. We can be uncomfortable and still have necessary conversations.
For more information about talking to your kids about masturbation, click here. By the same token, are you curious if your friends are masturbating and don’t know how to ask? Or want to talk to your partner about masturbation? Find out more here.
Whether you are flying solo or in a committed relationship, the most important relationship you have is with yourself. If you are curious about learning more about how to masturbate, check out this welcoming and informative article here.