Masturbation talk

Sex on Blogday

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Everyone must masturbate.

And almost everybody does, too, but masturbation is still not typically openly discussed. Instead of embracing it an act of self-exploration, many times people keep it hidden back in the bedroom. But masturbation should be at the forefront of discussion when it comes to sexuality, because it allows people explore their own bodies at their own pace, to whatever feels good.

Masturbation many times is frowned upon more than sex itself is. But how does this make sense? Since masturbation is typically a solo act, why are people more hesitant to discuss masturbation before sex?

Before having sex, you need to masturbate to learn the ropes. Even though many people masturbate before having sex, the act is still hidden. Think back to your pubescent years — was there ever a time that hiding masturbatory habits wasn’t necessary? Maybe it was a family member walking into your room, maybe explaining a cum-stained sock, maybe taking an extra 20 minutes in the bathroom: Masturbation is almost always hidden.

Although I am totally comfortable talking about sex, masturbation time is still not something I declare. I find it interesting that if me or my roommate were to have a partner over, being “sexiled” would be acceptable. But we definitely don’t ask each other to have personal masturbation time. Why is asking for privacy to have sex easier to communicate than asking for privacy to do a little self-exploring?

Think of masturbation as an informative approach to the body, regardless of gender. Masturbation is also commonly viewed as a male-only act, but most women masturbate, too. Because the genital (and anal) regions are so sensitive, it is important to understand their functions, features and feats. And spending a little alone time in the bedroom under the sheets may play itself out to be useful when understanding your body and recognizing when things go wrong.

All of this is not to say that masturbation should be done in public. Private masturbation exists for a reason: in order to permit lengthy quests of self-discovery. But there is a difference between keeping masturbation behind doors and keeping discourse surrounding masturbation behind doors. Maybe it’s time to start sharing what feels good, what techniques or toys one uses, or even what one thinks or watches when masturbating.

I love the topic of masturbation because it is an act that majority of people in the United States engage in. But what is so fascinating about masturbation is that even though I know the person next to me most likely will go home after studying econ to jerk off, it still would be so out of place to openly talk about masturbation preferences and practices.

Being more open to discussing sexual preferences and pleasures would allow people to identify sexual similarities and differences. Sexuality is something that many are not open to talking in public. But think about how great it would be if sexual preference was as common to talk about as food preference. We would be able to understand sex like diet. Talking about masturbation goes hand-in-hand with sexuality and personal identity. The more people communicate about these things, the better they can understand what they like, what their partners like and what others appreciate while having sex.

Be open to discussing masturbation. It’s not bad for you — it’s actually excellent.

Image Source: bjo_ via Creative Commons

Contact Matthew Kirschenbaum at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter: @mpkirschenbaum.