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Medical Benefits of Masturbation

Despite all information affirming masturbation is harmless, normal and under no circumstances hair growth on your palms, many people in our culture still consider it a taboo. People believe masturbation a somewhat seedy thing to do to yourself, or something that only happens during a weak moment or extra-long showers. During the latter part of the 60's the slogan "Make love not War" abounded, groundbreaking sexual researchers Masters and Johnson were proponents of masturbation as a relaxation technique and an important part of healthful, stress-free living. At about the same time, many organized religions were condemning masturbation as an evil temptation and encouraging parents to discipline their children against it. The good news is that thanks to Masters and Johnson and 20th Century researcher Dr. Robin Baker we now know that masturbation is as good for us as eating our Wheaties or taking our vitamins. So why are we still uncomfortable with the subject matter?

The old adage about male masturbation still seems to be true that 99% of men engage in it and the other 1% lie about it. For women the numbers are slightly lower, but the landmark "Sex in America" study put the numbers of female masturbators at about 85%. These studies also go on to reveal that 54% of men and 62% of women won't admit to a partner that they do actually masturbate. So the majority of the population it seems, are chronically taking advantage of themselves even if they still believe there is something wrong with this behavior

Sex therapists have long proposed regular masturbation as a way of learning about your bodies and keeping the equipment from going rusty in a "use it or lose it" sort of fashion. Woody Allen called it "Sex with someone you love". Either way masturbation is intrinsic to understanding your own sexuality. What I say to my patients is, "if you can't play with your own equipment, then you shouldn't be playing with someone else's". How can you tell someone how you would like to be touched if you've never touched yourself? Masturbation teaches you what you love, what makes you uncomfortable and all the things in between.

It's also fun! Masturbation can give you the most powerful orgasms of your life and give you the chance to relax at the end of a busy day. Masturbation is however, more than just learning how to give yourself a quick climax, releasing sexual tension or getting a good rush of endorphins. The urge to masturbate stems from powerful physiological factors that have evolved as a way to keep us healthy. Evolutionary biologist Robin Baker details the medical necessity of both male and female masturbation in his landmark book about sexual response called "Sperm Wars" and the recently published follow up "Baby Wars".



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