Don’t masturbate or you’ll go blind! How many times have you heard this, even if it was a joke with some friends? Most sex ed courses refuse to acknowledge masturbation as a whole, let alone talk about how it can be a powerful tool in reclaiming you sexuality, personal pleasure, or even just enhance your sexual experience as a whole. Masturbation is one of the most common forms of sexual stimulation, and no one talks about it. But let’s not focus on the negative connotations you may have heard, but focus on the positive!

True or False: Masturbation is the only way to have genital stimulation with 0% risk at an STI or pregnancy.

TRUE! They say that abstinence is the only safe way to 100% prevent STI’s and unwanted pregnancy, but this doesn’t mean they cannot have any pleasure at all. If you abstain from intercourse for any reason, masturbation may be the perfect option to still receive sexual pleasure!

True or False: Masturbation hurts your chances at finding a long term romantic or sexual partner.

FALSE! Masturbation has no effect on you finding a long term partner in any capacity unless you let it. In fact, in many cases it can help your experiences with partners in the future because it allows you to learn what you like and dislike prior to interacting with someone new. Then, after communicating what you like, it can make the entire experience much more fulfilling!

True or False: Masturbating will make you no longer desire your partner and want sex less.

BOTH! Well, kinda. While masturbation can be psychologically addictive, it isn’t the end all be all for a relationship. Masturbation can bring partners even closer just as quickly as push them away. It all comes down to understanding one another. Mutual masturbation or just watching as your partner does it can be just as stimulating and are both very common!

True or False: Masturbation should only happen for a quick orgasm and has no additional benefits.

FALSE! If your goal while masturbating is an orgasm, you may be rewarded with a few other bonuses. Orgasms release endorphins in the brain, a natural painkiller. This could help ease pain throughout the body very minimally but could make things more bearable like migraines, cramps, or other bodily aches. Not to mention, masturbation can even help strengthen your pelvic muscles and anal area.

True or False: Masturbation will make you go blind.

FALSE! I mean, this one is just silly. Genital stimulation does not connect to your eyesight. If that were the case, any sort of intercourse would have the same effect!

Now, masturbation can be great and will likely never affect your performance within a sexual encounter with a partner(s). However, it is important to remember that communication is key when discussing your likes and dislikes. If you’re a vulva owner and you know you cannot handle direct stimulation to your clitoris because you tried it once in the bathtub and it didn’t feel right, TELL THEM. If you’re a penis owner and you need a super tight grip to feel anything remotely close to pleasure, TELL THEM. Masturbation is amazing and rewarding, but it’s also the best way to learn your own desires and how you like to properly be stimulated, so utilize it as much as you’d like! 

Happy Masturbation Month Everyone!