Although once a year is not enough for our liking, May is Masturbation Month so we wanted to share some interesting facts about why masturbation is a healthy, normal and wonderful part of sexuality.
1. Masturbation is not only for humans.
Did you know that penguins masturbate? Yes, those cuddly, mate-for-life creatures, have even cracked the code on one of life’s most simple pleasures. Penguins indeed do not have hands so you’re probably wondering how they manage to masturbate.
Well if you have seen wildlife footage of them sliding on their fronts against the ice or rocks, there is a good chance that they’re stimulating their genitals for pleasure.
Another sex-positive creature is the dolphin. It has been documented that dolphins perform oral sex and take part in orgies so masturbation does not seem like such a big surprise. These highly intelligent animals have been seen to wrap sea dwelling objects (and other animals!) around their penises while the female of the species will rub her body against the ocean floor. Other creatures such a dog’s, squirrels and even elephants have been seen to hump inanimate objects for sexual pleasure but have you seen the hedgehogs shocking party trick? As well as rolling themselves up in a ball as a safety precaution, these tiny prickly beasts do so with the purpose to self-fellate.
2. It’s is not only for adults.
Children do masturbate. It has even been reported that fetuses in the womb have been seen to touch their genitals for a prolonged period of time.
This might sound contrary to what you have learnt about human sexual development, but it’s true. Of course, a fetus or even a nine year old won’t necessarily know why masturbation feels good, it doesn’t suddenly make them overtly sexual or in danger of developing promiscuous behaviour. They simply know that when they touch one place, it feels better than when they touch others. And that’s it.
Psst, it’s just society that is perverse, not the fetus.
Understandably child masturbation is something most parents are not equipped to confront because of the stigma that we have grown up with regarding what celebrating masturbation means; sex addiction, dirty, sinful, risky.
But sexologists and doctors advise to encourage children to be taught that masturbation is something that is healthy but also as something to be done in private. Easy.
3. It’s not only for single people.
Many couples masturbate together, it was found most prevalently in the 25-29 age group who claimed to be in a committed relationship.
Want to try partner masturbation but feeling shy? Don’t be, your new exploration might unlock a seriously hot variation to your sex life. Enjoying mutual masturbation is a perfectly normal and healthy thing to do with your partner. It could also help them understand how and where you like to be touched.
It could be said as a non verbal way of communicating your desires and so
Marriage counsellors recommend women masturbate alone if they are having difficulty orgasming during sex with their partner. The hoped-for outcome is that women will gain a better understanding of their bodies and will be able to share their learning with their partner.
The next step to this may be a kind of show and tell which could include mutual masturbation or outer play. Exclusive of direct genital stimulation (exploring erogenous zones of the body) to relive the expectation of climax; the couple is encouraged to kiss, touch and caress while communicating about what they like.
You might have seen this in the Netflix series Masters of Sex where sex revolutionaries, Bill Masters and Virgin Johnson task their patients who are suffering from erectile dysfunction or vaginismus with exploring one another’s body and simply playing for the sake of play.
“masturbation cannot only improve individual sexual satisfaction; it may be associated with improved relationship satisfaction as well.”
(Coleman, 2002; Zamboni & Crawford, 2002).
These type of tasks strip back what we may have come to learn as what sex should be, in order to remain present with what is happening.
4. It boosts self-esteem and improves sexual satisfaction.
A correlation was also found between masturbation and self-esteem — women who reported masturbating regularly scored higher on the self-esteem index than women who did not report masturbating. These findings were supported by earlier research that suggested that women who masturbate have a more positive body image and less sexual anxiety.
We love pleasure-positive sex education, so we were thrilled to learn that Masturbation Month was created in support of a true sex-ed revolutionary. In 1995, Surgeon General Dr Joycelyn Elders was asked at a UN meeting on AIDS if she thought that education on masturbation was appropriate for young adults. She replied –
“I think that (masturbation) is something that is a part of human sexuality and it’s a part of something that perhaps should be taught. But we’ve not even taught our children the very basics.”
Following this ‘scandal’ Dr Elders was forced to resign from her position and as a show of solidarity from an American sexual wellness company, Mastubation Month was born.
Our tips to celebrate Masturbation Month.
The majority of people masturbate though it is still considered taboo by most. Everybody deserves to experience pleasure so let’s put a stop to the shame. What better excuse to start a conversation on masturbation than a whole month dedicated to it! If you’re a bit shy, simply share a blog post or tag one of your friends in your favourite @smilemakerscollection IG post.
Make time to masturbate.
Whether you want to set the mood for a date night-for-one setting or prefer a solo-sexual quickly; get down to it. Prioritise your pleasure and make some time to celebrate masturbation month that best way you can.
Need a hand? Let us help you choose.
Sexual Behaviors, Relationships, and Perceived Health Status Among Adult Women in the United States: Results from a National Probability Samplejsm_2010
The Health Benefits of Sexual Expression, Published in Cooperation with the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, 2007