Whether you’re just discovering self-pleasure or consider yourself an expert, there’s always more to explore when it comes to masturbation. In the last issue of the Wire, you heard from SHAG VP, Victor Trepanier about the basics of sex toy use. Well, today we want to dive deeper into the myths and facts surrounding the topic of self-pleasure.
Masturbation is defined by Planned Parenthood as “the act of touching your own genitals for sexual stimulation.” While there is no “right” way of masturbating, there are a few things to consider that may help you enjoy the experience even more.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when you’re getting down to business:
If you are engaging in masturbation that has you inserting something into your body, be aware of the material you are using.
It’s best to use something made for that purpose like a sex toy made from body-safe material or something that can be covered with a condom. We’re not here to discourage anyone from experimenting (in fact we really encourage it!) but just be aware of the dangers of using things that are not meant for sexual purposes. Also, make sure you use lots of lube!
For people with vaginas, make sure you pee after masturbating.
It’s just as important to pee after masturbating as after sex.
Make sure you clean anything you use to masturbate before and after using it.
As always we want you to have a great masturbatory experience, but we also want you to be educated about the topic at hand. With that being said, here are a few of the myths we want to dispel:
- The first one is that using a vibrator can ruin other sexual experiences for people with clitorises. This myth is false, because vibrators do not inherently alter one’s ability to respond to other sexual stimulation, although one can become accustomed to the sensation. In an article from the BBC, the author cites Dr. Leila Frodsham, a spokesperson for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, who states that there isn’t anything wrong with only being able to reach orgasm in one specific way, however, if one would like to have more variety, she suggests spending the time to get your body accustomed to different stimulation.
- The second myth is that masturbating too much will lead to health issues like erectile dysfunction and/ or infertility. This is also incorrect, masturbation can become a problem when it causes physical soreness, emotional issues, problems in one’s relationships, or habituation issues. In an article by planned parenthood, it states that erectile dysfunction may be linked to other issues such as performance anxiety, medication side effects, or other health conditions.
- Another myth is that engaging in sexual activity can weaken one’s athletic performance. This is also not true. In the article, “Sexual Activity before Sports Competition: A Systematic Review,” by Laura Stegani et. al., published in Frontiers in Physiology, researchers did not find the data was sufficient enough to show that sex or masturbation would affect one’s athletic performance.
As always, stay safe, and stay sexy. And use lube!