Self Love / On Masturbation

The homie (and fellow MinneapolitanBrooklynite) Sarah White, did an intriguing post a while back on masturbation. It starts out as a reflection on the journey from guilt to feeling liberated by the experience and power of self-discovery. It ends as a guide on how to avoid purchasing toys that are toxic to your body. I'll include an excerpt below. I even got into a discussion with Sarah about perspective on whether or not masturbation is necessary when you have a sexual partner. But the main reason this post came to mind was because I came across a survey about masturbation after checking out the post about Skin Bleaching and the comments there that led to a discussion on programmed images of women who represent sexual desire.

The reason I think masturbation is apart of that conversation is because speaking on sexuality, whether you masturbate or not, is apart of dealing with the brainwashing of our sexual experiences and desires. We have to talk about it.

One answer in this survey (excerpts below) actually related, I thought, to both conversations -- the one I had with Sarah about why I thought, as a male, it didn't make sense to masturbate when you have a sexual partner and the issue in the Skin Bleaching discussion on being brainwashed by romantic images of women as objects of sexual desire. While the majority of straight men and women both said porn wasn't necessary for them to get off masturbating, there was a difference in those who did: 30 percent of straight men said they always used it compared to 18 percent of straight women.

To me, this suggested that more than women, when alot of men masturbate they do it to a destructive image of sexuality. Whereas alot of women masturbate without porn, I'd say, keeping the experience healthy and themselves grounded. From my specific male perspective, I see the idea of masturbating in a room with some candles as wack, and the idea of masturbating with my sexual partner in the room as being inferior in terms of the potential of the sexual experience right in front of me. And on the flip side I see masturbating to ten white (or black, etc) chicks as destructive to my effort to achieve some sexual balance. Keep in mind this is my perspective as a man. I'm not knocking anyone. Like I said, I just personally think it much better for me to engage in a sexual experience with a woman than to subject myself to the risk of sexual brainwashing, because I know I, like most men, have been and would be affected and susceptible to being harmed by those types of images.

Now, if one is without a sexual partner then I guess the candles are probably some people's best option, especially over the ten white chicks. But even then... I know some people say masturbation is a way to release sexual tension, but I've found that when I'm without a sexual partner and don't seek release for sexual tension through masturbation it can actually build up in a healthy way, almost like an aphrodisiac, making me a more confident and openly social person. Not because I want to have sex with every woman I see, but I think it's because I do not feel a slave to that desire that I am able to accept within myself that a woman is beautiful and that I am sexually attracted to her, but also be totally in control of how I treat her or act toward her, and be truly content with any outcome, sexual or cordial. And that's actually quite a liberating and powerful experience. Whatever your perspective, I'd be interested in hearing from you.

Here's the except from Sarah's post along with the relevant parts of the short discussion we had. You'll find the survey questions below this:
The time has come. Time to talk about the "M" word. Masturbation. (Yes, I'm going there)... As women, I feel like our experiences are different than men when learning the art of self pleasure. Some of us like to light candles, pour a glass of Henn and rub one out with a spliff. Others prefer to bring a trusty waterproof favorite to the shower and handle it like business before the 9-5. While some demand to keep the experience completely romantic and solo, others enjoy including a partner, audience or element of risk to enhance the moment. The different styles, methods, fantasies and techniques are as unique and individual as the orgasm itself.

We grow up with an idea of masturbation that differs from the average man. I remember the first time I discovered the power that I held in my own hands, I felt confused, guilty, naughty. Needless to say, I got over that fast, but still found myself shy when it came down to buying toys, flicks, and other pleasure enhancers. Little did I know that when I quickly into a grungy sex shop in downtown Minneapolis for my first vibe, I was spending my hard earned money on a TOXIC toy. Yes, toxic.

It wasn't until I found out about a woman owned shop, the Smitten Kitten, that my eyes were opened and I was educated on this "hush hush" topic. Now that I am in NY, I have been meeting some of the most intelligent, vibrant, sexy, talented women I have ever met, and none of them have heard the news. Ladies this post is long, but well worth the read. I learned so much about myself, my orgasm, and how many options there are to achieve the explosion you deserve. Safely.

achali said... lol. u goin hard over here! i'm a man that doesn't really dig the whole "by yourself", or the toy thing, but props on opening up the discussion.

Artistic Bling said... Achali. Shame on you. Are you saying you never do it "by your self" or you just think ladies should not. My man hates on it too, but if you open yourself to the idea, t could be something to explore. Nothing replaces the real deal, but its nice to have something for when you wear your man out and need round 4. lol. I know who you are...

achali said... ahaha. i do find that with getting older getting to round 4 ain't as easy. lol. i always thought i'd be some magical exception to the rule. but most men are satisfied after round 1, at least for several hours anyway. so i've never really needed that last "diy" round. but i feel u the sisters tend to have more endurance and so i can understand if after 3 rounds u need some diy. but situations other than that i dunno. i think energy's better spent lockin down the real thing.

Lichiban said... I'd say to any man out there who is worried about the DIY 'threat'(I suppose it is common experience, since I heard it several times before): put away the penis-envy , open your mind and listen to us. Masturbation and love-making are two different sexual experiences and they don't collide...there is nothing that replaces the intensity of sex that involves the infusion, exchange, merging of two bodies and two souls. No toy (even the safe can get anywhere near that, so chill out. Sex drive varies, but if you experience cravings all the time, and let's say you don't have a lover (around)..then what? Masturbation is a healthy way of keeping yourself balanced and sane and I think it is about time to update all the medieval concepts and misunderstandings about it. It actually helps to have a better sex life. Toys help women discover their bodies, ways of letting go deeper into the experience, and they don't (!) make our pussy numb. Orgasms have a large mental component--it requires your mind allowing itself to let go of holding back--,and many women learn to let go by experimenting on their own before they ever have orgasms with a partner (so it's actually not all on you gents). Because it makes us more comfortable and familiar with our own sexuality, we will be able to have more free and wholesome sex...and that should be a good thing, right? Until I have a man, I prefer wearing myself out to being a player just to diffuse all that sexual tension. The fact that most toys out there are toxic sends chills down my spine...this is how little the FDA cares about our health. This is why it is time to share with others without having the usual sleez-factor surrounding the topic.

achali said... i hope i haven't been turned into the elected representative of medieval thinking in this convo. merely expressing my preference.

And here's some of the survey questions, you can find them all here.

On average, how often do you take matters into your own hands?

[Straight Men:] 5 percent said once a month, 23 percent said once a week, 48 percent said once a day, 17 percent said twice a day, 4 percent said three times a day and 4 percent said more than three times a day.

[Lesbians:] Once a month 13%; Once a week 48%; Once a day 32%; Twice a day 6%; Three times a day 1%; More than three times a day 1%

[Straight Women:] Once a month 17%; Once a week 31%; Once a day 33%; Twice a day 9%; Three times a day 2%; More than three times a day 7%

[Gay Men:] Once a month 2%; Once a week 23%; Once a day 53%; Twice a day 15%; Three times a day 4%; More than three times a day 2%

When you are in a relationship, do you masturbate by yourself more or less?

[Straight Men:] 12 percent said more, 36 percent said less, and 52 percent said about the same.

[Lesbians:] More 8%; Less 53%; About the same 39%

[Straight Women:] More 9%; Less 41%; About the same 50%

[Gay Men:] More 6%; Less 51%; About the same 43%

When you are in a relationship and you masturbate by yourself, do you tell your boyfriend/partner?

[Straight Men:] 11 percent said no and they feel guilty about it, 63 percent said they no but they don't feel guilty about it, and 26 percent said yes.

[Lesbians:] No, and I feel guilty about it 7%; No, and I don't feel guilty about it 55%; Yes, I tell him 37%

[Straight Women:] No, and I feel guilty about it 2%; No, and I don't feel guilty about it 56%; Yes, I tell him 42%

[Gay Men:] No, and I feel guilty about it 8%; No, and I don't feel guilty about it 58%; Yes, I tell him 33%

Who do you think masturbates more?

[Straight Men:] 51 percent said gay men, 2 percent said lesbians, 45 percent said straight men, and 2 percent said straight women.

[Lesbians:] Gay men 29%; Lesbians 9%; Straight men 59%; Straight women 4%

[Straight Women:] Gay men 33%; Lesbians 8%; Straight men 50%; Straight women 10%

[Gay Men:] Gay men 60%; Lesbians 1%; Straight men 37%; Straight women 1%

When you are stressed, do you masturbate more or less?

[Straight Men:] 53 percent said more, 22 percent said less, and 25 persent said about the same.

[Lesbians:] More 44%; Less 28%; About the same 28%

[Straight Women:] More 40%; Less 37%; About the same 23%

[Gay Men:] More 46%; Less 30%; About the same 25%

Do you feel comfortable talking about masturbation with close friends?

[Straight Men:] Yes 62%; No 38%

[Lesbians:] Yes 59%; No 41%

[Straight Women:] Yes 69%; No 31%

[Gay Men:] Yes 66%; No 34%

Do you feel comfortable talking about masturbation with your girlfriend/partner?

[Straight Men:] Yes 67%; No 33%

[Lesbians:] Yes 83%; No 17%

[Straight Women:] Yes 79%; No 21%

[Gay Men:] Yes 80%; No 20%

Are you embarrassed to talk about masturbation with anyone?

[Straight Men:] Yes 45%; No 55%

[Lesbians:] Yes 44%; No 56%;

[Straight Women:] Yes 53%; No 47%

[Gay Men:] Yes 44%; No 56%

Is masturbating more enjoyable to you than sex with someone?

[Straight Men:] Yes when I masturbate, it's all about me 17%; Depends on the person some women just don't know how to push my buttons 25%; Depends on the moment some situations just don't feel right 33%; No sex is always better than going at it solo 25%

[Lesbians:] Yes when I masturbate, it's all about me 8%; Depends on the person some girls just don't know how to push my buttons 30%; Depends on the moment some situations just don't feel right 29%; No sex is always better than going at it solo 33%

[Straight Women:] Yes when I masturbate, it's all about me 15%; Depends on the person some guys just don't know how to push my buttons 33%; Depends on the moment some situations just don't feel right 28%; No sex is always better than going at it solo 24%

[Gay Men:] Yes when I masturbate, it's all about me 8%; Depends on the person some guys just don't know how to push my buttons 36%; Depends on the moment some situations just don't feel right 32%; No sex is always better than going at it solo 24%

Do you use any kind of porn when masturbating?

[Straight Men:] Always 30%; Now and then, but it's not necessary 67%; Never 3%

[Lesbians:] Always 10%; Now and then, but it's not necessary 79%; Never 10%;

[Straight Women:] Always 18%; Now and then, but it's not necessary 74%; Never 8%

[Gay Men:] Always 33%; Now and then, but it's not necessary 65%; Never 2%

Do you ever use any sex toys when you masturbate?

[Straight Men:] All the time 4%; Every now and then 32%; Tried it but it doesn't really do anything for me 15%; Don't own any toys 50%

[Lesbians:] All the time 23%; Every now and then 50%; Tried it but it doesn't really do anything for me 9%; Don't own any toys 18%

[Straight Women:] All the time 32%; Every now and then 49%; Tried it but it doesn't really do anything for me 3%; Don't own any toys 17%

[Gay Men:] All the time 2%; Every now and then 48%; Tried it but it doesn't really do anything for me 18%; Don't own any toys 33%

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