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May 30, 2018

Common Masturbation Myths Busted!

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We’re entering the homestretch of International Masturbation Month. That’s right! Thirty-one days devoted exclusively to the celebration and practice of self-love. And though we’re loving the celebration, it is inevitably accompanied by a host of misconceptions about what solo sex really means. After all, what we do with ourselves when we’re alone is arguably the most private aspect of sex in general. As a result, many people feel ashamed of the act of masturbation and subsequently tend to misunderstand it.

Thankfully, we’ve got Dr. Markie Twist and Dr. Megan Stubbs on-hand — no pun intended — to help dispel four of masturbation’s most common myths.

The former is an award-winning sexuality educator, sexologist, relationship therapist, author and international speaker. She not only regularly consults and presents on sexual, gender, erotic and relational diversity, but couple and family technology practices, plus tantric sex. And the latter? She’s a board-certified sexologist, relationship expert and body image specialist who boasts degrees in biology and human sexuality. What’s more, she has a proven knack for combining two of her favorite things — science and sex — into a cohesive platform to impact her audience.

Alright, let the International Masturbation Month myth-busting begin!

Myth #1: Masturbation is addictive…

Dr. Markie concedes that people often think masturbation is addictive. However, she points out that not only is there no research to support this “stereotypically uninformed presumption,” but research also suggests that the notion that sex is addictive lacks scientific evidence.“Indeed,” Dr. Markie explians, “renowned sex therapists like Douglas Braun-Harvey and Michael Vigorito say that while people can experience out of control behaviours — including those of a sexual nature — the idea of them experiencing an addiction related to sex is really a form of just demonizing sex.” That includes certain sex acts like masturbation, as well as engaging in erotocentrism. To clarify, Dr. Markie explains the latter term refers to the belief that one’s own sexual behaviours, identities and attitudes are superior to others and that one’s own sexuality is the standard by which all others should be judged. In short, masturbation is about as scientifically addictive as a good time!

The Verdict: BUSTED

via GIPHY

Myth #2: Only lonely, desperate and/or single people masturbate…

This couldn’t be further from the truth! At least according to Dr. Megan, that is. “Masturbation is a great way to find sexual satisfaction for anyone,” she stresses. “Many people have a masturbation practice that is included in their self-care routine, whether partnered or not.” As far as Dr. Megan is concerned, this makes masturbation an exceptional way to gain confidence. “Then you can use that knowledge to communicate your likes and dislikes to your partner.”

The Verdict: BUSTED

Myth #3: Masturbating will result in a variety of physical maladies, including blindness and hairy palms…

Actually, masturbation has been shown to reduce stress, ease menstrual cramps and help you sleep better. Thanks again to Dr. Megan for clearing that up. “Best of all,” she reminds us, “it’s free!”

The Verdict: BUSTED

Myth #4: Masturbation — a.k.a. self-sex or sex-for-one — is harmful…

Wrong. Contemporary researchers have established that masturbation has quite the opposite effect. Picking up where Dr. Megan’s last point left off, Dr. Markie further stresses the health benefits of playing with oneself, even championing it as “a means of self-exploration.”

Chris Metler #4The Verdict: BUSTED

Chris Metler is a sought-after freelance writer and editor. Specializing in print and digital media – with a focus on culture, creativity, people, places, and lifestyle – his bylines can be found across a range of Canada’s premier editorial publications.