Even during our enlightened times, masturbation still carries a social stigma, especially for women. If a gal with a partner masturbates, it must be because she's a nymphomaniac. Maybe she has to whack off so much because there's something wrong with the relationship.
Or even this one: if a woman without a partner masturbates, she must be lonely, ugly, really desperate. Maybe all three! Actually, none of these hold water.
...on your hands or fingers, despite all the warnings about it being harmful to your health.
There is circumstantial evidence such claims came from snake oil salesmen who were trying to sell a tonic to stop the "scourge of masturbation." This explanation sounds quite reasonable when you look at other anti-masturbation fanatics of the mid- to late 1800s, including one famous cereal maker that once advocated applying carbolic acid to a young girl's clitoris in order to reduce sensitivity, and make jilling off more or less a pointless exercise.
Today the consensus among researchers and medical experts is that in reasonable moderation - like everything - masturbation is harmless. What's reasonable is up to interpretation, but there are many individuals that rub one out several times a day, and lead perfectly normal normal lives.
...and most people do it. Since the 1950s one survey after another have shown most adult men and women have tried it - usually more than just once!
Yet the most liberal of surveys are suspicious because of the stigma attached to masturbating. Even in anonymous questionnaires, people are apt to answer in the way they want to be perceived, not the way they actually are. So the odds are, FAR more people regularly masturbate than even the most "accurate" surveys reveal.
...including relieving tension - without the use of drugs that can cause side effects. It gets the heart going, and depending on how you masturbate, can even tone important muscles, such as those in the pelvic floor.
Stronger pelvic muscles can help against some kinds of incontinence (you can't help peeing), and it firms up the vagina, making it feel tighter for a male partner.
...according to some recent research.
And there more: prolactin is the female hormone responsible for feeling sexual gratification. Its release also stimulates a chemical that is used to coat cells in your body that aid in proper nerve response.
...known as endorphins. That's why having an orgasm can temporarily numb pain like a hurt back or a sore knee.
Endorphins are neurotransmitters that attach to the same receptors in our brains as opiates, such as morphine or opium. Of course, the natural release of endorphins doesn't pose the same risks or serious side effects.
Some women use masturbation as a form of self-medication. It can reduce the dependency on prescription and over-the-counter drugs, many of which can have long-term adverse effects.
... with your friends. The television show Sex In the City featured several episodes where the girls openly discussed their masturbation habits and fantasies, including using a type of vibrator - the rabbit - that most women at the time didn't know even existed.
And let's not forget the uproariously funny My Dinner In Hell episode of the British TV comedy Coupling, or the infamous The Contest episode of Seinfeld.
Your will discover that masturbation is often funny, especially when the topic is shared among good friends.
This article and all other articles on this site are not meant as medical or personal advice. They are presented for their entertainment value only. Please consult a qualified health practitioner.