Unzipping the Myths | Issue 14

Unzipping the Myths | Issue 14


Bring up the topic of masturbation around a group of (maybe slightly under the influence) boys and three of them will tell you, with nary a blushed cheek, about when their mothers walked in. Two will tell you about their first times. Another will mention the pile of tissues beside his bed.

This is great; talking about sex is healthy. But there’s a bit of a double standard. You’ve heard the old wives’ tales of masturbation causing blindness, causing hairs to sprout on the dirty palms of said sinner. You probably find them amusing in their out-datedness. But those of us who happen to be not-boys were somewhat left behind during the change from hairy, blind masturbators to it being an acceptable topic of conversation.

The rest of us are left to quietly put a finger down during “Never Have I Ever”, to faux-exclaim “ew” and “gross” at the mention of it. And yet nearly everyone masturbates, allosexuals and asexuals alike. Masturbation has health benefits too, physiological and psychological. 

Nicki Minaj mentioned a friend of hers who had never had an orgasm, saying, “that hurts my heart”. Mine too, Nicki. Orgasms are every body’s (get it?) friend, the gift that keeps on giving — but unlike the pair of socks you will inevitably get this Christmas, orgasms are a gift you actually want.

Masturbation increases blood flow, which can improve the health of your hair. It releases endorphins, and who needs to hit the gym when you can flick the bean? It can improve self (and sexual) confidence: knowing your own body can only be a good thing. It releases Prolactin in your brain, a chemical that helps you sleep. It is even shown to reduce, if not eradicate, headaches and other minor pains. It’s even linked to lower rates of prostate cancer and has no downsides. Cases of people impregnating themselves are as common as those who give themselves gonorrhoea: you’re pretty safe.

With all these benefits and none of the risks of sex with another person, why the embarrassment? Women, men and everyone in between — they all masturbate. It’s a conversation that shouldn’t be limited to guys.

This article first appeared in Issue 14, 2015.
Posted 2:35pm Sunday 5th July 2015 by T. Antric.