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Although a very normal physical function, masturbation (the touching of your genitals and other erogenous zones to induce sexual pleasure) has certain taboos attached to it. This natural sexual practice has given birth to all kinds of myths which stops people from indulging in this form of self-pleasure.
Here are some of the most common misconceptions and the truths behind them.
1. Myth: Masturbation makes you go blind
Fact: Masturbation cannot make you blind. Studies conducted on this point of contention haven’t been able to find a link between masturbation and blindness. On the contrary, these researches have gone on to reveal that individuals who masturbate 4 times daily or more for years haven’t been found to suffer from any diseases attributed to masturbation, including blindness.
2. Myth: It can cause you to suffer from erectile dysfunction
Fact: Erectile dysfunction refers to the inability to maintain or get an erection during intercourse. The causes of this sexual dysfunction are varied, but masturbation doesn’t figure in the list of causes. What really happens is that when you masturbate repeatedly, you become used to your own touch or to a certain kind of sensation. As a result, you may find it difficult to have orgasms with your partner.
3. Myth: Masturbation doesn’t provide any long-term health benefits
Fact: Many experts believe that masturbation can be good for your health. Some of the health benefits that it provides include improved concentration levels and better sleep. It also helps in relieving stress and headaches as your body releases endorphins (brain chemicals), which give you a sense of well-being. Apart from that, masturbating regularly ensures better fitness levels and a youthful appearance in men.
For women, it offers certain sexual health benefits such as less pain during sexual intercourse. This happens due to the interaction between brain receptors and the endorphins, which help in reducing your perception of pain. Furthermore, it can even reduce vaginal dryness.
4. Myth: Children do not masturbate
Fact: Masturbation is a normal childhood habit, wherein young children discover the private parts of their bodies and the feelings of pleasure that arise from this activity. Most children begin to play with their private parts by about 5-6 years of age. A child can masturbate once a week or several times a day. There are even researches out there that show male foetuses masturbating in the womb.
5. Myth: There’s no limit to how much you can masturbate
Fact: According to the American Psychological Association, you should stop masturbating if it affects your daily life; causes emotional problems or physical soreness; disrupts your relationship with your partner or makes you unable to have orgasms from the stimulation that you experience with your partner. Otherwise, the frequency of masturbating can vary from individual to individual. If you masturbate a number of times in a day and still lead a healthy and satisfying life, you have nothing to worry about.
6. Myth: People in relationships do not masturbate
Fact: Whether you’re single or in a relationship, masturbation is a healthy sexual activity that you can engage in to fulfil your sexual desires. Studies show that masturbation is a very common behaviour; about 92% of men and 62% of women masturbate. Sometimes, couples also engage in masturbation together as part of their sexual activity. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a sexologist.