The word “masturbation” carries a lot of stigma, judgment, shame and fear. The issue is not with the word itself, but with people’s prejudice against it. Let’s just think of the fact that causing self-pleasure by touching your genitals is something which religions deem “sinful”, and that people who masturbate supposedly go to hell.
In western societies, S. A. Tissot’s book “Onania, or a Treatise upon the Disorders Produced by Masturbation”, published in 1758, spread the idea that masturbation causes mental disease. His arguments were based on the observation that many of the patients with mental issues masturbated.
Now, I don’t believe there is anything wrong with masturbation, but I do think it is important to know that there are other options which provide much more pleasure and satisfaction.
The way many people see the act of masturbation is a stimulation of the genitals in order to release the sexual tension that builds up into the body. It’s fast and focused on instant gratification. Nowadays, most people masturbate by turning their computer on, finding some porn and starting to touch their genitals quickly, without allowing themselves any time to actually feel the sensations, until they reach a peak point of pleasure that feels like a short explosion.
As a side note, porn can be very toxic (I will talk about this in my future articles), but if you watch porn consciously then you should be safe, and by consciously, I mean:
if you are aware that it is a movie and things don’t happen like that in most instances of people having sex;
if you pay more attention to your body’s sensations, and less to the action on the screen;
if you take deep breaths and pauses;
if your arousal doesn’t depend on porn (you can also get aroused when porn is not present).
For all the above reasons, I prefer the term “self-pleasure”, because it literally means “giving pleasure to yourself” which I find very empowering and satisfying. If masturbation refers mostly to engaging with your genitals, self-pleasure includes the whole body, and not only the genitals. To many people, the purpose of masturbation is to release pressure and relax, while self-pleasure is the practice of sexual energy cultivation, and its purpose is to connect with your body, feel more pleasure, and experience sexual and spiritual expansion.
To put it briefly, masturbation is more like eating fast food, while self-pleasure is more like fine dining. The same way fast food makes you fat and unhealthy, masturbation will create low sexual energy and unhealthy sexuality. How does your body feel when you eat junk food, and how does it feel when you eat slow-cooked food with natural ingredients?
It helps you recenter and connects you to the present moment;
Your body releases endorphins, which will help you relieve stress and pain;
You connect to your body and discover what makes you go from 0 to 100 in terms of arousal;
You awaken self-love, creativity and wisdom;
You pave the path to becoming multi-orgasmic
“Self-pleasure is the foundation of our potential to love and being loved.” (Barnaby Barratt Pd. D.)
How to self-pleasure:
Change your perspective
Since childhood we have been taught that touching ourselves is not ok, especially touching our genitals.
Isn’t it crazy how the part of us that produces so much pleasure is forbidden and seen as “dirty”?
Our whole body is wired for pleasure, not only our genitals. Think of self-pleasure as a way to celebrate yourself, to take care of and nourish yourself, to simply be (because I bet you do a lot).
2. Set the space and make the time
We all lead busy lives: job, kids, shopping, errands etc. If you really want to start a self-pleasure practice, you need to save 15-30 minutes a day (you can start with 5 minutes, too). Decide if mornings or evenings work better for you, and even mark it on your calendar, if this helps you stay committed to doing it.
Also, before actually starting the practice, you can prepare the room – if it is important to you to have a clean and organized space, then take care of this first so you don’t get distracted while practicing. You can add flowers, candles, essential oils, if you like them (women tend to prefer them).
3. Touch yourself the way you would like to be touched
We live our whole life in our bodies, and yet, when it comes to pleasure and sexual satisfaction, we expect them to come mostly from contact with another person.
No one can know your body like you can, so start taking responsibility for your own ecstasy.
Touch your body the way it wants to be touched, you don’t need to be in a relationship or have a partner who is willing to satisfy your needs all the time, you can take care of yourself, too.
For example, touch your neck with the tips of your fingers and observe what you feel. What sensation arises? What emotion? What thought?
Our skin is our biggest organ, and one we can see and touch directly. Wouldn't it be a pity not to explore and nourish it?
People feel frustrated when they have sex because their needs aren’t met. But how can anyone know what you like, if you don’t know it yourself? Be curious about your body and start getting to know it: imagine you are in a new city and you want to discover the best restaurants, the coolest clubs, the most luxurious spas.
By touching your body you will connect with it, you will awaken it, you will feel new sensations, you will know what you like and what you don’t like, you will open yourself up for more pleasure and aliveness. The biggest gift you can give yourself is to really know who you are, and your body is a very important part of who you are.