BY RUTH KEDIKILWE
It is hard enough to get most people to openly discuss intimacy and sex now imagine spicing it up with talk of masturbation which is considered a disgrace committed by perverted sexual deviants who will not enter the realms of Heaven. This ‘abomination’ literally means taking matters into your own hands because it is merely sexual stimulation of one’s own genitals through hands, sex toys or anything really and the ultimate goal is an orgasm.
The shock disgust and horror that most people displayed when questioned on whether they masturbate was palpable, especially the men who felt their sexual prowess was being second guessed.
One 34 year old man harshly stated that he had no shortage of the ‘real thing’ and therefore there was no reason for him to resort to the self gratification route.
A younger more flamboyant 24 year old man however openly admitted that masturbation was a game he played almost every morning without fail. He shrugged off any negativity and confidently stated that he had taken a vow of celibacy but since he is a normal hot blooded man he needs to release. “I am not hurting anyone, I will not contract diseases and I definitely will not have anyone calling me dad anytime soon”, he said.
Women were more relaxed with this conversation. Three ladies who were out for lunch spoke freely about the issue. The youngest of the trio (27 years old) explained that at first she was shy because she did not know much about it.
Everything she knew about sex was pretty much textbook. As she grew older and read more about sex and discovered it she became more confident in the bedroom and is able to help her partner please her. The eldest (40) refrained from commenting on the topic and concentrated on her lunch.
In the olden days of sexual purity, masturbation was considered demonic and evil but the sexual revolution and attendant liberalism is giving the practice a berth in the mainstream; however the stigma surrounding it endures.
The old wives’ tales of having hairy palms or the shrinking of genitals still make rounds and religious people just send you to hell for it.
Clinical Psychologist Dr Gloria Mbebe explained that people must desist from demonizing masturbation as it is normal and may have both physical and mental benefits for both men and women. Dr Mbebe further stated that when a person reaches a sexual climax the body releases feel good hormones known as endorphins and these are capable of making someone happy and blocking pain.
According to the Dr, even young children can discover that touching their own genitals feels good parents must just tell them to wait until they are older, not do it in public and most importantly not allow anyone to do it to them.
Dr Mbebe however warned that like everything else if it is not done in moderation or done excessively it may trigger an addiction therefore one should get wary if it get in the way of other daily responsibilities, she however states that it otherwise a healthy relaxation tool and a great way to explore one’s anatomy.
Masturbation also comes in very handy for those dry spells that one can find themselves in when they do not have sexual partners or when their partners are otherwise occupied. It is a great way to prevent unplanned and unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections. Ironically it is sometimes a necessary especially for medical reasons men have to masturbate to present sperm samples for fertility tests, sperm donation and it also helps with erectile dysfunctions.