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Debamita Banerjee

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Masturbation Myths and How to Control The Urge

When an individual stimulates their genitals to derive sexual pleasure, it's known as masturbation. It may or may not result in an orgasm. It's a completely normal and commonly practiced activity. People of all genders partake in it but the frequency and inclination vary from person to person. It can act as a source of pleasure, enjoyment, or even tension relief.

There's a lot of shame and guilt surrounding masturbation in our society. Despite it being a biological response to a great degree, people avoid talking about it. Because of how it's engraved in our brain as an immoral act, people are embarrassed by admitting to having done it.  

Masturbation can have a few side effects if done too often but most claims made regarding the topic are actually myths. In this article, we'll discuss the various myths and side effects of masturbation, and provide tips to control the urge.    

Myths About Masturbation  

There are numerous myths about masturbation circulating amongst factions that have no scientific evidence to back them. All they do is spread terror and get in the way of sex education being spread positively.  

Here are some common myths about masturbation debunked.    

Myth-1: Masturbation Lowers Sperm Count and decreases fertility  

This is untrue because men produce sperms every single day. So ejaculating once or twice a day is not going to hurt their sperm count at all. They are still just as capable of fertilizing somebody through sexual activity.  

Women do have a finite number of eggs but they do not lose any during masturbation. The only purpose served is personal gratification.  

Myth-2: Masturbation causes Baldness  

The idea behind this assumption comes from the fact that when a man masturbates, his testosterone levels spike up. This further induces a rise in the level of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) hormone which is closely linked to hair loss. 

No scientific proof has been found for such claims. In fact, testosterone spikes are observed during sex with a partner, so nothing separates it from masturbation in this regard. If baldness isn't caused by one, then it cannot be caused by the other.  

Myth-3: Masturbation causes hair growth on the palms  

This claim is backed by no scientific evidence. It is quite bizarre to think that arousing yourself could spout hair follicles in different places. This rumor is most likely a result of the mortification one feels due to the taboo surrounding the activity.  

Myth-4: Masturbation can make you go blind  

Self-pleasure is widely practiced amongst people of all age groups. More than 90% of people have masturbated at least once in their lives. If this were true, that would account for a lot of blind people. Such myths are perpetuated to condemn the act as unnatural when it really is not.  

Myth-5: Masturbating too much reduces sensitivity  

This is not true in the majority of cases, but masturbating the same way repeatedly can make you get used to a singular sensation. As a result, you might have a hard time orgasming through other modes of arousal such as penetration. This applies to both men and women, which is why you should change things up once in a while just to stay safe.  

Myth-6: Masturbation leads to Erectile Dysfunction

Masturbation increases your sex drive and exercises your lower pelvic muscles which are extremely important to orgasm during sex. Its effect on your libido is insignificant so you should be able to perform just as well as you usually would.  

Although your porn consumption during masturbation is too high, it's likely for you to build unrealistic expectations in your head as to what sex is supposed to be like. This might prove to be a hurdle when a real partner is trying to stimulate you. You might also experience performance anxiety which might pose a difficulty for you in staying erect.  

Myth-7: Masturbation Causes Acne 

People start developing acne and masturbation habits around the same time, that is, puberty. This gives rise to the misconception that masturbation has a part to play in your skin problems when it does not. Acne is mostly caused by hormonal imbalance and even though masturbation does cause a shift in hormones, it is only minute and momentary. They also come back to normal levels after ejaculation.

Myth-8: If you Masturbate, it means that there's a problem with your Relationship 

Partners in sexual relationships often masturbate separately or together. This isn't a sign of a bad sex life necessarily, it's just how people deal with their sexual urges. As long as you're open with your partner and it is not inhibiting you from having sex with them, it is completely normal.    

Ways to Stop Unhealthy Masturbating

Masturbation can be a healthy habit when performed reasonably. Touching yourself sexually 4-7 times a week is considered normal, although the exact measurements may vary from person to person. But, if the urge to masturbate starts taking control of your life, then it can be dangerous. You might even start displaying obsessive behavior and develop an addiction. 

Here are some ways to control the urge to masturbate.  

Keep Yourself Busy  

When you're engrossed in the daily activities that require you to be a part of social gatherings, you can take your mind off masturbating. Additionally, you would neither have any time nor personal space to perform the act. This will reduce your opportunities to masturbate and help you focus on other aspects of life.  

Acknowledge the Reality  

You can never get out of addiction until you address your issue. You need to accept that you've developed compulsive behavior towards masturbating. Once you're determined to get over this difficulty, you can come up with strategies to battle against it personally or with a counselor.  

Avoid Pornography

Sexual media is extremely easy to access nowadays, the overload of which might cause you to stay stimulated constantly. To break out of the habit of masturbating excessively, you need to steer clear of porn. If you find it hard to resist, then block such content on your phone. It will not only help you stop masturbating, but also help you view sex realistically again. 

Studies show that the huge influx of internet pornography has lowered sexual desire amongst the new generation and hence, taking a break from it could be a healthy choice for you overall.    

Be Patient  

Nobody develops an addiction in a day so expect it to be cured so quickly is unrealistic. You need to have patience with yourself and ease into new habits. Too much pressure can cause you to snap and run back to old practices. As long as you are committed to the old results, a few shortfalls here and there are not going to disrupt your healing on the whole.  

Seek Therapy 

Talking to a therapist or psychiatrist who specializes in sexual health can help you break out of your shame and approach your problem logically. They can also help you assess your situation properly and determine if you're compulsively masturbating because you enjoy the activity or as an escape from more serious mental issues.  

Exercise  

Exercising regularly can help you direct your physical energy and tension towards a more positive source compared to obsessive masturbation. Working out will take your mind off of masturbation because of how involved you have to be during physical exertion. It will reduce your tendencies to sexually touch yourself at all times while improving your health.  

Stay fully clothed  

Wearing minimal clothing or going all nude when you're by yourself presents an easy opportunity for you to engage in masturbation. Try to wear more clothes even when alone so that you have a moment to truly ponder about what you're doing before you start stimulating yourself. This could remind you of your true intentions and take a step back. 

Join a Support Group

Due to excessive shame that's intertwined with masturbation or any sexual activity in our culture, it can be hard to discuss your problem with your loved ones firsthand. By being in a support group you can converse with people who are going through the same physical and emotional highs and lows as you. You will face no judgment in such a community and they can hold you accountable during your revival procedure.

  

If you feel like you've developed an addiction to masturbating but cannot talk about the issue due to the excessive guilt levied upon you as a result of societal taboos, visit iAmEars. iAmEars provides you a safe space to express your thoughts and discuss your issues while maintaining anonymity. Head on to the forum to pen down your difficulties and interact with people who've been through a similar experience. You can exchange advice and provide each other empathy to get through difficult times. iAmEars helps you access online counseling sessions with experienced Healthcare professionals who will carefully listen to your condition, assess your state and provide you solutions accordingly. iAmEars will help you get through all your tough times.    

Conclusion

There are both upsides and downsides to masturbation. The key here is moderation. By engaging in masturbation once in a while you can get to know your body better, relieve stress through the release of oxytocin, and gratify yourself without depending upon somebody else.   

Just remember that there's more to life than sex and masturbation. You must not let it become an obsession or use it as a defense mechanism to deal with deeper psychological issues. Steer clear of pointless fallacies regarding masturbation and try to normalize and promote sex positivity.    

Reference

  1.  Is Internet Pornography Causing Sexual Dysfunctions? A Review with Clinical Reports -https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5039517/