Sexuality and Masturbation: An Open and Honest Discussion (NSFW)

So, my friends, you know those mornings when you’re all by yourself and it’s time to turn to your friendly neighborhood personal massager/dominant hand?

Today was one of those days. And my lovely massager buddy is a plug in. Batteries? Fuck batteries. When I bought my toy at a local shop I told the clerk I wanted something that would shake the fillings out of my teeth. And she did NOT disappoint.

I hate to think of what happens when it eventually dies down, because upgrading from this might involve modifying a power drill (and yes, I’ve genuinely thought about that. I’ll be like Tim Taylor from Home Improvement, except with sex toys. It’s one of my life goals.).

So, since everyone (okay, not everyone, but the bulk of society) seems too uptight to talk about this, I’m going to open the discussion here. Consider this a dare, if you will, to speak freely and honestly about your own experiences. If you’re not comfortable posting under your own name, you are not exempt from this dare: email your comments to me at anotheranonymousoutsider@gmail.com and I will post them as comments from other anonymous individuals.

I like to think of masturbation as the one sexual relationship that you will have for your entire lifetime, no matter what. For most of us, our first sexual experience with ourselves takes place long before our first sexual experience with another person, and let’s face it, most of us don’t have just one partner over the course of our lives (if you didn’t experiment with yourself before others, don’t feel bad, I will address that in a bit, and the following still applies to you philosophically). So who is your longest running sexual partner? YOU. And you need to know what you like in order to make your sexual relationship a healthy one.

Sexuality is kind of one of my things. We all have hobbies and things we like to read up on and research. Sexuality is one of mine, and I’m lucky to enjoy both the asexual pleasure of acquiring knowledge in articles as well as the very sexual pleasure of field research. So, for today, An Anonymous Outsider is actually going to be An Experienced Outsider. Let’s play school. 🙂

First, it’s important to dispel some myths about masturbation. Some of these points may seem obvious to you, but every single one is based on a question I have been asked, by a real person, at one point or another.

Correcting Myths About Masturbation

  • There is nothing unhealthy, immoral, or unnatural about masturbation. Masturbation has been observed in multiple species of mammals, has been scientifically proven to have a multitude of beneficial effects on health and mood, and as for morality, we can quibble about the moral implications of the story of Onan spilling his seed on the ground in the Old Testament, or we can stay focused. To be clear: If you masturbate, there is nothing wrong with you. It will not harm you. And you do not have to feel ashamed of it.
  • Masturbation will not prevent you from enjoying “real” sexual activities with a partner in the future. If anything, knowing what you enjoy will help you and your partner when learning and communicating about how to please one another. You don’t get a certain number of orgasms allotted to you for your lifetime, and you don’t run out of them. Experiencing pleasure with yourself will not keep you from experiencing it with someone else.
  • Adults are not the only ones who masturbate. As uncomfortable as people find it to discuss, children are capable of masturbation too. This is nothing shameful or wrong, and it is almost always an asexual experimentation, particularly pre-puberty. It’s like scratching your knee when it itches: it feels good, and many pre-pubescent children have scared their parents half to death over the years because they were caught experimenting. If you masturbated when you were younger, you have nothing to be embarrassed about. My mom used to work at a child care, and it was quite common for workers’ to have to explain to young kids that what they were doing was something that was not bad, but should only be done alone and in private, like changing clothes or going to the bathroom. Parents, take note here: disciplining or punishing your child for what is nothing more than an innocent exploration of their own anatomy will only make them feel confused, ashamed, and, down the road, more likely to experience sexual dysfunction or shame about their sexual desires and experiences.
  • Being married or in a committed relationship does not mean that you can’t masturbate. Now, I am a firm believer that every relationship should operate within the rules and boundaries established by it’s participants, and if part of your relationship dynamic is that one or both partners do not masturbate, that is just as healthy and okay as both parties masturbating together or separately. But there is a common misconception that if you’re in a relationship, all your sexual energy must be dedicated exclusively to your partner, making masturbation anything from a waste of sexual energy to bordering on adultery, depending on who you ask. This is wrong-thinking. Masturbation without your partner can enhance your relationship with your partner as well as with yourself and make it healthier. Lying, however, will harm your relationship regardless of what the lie is, and if you feel that you need to lie about masturbation to your partner, you need to learn how to communicate honestly and effectively, or find a relationship that allows for that kind of honesty. Lies cause dramatically more damage than masturbation.

So, we’ve gotten some myths out of the way, and now we’re all bored. So let’s get to the good stuff. 🙂

The Beginner’s Circle

I’m going to speak as if you are new to the world of masturbation, and are exploring it for the first time. If you’re more experienced, please sit quietly at the back of the class with your hand down your pants until your turn comes (hehe, get it?). If this is your first time, keep reading, and feel free to read some erotica or watch some pornography to get in the mood, and to get my boring college-lecture style rambling voice out of your head. I know it’s a turn off, and my feelings aren’t hurt. 🙂

So, it’s your first time touching yourself. You know the basics of genital anatomy, at least for your gender, we’re going to hope (if not, you aren’t ready for this class, you need the remedial course. Google male and female anatomy and rejoin us when you’re ready). Now, as appealing as my plug-into-the-wall, shake-the-fillings-out-of-my-teeth monster of a vibrator might sound, if it’s your first time, you don’t need anything fancy, regardless of your gender. Lube, and perhaps some tissues or wipes is really all the assistance you should need initially, and many don’t need the lube. The important thing is to understand that this is your body, your experience, and should obviously progress in a manner that you feel comfortable with. It’s not a race to the finish line, and no sexual act should be done out of a feeling of obligation, EVER. So pace yourself and be patient with yourself.

The first time you masturbate, you might not orgasm. That’s okay. Just like it would take time to get to know a lover’s sexual preferences and personal turn-ons, it takes time to get to know what you like on your own. See what feels good (always wash your hands first!), and don’t be afraid to try things that you are unsure of, like stimulating other, non-genital parts of your body, or fantasizing about different activities. Try different positions: sitting, standing, laying on your stomach, back, side. Don’t be afraid to take a close look at your genitals (ladies, if you want to pop off to the restroom with a hand mirror real quick, don’t worry, we’ll wait). Get to know yourself with the same patience and acceptance that you would extend to a partner or lover. 

On the flip side, the first time you masturbate, you might orgasm quickly, or even repeatedly. That’s okay too! The only way to masturbate “wrong” is if anything you are doing makes you feel uncomfortable. For the guys in particular: If you orgasm quickly, don’t worry about it. Initial experimentation with masturbation is incredibly intense for both (and all) genders, and orgasming quickly during masturbation does not mean that you will be a “minute man” or whatever the current slang for that is. Most people, especially once comfortable with masturbating, will be able to reach climax faster on their own than they will with a partner or an observer, so how long it takes you isn’t indicative of “how long you’ll last” with actual intercourse or other sexual activities. If you orgasm multiple times, awesome! I hope you enjoyed yourself and are ready to stretch out for a well-earned catnap. My highest number of orgasms ever during a masturbation session is 16 times in 15 minutes. It’s been a long time since I could orgasm that many times, that fast, however.

One of the more common rookie mistakes that people make when first beginning their masturbatory journey is to do the same thing every time. Same position, same stimulation, same fantasies. The reason that this is a mistake is that if you orgasm in only one way, over and over for a long time, you can (basically) train your body to only be able to reach completion in that method. And then you get stuck in a rut where you can’t orgasm without a jack-hammer vibration level of stimulation, and have to retrain your body all over again. That’s why it’s so important to vary up what you do: so you don’t get stuck in a rut with any one specific method (unless that’s your thing, in which case, carry on).

That’s pretty much it for a beginner’s course, other than a few tips… and a very important story.

Many of you reading this may have felt that spelling out all of the above was superfluous, unnecessary, or perhaps that I am assuming a naivete that isn’t present in adults. The following is a story of why you’re wrong.

My mother is a very conservative, religious woman. She only ever had sex with one man in her life, my father, and from the little that she told me when I was old enough to discuss sex with her in an open way (late teens, I think), it was clear that her sexual experience with him was still very limited in terms of variation, and that he had not been terribly worried about her pleasure whilst seeking his own. When I was about 19 or 20, my mom and I were sitting in her car, eating fast foot in a McDonald’s parking lot and chatting, and I mentioned a joke from an episode of Friends, where Ross said he was washing himself in the shower and he felt something, to which Chandler responded with “Was it like a sneeze, only better?”.

For a moment, a look crossed her face, resembling confusion, before she quickly masked it. I couldn’t help but ask the awkward question that was hanging like a penny in the air: “Mom, you’ve had an orgasm before… right?”. Even as I asked, I figured I must have mis-read the look on her face; after all, she was in her fifties, had been married for over twenty five years, and had participated in sex at least once (given that I exist), so she must have, at some point, right? She blushed so hard I thought she would turn purple. And then she finally told me (the first person she had ever told) that she had never masturbated before, and that while she had found sex pleasurable while she was still married, she had never had an orgasm in her life.

Think what you will of it, and judge all you like, but I bought my conservative, religious mother a vibrator for her birthday a month later. And while she is too shy to ever share specific details with me (which I don’t necessarily need or want anyway), she did tell me a few months later that she had “fixed the problem and joined the club”, in her words. I may have followed up her revelation by asking if she agreed that it really was like a sneeze only better, but that’s just because I’m a smart ass. 🙂

There are people all around you who are lacking experience and fulfillment in this area, and you’ll never know, because they are far too embarrassed to ask questions or share their stories unprompted. The Beginner’s Circle was for them. Who knows, perhaps it was for you. Just remember: it’s never too late to begin a journey.

Tips for Beginners

  • Make sure that your hands are washed and clean, and your fingernails are trimmed.
  • Guys and Gals should both consider having lube on hand (no pun intended), in case they discover they need it. Do not buy lubricant with spermicide, as it is a quite common allergy and the allergic reaction is very unpleasant.
  • Have tissues, wipes, or a hand towel close by for clean up. Girls, this applies to you too; some girls are naturally squirters, which can make a surprising amount of mess.
  • DO YOUR RESEARCH before using toys, or doing anal stimulation. Different toys may need different kinds of lubricant or cleaning solutions and methods, depending on their material. Anal stimulation or penetration has safety precautions that you need to be informed about so you don’t accidentally hurt yourself. GET INFORMED.
  • If you do use an insertable toy, putting a condom on it is a convenient way of both minimizing mess and keeping the toy from becoming “fluid bonded” to you (google fluid bonding if you want more info on that). Using a condom on your toy does NOT mean that it is protected from all bacteria, so make sure you know how to clean your particular toy properly ahead of time, condom or no condom.
  • Do not be ashamed. This is the most important one. There is nothing wrong with your curiosity, pleasure, or fantasies, and masturbation should be a freeing experience, not one that leaves you feeling embarrassed or ashamed.

To Adult Ed, and Beyond!

For those with experience, seeking to learn more

This is where it becomes a bit less about masturbation and a bit more about sexuality in general.

It’s easy to know when we are beginners that we are beginners. But beyond that, it becomes much more complicated. Sexuality is so nuanced that there are an infinite number of places to land between the beginning of sexual discovery, and being the Supreme High Grand Maestro Of All That Is Sex (a title I think I’ll keep, assuming no one else has claimed it yet). But we all seem to have the same question, when you boil down our deflections and embarrassed blushes into their true form: Am I normal?

I’m happy to tell you that the answer is no. You’re not normal. Neither am I. Normal doesn’t exist in sexuality. To quote scientist and sex researcher (in the 1940’s, no less), Alfred Kinsey: “Variation is the only constant.”

You are never going to meet someone with the exact same sexuality as you, and neither will I; our sexuality’s are as unique as our fingerprints, the irises of our eyes, and the paths in life we take. Your sexuality encompasses your sex (biological sex, not banging, you pervs), your gender (how you perceive and relate to your biological sex), your sexual orientation (how your biological sex and your gender relate to your desire or pursuit of sexual activities or relationships), and the whole of your experiences as a human being. Your sexuality is as unique as you are; there has never been another exactly like you before, in all of human history, and there never will be again, in the entire stretch of future history between today and when all of time runs out.

The thought that you are the only person in all of time and space that is exactly you, is the kind of fact that makes you feel big and special, even against such an expansive backdrop like the entire history of the human race. When viewed in that light, we will even clutch our failures and flaws to our chests and say “Yes, these are mine, they make me who I am, and I am not me without them.”. So why is it so difficult to apply that same thinking about our identities to our sexualities? Why is the uniqueness of our sexuality something to be ashamed of and kept hidden away, but our identity is to be celebrated openly for being one of a kind?

There are four possible combinations here. Celebrate neither identity or sexuality, and hide yourself from the world entirely. Celebrate sexuality but not identity, allowing for lust but not love, for heat but not stability or steadfastness. Celebrate identity but not sexuality, as our world seems to have chosen, acknowledging the beauty of the individual but shunning a huge portion of person back into the shadows. Or celebrate BOTH, identity and sexuality alike, and perhaps discover that being different isn’t something to be feared or ashamed of in the first place, and that differing views can continue to stand, opposing and supporting one another.

At the end of the day, deep down, we all know that the emperor has no clothes. I’ve yet to meet anyone who hasn’t been afraid, at least once, that they were somehow abnormal because some element of their sexual desires, interests, experiences, or thoughts deviated from what they perceived to be this mystical thing called “the norm”. “Normal” is the Emperor’s Clothes, my friends.

How does this apply to masturbation? I’ll tell you. It means that the guy who has never masturbated is just as abnormal as the guy who pleasures himself multiple times a day. It means that the girl who “sleeps around” is just as abnormal as the girl who waits until marriage for her first kiss. It means that when there is no normal, abnormal is no longer a deviation, and thus becomes the true “normal”.

I could talk about specific advanced masturbation techniques here, or perhaps post some sex toy reviews. I could just make a list of ideas to spice up your sex or masturbatory life. Except, your sex or masturbatory life isn’t the think that needs to be spiced up. Your views are. Your perception of yourself is the thing that is in need of new ingredients.

If you let go of the negative feelings that you have towards your own sexuality, and you know the basics, like not having sex with forks (in case I didn’t mention in the beginner’s portion, don’t have sex with forks. It’s a bad idea), your sex and masturbatory life will spice themselves up. You will discover new things because you won’t be as afraid to look inside yourself and admit to yourself what you really want and enjoy.

And that can take you absolutely anywhere.

Anywhere. Who knows? Maybe someday, you’ll be able to earn the title of Supreme High Grand Maestro Of All That Is Sex, just like I did, after a long struggle towards self acceptance, hours and hours of soul searching, uncountable time spent in bed with your hand down your pants, and making a blog post declaring yourself as such. It’s hard work, but I’ve got to say, it’s been worth it.

Thank you so much to everyone who actually read to the end of this post. Please comment with your thoughts and experiences below, and reblog for others. When we start to admit our differences, and see them in one another as a positive thing, then we don’t have to keep on pretending that the Emperor is finely dressed, or that there is such a thing as “normal” sexuality.

An Anonymous Outsider Supreme High Grand Maestro Of All That Is Sex

Email me at anotheranonymousoutsider@gmail.com with any private questions, or if you would like to add your thoughts to this post but anonymously.

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7 thoughts on “Sexuality and Masturbation: An Open and Honest Discussion (NSFW)

  1. Nope, nothing wrong with a little “me” time. As a guy, trust me when I say, over the years, particularly as a pre-teen and early teen, I was…busy. No novice here, and I doubt most guys are. I’ve seen the drill thang before. It seems to do the trick.

    Liked by 1 person

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