This Column is Masturbatory

In my rather chaotic exploration of all things sexy, I have bounced around a lot of topics. However, I recently realized that I have skirted around one of the most central, formative, and important things of all things sexy. Really, I should have just started talking about masturbation from the very beginning.

I talked a little bit about masturbation when I gave you my two-part treatise on the sex toy (and how could I not?), but I never gave you any thoughts about masturbation itself. And let me tell you, readers, I have a lot of thoughts.

First, I would like to recognize that, as with all things sex-related, masturbation may not be for you. However, if you are willing, I suggest you at least try it a couple of times before dismissing it outright. This is because, dear readers (and imagine a flying unicorn on a rainbow saying this to you), masturbation is magical.

Okay, enough of my cheese, and back to the serious talk about sex and things.

Why do I think masturbation is so important? I think I touched on this a little bit during the sex toys column, but it bears reiterating. Masturbation is important because it lets you, yourself, understand the different ways your body works and responds to different kinds of touches and sensations. Of course, there are certain sensations that you can’t mimic by yourself, but that’s why we have sex toys.

However, discovery is only one step of the argument. If masturbation were only about discovery, there wouldn’t be a point to continue masturbating once you had discovered all the things. Instead, part of my argument in encouraging everyone to continue to masturbate is that no matter how well you think you know your body, things can change, and there is always more to discover.

The other part of the argument is that masturbation has value outside of sexual exploration. Masturbation can calm you, help you sleep, wake you up, and a whole host of other things.

At this point, you might note that some of those things are contradictory. Well, tell that to people who have told me what the benefits of exercising are, because that’s really just the same list. (Sex is exercise, y’all! Don’t let anyone tell you any different.)

Now that we have gotten that out of the way, the next question you probably have is: “Why masturbation and not partner sex?”

To a large extent, I think many of us are aware that partner sex is not always an available option. I’m not saying that masturbation should be a replacement for partnered sex, because there are definitely certain benefits to partner sex that are not available through masturbation. However, masturbation is a way to access all those fantastic fun benefits of sex (orgasm! fun times! calming!) without having to go through the trouble of finding a partner. Even if you are in the position to have partnered sex, your partner isn’t always free, able, or willing (and they shouldn’t have to be) when you are free, able, and feeling like you and sexytimes need to get better acquainted. Other times you just need to get acquainted with sexytimes, but you don’t have that much time to spend on sexytimes. Often, masturbation is the quickest route to an endorphin rush.

That also means that I think everyone should be comfortable with the idea that their partners may be masturbating. Unless you are planning to be always available all the time and expect the same of your partner(s), it should be recognized that masturbation will be a possibility in your relationship. And if you are considering being always available all the time, I would suggest you first talk with a therapist (no shame, therapists are awesome!) about that decision first. I also highly encourage bringing masturbation into your partnered sex life. Mutual masturbation is a thing, and it’s awesome.

So, friends, remember the unicorn. It is here to help.

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