Apparently, May was National Awareness Month for Masturbation. If you missed it, there is always next year; however, you will have to wait. (Hang in there, you can make it.) March is on the way, and it also starts with the letter “M,” so you might not have to wait a full year. As a consolation prize, I am sure the sex educators of the world have a sex act for you to celebrate in the month of June as well. However, if you choose to celebrate the month of May in the privacy of your own home in the month of June…no one will really know. ; )
I am not sure if there is an “official” list of all of these things we should be aware of each month. As I did an internet search, I found little consistency. I did find that May was also National Awareness for Mental Health. I think as long as whatever you’re celebrating is synonymous with the letter of the month, it is official to bring awareness to it. Since there are only eight different letters used in the alphabet, it might be slim pickings. If you are bring awareness to the fair treatment of Jelly Beans, you are in luck with an option of three different months. But, let’s get back on topic.
I was reading some of the information available online about the health benefits of masturbation. “It is the safest sex possible.” “It helps men with their prostate.” “It is a great stress reliever for men and women.” “It will help with your sexual development and sexual awareness.” The positive physiological benefits go on and on. Now, I don’t disagree with these findings and arguments; however, they are making some big assumptions as well as leaving out some vital details about masturbation.
Here are 7 points to consider.
- As I have written before, I tell my clients all the time that there are good plumbers and bad plumbers, doctors, lawyers, and therapists. Information is no different. Not all information is good information. Just because it sounds good, and “everybody is doing it,” doesn’t make it right. You have to think on your own and not just believe everything you are told or have read. Ask yourself, “Is this information wise or foolish for me to believe or not?”
- I know it’s hard to believe, but there is a minority of single men and women who have never masturbated and will never masturbate.
- There is also a small percentage of single men and women who masturbate just for the physical release. They do not masturbate obsessively nor does it control their lives.
- What these articles and blogs are not talking about is the dirty little secret that reflects the larger majority. I am talking 80 to 90 percent of single men and women who masturbate to pornography or fantasy. This is the dangerous kind of masturbation that will harm you as well as any monogamous relationship you are in. You see, your brain is an organ just like any other organ in your body, and it does not regulate the morality of right and wrong. When a person masturbates to fantasy or porn, it is as real to your brain as if you were in the physical act of sex. The chemicals dumped to your pre-frontal cortex of your brain associates those chemicals to those real or imagined images. Your body then associates those images to those chemicals and desires more of the behavior when you view or think about those images. This can become highly addictive. The “sex experts” of the world want you to believe this is not a big deal. However, it is a big deal, because this type of masturbation will get you hooked or addicted. I have many clients who masturbate daily to several times a day even to the point of harming themselves to receive the “high” again. This is not only an issue for men. We are seeing more young women addicted to porn, masturbation and the hook up sex culture. It begins to take over their lives, as they stay up late, act out, miss work or school, isolate, fall into depression or become overly indulgent with alcohol or other addictive substances.
- Many of these single men and women get married believing that once married this acting-out behavior just described will go away. However, this is rarely the case. Eventually, the behavior will return, because what you feed your mind, body and soul with is what it will crave. We now have men and women who have trained themselves to fantasy girl or fantasy guy hundreds or even thousands of times. Their new spouse is just not “doing it” for them, and they are not sure why. Well, we now all know why, and the obsessive behavior returns.
- When a spouse doesn’t understand why their husband or wife doesn’t want to have sex with them, it is generally this type of masturbation that is destroying so many relationships. Most often, it is because masturbation has been on open or more often a secret part of their life. This behavior robs the sexual energy and desire from the marriage.
- Most who have trained themselves to this type of masturbation will not overcome or stop without help. Most will need the support of a recovery group or individual and couple’s counseling by a trained Sexual Recovery Therapist that specializes in this area.
The 3 different types of masturbation is important information for you to know and understand. Those who never masturbate, those who do for a physical release, and those who have dangerously attached it to porn and fantasy. When a respected Ph.D. or M.D. who has never struggled with the dangerous kind of masturbation writes that it’s fine to masturbate and does not make these clear distinctions, it causes more problems. Those who are looking for help read this and think it is okay to masturbate, because Doctor so and so says, “It’s good for you and even healthy.” However, it is not good for you or healthy. Understand that each are talking about two different things. The same is true for a respected person, author, or Ph.D. who says you should never masturbate but may have a reader in the second type as compared to the third type. Then, the individual may experience unnecessary shame.
In closing, may you continue to process wise information about the truth about masturbation, and keep an eye out for bad or foolish plumbing.
Cory Schortzman is an author, speaker, teacher and licensed mental health professional. Since 2008, he has served as the Executive Director of Transformed Hearts Counseling Center in Colorado Springs, CO. He is the founder of SARA, the Sexual Addiction Recovery Association. Cory is passionate about helping couples and individuals overcome sex addiction. He is also passionate about bringing awareness to the public and supporting the elimination of sex and human trafficking. Cory has been married since 1998 to his beautiful wife, Kerry, and lives in Colorado with their four daughters. He and Kerry have been seen on the CBS Early Show, Inside Edition, and ABC Good Morning America, Fox 21 News, and TLC/Discovery discussing the harm of sex addiction and the joys of recovery. He has also been heard on numerous radio programs.
Cory’s books include: Out of the Darkness, Into the Light the Workbook, Into the Light the Steps, Ashes to Beauty the Steps, 301 Dating Ideas, 301 Conversational Ideas, 301 Ways to Say I Love You, 301 Ways to Love Your Children & 301 Recovery Tools & Tips.