Just about everybody. Masturbation is a very common behavior, even among people who have a sex partner. So, it is not unusual that 94% of men and 85% of women admit to masturbating.
Masturbation is the first sexual act experienced by most males and females, and therefore you should not be surprised when you conduct an internet search for “masturbation,” and you will find hundreds, if not thousands, of slang phrases for the act.
This proliferation of slang phrases suggests people want to talk about masturbation, but are uncomfortable about doing so directly. Using comedic terms provides a more socially acceptable way to express themselves.
So before we start talking about it, let’s just normalise it a little bit. Touching one’s own genitals for pleasure or as it’s known by the name – masturbation, is something that babies do from the time they are in the womb. It’s a natural and normal part of healthy sexual development.
94% of men admit to masturbating, as do 85% of women, according to a nationally representative US sample. But societal perspectives of masturbation still vary greatly, and there’s even some stigma around engaging in the act.
There are many myths about masturbation that are related to this stigma, myths so ridiculous it’s a wonder anyone believes them, and probably most of people don’t believe it at all.
They include: masturbation causes blindness and insanity; masturbation causes infertility; and masturbation can make sexual organs fall off.
Opposite to these myths, masturbation has many health benefits.
When it comes to women, masturbation can help prevent cervical infections and urinary tract infections through the process of “tenting,” or the opening of the cervix that occurs as part of the arousal process.
Tenting stretches the cervix, and thus the cervical mucous. This enables fluid circulation, allowing cervical fluids full of bacteria to be flushed out, which is of great help for the body.
Other things in which masturbation is beneficial is that can lower risk of type-2 diabetes (though this association may also be explained by greater overall health), reduce insomnia through hormonal and tension release, and increase pelvic floor strength through the contractions that happen during orgasm.
When it comes to men, masturbation helps reduce risk of prostate cancer which is familiar disease among men, probably by giving the prostate a chance to flush out potential cancer-causing agents.