Feel good by contributing – help others to gain clarity on their sexual health. Note: TBD Health Inc. is not a non-profit.
By Dr. Sophia Murphy, DBH, SXI
May is “Masturbation” and “Self-Pleasure” month which makes it the perfect time to discuss solo-sex! For many people, the idea of touching themselves for sexual pleasure is tainted with shame and stigma. There have been historical myths of negative consequences that would come from sexual acts with oneself. For some people, sex in general has become synonymous with feeling bad about themselves due to either misinformation or lack of information. Shame is a tricky topic to navigate and the less we talk about it the harder it is to manage.
Shame is the feeling we experience when we believe we’re less than others or even inherently bad. It’s highly correlated with feeling depressed and anxious. We all feel a little shame because it’s a feeling that signals to us that we care how others see us and there’s nothing wrong with that! Shame becomes toxic when it negatively impacts our abilities to be ourselves.
There are many shaming messages in our society about sex, specifically masturbation. Many of us learned that sex is only for procreation, something to occur only with a partner, and only during marriage. Because of this narrow definition of “good” sex, anything outside of that can become synonymous with “bad.” Touching yourself and enjoying it may have been lumped into the “other” category and now bring up difficult emotions.
You can take some time and explore what you really believe about sex and whether messages you received in the past really align with how you feel. Just because we learned something doesn’t make it a fact and doesn’t make anyone “bad” for seeing it differently. We can work through shame by acknowledging it, talking with people we trust, and learning new information. Masturbation is totally normal, common, and promotes well-being too!
Curious? Ready to get to know yourself more? There’s no wrong answer when it comes to your sexual wellness as long as it feels good to you and stays safe, sane, and consensual. It’s OK if you have some old shame to address or stigma to work through. Continue to learn how your body works and expand your knowledge on sex in general. Talk to people you trust and identify what you believe about sex and masturbation specifically. You’re allowed to be a sexual being and figure out what’s best for you. It’s OK if self-pleasure doesn’t end up turning you on. And it’s definitely OK to enjoy it if it does!
This article provides information about sexual health, healthcare and/or related subjects. The blog content and any linked materials herein are not intended to be, and should not be construed as a substitute for, medical or healthcare advice, diagnosis or treatment. Any reader or person with a medical concern should consult with an appropriately-licensed physician or other healthcare provider. This blog is provided purely for informational purposes. The views expressed herein are not sponsored by and do not represent the opinions of TBD Health Inc.
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