sexual stimulation of one's own genitals
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Masturbation is the sexual stimulation of one's own genitals for sexual arousal or other sexual pleasure, usually to the point of orgasm.

If God had intended us not to masturbate, he would've made our arms shorter —George Carlin
We know that more than seventy to eighty percent of women masturbate, and ninety percent of men masturbate, and the rest lie. —Joycelyn Elders

Quotes edit

  • This is the type of emotional condition that appears to govern the habits of onanism in children who are otherwise very unlikely to suspect sexual precocity.
    • L'enfant turbulent, Henri Wallon, éd. PUF, 1984 (1ère édition : 1925), partie I_ Le stade de développement psychomoteur, chap. Le stade émotif, p. 107
  • The accusation of onanism does not appear any more than that of running away to result from the sole desire to burden the child, in order to obtain his internment. Most often, she responds well to her appearance as a repulsed, sad and shy little being. Humiliation, the feeling of abandonment and loneliness clearly encourage the child to masturbate. If it is in adolescents or adults that this habit is found, it seems linked to the evocation of situations or scenes related to the genital complexion of the subject: most often a jealous or a masochist, who therefore further combines sexual excitement with depressive dispositions. His reaction is of the conditional type, like all those that arise from emotion. Local excitement is only an adjuvant, of which the subject rather seeks to divert his thoughts, far from being attentive to it as to stimulations of a sensory and truly tactile nature.
    • L'enfant turbulent, Henri Wallon, éd. PUF, 1984 (1ère édition : 1925), partie I_ Le stade de développement psychomoteur, chap. Le stade émotif, p. 108
  • Onanism sometimes gives way to pederasty and tribadism. There is clearly, in all these cases, emotional excitement. It results in irritability and also in the taste for caresses, zoophilia (2 - need for animal caresses) and even the need for affection. It is not unrelated to a state of boredom, vague, nostalgic appetite, emotional insufficiency and worry, which are very often the germ of perverse behavior. Anxiety without object, disgust, painful impression of moral anesthesia, search for appropriate stimulation, desire for risk, adventure, subterfuges of imagination or sensitivity are at the origin of running away, wandering, theft, lies, niches, teasing, acts of cruelty, of which this category of children is predilection guilty.
    • L'enfant turbulent, Henri Wallon, éd. PUF, 1984 (1ère édition: 1925). cité par Louis le Guilant in La relation de l’enfant et du milieu dans l’œuvre de Wallon
  • Venereal orgasm can help resolve anxious tone. Masturbation is a common reaction of melancholic people. Anxious waiting often results in erotic needs.
    • La vie mentale, Henri Wallon, éd. éditions sociales/Messidor, 1982, p. 211
  • As for the part of sexuality which can mix with anxiety, it is indeed an observable fact (...) I pointed out how frequent onanism is among children rejected by those around them and who usually live in the constraint and apprehension.
    • Henri Wallon cité par Émile Jalley (1981) in Wallon lecteur de Freud et Piaget (p.245). Terrains/Editions Sociale
    • Les origines du caractère chez l'enfant. Les Préludes du sentiment de personnalité., Henri Wallon, éd. P.U.F., 1934, p. 115-120
  • If God had intended us not to masturbate, he would've made our arms shorter.
    • George Carlin, quoted in Strean Jokes: Their Purpose and Meaning (1993), p. 72.
  • Because of its divine institution for the propagation of man, the seed is not to be vainly ejaculated, nor is it to be damaged, nor is it to be wasted. To have coitus other than to procreate children is to do injury to nature.
  • When scolded for masturbating in public, he said "I wish it were as easy to banish hunger by rubbing my belly."
    • Diogenes Laërtius, vi. 46, 69, quoting Diogenes of Sinope
    • Variant: If only it were as easy to banish hunger by rubbing the belly as it is to masturbate.
      • As quoted in Encarta Book of Quotations (2000) edited by Bill Swainson, p. 274
  • You're gonna be pleasing each other, and if he already knows what pleases him, and he's gonna please himself, then why am I in the picture?
  • To intervene in this personal, secret activity, which masturbation was, does not represent something neutral for the parents. It is not only a matter of power, or authority, or ethics; it's also a pleasure
    • Michel Foucault (1990). Politics, philosophy, culture: interviews and other writings, 1977-1984. Routledge. p. 9.
  • In this room, right now, each of you, in your own lives, has agonized over the fact that you have masturbated. Masturbation isn't sinful. If it feels good — do it. You have my blessing, and you yourself know how it relaxes you.
  • Masturbation is the thinking man's television.
  • But I wonder why he the heretic Jovinianus set Judah and Tamar before us for an example, unless perchance even harlots give him pleasure; or Onan, who was slain because he grudged his brother his seed. Does he imagine that we approve of any sexual intercourse except for the procreation of children?
    • Jerome, Against Jovinian, 1:19, (AD 393)
  • Among all types of sexual activity, masturbation is, however, the one in which the female most frequently reaches orgasm.
    • Alfred Kinsey, Sexual Behavior in the Human Female (1953), ch.5, p. 132.
Self improvement is masturbation. ~ Chuck Palahniuk
  • watch carefully over the young man; he can protect himself from all other foes, but it is for you to protect him against himself. Never leave him night or day, or at least share his room; never let him go to bed till he is sleepy, and let him rise as soon as he wakes. Distrust instinct as soon as you cease to rely altogether upon it. Instinct was good while he acted under its guidance only; now that he is in the midst of human institutions, instinct is not to be trusted; it must not be destroyed, it must be controlled, which is perhaps a more difficult matter. It would be a dangerous matter if instinct taught your pupil to abuse his senses; if once he acquires this dangerous habit he is ruined. From that time forward, body and soul will be enervated; he will carry to the grave the sad effects of this habit, the most fatal habit which a young man can acquire. If you cannot attain to the mastery of your passions, dear Emile, I pity you; but I shall not hesitate for a moment, I will not permit the purposes of nature to be evaded. If you must be a slave, I prefer to surrender you to a tyrant from whom I may deliver you; whatever happens, I can free you more easily from the slavery of women than from yourself.
  • I didn't get to masturbate this morning, and I've been dying to, so I've gotta go.
  • I have touched filth.
    Only with the finger tip I touched it,
    inquisitive of the taste of it.
    But it creeps.
    It has spread over my body a slime,
    and into my soul a stupor.
  • Masturbation: the primary sexual activity of mankind. In the nineteenth century it was a disease; in the twentieth, it's a cure.
    • Thomas Szasz, (1974) [1973]. "Sex". The Second Sin. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd. p. 10.
  • “Homer, in the second book of the Iliad says with fine enthusiasm, "Give me masturbation or give me death." Caesar, in his Commentaries, says, "To the lonely it is company; to the forsaken it is a friend; to the aged and to the impotent it is a benefactor. They that are penniless are yet rich, in that they still have this majestic diversion." In another place this experienced observer has said, "There are times when I prefer it to sodomy." Robinson Crusoe says, "I cannot describe what I owe to this gentle art." Queen Elizabeth said, "It is the bulwark of virginity." Cetewayo, the Zulu hero, remarked, "A jerk in the hand is worth two in the bush." The immortal Franklin has said, "Masturbation is the best policy." Michelangelo and all of the other old masters--"old masters," I will remark, is an abbreviation, a contraction--have used similar language. Michelangelo said to Pope Julius II, "Self-negation is noble, self-culture beneficent, self-possession is manly, but to the truly great and inspiring soul they are poor and tame compared with self-abuse." Mr. Brown, here, in one of his latest and most graceful poems, refers to it in an eloquent line which is destined to live to the end of time--"None knows it but to love it; none name it but to praise.”
  • This is a strange -- and rather alarming -- realisation. For it clearly implies that masturbation is one of our highest faculties that human beings have developed. Many animals masturbate -- but never without the presence of another animal, or some similar stimulus. A human being can masturbate in an empty room: a triumph of pure imagination.
  • Frighted she wakes, and waking frigs:
      Nature thus kindly eased
    In dreams raised by her grunting pigs
    And her own thumb betwixt her legs,
      She’s innocent and pleased.
    • Earl of Rochester, Poems on Several Occasions (1680)
      “grunting” or “murmuring”; “innocent and” or “innocently”

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