sexual stimulation of one's own genitals

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


  • Childhood masturbation was reported by Still in 1909. It is characterized by self-stimulation of the genitalia frequently associated with unusual posture and movement, sweating, flushing, tachypnea, and typically begins in infancy and early childhood. Masturbation is a normal behavior in adolescence, occurring in 90% to 94% of males and 50% to 60% of females at some point in their lives; maturation of sex hormones predisposes to the activity. Previous reports on infants and early childhood masturbation are sparse with no attempts to identify the role of sex hormones in such a situation, despite the evidence that sex hormones are known to predispose to adolescent masturbation behavior. In infants and young children, unusual postures and movements occur during masturbation and may be misdiagnosed as seizures, movement disorders, abdominal pain, colic, or other neurologic or medical problems. Extensive unwarranted investigations may be performed. To our knowledge, assessment of the levels of sex hormones as a possible predisposing factor has not been carried out before. The purpose of this study was to describe the clinical characteristics of masturbatory behaviors in children referred to three different child neurology clinics in Jordan, to assess their sex hormones levels, and to compare these with that of a control group.
  • Masturbation is considered to be a common normal behavior in adolescents. The physiological and hormonal changes that occur during such activity have been well-documented. However, in infants and young children, masturbation can be difficult to recognize due to the absence of genital manipulation, as well as the variable manifestations of this behavior. Childhood masturbation, if unrecognized, may lead to considerable parental anxiety, unnecessary investigations, and inappropriate and potentially harmful therapies. The paroxysmal tightening of the thighs, rocking pelvic movements or other rhythmic activities, mechanical pressure applied to the supra-pubic area, grunting, facial flushing, irregular breathing, and sweating during the event, may be misinterpreted as abdominal pain, urinary symptoms, or epileptic seizures. In our subjects, masturbation was previously misdiagnosed in many of the cases as a seizure disorder, dystonia, or abdominal pain, resulting in extensive diagnostic testing in the majority of our children, as well as initiation of many unnecessary medications. This demonstrates that even for an experienced movement disorder specialist, the distinction between paroxysmal movement disorders and masturbatory behavior can be difficult to make, if the fact that these infants and young children are responsive to all stimuli during masturbation is missed. In a previous study, 8 of 12 patients with similar characteristics had been treated with different antiepileptic medications.
  • To our knowledge, this is the first study to examine the role of sex hormones in masturbation behavior in children. The finding of a significantly lower level of estradiol in cases as compared to controls is interesting, but should be interpreted with caution. Further studies need to be conducted to conform our results.
  • In this thesis I argue that female masturbation is still in some ways seen as problematic even though it is no longer represented as a basis for shame and sin. Historians have shed light on the vicious campaign against masturbation in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, but little attention has been dedicated to the twentieth century, beyond overviews of how ideas changed so that masturbation was no longer, allegedly, condemned. Although I will begin with a consideration of attitudes towards female masturbation in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, my main focus will be on the twentieth century through an in-depth analysis of the works of the prominent sexologists and sex researchers: Havelock Ellis, Freud, Kinsey, Masters and Johnson and Shere Hite. I address specific problems in their arguments regarding female sexuality in general and female autoerotism in particular. I contend that these influential figures participated in the great confusion we have about female masturbation today. At first it was thought that excessive or prolonged masturbation led to psychological or sexual problems. When later sexologists tried to present masturbation in a better light, it continued to be, for them, an inferior form of sexual practice. Even when female autoerotism is advocated, it is justified by claiming that it leads to better "real sex". Finally, through a reading of recent popular culture, my study explores how sex researchers' attitudes towards masturbation influenced our own, resulting in a paradox: it is still a secretive practice and yet can be celebrated in women's magazines. In concentrating on the twentieth century I seek to substantiate my argument that the problems we have with masturbation did not stop at the end of the nineteenth century. My thesis is an attempt at presenting female masturbation as neither a disease nor a cure. It is a step towards a better comprehension of a wide-spread, mostly pleasurable, practice while avoiding both condemnation and overenthusiasm.
  • In 1994, the Surgeon General of the United States, Joycelyn Elders, expressed her view that masturbation "is something that is part of human sexuality and it's part of something that perhaps should be taught"(as cited in (Plante, 2014, p. 142). Because of this statement, she was fired by none other than Bill Clinton. Evidently the mere suggestion that the "vice" should be normalised is what constitutes crossing the line. Elder's forced resignation did not go unheeded by scholars. The incident was cited numerous times (Rutter and Schwartz, 2012, p. 55), (Ogden, 2008, p. 52) and (Irvine, 2004, p. 1) as an example of how orthodox views of sexuality still prevail. The incident, however, was not enough incentive for researchers to devote a complete study to masturbation. The number of researches on masturbation is far from proportional with the prevalence of the practice.
  • From first puberty to second puberty, no one can really say what the healthy child's sexual life would be - perhaps both masturbation and heterosexual play, including actual intercourse. Freud believed that the child went Into a period of sexual repression called the latency period where no sexual interest was shown. Growth and development use up a large part of the child's energy, so a sexual outlet may not be as important as it is in adolescence, but certainly it is not an asexual period. Those who maintain a sexual interest and activity remain healthier than those who do not. Malinowski found that, in the Trobriand Islands, children had sexual play and actual intercourse exclusively from 4-6 years and onward. This seems more natural than masturbation, because sexual pleasure is greater where another organism is involved for mutual excitation and sharing of the experience. Also, a moist surface, particularly electrolytic, like body fluids, makes for a higher degree of charge and excitation, as will the mouth and nipple in infancy and the penis and vagina in inter-course. Masturbation is more satisfying if the penis is lubricated with saliva (which is electrolytic).
    Puberty is particularly important because it, in fact, can give the individual a second chance to become healthy if the society is understanding and sympathetic. The endocrines mature then, as do the sexual organs, and sexual desire becomes overwhelmingly strong and urgent, more so than at any other period in the individual's life. If these drives are allowed suitable outlet, many early problems can be overcome. But, it is just at this period that society reacts most strongly against any out-let. The weaker ones are driven back into themselves, refraining from sexual outlet; even masturbation is filled with guilt and inhibited as much as possible. These end up severely crippled emotionally. The stronger ones find a sexual outlet but frequently as a symbol of rebellion and with strong feelings of guilt. Their sexual drive is expressed but under the most unfavorable circumstances: in cars, in buses, with insufficient knowledge of contraception, and always with the fear of being caught. If they are over 18 years of age, they are in a safer position legally and many now are beginning to live together at colleges and when they work away from home.
  • Whenever a behavior is common in the animal kingdom, biologists suspect it has an adaptive function. That is, the behavior enabled individual animals to survive better and leave more offspring than animals that did not engage in the behavior. As a result, genes for the behavior spread throughout that population until it became essentially ubiquitous. And so it is with autoeroticism, which is common—really common. As the Science in Seconds blog noted this week, what with "spanking the monkey," "charming the snake," and "freeing willy," a remarkable number of the slang terms for pleasuring oneself refer to animals. That reflects reality: the practice has been documented in Japanese macaques, gibbons, baboons, chimps, elephants, dogs, cats, horses, lions, donkeys, "and walruses that manage to flog the bishop with their fins."
  • Masturbation might remove old, worn-out, broken sperm from the reproductive tract. That would increase the fraction of healthy, speedy sperm, improving a male's chance of becoming a father. "In humans, masturbation increases sperm quality (by promoting younger sperm) without affecting sperm numbers in the female reproductive tract," notes biologist Jane Waterman of the University of Central Florida in a new paper in the journal PLoS One. As far back as 1993, biologists had observed that masturbating decreased the number of sperm a man delivered the next time he had sex with his partner, but not the number of sperm the woman retained. They concluded that "masturbation is a male strategy to increase sperm fitness."
  • Masturbation can serve a hygiene function. According to this idea, males engage in autoeroticism because it cleans the reproductive tract and reduces the chance of acquiring a sexually transmitted disease from a female that he mated with and who had other recent partners. Result: a lower incidence of STDs, better sexual hygiene, more mating, more babies.
    The STD function is what Waterman inferred about masturbation after she spent 2,000 (!) hours observing the Cape ground squirrel (Xerus inauris) of Namibia. As she explains in PLoS One, "an oral masturbation was recorded when a male sat with head lowered and an erect penis in his mouth, being stimulated with both mouth (fellatio) and forepaws (masturbation), while the lower torso moved forward and backwards in thrusting motions, finally culminating in an apparent ejaculation." The behavior was much more frequent on days when females were fertile, and mostly occurred after mating. That would seem odd, since it wastes huge numbers of sperm just when they have the best chance of finding a willing egg. Odd, too, is the observation that males masturbated more when their mate had had a lot of other suitors (female Cape ground squirrels mate with up to 10 males in their three-hour fertile period). But there is one explanation that makes sense of a behavior that occurs after mating, and more often when a male has mated with a particularly promiscuous female: masturbation is a way for males to reduce the chance of infection, since saliva has antibacterial properties. Since STDs can destroy fertility, sexual hygiene through masturbation is a way for male squirrels to keep making babies.
  • Thanks in part to movies featuring loser teens violating freshly baked pies, masturbation has a rep as a last resort for the desperate and dateless. Not true. It's practically a national pastime--and not just for guys. In a 1993 survey by psychologist Carol Rinkleib Ellison, Ph.D., the author of Women's Sexualities, 75 percent of the fairer sex said they had thrown a party for one in the past three months. And in a 2004 survey by the Berman Center in Chicago, 44 percent of female respondents said they used a vibrator to paddle their pink canoe. We may not talk about it much, but when it comes to shagging ourselves, we girls are anything but shy.
    And while you'd think singles would be the ones spending more time with their hands below their belts, studies show that people who are married or live with a partner play with themselves more often than those on the dating circuit. Frequent self-¬pleasuring has also been linked with high self-esteem, better body image, and a more active sex life. Which is why so many sex therapists encourage clients who are unhappy in the sack to start getting it on alone.
    "There's a strong correlation between willingness to explore your own body and bring yourself to orgasm and being willing to explore with your partner and have orgasms together," says Ian Kerner, Ph.D., a New York sex therapist and the author of Sex Detox. "Women who masturbate are usually more comfortable with their bodies and with sex in general."
    Any kind of autoerotic activity is better than none, but the payoff for adventurous masturbation is much bigger than a mindless nub rub. "Masturbation is the single best way to discover new and more profound turn-ons that you can later put into play with your partner," says Berman Center founder, sex therapist, and WH advisor Laura Berman, Ph.D.
  • "It's not that this kind of exploring isn't possible with a partner," Berman says. "But if you're trying to figure out the mechanics of what feels good during sex, it would require patience, muscle control, communication, and staying power on his end." When you have the bed to yourself, you can make endless tiny adjustments--move the vibrator slightly to the left, increase pressure, wiggle it back and forth--without having to direct him like a drill sergeant or worry about pulling his trigger prematurely.
    Being able to orgasm during intercourse is a feat in itself (only 30 percent of women are able to reach their peak through penetration alone), but if you're tired of being able to come only when you're on top, make a habit of masturbating while assuming a variety of positions--lying on your back or on your stomach, kneeling upright on the bed, bent over on hands and knees. "This a very helpful exercise," Fulbright says. "You're gathering information about the kind of stimulation you need in each position to achieve orgasm, whether you're stimulating your clitoris or your vagina, no matter if it's with a vibrator, your hands, or some other object, like a pillow." But don't give up just because something doesn't feel amazing right off the bat. "It may take time for your mind and body to respond to new positions and sensations," Fulbright says. "Be willing to go slowly and try something several times." One strategy that works well is to bring yourself to the brink of orgasm using a tried-and-true method, then stop just before you blow. "Quickly switch to a new position in which you've never had an orgasm, then start touching yourself again," suggests sex educator Dorian Solot, co-author of I Love Female Orgasm. "Because you're already fully aroused, finishing in a new way will be much easier."
  • No cause is more influential in producing Insanity, and, in a special manner, perpetuating the disease, than Masturbation. The records of the institutions give an appalling catalogue of cases attributed to this cause; and yet such records do not shown early all the cases which are justly ascribable to it. For it is so obscure, and so secret in its operation, that the friends in almost all cases are wholly ignorant of it. It is in a few cases only, where the practice of the vice becomes shamefully notorious, that friends are willing to allow its agency in the production of any disease, particularly insanity; and yet no cause operates more directly upon the mind and the feeling. The mental energies are prostrated by the habit in innumerable cases, long before the delusions of insanity appear. Indeed there are many cases, in which insanity does not intervene between the incipient stages of that mental and physical imbecility, which comes early upon the victim of masturbation, and the most deplorable and hopeless idiocy, in which it frequently results.
    This is perhaps peculiar to this cause of idiocy. I know of no other which does not produce the ravings and illusions of insanity, or the gloomy musings, agitations and alarms of melancholy, before the mind is lost in idiotism. But the victim of masturbation passes form one degree of imbecility to another, till all the powers of the system, mental, physical and moral, are blotted are forever!
    There are other circumstances attending the insanity from masturbation, which render this the most distressing form of mental disease. I allude to the difficulty of breaking up the habit while laboring under this malady. When insanity is once produced by it, it is nearly hopeless, because the cause of disease is redoubled and generally perpetrated. The libidinous desires are greatly increased, and the influence of self-restraint cannot be brought sufficiently into action to prevent the constant, daily, and I might say almost hourly recurrence of the practice. Thus the cause is perpetrated; and in spite of every effort, the disease increases, the powers of body and mind fail together, and are lost in the most deplorable, hopeless, disgusting fatuity. And yet the practice is not abandoned. All the remaining energies of animal life seem to be concentrated in these organs, and all the remaining power of gratification left is in the exercise of this no longer secret, but loathsome and beastly habit.
    Those cases of insanity arising from other known causes, in which masturbation is a symptom, are rendered more hopeless by this circumstance. It is a counteracting influence to all the means of cure employed, either moral or medicinal, and coinciding at it does with whatever other causes may have had an agency in producing disease, renders the case almost hopeless. Of the number of the insane that have come under the observation of the writer (and that number is not small), few, very few have recovered, who have been in the habit of this evil practice; and still fewer, I might say almost none, have recovered, in which insanity or idiocy has followed the train of symptoms enumerated in a former paper, indicating the presence of the habit, and its debilitating influence upon the minds and bodies of the young.
    Most of the cases of insanity from this cause commence early in life; even confirmed and hopeless idiocy has been the melancholy consequence, before the victim had reached his twentieth year.
  • On a former occasion I observed that the absolute abandonment of the practice, even in those whose minds were unaffected by insanity, was not always easily effected. If no “voluntary” practice is continued, the habit may be so far established, and the susceptibility to the complaint be so great, that slight irritation will produce it, and that often for a long time after the danger is fully appreciated, and the victory over the propensity achieved so far as cautiously avoiding known and intentional indulgence. Nocturnal pollution and involuntary emissions come from slight causes and trifling irritation, but perpetuate for a long time all the train of unhappy influences that have been heretofore detailed. The unfortunate subject of this detestable vice, whose mental energy is unimpaired, and whose moral feelings are susceptible of impression, can be persuaded to abandon it, if the danger is set before him in its true light; but hundreds can bear me testimony that the effects of it are long felt, and the involuntary excitement produced by dreams, lascivious companions, warm beds, and improper intercourse with corrupt society, has for a long time after had its influence in retarding complete recovery to health. With the instance we can have no such hopes, and no such prospects of cure. They will rarely form resolutions on the subject, and still more rarely adhere to them. Reason, the balance wheel of the mind, being denied them, they are obnoxious to the influence of all the propensities in a high degree.
    After the practice of masturbation, as a voluntary habit, is entirely suspended, long and persevering efforts will be required to remove the effects from the system, and restore it to vigor and soundness. The individual himself must exercise great self-denial, and resolve to persevere with the means and overcome all obstacles that may be in his way, however, formidable and difficult. The regimen to be adopted must be strictly adhered to on all occasions. As the inebriate would probably never conquer his appetite for alcoholic drink if he indulged once a month only-so in this habit, the occasional indulgence will thwart the whole plan of cure. The diet should be simple and nutritious; the exercise should be moderate and gentle; indulgence in bed should not be allowed, and the individual should always sleep alone. A matrass is better than a soft bed. He should rise immediately upon waking, and never retire till the disposition to sleep comes strongly upon him. The cold bath is a valuable remedy; a sea bath is better, and the shower bath often superior to either.
  • The evidence points to a strong negative correlation between frequency of ejaculation and prostate cancer. But that evidently does not imply that wives are obligated to have sex with their husbands 21 times per month, as Reverend George Lutterodt would like us to believe. Masturbation is a nearly foolproof way for a man to ejaculate. So, at best the science can be seen as an argument for frequent male masturbation, not an argument for giving men a reason to think that it is a woman's obligation to satisfy them sexually.
  • Much research into young people's developing sexuality is concerned with risk avoidance and the reduction of negative outcomes. Little research has been conducted into sexual self-exploration and, in particular, masturbation among young people, and this has generally been concerned merely with its prevalence. Little is known about the potential role of masturbation in relation to young people's developing sexuality, especially among young women. This study aimed to explore, using a qualitative approach, how young women reported their experiences of masturbation and whether and how these related to other aspects of their sexual activity. Thematic analysis of interview transcripts was employed to identify the range of reported experiences across participants, as well as the relations between various aspects of sexual development and experiences within participants. The findings revealed a broad continuum of views and opinions on female masturbation, which had strong links with parent and partner communication and the young women's beliefs and values concerning their sexual selves. The article concludes by drawing attention to the apparent relation between positive early childhood communication, young women's positive views of their sexual self, and their subsequent sexual activity.
  • Not surprisingly, types of sexual behaviors in school-aged children are different from those in younger children. For instance, school-age children are much less likely to touch their private parts in public or touch adult females’ breasts than preschool children (Friedrich, 1997). Also, masturbatory behaviors occur during the school-age period, and retrospective research from a sample of American college students indicated that 40% of women and 38% of men reported masturbating before puberty; mean age of initial masturbation was 8.3 for women and 10.1 for men (Bancroft et al., 2003). Boys typically exhibit a significant increase in masturbatory behaviors during the school-age period (Rutter, 1971), and the first ejaculation typically occurs between 11 and 15 years of age; most often during masturbation but occasionally through a nocturnal emission (i.e., “wet dream;” Kelly, 2008). A more recent study by Reynolds and colleagues (2003) suggested earlier average ages at first orgasm (girls = 8.5 years; boys = 9.6 years). Overall, masturbatory and orgasmic behaviors are difficult to assess, as most of the current research is based on retrospective studies (De Graaf & Rademakers, 2006).
    • Christopher Campbell, Jane F. Silovsky, Sexual Behavior of Prepubertal Children in Handbook of Child and Adolescent Sexuality, (2013)
  • "One of the things that happens when you are assaulted is you feel powerless, you've lost control," says Inez Carey, clinical manager at 1800RESPECT.
    "Masturbation is a way to reclaim your own sense of your body and own ability to bring pleasure to your body that is totally within your control."
  • 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.
  • The relation between masturbation and sexual desire has not been systematically studied. The present study assessed the association between masturbation and pornography use and the predictors and correlates of frequent masturbation (several times a week or more often) among coupled heterosexual men who reported decreased sexual desire. Analyses were carried out on a subset of 596 men with decreased sexual desire (mean age = 40.2 years) who were recruited as part of a large online study on male sexual health in 3 European countries. A majority of the participants (67%) reported masturbating at least once a week. Among men who masturbated frequently, 70% used pornography at least once a week. A multivariate assessment showed that sexual boredom, frequent pornography use, and low relationship intimacy significantly increased the odds of reporting frequent masturbation among coupled men with decreased sexual desire. These findings point to a pattern of pornography-related masturbation that can be dissociated from partnered sexual desire and can fulfill diverse purposes. Clinical implications include the importance of exploring specific patterns of masturbation and pornography use in the evaluation of coupled men with decreased sexual desire.
  • By masturbation is to be understood the deliberate stimulation of the genital organs in order to derive sexual pleasure. "Both the Magisterium of the Church, in the course of a constant tradition, and the moral sense of the faithful have been in no doubt and have firmly maintained that masturbation is an intrinsically and gravely disordered action."137 "The deliberate use of the sexual faculty, for whatever reason, outside of marriage is essentially contrary to its purpose." For here sexual pleasure is sought outside of "the sexual relationship which is demanded by the moral order and in which the total meaning of mutual self-giving and human procreation in the context of true love is achieved."138
    To form an equitable judgment about the subjects' moral responsibility and to guide pastoral action, one must take into account the affective immaturity, force of acquired habit, conditions of anxiety or other psychological or social factors that lessen, if not even reduce to a minimum, moral culpability.
  • 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.
  • Research on masturbation has indicated that, contrary to traditional beliefs, masturbation has been found to be a common sexual behavior and linked to indicators of sexual health. While there are no general indicators of ill health associated with masturbation, it can be powerfully negative or positive for many individuals. As an example, it is widely used in sex therapy as a means of improving the sexual health of the individual and/or relationship. Promoting masturbation as a means of a public health strategy for sexual health is highly controversial; however, there are arguments and evidence that suggest that this may be an important part of any public health approach to improving sexual health. There is a need for more research on the impact of masturbation on self-esteem, body image, sexual functioning and sexual satisfaction and methods for using masturbation to promote sexual health. There is also a need for more of a theoretical approach to the formation of hypotheses to be tested.
  • Masturbation, or touching one’s own genitals for pleasure, is something that babies do from the time they are in the womb. It’s a natural and normal part of healthy sexual development.
    According to a nationally representative US sample, 94% of men admit to masturbating, as do 85% of women. But societal perspectives of masturbation still vary greatly, and there’s even some stigma around engaging in the act.
    Related to this stigma are the many myths about masturbation, myths so ridiculous it’s a wonder anyone believes them.
    They include: masturbation causes blindness and insanity; masturbation can make sexual organs fall off; and masturbation causes infertility.
    In actual fact, masturbation has many health benefits.
  • For 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.
    Masturbation 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.
    For men, masturbation helps reduce risk of prostate cancer, probably by giving the prostate a chance to flush out potential cancer-causing agents.
    Masturbation also improves immune functioning by increasing cortisol levels, which can regulate immune functioning in small doses. It also reduces depression by increasing the amount of endorphins in the bloodstream.
    Masturbation can also indirectly prevent infertility by protecting people from sexually transmitted infections (STIs) that can lead to infertility – you can’t give yourself one of these infections!
    There is one final benefit to masturbation: it’s the most convenient method for maximising orgasms.
    And there are plenty of additional benefits from orgasms generally, including reduced stress, reduced blood pressure, increased self-esteem, and reduced pain.
  • Using data from the nationally representative National Health and Social Life Survey, this study queried the correlates of masturbation in the United States in 1992. Among those aged 18–60, 38% (CI, 35–41) of women and 61% (CI, 57–65) of men reported any masturbation over the preceding year. The system of factors underlying masturbation was similar for both genders, consistent with a convergence in gender patterns of sexual expression in the United States. Among both women and men, masturbation responded to a stable sexualized personality pattern, catalyzed by early-life factors and manifested in current sexual traits. Strikingly, the masturbation-partnered sex linkage, often conceptualized either as compensating for unsatisfying sex or complementing a satisfactory sex life, appeared to be bimodal for both genders. For some, masturbation complemented an active and pleasurable sex life, while among others, it compensated for a lack of partnered sex or satisfaction in sex.
  • 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
  • Little is known about the history of women’s solo sex, in particular, partly because the study of women’s history is itself a relatively recent development. Still, an exception is the historical period known as early modern England (between 1500 – 1800).
    Descriptions of women’s masturbation in this period, especially from 1600 – 1700, are seemingly everywhere: in poetry, literature, theatre, popular ballads, diaries, pornographic texts, midwifery guides and medical books.
  • English physician Nicholas Culpeper’s 1662 edition of his Directory for Midwives refers to young women’s masturbation. In a discussion on whether the hymen was the “sign of virginity”, he believed that the hymen:
    is not to be found in all Virgins, because some are very lustful, and when it itcheth, they put in their finger or some other thing, and break the membrane.
    Culpeper also noted that while some virgins might experience bleeding during the consummation of marriage, if they did not bleed, the women should “not be censured as unchaste” because:
    If the girl was wanton afore, and by long handling, hath dilated the part or broke it, there is no blood after copulation.
    Here, Culpeper is directly referring to the masturbatory practices of young women experiencing sexual desires or an “itch”, and their possible masturbation by penetrating themselves with their fingers or “other things”. Culpeper describes these women as “wanton” or “lustful”, which were terms often used to insult women who acted beyond the bounds of acceptable sexuality.
    Yet in this context, Culpeper does not appear to use them with the same intention. He encourages the reader not to “censure” or scold women who did not bleed as being unchaste, because of their prior masturbatory acts, suggesting an acceptance or knowledge that women masturbated.
  • Scottish physician James MacMath wrote in 1694 how:
    lascivious virgins, and widows, wholly intent to lustful cogitations [thoughts], and much in thinking of breasts, milks, and their sucking, wantonly rubbing, tickling, and their sucking thereof, may have got milk in them.
    MacMath’s description of how non-pregnant women may produce “milk” through breast-related masturbation again uses words typically aimed at scolding overly sexual women. Despite this, the passage is one of many throughout his book that refers to masturbation, suggesting that such practices were commonplace.
  • 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?
  • We reach the conclusion that in the case of moderate masturbation in healthy, well-born individuals, no seriously pernicious results necessarily follow.
    • H Havelock Ellis, Studies in the Psychology of Sex; (1897); Jean Stengers, Anne van Neck (2001). Masturbation: the history of a great terror. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-312-22443-1.
  • Masturbation that is not habitual, not prompted by impulsive and passionate desires, and is, all things considered, motivated only by need is not in any way harmful and, therefore, in no way wrong.
  • Masturbation in the 18th and especially in the 19th century was widely believed to produce a spectrum of serious signs and symptoms, and was held to be a dangerous disease entity. Explanation of this phenomenon entails a basic reexamination of the concept of disease. It presupposed that one think of disease neither as an objective entity in the world nor as a concept that admits of a single universal definition: there is not, nor need there be, one concept of disease. Rather, one chooses concepts for certain purposes, depending on values and hopes concerning the world. The disease of masturbation is an eloquent example of the value-laden nature of science in general and of medicine in particular. In explaining the world, one judged what is to be significant or insignificant. For example, mathematical formulae are chosen in terms of elegance and simplicity, though elegance and simplicity are not attributed to be found in the world as such. The problem is even more involved in the case of medicine which judged what the human organism should be (i.e., what counts as “health”) and is thus involved in the model of the disease of masturbation in the 19th century, particularly in America, and indicate the scope of this “disease entity” and the therapies it evoked. The goal will be to outline some of the interrelations between evaluation and explanation.
  • Masturbation is recognized in all countries as a common cause of insanity.
    • Jean Esquirol, “Des Maladies Mentales”, (1838)
  • The generation before mine was taught that masturbation was a serious sin that needed to be confessed. It was a violation of the sixth commandment, a grave act that could easy become habitual and therefore was to be avoided at all costs. There was even a story about how masturbation could make you blind.
    A generation later, many confessors and catechists told young people (and some still do) that masturbation is a natural phenomenon of adolescence: healthy, safe, therapeutic, and good for you. Such instruction was intended to liberate a generation from “senseless guilt” and to celebrate the gift of our sexuality. Rather than making us blind, the opposite would happen. We would be able to see… like God sees! Sound familiar?
    Masturbation has been and always will be understood by the Catholic tradition as an intrinsically and gravely disordered act. Granted, the Catechism takes into consideration affective immaturity, force of acquired habit, conditions of anxiety, and other social factors that can lessen, or even reduce to a minimum, moral culpability. But masturbation is always a gravely disordered act. It is a violation of the sixth commandment and needs to be confessed.
  • Masturbation is neither procreative nor unitive. It is an act that by its very nature is selfish, no matter what the circumstance. Rather than making one’s self a gift for the other, one treats the other as an object rather than as a person, and in turn uses the object rather than loving the person. Masturbation trains one to use another. If you don’t believe me, ask any porn addict. Or better yet, ask his wife. It’s impossible to see God while objectifying his people, even if only in the mind. The masturbation myth is only one example of many that points to a serious lack of imagination and creativity in educators’ dealings with Catholic matters. However, I think my speculation regarding masturbation does point to the wonderful irony that the traditional teaching on the subject brings one into a Technicolor Catholic world of profound beauty and freedom in a way that a more avant-garde approach promises but can never deliver.
  • The myth’s origins go back at least as far as Ancient Greece, with Aristotle himself remarking on how the region around the eyes was the region of the head “most fruitful of semen.” In R.B. Onians’ The Origins of European Thought: About the Body, the Mind, the Soul, the World, Time and Fate, the classicist explains that Aristotle’s bizarre (to us, at least) understanding of biology may have come from the Pythagoreans’ theory that “semen is a drop of the brain.” These beliefs were supported, in part, by “generally recognised effects upon the eyes of sexual indulgence and to practices which imply that seed comes from liquid in the region of the eyes,” Onians writes.
  • 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. ISBN 978-0-415-90149-9.
  • Dr Freedman hesitates to say women ever "get over" a sexual assault but believes disclosing what you've been through to a sexual partner is an important first step.
    "Women may not be able to discuss the details of the assault, but to at least say to a partner, 'This is something that happened to me' … to be able to say something like 'Sex isn't great right now, but I would like to make it better'," she says.
  • I wanted to put a reference to masturbation in one of the scripts for the Sandman. It was immediately cut by the editor [ Karen Berger ]. She told me, "There's no masturbation in the DC Universe." To which my reaction was, "Well, that explains a lot about the DC Universe.”
  • Patton writes that condemnation of masturbation goes way back in Jewish and Christian theology. Early Christians saw it as a threat to the survival of humanity. Medieval theologians argued that it was a mortal sin analogous to murder.
    Over time, medical professionals joined in the condemnation. Patton writes that Samuel Tissot, a Catholic neurologist and Vatican advisor, “caused a revolution in Euro-American medical opinion, when he published an edition of Onania beginning in 1758 linking masturbation to insanity.” Eighteenth-century doctors and medical researchers across Europe and the United States, as well as philosophers like Voltaire and Rousseau, attributed an enormous number of physical and mental diseases to masturbation.
  • Early in his career, Sigmund Freud agreed with this idea of “masturbatory neurosis.” He also argued, however, that sexual repression was itself a cause of neurosis. “He observed many patients—especially women—suffering impairment from obsessive guilt subsequent to the practice of masturbation,” Patton writes.
    Eventually, Freud came to the conclusion that a relaxation on the taboos around masturbation might prevent, rather than cause, neurosis. As psychology and psychiatry became culturally powerful forces over the first half of the twentieth century, this idea moved into the mainstream.
  • A watershed moment in American attitudes came with the publication of the Kinsey Reports in 1948 and 1953, and the intense public interest they generated. The reports claimed that 92 percent of men and 62 percent of women masturbated. The revelation about women’s sexuality was particularly powerful in a country that retained the Victorian image of women as sexless.
    By the 1970s and ‘80s, Patton writes, scientific researchers understood that masturbation was common among humans of all ages and genders as well as other mammals. They treated it as a “natural function much like eating, sleeping, and elimination.” However, writing in 1986, he complained of a stubborn “neo-puritanical attitude in society, fostering a climate of moral indifference; that is, masturbation won’t kill or harm you or cause depravity and diseases, but it’s ‘no damn good for you.’”
  • Their first tests were on how pain thresholds were altered by vaginal self-stimulation in women. “I wanted to know whether it would work and if so, which nerves were involved,” he explains. They used a machine that measured pain thresholds by gradually compressing the fingers, while asking women to masturbate manually. Whipple was in the room with the women, Komisaruk was in a separate room evaluating the data collection on a computer. They found that vaginal self-stimulation more than doubled the women’s pain thresholds.
    In a subsequent study, they measured pain thresholds during childbirth. They found a significant reduction in pain sensitivity as the baby started to emerge through the birth canal, a correlation with G-spot stimulus. They speculate that without the pain-reducing effect of vaginal stimulation, childbirth might be even more painful, and that the pain-reducing effect could lessen the stress of childbirth and thereby promote bonding between mother and newborn.
  • [T]hrough testing women with spinal cord injuries, much like Komisaruk's tests with rats (only now with consent, ethics, doctors, and nurses), Komisaruk and Whipple found that earlier medical understanding stating that women with spinal cord injuries would be unable to feel sexual pleasure from vaginal stimulation was incorrect. In testing for pain and for pleasure after paralysis, Komisaruk and Whipple began to map the body from genital to brain.
    While doctors had told many of the women with spinal cord injuries that they would be unable to feel anything ever again from the waist down, Komisaruk and Whipple revealed that, in fact, the vagina and cervix retained sensation in all levels of spinal cord injury. This followed an early anecdotal paper by Whipple on women with spinal cord injury who claimed they could feel pleasure below the belt, which was both confirmed and validated by discovery of the neurological basis for their ability.
  • The idea is simple: Just as meditation can teach you to be more present and calm in your daily life, it can also teach you to be more present when you’re getting it on. “Mindfulness meditation techniques help couples become more aware and more attentive to emotional signals,” says Clarissa Silva, a behavioral scientist and relationship coach in New York City. It taps into the idea of “slow sex,” which supposedly leads to prolonged orgasms by focusing on more conscious touch and breathing in the bedroom.
  • Sexual arousal and orgasm induce an increase in sympathetic activity as well as in catecholamine and prolactin plasma concentrations. However, the effects of sexual arousal and orgasm on immune functions in man are unknown. Thus, this study investigated the effects of masturbation-induced orgasm on lymphocyte circulation and cytokine production in healthy young males.
  • 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 a sexual manifestation extremely common in the male sex and almost universal in the male adolescent, at least in modern western societies. Its construction as a disease entity and the rise of the concept of masturbatory insanity in the wake of the publication of Onania and of Tissot’s work in the eighteenth century has already been described. Such attitudes to the practice were not monolithic, however, even though self-abuse was constructed as physically and mentally deleterious as well as sinful, not only by the medical profession but by groups with interests ranging from the religious to the commercial. The varying attitudes to this common sexual manifestation during a particular historical period in a particular society are worth consideration, especially in the context of what men themselves felt about a practice universally stigmatized but nevertheless indulged by them.
  • The majority of patients with migraine or cluster headache do not have sexual activity during headache attacks. Our data suggest, however, that sexual activity can lead to partial or complete relief of headache in some migraine and a few cluster headache patients.
  • Masturbation is the thinking man's television.
  • It is true that normalizing self-pleasure is difficult for both women and men, although masturbation is natural and healthy. According to a recent report titled, “Depiction of Masturbation in North American Movies,” masturbation is the most common sexual activity among humans.
    “The large majority of adults (aged 20–59) in the US report having masturbated at some point in their lives, with approximately 65 percent of men and 40 percent of women reporting masturbating in the past month,” the report found. “In a study of online sexual behaviour among university students, 77 percent of men and 22 percent of women reported that they had masturbated while online in the last year.”
    The authors found that, though masturbation is connected with sexual health, “many individuals continue to feel guilty about masturbating and many hold negative or ambivalent attitudes toward masturbation.”
  • A hundred years ago it was generally believed by the medical profession, and particularly by alienists, that masturbation was an important and frequent cause of mental disorder. Today no one believes this; and the masturbatory hypothesis (as we may call it) has in all probability been finally abandoned. If we enquire into the history of this change we find, somewhat surprisingly, that medical references to the harmfulness of masturbation are vanishingly rare before the 18th century. For practical purposes, the whole history of the masturbatory hypothesis is contained within the last 250 years. This history is not one in which the present-day psychiatrist is apt to feel much pride. Yet it is worth studying, not only for its own sake (and the history of psychiatric ideas is a much neglected subject), but also for the light it throws on the peculiar difficulty of refuting causal hypotheses in psychiatry. The aim of the present essay is, first, to give a short history of the idea that masturbation is an important cause of mental disorder and, second, to examine some of the reasons for the rise and fall of this idea and why it persisted for so long (1).
  • Masturbation was common throughout the lifespan and more common than partnered sexual activities during adolescence and older age (70+). Although uncommon among 14- to 15-year olds, in the past year 18.3% of 16- to 17-year-old males and 22.4% of 16- to 17-year-old females performed oral sex with an other-sex partner. Also in the past year, more than half of women and men ages 18 to 49 engaged in oral sex. The proportion of adults who reported vaginal sex in the past year was highest among men ages 25-39 and for women ages 20-29, then progressively declined among older age groups. More than 20% of men ages 25-49 and women ages 20-39 reported anal sex in the past year. Same-sex sexual behaviors occurring in the past year were uncommonly reported.
  • The paper emphasizes that ideas about masturbation are crucial to understanding any societal attitudes toward sex. It examines attitudes to masturbation in ancient Egypt, Tigris Euphrates Valley, India, and China. It looks at Biblical views and their misinterpretations and at the Greek and Roman descriptions of masturbatory practices. Key to the development of western attitudes was the Augustinian version of sex which was influenced by Augustine's personal background in Manichaeanism, a religion which was based on ancient Persian beliefs. The Augustinian view of all non-procreative sex as a sin was carried over into medicine in the eighteenth century which changed sins into pathologies. The only advantage this had over the sin model (which still remained for large segments of the population) was that it allowed research to challenge past assumptions and as medical ideas changed so did those about sex. It was not until the beginning of the twentieth century with new scientific discoveries about sexually transmitted diseases that masturbation could be studied more objectively. Attitudes were slow to change but as they did so attitudes towards human sexuality also changed. The two changes, it is held, are closely tied together and this is why an understanding of attitudes toward masturbation is a key to understanding changing development in attitudes toward human sexuality.
  • The paper emphasizes that ideas about masturbation are crucial to understanding any societal attitudes toward sex. It examines attitudes to masturbation in ancient Egypt, Tigris Euphrates Valley, India, and China. It looks at Biblical views and their misinterpretations and at the Greek and Roman descriptions of masturbatory practices. Key to the development of western attitudes was the Augustinian version of sex which was influenced by Augustine's personal background in Manichaeanism, a religion which was based on ancient Persian beliefs. The Augustinian view of all non-procreative sex as a sin was carried over into medicine in the eighteenth century which changed sins into pathologies. The only advantage this had over the sin model (which still remained for large segments of the population) was that it allowed research to challenge past assumptions and as medical ideas changed so did those about sex. It was not until the beginning of the twentieth century with new scientific discoveries about sexually transmitted diseases that masturbation could be studied more objectively. Attitudes were slow to change but as they did so attitudes towards human sexuality also changed. The two changes, it is held, are closely tied together and this is why an understanding of attitudes toward masturbation is a key to understanding changing development in attitudes toward human sexuality.
  • To examine the role of female masturbation in marital and sexual satisfaction, a nonclinical population of married women (aged 18–30 years) was divided into 2 demographically matched groups: women who have reportedly experienced a masturbatory orgasm and women who have reportedly never experienced an orgasm through self-stimulation, each group representing 41 women. Seven comparative assessments were made between the 2 groups: frequency of sexual activity, number of orgasms, subjective sexual desire, self-esteem, marital satisfaction, sexual satisfaction, and subjective sexual arousal. Significant differences between the two groups appeared on 6 of the 7 measurements, indicating that masturbators had significantly more orgasms, greater sexual desire, higher self-esteem, and greater marital and sexual satisfaction, and required less time to sexual arousal.
  • THE BASIC outline of the story of masturbation is well known. For most of recorded history nobody seems to have been much concerned by masturbation. Then around 1710 the quasi-medical text “Onania; or, The Heinous Sin of Self-Pollution” was published in London; we can infer its considerable influence from the fact that it was into its 20th edition by 1760 and was still being cited authoritatively at the end of the nineteenth century. This founding text was joined in 1758 by Tissot’s “Onanism; or a Treatise upon the Disorder Produced by Masturbation”, translated into English by 1766 and circulating in many editions for more than a century.
  • There is perhaps no sin productive of so many hideous consequences.
    • Robert James, “A Medicinal Dictionary”, (1743-45); as quoted in Stengers, Jean; van Neck, Anne. Masturbation: the history of a great terror. New York: Palgrave, 2001. pp. 56–57.
  • Today we find it exceptionally puzzling how men who had been to public schools where masturbation was commonplace could have subsequently held forth so confidently about the awful dangers of a process which had clearly left the majority of their schoolfellows unscathed. Simple hypocrisy is not an adequate explanation. Baden-Powell called masturbation ‘the most dangerous of all vices’, and told Scoutmasters that if they remained silent out of prudishness, it ‘would be little short of a crime’. He genuinely believed in the arguments put forward by the school o medical opinion which held that ‘the semen not used for propagating the species is naturally absorbed and transmuted and becomes the parent of many qualities that make a man’. This meant that a boy ‘practising self-abuse is absolutely giving away his future manhood’. This is how Dr. Schofield, sexual adviser to the Movement, explained matters to those attending the Scoutmasters’ Conference in Manchester in 1911. Baden-Powell fully endorsed his final infelicitously worded peroration, in which he urged Scoutmasters ‘to push prudery to one side, and to take their boys in hand…’
    Such statements said more about those voicing them than the boys who were their targets. Only intense fear of sex, and of women, could have led to this concerted attempt to suppress every manifestation of sexual desire. The fervor of Baden-Powell’s lifelong campaign did not weaken even when, in 1930, Dr. F. W. W. Griffin, then editor of “The Scouter”, wrote in a book for Rover Scouts of the temptation to masturbate as ‘a quite natural stage in development’ and suggested that boys should read H. Havelock Ellis’s “Little Essays of Love and Virtue”. Ellis’s final conclusion was that ‘the effort to achieve complete abstinence was a very serious error’.
  • 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)
  • However, it is not so easy to produce a rational demonstration of the inadmissibility of that unnatural use, and even of the mere unpurposive use, of one’s sexual attributes as being a violation of one’s duty to himself (and indeed in the highest degree where the unnatural use is concerned). The ground of proof surely lies in the fact that a man gives up his personality ... when he uses himself merely as a means for the gratification of an animal drive. But this does not make evident the high degree of violation of the humanity in one’s own person by the unnaturalness of such a vice, which seems in its very form (disposition) to transcend even the vice of self-murder. The obstinate throwing away of one’s life as a burden is at least not a weak surrender to animal pleasure, but requires courage; and where there is courage, there is always respect for the humanity is one’s own person. On the other hand, when one abandons himself entirely to an animal inclination, he makes himself an object of unnatural gratification, i.e., a loathsome thing, and thus deprives himself of all self-respect.
  • From solo activities to group events to homemade dildos, masturbation has been ever-evolving. As per usual, the ancient Greeks were among the most progressive, believing that masturbation was natural and a necessary sexual release. In Greek art, females were even depicted taking care of business. Here's a brief history of (female) masturbation.
    At over 30,000 years old, a dildo found in Germany might be one of the oldest sexual toys ever found. Sure, the Greeks and the French are known for being freaky, but the Germans? Who knew!
    Cleopatra may have had many suitors, but that didn't stop her from wanting a little solo action. Legend has it that she filled up a gourd with bees and let them do their thing. She supposedly died from a bite from an asp, and snakes were considered makeshift vibrators as well, so maybe she had a whole zoo of vibrators. Good thing PETA wasn't around in ancient Egypt.
    In ancient Greece, people believed that both men and women had to ejaculate so that a child could be born. So women were encouraged to finger themselves to keep the race going. They may have been wrong about this basic little scientific fact, but hey at least they were open-minded!
    Ancient pagan groups in the middle east believed masturbation was a symbol of abundance. So in order to ensure a good harvest, people would masturbate together to get the fertility gods on their side. Because nothing ensures a plentiful harvest like getting off. The goal was to climax all at once, like an orgasmic symphony of sorts.
  • Masturbation, although it is found in practically all male histories, is very much restricted by the conventions of a particular social groups. In all groups, however, it is much more frequent in single histories. It provides about three-quarters (71%) of the sexual outlet for about 85 per cent of the single males below 15 years of age (Table 61, Figures 53-58). The figure is lower for lower educational levels (52.3% for boys who never go beyond eighth grade) and higher (79.6%) for boys who will ultimately go on to college (Chapter 10). Between 16 and 20, the incidence begins to go down for all levels, although up until marriage masturbation remains the chief source of sexual outlet for unmarried males who belong to that portion of the population that goes to college. The unmarried males who are actually in college draw nearly two-thirds of their total sexual outlet from masturbation, while pre-marital intercourse accounts for little more than a tenth of the outlet of the group (Table 64). On the other hand, for boys who never get beyond the eighth grade in school, masturbation provides little more than a quarter (29.2%) of the sexual outlet in their late teens. As soon as marriage occurs, the incidence and frequency of masturbation drop considerably in all social levels. Among college-bred males over two-thirds (69%) of the married men have some self masturbation in their histories. The frequencies in married histories are, however, definitely low, and there are few individuals who have rates that exceed once or twice per week. At lower educational levels only about a third of the married males (29% to 42% in various groups) ever masturbate, and the frequencies are much lower than in upper levels, averaging not a quarter as high as in the corresponding group of single males.
  • 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.
  • And if the flow of seed go out from a man, then he shall bathe all his flesh in water, and be unclean until the even. And every garment, and every skin, whereon is the flow of seed, shall be washed with water, and be unclean until the even.
    • Leviticus, 15:17-18, (NIV)
  • Sexual fantasies are often a context for the sexual behavior of masturbation—tactile (physical) stimulation of the body for sexual pleasure. Historically, masturbation has earned a bad reputation; it’s been described as “self-abuse,” and falsely associated with causing adverse side effects, such as hairy palms, acne, blindness, insanity, and even death (Kellogg, 1888). However, empirical evidence links masturbation to increased levels of sexual and marital satisfaction, and physical and psychological health (Hurlburt & Whitaker, 1991;Levin, 2007). There is even evidence that masturbation significantly decreases the risk of developing prostate cancer among males over the age of 50 (Dimitropoulou et al., 2009). Masturbation is common among males and females in the U.S. Robbins et al. (2011) found that 74% of males and 48% of females reported masturbating. However, frequency of masturbation is affected by culture. An Australian study found that only 58% of males and 42% of females reported masturbating (Smith, Rosenthal, & Reichler, 1996). Further, rates of reported masturbation by males and females in India are even lower, at 46% and 13%, respectively (Ramadugu et al., 2011).
    • Lucas, D. & Fox, J. (2018). "The psychology of human sexuality". In R. Biswas-Diener & E. Diener (Eds), Noba textbook series: Psychology. Champaign, IL: DEF publishers, pp.11-12
  • A fatal drain upon the vitality of the higher nervous centres may in certain cases e produced by the excessive exercise of a physical function-by an excessive sexual indulgence, or by continued self-abuse. Nothing is more certain than that either of these causes will produce an enervation of nerve element which, if the exhausting vice be continued, passes by a further declension into degeneration and actual destruction thereof. The flying pains and heaviness in the limbs, and the startings of the muscles, which follow an occasional sexual excess, are signs of instability of nerve element in the spinal centres, which, if the cause is in frequent operation, may end in inflammation and softening of the cord, and consequent paralysis. Nor do the supreme centres always escape : the habit of self-abuse notably gives rise to a particular and disagreeable form of insanity, characterized by intense self-feeling and conceit, extreme perversion of feeling, and corresponding derangement of thought, in the earlier stages ; and, later, by failure of intelligence, nocturnal hallucinations, and suicidal or homicidal propensities. The mental symptoms of general paralysis-a disease notably produced sometimes by sexual excess-betray a degenerate condition of nerve element in the higher centres, which is the counterpart of that which in the lower centres is the cause of the loss of co-ordination of movement and of more or less spasm or paralysis. The great emotional excitability, the irritable feebleness, of the general paralytic, no less than the extravagance of his ideas, marks a degeneration of the ideational cells of the supreme centres ; there is accordingly an inability to co-ordinate and perform his ideas successfully, just as there is an inability to perform movements successfully, because the spinal centres are similarly affected. It is not usual, however, for sexual excesses to produce insanity unless it be general paralysis ; they rather tend to produce epilepsy or some kind of paralysis. Self-abuse is a cause of insanity which would appear to be more frequent and effective in men than in women. Apart from all question whether the vice be so common among women, they bear self-abuse, as they do sexual excess, better than men. On the other hand privation of sexual function is more injurious to women than on men.
  • We have recently encountered a rare manifestation of fetal behavior in utero. The fetus at 28 weeks' gestation was observed grasping his penis in a fashion resembling masturbation movements (Figs. 1 and 2). These movements were repetitive during an examination period lasting 15 min. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of fetal "masturbation" in utero.
  • “During the second and third trimester, women experience an increase in blood flow to the genitalia, and for many women, this presents a more arousing sexual experience and more intense orgasms,” says Leah Millheiser, M.D., director of the Female Sexual Medicine Program at Stanford University Medical Center. “As a result, women may enjoy sex a bit more."
    Sex with my husband was certainly leading to more intense orgasms, but I still found myself reaching for solo sessions more often than not. "As long as there are no medical issues that prevent a pregnant woman from having sex, she can have as much sex as she is comfortable with," says Millheiser.
  • Considering the various benefits of female masturbation, it should come as no surprise that pregnant women—especially those who see an increase in libido—continue to masturbate. Typically, some of those benefits include “relaxation, anxiety and stress reduction, and intimacy with a partner, such as during mutual masturbation,” says Millheiser.
  • In most cases, masturbating during pregnancy is perfectly safe. “In general, a woman cannot hurt the baby during masturbation,” Millheiser says. “However, placing sex toys inside of the vagina during masturbation should be avoided if conditions such as preterm cervical dilation, preterm premature rupture of membranes, vaginal bleeding, abnormal positioning of the placenta, or preterm contractions and labor are present.”
  • Education level. Most consistent was participants’ education level, which was significantly related to three of five outcomes during masturbation, and four of five outcomes during partnered sex. Specifically, during masturbation, lower education levels were associated with greater arousal difficulty, greater orgasmic difficulty, and longer latencies to orgasm. During partnered sex, lower education levels were associated with greater orgasmic difficulty, longer latencies to orgasm, lower orgasmic pleasure, and lower percent of times reaching orgasm. Education level was, however, not related to either sexual or overall relationship satisfaction.
    Sexual relationship satisfaction predicted arousal difficulty and orgasmic difficulty during masturbation, and strongly affected all sexual response parameters during partnered sex. Specifically, greater sexual relationship satisfaction was associated with lower arousal and orgasmic difficulties during masturbation, and lower arousal and orgasmic difficulties, shorter latencies to orgasm, greater orgasmic pleasure, and greater percent of time reaching orgasm during partnered sex.
    Self-reported anxiety and depression was related to greater orgasmic difficulties and percent of times reaching orgasm during masturbation, and greater arousal difficulty during partnered sex. Anxiety and depression were both associated with lower sexual and overall relationship satisfaction.
    Number of sexual partners was related only to shorter orgasmic latency during masturbation, and was related to three of five sexual outcome measures during partnered sex. Specifically, having more sexual partners was associated with greater arousal difficulty, greater orgasmic difficulty, and lower orgasmic pleasure.
  • Education also emerged as a consistent predictor in our regression models, as higher levels of educational attainment were associated with less arousal difficulty during masturbation; greater orgasmic pleasure and a higher likelihood of orgasm during partnered sex; and less difficulty reaching orgasm and shorter latencies to orgasm across both masturbation and partnered sex. These findings are consonant with prior reports where educational attainment was associated with greater orgasmic functioning and a lower likelihood of experiencing sexual problems, even when controlling for other demographic variables such as underlying medical issues. One common interpretation of this relationship is that more educated (and thus literate in many cultures) women are more aware of their sexuality, sexual issues, and sexual choices, and thus able to better articulate their sexual desires to their partner and to prioritize their own pleasure as an integral component of meaningful sexual relationships. Yet, while such relationships within emerging nations may not be surprising, the fact that similar relationships are found in highly literate societies as well is notable.
  • More than sixty-five years ago, the English sexologist, Havelock Ellis, wrote that “the study of auto-eroticism is far from being an unimportant or merely curious study.” Among other things, the importance of such a study lies in the fact that for two centuries before 1914 many of the best-informed and respected medical authorities (and, unfortunately, their patients) labored under the belief that masturbation, particularly among children and adolescents, caused myriad ills ranging from acne to homicidal insanity. In their efforts to prevent or to “cure” what they called self-abuse and self-pollution, doctors and parents used a variety of chemical therapies, “corrective surgery,” and mechanical devices that alternatively astound and amuse the modern reader. How could parents and doctors dedicated to the healthy upbringing of children be so mistaken in their understanding of masturbation and so brutal in stamping it out? A number of medical historians have tried to account for attitudes toward masturbation in the past, but social historians, even those interested in the history of sexuality and the family, are only beginning to approach masturbation as an historical problem.
    In the following pages I will argue that the intense anxiety among doctors and parents about “the rise and fall of self-abuse” was in part a confused response to the earlier onset of puberty in Western Europe, and also the product of certain middle-class sexual concepts which mirrored and reinforced other economic values and social attitudes. I will show that attitudes toward masturbation reflected and influenced the evolution of the modern concept of childhood, adolescence, and adolescent insanity. The central focus is o various segments in the European and American middle classes, for I believe that anxiety about masturbation as an illness was especially intense among certain segments of this group in the century before the First World War. My discussion is limited primarily to men: first, because the literature on masturbation is heavily weighted toward male sexuality; second, because the same strictures applies to female and male masturbators, although the reasons for condemning the practice varied according to sex; and, third, because Graham Barker-Benfield has already examined nineteenth-century American attitudes toward female masturbation in his larger study of “the exploitation of women by men.”
    Although some classical medical authorities in antiquity ascribed various illnesses to masturbation, in Europe prior to 1700 the practice was condemned more often for religious than medical reasons. Both Judaic and Christian tradition regarded masturbation as evil because it denied
  • As the news gets darker and the world tries to avoid cabin fever as we stay indoors, stress is a major concern. Masturbation is an excellent balm, according to Dr. Jordin Wiggins, sex expert and owner of Health Over All, a naturopathic and wellness clinic for women.
    Pleasuring yourself releases mood-enhancing neurochemicals like oxytocin, dopamine, and endorphins that can help you relax your muscles and ease your worried mind, even during high-stress times like these.
    “During a time when everything is chaotic and the public is facing a high level of anxiety, masturbation is a private and safe technique to relieve that stress,” Dr. Wiggins tells Teen Vogue.
  • Dr. Wiggins also cited improved immune function as an essential benefit of masturbating. While it’s a debated topic among doctors, some studies have shown that orgasm can give your immunoglobulin levels a boost, thus strengthening your immune system and fending off illness — love to feel responsible and sexy at the same time!
  • If you experience chronic pain or have a condition that is flared up by stress or change, the pandemic may be even more of a nightmare. Dr. Wiggins strongly recommends masturbation as a form of self-treatment.
    “Orgasm can be a natural pain reliever,” Dr. Wiggins explained, highlighting that it can also relieve headaches and menstrual cramps
  • Results: Pleasurableness ratings were higher on the glans clitoris than the vulvar vestibule, and at most testing times on the vulvar vestibule than the volar forearm; and at baseline and immediately after masturbation than 15 minutes later, mainly on the genital locations only. Pain thresholds were lower on the genital locations than the volar forearm, and immediately and 15 minutes after masturbation than at baseline. After orgasm, genital pleasurableness ratings and vulvar vestibular pain thresholds were lower than after masturbation almost to orgasm. Post-masturbation pleasurableness ratings were positively correlated with pain thresholds but only on the glans clitoris. Hormonal contraception users had lower pleasurableness ratings and pain thresholds on all locations than nonusers. There were no significant effects for touch thresholds.
    Conclusions: Masturbation appears to maintain pleasurable genital sensitivity but increase pain sensitivity, with lower genital pleasurable sensitivity and higher vulvar vestibular pain sensitivity when orgasm occurs. Findings suggest that enhancing stimulation pleasurableness, psychological sexual arousal and lubrication mitigate normative increases in pain sensitivity during sexual activity, and underscore the importance of measuring both pleasure and pain in sensation research.
  • The “secret sin” of Judeo-Christianity and the “social disease” of nineteenth-century medicine has paradoxically become the therapy for various forms of psychosexual dysfunction. Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish denominations polarize opinions from rigorous orthodoxy to unconditional acceptance of this psychosexual behavior as a source of emotional homeostasis.
    Certain forms of sex were condemned because they were believed to threaten the possibility of conception: masturbation, homosexuality, bestiality, oral and anal sex. Masturbation has been the one form of sexual behavior most harshly treated through the centuries by society, religion, and medicine.
    Early churchmen regarded masturbation as a threat to the survival of the human race and related it to the sin of Onan in Genesis 38:7-10. Medieval theologians treated masturbation as an unnatural form of sexual behavior, describing it as “secret, “double,” mortal” sin, diabolical, and analogous to murder, thus meriting eternal damnation. The Catholic Church condemned masturbation during the Medieval and Renaissance eras, while Judaism and Protestantism followed the same pattern.
    Samuel Tissot, a Swiss Catholic neurologist and advisor to the Vatican, caused a revolution in in Euro-american medical opinion, when he published an edition of “Onania” beginning in 1758 linking masturbation to insanity. Tissot’s work reinforced the Judeo-Christian belief that masturbation was sin, and it continued the traditional hostility toward sex with scientific basis.
  • Health, intellect, morals — all purity, dignity, and self-respect — sink beneath it in promiscuous and hopeless ruin. When carried to excess it produces idiotism in the most deplorable and disgusting form, accompanied by impaired vision and hearing, paralysis, and other distressing infirmities, and terminates in death.
    • Phrenological Journal and Life Illustrated, 1870, p. 114.
  • It’s totally normal to masturbate (touch yourself for sexual pleasure) whether you’re sexually active with other people or not. Masturbation even has health benefits, like reducing stress.
  • Lots of people masturbate! Even if they don't talk about it, it’s common for people of any gender or age to do it. Even before puberty, children sometimes discover that touching their genitals feels good. If you have kids and notice them touching their genitals, let them know that masturbating is completely normal, but something they should do in private.
  • Masturbating when you’re in a relationship doesn’t mean your partner isn’t satisfying you. It’s a great way to figure out what you like and what makes you have an orgasm. Then you can show or tell your partner what feels good. Talking about sex with your partner can make it more fun and can even make your relationship stronger. Some people masturbate at the same time as their partner. It’s a way to be sexual together without having any risk of STDs or pregnancy.
  • Plenty of research has shown the health benefits of masturbation. Masturbation can:
    * release sexual tension
    * reduce stress
    * help you sleep better
    * improve your self-esteem and body image
    * help treat sexual problems
    * relieve menstrual cramps and muscle tension
    * strengthen muscle tone in your pelvic and anal areas
    Masturbation also helps you figure out what you like sexually. Where do you want to be touched? How much pressure feels good? How fast or slow? Learning how to have orgasms on your own can make it easier to have one with a partner, because you can tell or show them what feels good. And when you’re comfortable with sex, your body, and talking to your partner, you’re more likely to feel comfortable protecting yourself against STDs and unintended pregnancy.
  • Augustine of Hippo (350–430 C.E.), an influential bishop of the early Christian church, taught that masturbation and other alternatives to penile-vaginal intercourse —outercourse —were worse sins than fornication, rape, incest, and adultery. He argued that masturbation and other non reproductive sexual activities were “unnatural” sins because they were contraceptive. Since fornication, rape, incest, and adultery could lead to pregnancy, they were “natural” sins and much less serious than “unnatural” sins (Ranke-Heinemann, 1990).
  • In fact masturbating has been an almost universal practice since history has been recorded. Probably 90 percent of men have masturbated at some time (and many would say the other 10 percent are lying); and it is also very common among women, especially since women’s liberation began to enable women to know and appreciate their bodies.
    With so many people doing it, medical science would certainly have had a lot of opportunity to determine if the practice causes any medical problems, and in fact, no blindness, misshapen penises, infertility, mental illness or other problems large or small have ever been attributed to masturbation. Many researchers, including Kinsey, reported on people who masturbated 4 times a day or so for years, and suffered from no diseases as a result. Many married men and women masturbate, not because they don’t have satisfactory sex with their partners, but because they occasionally like the alternative of giving themselves pleasure. And that’s the whole point — masturbating is one of the few pleasurable things in life that we can do almost anytime and anywhere, as often as we want, without gaining weight, getting lung cancer, being arrested or causing ourselves to become ill. There is no down side, if one can avoid that guilt so many people have.
  • If you are someone who masturbates, finds it pleasurable and wants to continue, pay no attention to TV show jokes about it causing blindness, or rumors of other terrible things that it can bring on. If you are a parent worrying about whether your child masturbates, start worrying if he or she doesn’t. It is common and normal for children to find pleasure in fondling themselves, and this will naturally evolve into masturbating when they are mature enough. All of our body parts perform better if used or exercised, and our sexual functions are no different.
  • The result of self-abuse is always-mind you, always-that the boy after a time becomes weak and nervous and shy, he gets headaches and probably palpitations of the heart, and if he carries it on too far he very often goes out of his mind and becomes an idiot. A very large number of the lunatics in our asylums have made themselves mad by indulging in this vice although at one time they were sensible cheery boys like any of you.’ Furthermore, if a boy ‘misused his parts’ he would ‘not be able to use them when a man; they will not work for then. Remember too that several awful diseases come from indulgence-one especially that rots away the insides of men’s mouths, their noses, and eyes, etc. . . The next time you feel the desire coming on, don’t give way to it If you have the chance, just wash your parts in cold water and cool them down Wet dreams come from it especially after eating rich food or too much meat, or from sleeping with too warm a blanket over your body or in too soft a bed, or from sleeping on your back. Therefore avoid all these. Avoid listening to stories or reading or thinking about dirty subjects . . . Be strong and don’t give way to it.”
  • Juliet Richters from the University of New South Wales was involved with the aforementioned Australian study, which surveyed more than 20,000 people, and says because women are raised to be people pleasers, their pleasure often comes second.
    "Women are trained to please people, be nice, do what other people want. That's one reason why they find it hard to go for their own pleasure during sex," she says.
  • “Of all sexual conditions complicating insanity, none occupy the importance either in the professional or lay mind that masturbation holds. It is a vice of most frequent occurrence amongst our sane population, and it is almost universally practiced by the insane. That masturbation alone, in the normal individual, produces insanity is certainly not true; for were this the fact, the accommodations of our asylums would have to be so increased as toehold at least 500,000 rather than the 5,000 insane credited to our State.”
    “There should be a sharp distinction drawn between the masturbation of insanity and insanity produced by masturbation, or the so-called masturbational insanity. Even when masturbation is most persistent, there is no ground for positively claiming it as a causative factor; this we term the `masturbation of insanity.' It is frequently merely the first symptom observed.”
    “Dr Hoisholt, of Stockton, said that he heartily agreed with DrRobertson in what he had said as to the popular belief in masturbation being a cause of insanity, and also as to the many mutilations that had been made with the excuse of helping to remedy the condition of alienation by removing the ovaries, clitoris, etc. He was of the opinion that more education on the part of the general practitioner of medicine, as to the proper relation existing between insanity and the sexual organs, in the question of cause and effect, was certainly desirable. While, as stated by Dr Robertson, we very commonly find masturbation accompanying insanity, we very rarely can say that the vice has been to any extent the cause of the insanity itself. It is more often the result than the cause, popular superstition to the contrary.”
    • J W Robertson; “RELATION EXISTING BETWEEN THE SEXUAL ORGANS AND INSANITY, WITH ESPECIAL REFERENCE TO MASTURBATION”, Excerpts from The Transactions of the Medical Society of the State of California, 1898
  • Therefore, 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 very dangerous if instinct taught your pupil to divert these senses and to supplement the occasions for satisfying them. If once he acquires this dangerous supplement he is lost. From then on, 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 be subjected to.
  • I returned from Italy a different person from the one who had gone there … I had preserved my physical but not my moral virginity. The progress of the years had been told upon me, and my restless temperament had at last made itself felt. Its first quite involuntary outbreak indeed had caused me some alarm about my health, a fact which illustrates better than anything else the innocence in which I had lived until then. Soon I was reassured, however, and learnt of that dangerous means of cheating Nature, which leads young men of my temperament to various kinds of excesses, that eventually imperil their health, and sometimes their lives. This vice, which shame and timidity find so convenient, has a particular attraction for lively imaginations. It allows them to dispose, so to speak, of the whole female sex at their will, and to make any beauty who tempts them serve their pleasure without the need of first obtaining her consent. Seduced by this fatal advantage, I set about destroying the sturdy constitution which Nature had restored to me, and which I had allowed sufficient time to ripen.1
  • [W]atch 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.
  • No consideration of sexual literacy would be complete without reference to the "Boy Scout Handbook" and the evolution of its views about masturbation. Since 1910, in 9 editions and 33 million copies, the “Handbook” has set a tone of guilt-inducing moral condemnation and suggested that other resources provide the explanation for that judgment. Under the heading of “continence,” the 1910 edition forcefully stated that “for an instructor to let his boys walk on this exceedingly thin ice without giving them a warning owing to some prudish sentimentality, would be little short of crime.” Unfortunately, that was the end of the discussion. In order to understand this, one must realize that this section, as much of the original “Handbook”, was taken directly from a strong anti-masturbations statement in Sir Robert Baden-Powell’s “Scouting for Boys”, published in England in 1908. Baden-Powell’s original draft was never published because it apparently affected the sensibilities of the publisher (Rosenthal, 1986).
    The strength of Baden-Powell’s convictions may come from several sources. First he paraphrased the popular Victorian semen theory of sexuality which would have appealed to his military background. The theory held that a male had been issued only a limited number of rounds of sperm for procreation, and that these should therefore not be wasted. He also claimed that masturbation would lead to idiocy. He glorified self-control, a trait thought by some to be a prerequisite to taking orders unquestioningly and therefore being a good soldier for the Empire. However strong the convictions, the publisher was unmoved and the material was not printed. It was the truncated version that crossed the Atlantic in 1910.
  • It is induced more frequently by this cause in young men, than is commonly supposed by parents and physicians. The morbid effects of intemperance in a sexual intercourse with women are feeble, and of a transient nature, compared with the train of physical and moral evils which this solitary vice fixes upon the body and mind."
  • It's like the saying goes: Masturbation is sex with a person you love, right? Bust out your gadgets, videos, or do it the old-fashioned way to build up your self-esteem, because, believe it or not, pleasing yourself is an easy way to improve your outlook on life. "You cultivate very good feelings with yourself, and you can transfer that to the rest of the world," says Dr. Cuascud. "Confidence is the most potent aphrodisiac."
    • Erika Sanchez quoting Tanginika Cuascud, [1] Cosmopolitan, (Feb 13, 2015)
  • Before the early 1700s, Laqueur argues, masturbation was not a subject of great interest or speculation. Like God or BBC digital radio it may have existed, but few people took much notice of it. There's a lot of spilled semen in Greek myth, but Laqueur claims that masturbation didn't really matter in antiquity, and was not a fit subject for discussion and analysis, because the "cultural contexts that later gave it, or aspects of it, moral resonance were absent". Satyrs and slaves masturbated, but that's because it was all they could manage.
    In Greek and Latin art and literature masturbation and masturbators are portrayed, if at all, as either comic or pathetic; they're no great shakes. Even the early Christian era was similarly uninterested in solitary sex, as Laqueur calls it, and the compilers of the Talmuds and midrashim had other things on their minds.
  • Laqueur sifts through a few centuries of Christian confessionals and other theological writings to show how masturbation was regarded simply as one unnatural act among many others, a sign merely of man's and, in particular, monks', concupiscence. "The silent and inward vices mattered only in very specific contexts until the problem of the individual's relation to the social order came to loom large in our era."
    Our era, for Laqueur's purposes, begins in the 18th century, with the development of a new conception of the self and a new secular morality. People came to value desire and pleasure and privacy, and masturbation represented the diabolical aspect of these values: it "pointed to an abyss of solipsism, anomie, and socially meaningless freedom". It was a selfish act of imagination. It was "uncontrolled privacy".
  • Rousseau and Kant wrote at length on the subject but it is, of course, Freud who emerges as the loudest spokesperson for the quintessentially modern view of masturbation: "Freud traced anxiety neurosis, obsession, narcissism, hysterical vomiting, repressed memories of infantile sexuality, and, arguably, guilt itself to the psyche's confrontation with its primal source of sexual satisfaction." At least he never claimed it made you go blind.
    Laqueur dates the post-Freudian era from the Kinsey reports of the 1940s and 50s and Masters and Johnson's Human Sexual Response, published in 1966, which established that masturbation was commonplace into adulthood: a reversal of Freud's idea of ontogenesis. What was once regarded as a disease, Laqueur seems to believe, has now come to be seen as a cure.
  • We highly doubt you need a nudge from us to have a wank session. But if you do happen to be weighing up the pros and cons of masturbating, we’re here to help with a whole load of pros. It’s masturbation month, after all. Why not schedule in a self-love sesh and enjoy all the benefits beyond the joy of an orgasm? Here are just a few of the added benefits you can look forward to. 1. Masturbating can get rid of a headache An orgasm sends pain-reducing hormones around the body while increasing blood flow, getting rid of headaches and even, in some cases migraines. Loads more fun than popping a Nurofen, right? 2. And reduce period cramps When you masturbate on your period you can lessen the effects of period cramps, thanks to increased blood flow and your orgasm causing your vaginal walls to contract and release. That pain reduction factor we mentioned earlier helps, too, as does the increase of your pain tolerance post-orgasm. 3. It’s good for your skin Immediately after a good masturbation session you’ll have a glow, as blood flow to your skin increases. But the hormones released through orgasm also reduce cortisol, the stress hormone, which helps to lower inflammation. Lowered levels of inflammation mean better skin, with less acne, redness, and dryness. 4. Wanking can send you to sleep Orgasms release vasopressin, a hormone that makes you sleepy. If you can’t drift off, have a wank. It’ll help. 5. It reduces stress The cortisol reduction we mentioned doesn’t just help with your skin, it also makes you feel less stressed out, reducing tension and making you calmer. You also get a hit of mood-boosting oxytocin, so your mood gets a big boost. 6. If you’re on your period, masturbating can speed it up The contractions caused by an orgasm shift the uterine lining out more quickly, meaning your period may be reduced by a day or two. Sweet. 7. Masturbation could make you more productive Psychologist and life coach Dr Cliff Arnall is a proponent of having masturbation breaks at work (we wouldn’t necessarily recommend that unless you work from home), telling ‘I would expect a masturbation policy to result in more focus, less aggression, higher productivity, and more smiling. ‘Certainly taking a masturbation break for boredom or an escape would increase work focus.’ Again, this is down to stress reduction, but masturbation can also work as a nice incentive to get you through less enjoyable tasks. 8. It helps reduce muscle aches That increased blood flow helps to ease muscle soreness, too, so if you’re training for a marathon or just upping your gym routine, make sure to plan in some masturbation on your rest days. 9. Masturbation could help with writer’s block If you hit a wall creatively, try taking a break to masturbate. Research – which involved women masturbating in MRI machines – has found that masturbation and orgasms increase blood flow to all parts of the brain. This means your brain’s working properly, meaning you’ll be better at problem-solving and coming up with productive solutions. 10. Masturbation improves your sense of smell Strange, we know, but if you’re keen to improve your sense of smell taking some time for self-pleasure may be a good shout. That’s because orgasms release prolactin, can increase cell activity in the olfactory bulb, improving your sensitivity to smells. Handy if you need to sniff something out.
  • The benefits of masturbating aren't just about helping you to enjoy sex more — some say there are health benefits too.
    Family Planning Victoria lists those as: stress relief, better sleep, strengthened muscle tone and increase of self-esteem.
  • The third natural family I would assign to the Masturbators. Although I designate this family by the cause only which originates the Insanity, yet I think it cannot be denied that that vice produces a group of symptoms which are quite characteristic and easily recognised, and give to the cases a special natural history ; — the peculiar imbecility and shy habits of the very youthful victim ; the suspicion, and fear, and dread, and suicidal impulses, and palpitations, and scared look, and feeble body, of the older offenders, passing gradually into Dementia or Fatuity, with other characteristic features familiar to all of you, and which I do not stop to enlarge on, — all combine to stamp and define this as a natural order or family.
  • Masturbation may:
    1. Promote the release of endorphins, the neurotransmitters associated with happy feelings that can improve overall mood and fight off depression.
    2. Produce a chemical called oxytocin, which works as a natural pain reliever.
    3. Help reduce headaches and muscle aches.
    4. Relieve stress and tension and aid relaxation after a stressful day.
    5. Provide a sexual outlet for people who are on their own, by choice or circumstance.
    6. Help to induce sleep, or conversely, help to start the day with more energy.
    7. Improve the immune system and contribute to overall health.
    8. Strengthen muscle tone in the genital and pelvic floor area, which can lead to better sex.
    9. Keep you free from sexual transmitted infections as it's the safest kind of sex.
    10. Help people who suffer from Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS), a neurological disorder causing leg pain, cramps, tingling and itching, (published in the medical journal Sleep Medicine). Several doctors in the US have had confirmation from their patients that it helps.
    11. Translate into better sex as stimulating each other at the same time is intimate and rewarding. People often masturbate into old age.
  • Possible health benefits for women:
    1. Combats pre-menstrual tension and other physical conditions associated with the menstrual cycle, such as cramps.
    2. Relieves painful menstruation by increasing blood flow to the pelvic region; which will also reduce pelvic cramping and related backaches.
    3. Builds resistance to yeast infections.
    4. Allows women to explore and understand their bodies better, so they will know what they like when they have sex with a partner.
  • Possible health benefits for men:
    1. May help combat premature ejaculation by training to last longer; it's easier to practise control when on your own.
    2. Regular flushing of the system keeps semen healthy.
    3. Frequent masturbation helps in preventing the development of prostate cancer. Cancer-causing chemicals can build up in the prostate if men do not ejaculate regularly.
  • 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 is an important and wonderful way of knowing yourself physically and emotionally. Research shows that women who masturbate are more likely to have fulfilling sex lives, better health, better partnerships and marriages, and increased self-confidence. Even with all that going for it, masturbation is still difficult for many women to talk about, much less do.
  • Masturbation: the primary sexual activity of mankind. In the nineteenth century it was a disease; in the twentieth, it's a cure.
    • Szasz, Thomas S. (1974) [1973]. "Sex". The Second Sin. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd. p. 10. ISBN 978-0-7100-7757-8. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
  • With the growth of a child during the nascent period and their orientation with a surrounding environment, their attempt can be more to understand the body’s various parts. At first, with an aim of identifying, the child touches the genital parts and then, finds that they have a good feeling with this action; so, they may conduct this behavior repeatedly. At the ages of 3 to 6, sex play with co-gender children is common and in the 6 to 11 ages, masturbation is increased. Childhood masturbation means self-stimulation of the genitals by an immature child. The word masturbation does not exist in the American Psychiatric Association classification, but in the World Health Organization classification, it is briefly inserted in other parts of specific behavioral disorders. Masturbation is a common behavior that has been reported in men more than in women. Masturbation in infants is more a focal point, because its diagnosis is often not easy, and can be confused with seizure disorders or other motor diseases or even abdominal pains; so, it leads to unnecessary diagnostic or therapeutic measures. Studies on masturbation in children are limited and scattered. Most studies have been related to the case reports, and in connection with the description of the behavior, differentiation and detection methods or management of this behavior. A few studies have addressed the underlying factors, or its course. Some studies have pointed out to the higher serum levels of hormones and some other studies have reported therapy with medication such as risperidone, or its formation, after the consumption of olanzapine (15, 16). Masturbation has been reported more in girls than in boys. It often begins from under the age of one and it can be more manifest during fatigue and change from sleep to wakening.
  • The results of this study showed that masturbation is common in children referred to the psychiatric clinic, and may be more associated with oppositional defiant disorder or conduct disorder, some anxiety disorders, motor tics and other stereotypical behavior. Factors such as age, gender, parental education, being a single child, being a first born, a child’s sleeping place or breastfeeding were not associated with masturbating. In addition, there was not a statistically significant relationship between the rates of comorbidity of disorders such as hyperactivity, vocal tics, autism, depression, and obsessive thoughts with masturbation.
  • In an age when sex education is still not a compulsory element of school curricula in many countries, including the U.S. and UK, young people are still not being consistently taught about masturbation and sexual pleasure. Indeed, research conducted by the UK's Sex Education Forum found that 60 percent of 16 to 25 year olds had "not learnt about sexual pleasure."
  • Shame isn't the only message disseminated when masturbation is excluded from the syllabus. Karen Rayne — executive director at Unhushed, a nonprofit dedicated to sex-positive sex education — said people often believe that "sex" means "partnered sex and by that they mean penis-in-vagina intercourse." Teaching about masturbation, therefore, widens people's understanding of what constitutes "sex," making sex education more meaningful and relevant to those who don't have penis-in-vagina sex, including the LGBTQ community.
    By not teaching about all the ways partners can pleasure one another, we present students with a heteronormative picture of what constitutes sex. Justin Hancock, sex and relationships educator at, which describes itself as a sex guide for those 14 and over, said that often in sex ed "penis-in-vagina intercourse" is talked about "as it is the only 'real form of sex.'" Not only does that exclude people who "don't want to or can't have that kind of sex," Hancock said, it also creates an expectation "that people should have that kind of sex whether they might enjoy it or not."
  • Every one who addicts himfelf to this odious and criminal habit is not fo cruelly punifhed ; but there are none who are not in fome degree afflicted. The frequency of the acts, the variety of conftitutions, many foreign circumftances, occafion a confiderable difference. The ills which I have the moft frequently feen are, firft, a total diforder of the ftomach, the forerunner of which, with fome, is the lofs of appetite ; with others, acute pains, particularly in the time of digeftion ; frequent vomiting, which baffles all remedies, whillf the patient continues addicted to his fhocking practice. Secondly, a weaknefs in the organs of refpiration, from which follow dry coughs, almoft always hoarfenefs, weaknefs of the voice, and fhortnefs of breath upon the leaft extraordinary exercife. Thirdly, a total relaxation of the nervous fyftem.
  • Befides all thofe fymptoms which I have already defcribed, women are more particularly expofed to hyfterical fits, or fhocking, vapours ; to incurable jaundices; to violent cramps in the-flomach and back; to acute pains in the nofe; to the “flour albus”, the accretion whereof is a continual fource of the moft fmarting pain; to defcents and ulcerations of the matrix, and to all the infirmities which thefe two diforders bring on; to the extenfion and darting of the clitoris; to the “furor uterinus”, which at once deprives them of decency and reafon, and puts them upon a level with the moft lafcivious brutes, till a defperate death fnatches them from pain and infamy.
  • [A] perceptible reduction of strength, of memory and even of reason; blurred vision, all the nervous disorders, all types of gout and rheumatism, weakening of the organs of generation, blood in the urine, disturbance of the appetite, headaches and a great number of other disorders.
    • Samuel-Auguste Tissot, L'Onanisme, 1760
  • Of all the various kinds of sexual intercourse, this has the least to recommend it. As an amusement it is too fleeting; as an occupation it is too wearing; as a public exhibition there is no money in it. It is unsuited to the drawing room, and in the most cultured society it has long since been banished from the social board…
    So, in concluding, I say: If you must gamble away your life sexually, don’t play a Lone Hand too much.
    When you feel a revolutionary uprising in your system, get your Vendome Column down some other way — don’t jerk it down.
    • Mark Twain, (1879). "Some Thoughts on the Science of Onanism" (Speech). Stomach Club. Paris, France.
  • “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.”
  • "If you're a sexual being — so not taking into account people who are asexual — not masturbating means you're not learning about what your body likes, you don't learn the kinds of pleasure and touch that you enjoy," she says.
    "If you don't understand yourself and what you like, you're relying on somebody else to do that work for you."
    This isn't a great outcome for either partner in a relationship.
  • If the practice [of self-indulgence] is continued from the age of fifteen and upward, nature will protest against the abuse he has suffered, and continues to suffer, and will make them pay the penalty for the transgression of his laws, especially from the ages of thirty to forty-five, by numerous pains in the system, and various diseases, such as affection of the liver and lungs, neuralgia, rheumatism, affection of the spine, diseased kidneys, and cancerous humors. Some of nature's fine machinery gives way, leaving a heavier task for the remaining to perform, which disorders nature's fine arrangement, and there is often a sudden breaking down of the constitution; and death is the result.
    Females possess less vital force than the other sex, and are deprived very much of the bracing, invigorating air, by their in-door life. The result of self-abuse in them is seen in various diseases, such as catarrh, dropsy, headache, loss of memory and sight, great weakness in the back and loins, affections of the spine, and frequently, inward decay of the head. Cancerous humor, which would lie dormant in the system their lifetime, is inflamed, and commences its eating, destructive work. The mind is often utterly ruined, and insanity supervenes.
    • Ellen G. White (1870). Solemn Appeal, A. The Seventh-day Adventist Publishing Association. p. 73.
  • 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.
  • Readers of Dr. Spitzka’s work on insanity will remember that he called in question the existence of insanity of masturbation as a distinct form, while recognizing it as an exciting cause of various types of mental disease. In the present monograph he recedes, to some extent, from this position, and described a psychosis which he considers to be found exclusively in masturbators, illustrating his views by a tabular analysis of twenty-eight cases from his own practice, and detailed histories of thirteen patients.
    According to the author, the form of insanity under consideration occurs exclusively in persons between the ages of thirteen and twenty years. In the great majority of cases there is a bad heredity. Males preponderate in the proportion of at least five to one. It is characterized by a tendency towards an agitated dementia with remarkable oscillations, in the earlier stages, not only from day to day, but even at different times in the same day the patients are cowardly, apprehensive, and disinclined to manly sports, but, in many cases, subject to violent and dangerous impulses. There is often an affectation of superior morality, especially in regard to sexual matters. Males are at first timid toward the other sex, and later lose all normal sexual desire; females in the contrary, are apt to be aggressively erotic. The disease may progress to an irritable dementia, with filthy, destructive and quarrelsome propensities, or, if dementia is less complete, deterioration may be manifested principally in a selfish, deceitful, malicious and cruel disposition. Morbid religious feelings he does not consider characteristic.
    Under the head of differential diagnosis, the author finds that mania, melancholia, imperative conceptions, morbid fears and “folie du doute”, paranoia, katatonia and simple stupor may occur as consequences of masturbation not differing in their course or prognosis from the same disorders when due to other causes. Hebephrenia [insanity of pubescence] is specially difficult to differentiate, as it occurs at the same age, and commonly in masturbators. Under the age of fifteen, insanity due to this cause presents more the character of imbecility; after the twentieth year, the usual form is hypochondrial paranoia.
    The prognosis is bad, except when the habits of the patients can be reformed, which is, as a rule, only in the earlier stages.
    • W.L.W., “Cases of Masturbation [Masturbatic Insanity.] By E. C. Spitzka, M. D., of New York. Reprinted from the Journal of Mental Science, April, 1887, to July, 1888; The American Journal of Insanity, Volume 45, p. 415
  • No one familiar with the literature of the subject can have failed to notice the plentiful lack of agreement among those who have attempted to describe the insanity of masturbation. Has Dr. Spitzka succeeded better than his predecessors in bringing order out of confusion? In view of his statement that in most cases, at least, of hebephrenia all three of the etiological factors are present which he finds active in the psychosis under consideration, it does not seem clear why the name should be given to one rather than the other.
    No one, probably, will question the injurious effects of immoderate masturbation, especially in early life. Few will doubt that, in very many cases, it gives a peculiar stamp to insanity, easily recognized by the experienced observer, but its manifestations are so various and complications so numerous that attempts at definition are apt to seem rather arbitrary. It is no easy matter, in many cases, for the unprejudiced observer to decide to what extent their vicious habit itself is the consequence of a defective organization. Many will probably agree with Clark* that “while there is little difficulty in diagnosing the masturbator, it is no easy matter to say what the symptoms of insanity of masturbation are.”
    • W.L.W., “Cases of Masturbation [Masturbatic Insanity.]” By E. C. Spitzka, M. D., of New York. Reprinted from the Journal of Mental Science, April, 1887, to July, 1888; The American Journal of Insanity, Volume 45, p. 416
  • Masturbation may be useful in treating hypoactive sexual desire disorder. To examine this possibility, the current study examined the relationships between masturbation, sexual desire, sexual fantasy, and dyadic sexual activity. The relationships between masturbation and other constructs were also examined: overall sexual dysfunction, relationship satisfaction, life stress, and sexual attitudes. Mediational analyses suggest several causal pathways between masturbatory desire, masturbatory frequency, sexual fantasy, sexual desire, and sexual activity. Developing a model of masturbation may help illustrate its role in sexual functioning and highlight its potential role in sex therapy.

“The Secret Companion: A Medical Work on Onanism Or Self-Pollution” (1845)Edit

RJ Brodie and Co.,“The Secret Companion: A Medical Work on Onanism Or Self-Pollution”, With The Best Mode of Treatment In All Cases Of Nervous and Seual Debility, Impotency, Etc. And On Venereal And Syphilitic Diseases, Containing Plain and Simple Directions For The Cure Of Gonorrhea, Gleets, Stricture, Secondary Symptoms, And Every Disorder Of The Urethra, Without The Use Of Mercury, Or Loss Of Time From Business, Followed By Observations On Marriage With Directions For The Removal Of Generative Incapacity. Illustrated By Full Length Engravings”, (1845)

  • IN treating on this highly important subject, it is our chief aim to shew, by incontrovertible proofs, the manifold evils society endure by licentiousness and unrestrained indulgence of the passions. Sages and moral writers of every age, have described in glowing terms the direful and awful result of Masturbation-a passion that captivates the imagination of its victim imperceptibly, step by step, till every moral feeling is obliterated, and all the physical powers destroyed. This is a subject of the greatest delicacy, and requires the utmost skill to approach. Would that we could find language appropriate and forcible enough to convey our ideas upon this subject-derived from practical knowledge !
    • pp.9-10.
  • Self-pollution is a habit so baneful to many, apparently approaching to years of maturity, but who, alas ! by their perverted inclinations, create a worm in the core, which destroys the germ of manhood, and proves more destructive than any disease to which the rising generation is liable ; it entails the greatest misery, and generated languor, debility, disease, and weakness of mind, instead of that vigour so essential to the purposes of life.
    • p.10
  • It is a well-known fact to physiologists that masturbation excites and agitates the system to a much greater degree than sexual intercourse, and in consequence of the facilities to repeat the crime, and the delusion it causes, makes rapid inroads upon the constitution, destroys the heath, and produces disease. Those infatuated indulgences bring their own punishment, producing nervousness, hypochrondriacism, depression of spirits, melancholy mania, epilepsy, hysteria, paralysis, dimness of sight, difficulty of hearing, &c. A person addicted to this vice is certain, sooner or later, to experience its ill effects ; it weakens the functions of the reproductive organs, and produces temporary or permanent impotency.
    The seminal fluid is the very essence of the vital principle ;-the most essential part of the blood ;-it is, in fact, the embryo of the species ; -hence, the frequent repetition of the vice above described, produces a wanton waste and overflow of this most nutritious secretion, and brings on all the evils, which we shall further dwell on, for the importance of the subject demands it.
    • p.11
  • How dreadful are the effects of youthful indiscretion,-a momentary pleasure is sought for in self-gratification,-a mind agonized by remorse, a shattered nervous system, an enervated body, and an incapacity for entering into the “marriage state”, general debility, loss of memory, imbecility of mind, consumption, impotency, and every description of mental and physical infirmity, are its inevitable results. Alas! No language can describe the horrors of this destructive and solitary vice,-so tyrannical in its sway, so utterly master of all the noble energies of life, that, once plunged into the abyss, the social compact of reason and sensibility evaporates, and nerveless apathy succeeds. Then let it be devoutly hoped, that those who have made themselves votaries to this solitary, secret, and pernicious pursuit, will pause, and reflect, before the melancholy hour arrives, when ministering relief will be unavailing, and the power of re-animation lost ; let them shrink abashed with fear and horror ! and think of the great and incalculable danger and guilt produced by such vile contamination, the impierty of which alone ought to be like gates od adamant, against a deed once visited with instant death by the wrath of an offended Deity.
    • p.12
  • There is not a place, either in the Old or New Testament, where uncleanness, the lust of the flesh, or the abominations of Sodom are not condemned, but this sin is hinted at amongst others ; and there is no doubt but those who are guilty of it are comprehended among the abominable. Who shall have their part in “the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone.”-Rev. 21, 8.
    • pp.12-13
  • What, know ye not, says St. Paul, that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, which is in you, which you have of God? And this is a very powerful consideration to dissuade from uncleanness, being taken from the glory whereto God has raised us, even in regard as to our bodies. They are the temples of the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit dwells in us, and pours forth his benefits upon us, sanctifies us, and consecrates us to the service of God. Wherefore our bodies, partaking of this honor, we are bound to preserve them in purity, and to emply them to holy purposes; for if, the temples dedicated to the worship of God, may not be profaned by any pollution, but must be kept pure and undefiled, how great ought the honour of our bodies to be, seeing God hath condescended to make them the temples of His Holy Spirit! This reflection of St. Paul lets us see plainly, that, whenever any give themselves up to uncleanness, they cease to be the temples of the Hoy Spirit just as the Apostle had said before, that they cease to be members of Jesus Christ, which shews this sin to be the occasion that the Holy Spirit of God withdraws form the hearts of such as are guilty of it, because his spirit cannot dwell with pollution. He tells us afterwards, in the same chapter, “ Ye are not your own, for ye are bought with a price ; therefore glorify God in your bodies, and in your spirits, which are God’s.”
    • p.13
  • Yet, notwithstanding, the enormity of this offence is so conspicuous to the meanest capacity, and notwithstanding the records of the thousands and the tens of thousands who, down this precipice, have fallen into destruction; the universality of the practice is rendered every day more clear. It is by no means confined to the unlearned and thoughtless part of society; genius and learning are alike infected with its influence, and the most expanded capacity of exalted rank, and the highest qualifications of mind are no fences against this miserable infection.
    • p.14
  • Whether we view this subject in a religious, physical, or moral light, it is horrid to contemplate: it is offensive in the sight of God; the moral man shudders at the idea ; and the train of physical evils resulting therefrom are terrific in the extreme. In various parts of Scripture we find declared that uncleanness is horrible in the sight of god. What can be more disgustingly so than Self-pollution ? The crime is heinous in the extreme ; it destroys all those affections without which life is “ stale, flat, and unprofitable;” and if the guilty being is so rash as form a matrimonial alliance, be brings with him the seeds of discord, repugnance, disappointment and contempt, instead of those qualifications which would ensure conjugal regard and a healthy progeny, combined with every other felicity.
    • p.15
  • 1.-”The loss of too much semen” from masturbation, produces violent pains in the membrane of the brain, it completely deadens the senses ; the memory becomes defective and from the irritation of the brain, the faculties are greatly impaired, and the patient experiences a sensation of burning heat in the head, weakness, and sometimes loss of sight ensues ; the ideas are confused, and frequently insanity is the result. II.-A general lassitude is felt, accompanied with indolence, convulsions, coughs, melancholy, palpitation of the heart, and a sensation of suffocation. At night frightful dreams haunt the sleep and by day a continual apprehension of imaginary evils.
    III.-Pains in various parts of the body, especially in the breast, stomach, and abdomen, also in the organs of generation, are common symptoms in these cases, together with a continual seminal discharge from the urethra, which ultimately weakens the generative organs to sucha degree that they are unable to perform their natural functions, andbecome as it were paralyzed.
    IV.-Many are affected with eruptions on the face, and on arts of the body, while others have red and inflamed pimpled on the penis and spermatic chord ; the urine too is much inflamed, and in passing it, the patient experienced dreadful agony.
    V. The features become completely changed, from the rosy hue of health to a dull heavy and sallow com-complexion ; the eyes are dim, the lips lose their natural color, the teeth become black, the breath infected and unwholesome, and very frequently the different muscles contracted, and the whole frame distorted-
    • pp.17-18
  • WE are not surprised at the attending evils of “Onanism”, when we consider that an immoderate emission of seed is not only prejudicial by reason of the loss of a most useful humour, but likewise by a too frequent repetition of the convulsive motion by which it is discharged ; for the highest pleasure is followed by an universal resolution of the natural powers, which cannot frequently take place without enervation. Besides, the more the “strainers” of the body are drained, the more humours they draw to them from the other parts : and the juices bring thus conveyed to the genitals, “the other parts” are impoverished. Hence, it is from excessive venery arise lassitude, weekness, numbness, a feeble gait, head-aches, convuilsions of the senses, but especially of the sight, and dullness of hearing, an idiot look, a feverish circulation, exsiccation, leanness, a consumption of the lungs and back, and effeminacy ; these evils are increased and beome almost uncurable, by reason of a perpetual itch for pleasure, which the mind at last contracts, as well as the body l and form which it follows, that they have obscene dreams in sleep, and that the prone parts upon every slight occasion have a tendency to stiffen, and the quantity of replaced semen, however small, will be discharged from the relaxed cells by the very slightest effort, and even without any effort at all. In what manner does too great an emission of semen produce these disorders? The causes may be reduced to two ; privation of this liquor, and the circumstances which accompany emission.
    • pp.23-24
  • Therefore we find that the most eminent Physicians and Philosophers of all ages, although differing in minutiae, still agree on one point, viz., the vital importance of the ‘seminal fluid’ to the healthy exercise of the animal and intellectual functions of life. We may here make one or two observations, un further elucidation. We consider that from the relaxation which thee excesses cause, arise much of the hypochronriasm which affect certain individuals; digestion, perspirations, and other necessary evacuations, are not performed as they should be, hence arises a sensible diminution of the powers of the memory, and even of the understanding ; the sight if from this cause clouded ; all kinds of gout and rheumatism, pains and weakness in the back, and consumptions, are visited upon the unhappy sufferer ; the organs of generation enfeebled, bloody urine, loss of appetite, head-aches, and disorders almost too numerous to specify in the small space to which this Work extends, are the invariable attendants ; in one word we may sum up the total,-nothing shortens the duration of life so much as “Self Pollution” and the abuse of amorous pleasures.
    • pp.27-28

“A Brief History of Masturbation“ (Oct 25, 2017; article revised on 24 April 2020.)Edit

Neel Burton, “A Brief History of Masturbation“, Psychology Today, (Oct 25, 2017; article revised on 24 April 2020.)

  • Masturbation, or onanism, is the stimulation, often manual, of the genitals for sexual gratification. Masturbation is depicted in prehistoric cave paintings and has been observed in many animal species. In an Egyptian myth, the god Atum created the universe by masturbating, and every year the Egyptian pharaoh ritually masturbated into the Nile. In some traditional cultures, masturbation is a right of passage into manhood, although there are some groups, notably in the Congo Basin, that lack a word for the activity and are confused by the concept.
  • The Ancient Greeks regarded masturbation as entirely normal, if more the province of the common man, since the elites had a duty to further the family line, and, beyond that, had slaves for their relief.
    The Christian tradition adopted an altogether different view of masturbation, rooted in an obscure passage of the Book of Genesis. When God killed Er, Er’s father Judah ordered his second son Onan to marry Er’s widow Tamar and ‘raise up seed’ to his brother. But when he lied with Tamar, Onan spilled his semen on the ground—no doubt because he knew that fathering a son in his brother’s line would cost him the larger part of his inheritance. This displeased God, ‘wherefore He slew him also.’ This parable is largely responsible for the Church’s prohibition on both masturbation and contraception.
  • In his Medicinal Dictionary (1743), the physician Robert James, a friend of Samuel Johnson, wrote of masturbation that, 'There is perhaps no sin productive of so many hideous consequences.'
    More subtly, in the Metaphysics of Morals (1797), the philosopher Immanuel Kant argued that ‘a man gives up his personality ... when he uses himself merely as a means for the gratification of an animal drive.’
    In his influential treatise on education (1762), the philosopher and Romantic trailblazer Jean-Jacques Rousseau advised that a tutor should not leave his pupil the slightest opportunity to engage in masturbation:
    Therefore, 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 ... If once he acquires this dangerous supplement he is lost. From then on, 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 be subjected to.
    This seems to be a case of ‘do as I say, not as I do’. In his Confessions (1782), Rousseau admitted to having discovered masturbation while travelling in Italy, returning ‘a different person from the one who had gone there’:
    [There I] learnt of that dangerous means of cheating Nature, which leads young men of my temperament to various kinds of excesses, that eventually imperil their health, and sometimes their lives. This vice, which shame and timidity find so convenient, has a particular attraction for lively imaginations. It allows them to dispose, so to speak, of the whole female sex at their will, and to make any beauty who tempts them serve their pleasure without the need of first obtaining her consent.
  • In the nineteenth century, Jean-Etienne Esquirol, an eminent psychiatrist and physician-in-chief at the Salpêtrière Hospital in Paris, declared in his classification of mental disorders that masturbation is ‘recognized in all countries as a cause of insanity’, and it was not until as late as 1968 that it finally fell out of the American classification of mental disorders. In 1972, the American Medical Association pronounced it to be normal, but the guilt, shame, and stigma live on to this day.
  • Upon being challenged for masturbating in the marketplace, the ancient philosopher Diogenes the Cynic replied, ‘If only it were so easy to soothe hunger by rubbing an empty belly.’ According to Diogenes, the god Hermes, taking pity on his son Pan, gave him the gift of masturbation, which Pan then taught to the shepherds.
  • Contrary to the popular perception, there is, at least in women, a positive correlation between frequency of masturbation and frequency of intercourse. People who masturbate more are more sexually driven, and mutual masturbation is likely to increase the frequency and variety of sexual contact. Both in the performance and in the observation, masturbation can teach partners about each other’s pleasure centres, proclivities, and particularities. If one partner is more sexually driven than the other, as is often the case, masturbation can provide him or her with a balancing outlet.
  • In men, masturbation flushes out old sperm with low motility and reduces the risk of prostate cancer. If practiced before sexual intercourse, it can delay orgasm in men suffering from premature ejaculation. In women, it increases the chances of conception by altering the conditions in the vagina, cervix, and uterus. It also protects against cervical infections by increasing the acidity of the cervical mucus and flushing out pathogens. In both women and men, it strengthens the muscles in the pelvic floor and genital area and contributes to extending the years of sexual activity.
  • Masturbation reduces stress and releases feel-good hormones, which lift mood and reduce the perception of pain. It promotes better, more restorative sleep, locking in sleep’s myriad physical and psychological benefits. It enables younger people in particular to explore their sexual identity and regulate their sexual impulses, leading to a happier, healthier sexuality, as well as greater self-awareness, self-control, and self-esteem. It offers an escape from the constraints and demands of reality, an outlet for the imagination in fantasy, and a medium for the memory in nostalgia. And it culminates in a transcending experience that unites mind with body and life in death.

“Masturbation as a Cause of Insanity” (September, 1900)Edit

Leonard E. Case, “Masturbation as a Cause of Insanity.”, Massachusetts Medical Journal: Devoted to Medicine & General Science, Volume 20, Boston, September, 1900 No.9

  • Sexual vices have been variously considered under the heads of sexual excesses, prostitution, libertinism, masturbation, sodomy, onanism (solitary and conjugal), salacity, pederasty, etc., but it is my purpose to limit this paper chiefly to the consideration of “Masturbation and its Effects, especially its Relations to Insanity”.
    Some one has said, “Masturbation is, in the majority of cases, an educated vice.” How often does this debasing practice go on unchecked, or, like other vicious habits, lead its victim on unconsciously, until it becomes an uncontrollable habit, and the most deplorable consequences ensue? What asylum is there in our land that does not contain some of these sad and pitiable wrecks of former manhood and womanhood-slowly, and often unconsciously, brought from their high estate to the depths of physical, mental and moral degradation and ruin?
    • p.385
  • The following condensed clinical picture, taken from Gross’ “Surgery”, presents the salient features of such cases often met with by physicians, and easily recognizable, at sight often, by an experienced clinician:
    “Masturbation, once established, is liable to be followed by the most serious consequences, both as it respects the health and happiness of the individual.
    “Among the earlier symptoms are derangement of the digestive organs, attended with constipation of the bowels, occasional headache, and nervous tremors. At a more advanced period, the patient is harassed with palpitation and dizziness; his sleep is disturbed at night; his extremities are cold and clammy; how body exhales a peculiar seminal odor; he shuns society, and is a prey to gloom and despondency. Impotence, more or less complete, is one of the most common effects of this disorder,, if at all protracted.
    “When the disease is fully established, the gait is unsteady, the memory is impaired, there is no aptitude for business, and the patient is unable to look one in the face (his actions being those of a poltroon). In a word, he is mentally and physically emasculated. Epilepsy and insanity are occasional consequences of this vile practice.”
    • p.386
  • The distinguished alienist, Dr. Spitzka, says: “Many of the symptoms presented by the inveterate masturbator are probably due to cerebral anaemia. There are, however, in his case, and that of the early libertine, certain vaso-motor complications frequently present, which render the clinical picture a mixed one. Abuse of the sexual apparatus has a direct exhausting effect (probably dynamic or impalpable) on the nervous apparatus.”
    Dr. Folsom says; “Masturbation acts as an exciting cause of insanity, chiefly by creating a morbid psychical state, and by exalting the sensibility of the nervous system, but probably not often even with the young. Injuries to the brain and nervous system are usually slow in their operation, unlike the severe mental shock, which is at once followed by insanity.
    • p.387
  • Masturbation, in children of both sexes, as shown by Dr. A Jacobi and others, frequently plays an important part in the production of various neuroses.
    Dr. Hamilton says: “Masturbation is a popular etiological factor (in epilepsy), but I really do not believe, even in fact of the numerous alleged cases that have been recorded, that the habit of self-abuse often results in genuine epilepsy. In rara examples, the frequently-repeated act may give rise to a form of the nature of petit mal”
    • p.387
  • From Blandford on “Insanity”, we quote:
    “Various disorders, known as nymphomania, satyriasis, hysterical mania, and the like, point to a connection between insanity and the sexual organs. This needs no demonstration; every-day experience shows it, but shows that these organs are affected from the head downwards quite as often as the reverse. Insanity accompanied by masturbation is a different thing from insanity caused thereby-different in its oncoming, different in its course and character, and rendering different the prognosis to be made concerning it.
    “Insanity caused by masturbation is, generally speaking, gradual in its approach, not attended with any sudden or acute symptoms, but manifested in unpleasant conceit and exalted self-feeling, with delusions in accordance; this gradually increases. Nor is there any hope of cure, for the brain seems to have undergone permanent damage from the constant irritation to which it has been exposed by the practice of the habit. Such a state of things altogether differs from the violent, but often transient outbursts of hysterical or nymphomaniacal insanity, which are by no means incurable; and it points to a different pathological condition. In the one we have brain disturbance coming on suddenly, possibly from some sympathetic uterine or ovarian irritation, which causes great disorder of the cerebral circulation, and an acute attack of insanity, from which the patient may recover. In the other, first the brain is gradually altered and impaired by the constant excitation caused by the act of masturbation. We may compare the latter, though less in degree, to frequently renewed attacks of epilepsy, or of alcoholic intoxication, which produce mental disorder by their constant recurrence through a series of years.
    • pp.387-388
  • ”Patients whose insanity is caused by masturbation are generally, by inheritance, prone to mental disturbance. Masturbation by itself is not a frequent cause of insanity. In some persons, already predisposed, it may light up the disorder, and may co-exist with it in others without being the cause. The latter may and do get well, and when well, may relinquish the habit (like any other insane or filthy habit), but the habitual masturbator, whose insanity has been gradually developing for years, is incurable.”
    Savaage in his work on “Insanity”, says: “Sexual self-abuse, as a cause of insanity, is certainly fully recognized by the profession and by the world at large, but that it occurs in both sexes is not so fully known. I have already said that youth is a period of nervous instability, and that it is a period when smaller shocks will cause an upset or derange the balance.
    • pp.388-389
  • Masturbation is a frequent cause of insanity-may occur as a cause of insanity in either sex-but it occurs still more frequently as a symptom of mental disorder. Youths who have given way to it pass into a state of self-analysis, and of study and contemplation of their reproductive orgasnsa nd their functions, in the same way that the ordinary hypochrondriac studies his digestion. Thus, gradually, are developed ideas of impotence, of physical and moral ruin, something or other wrong being referred to the reproductive organs which no reasoning or explanation can efface.”
    Spitzka on Insanity says: “Excessive venery and masturbation have from time immemorial been supposed to bet he direct causes of insanity. Unquestionably, they exert a deleterious effect on the nervous system and may provoke insanity, partly through their direct influence on the nervous centres, partly through their weakening effect on the general nutrition.
    • p.389
  • This is a delicate and disagreeable subject, and one which is alike shunned by the unhappy subject and apparently by medical writers, from the scarcity for medical literature thereon; but when we are confronted by these wrecks of humanity, brought about by this and other sexual vices, should not some greater effort be put forth to rescue these unfortuantes?
    • p.390
  • In cases where masturbation is only a concomitant symptom of some mental trouble, as before said, when the mental trouble is cured the habit ceases; but where it stands in a closer causal relation, the treatment is more difficult and the prognosis much unfavorable.
    In the earlier stages of this trouble, medical treatment unfortunately is rarely called for. It is only when some alarming feature is developed that the general practitioner is applied to for advice. Then, for the most part, it is simply an evidence of loss of self-control, and is best met by such moral, hygienic, and therapeutic measures as shall allay the local and general hyperaesthesia, built up the general system, and improve the moral and mental status of the individual. The removal if possible of all exiting causes must precede any rational plan of treatment.
    In many cases, however, where every known nerve tonic and sedative has been tried, every mental and moral device to encourage, strengthen, and support reformation, every mechanical and restraining measure has been used without success, and the victim is rapidly falling into fatuity, or some equally hopeless mental disorder, the question comes to us, can anything more be done?
    Heroic measures have been suggested and tried. Castration and oorphorectomy have been advocated and have been practiced, but, as far as my knowledge goes, without any marked relief. The centres of sexual sense once developed in the central nervous system, cannot be obliterated by the removal of external excitations, though they may perhaps be obtuned.
    • p.391

“Onania: Examined and Detected”, (1723)Edit

Philo-Castitatus, “Onania: Examined and Detected”, (1723)

  • Now here I positively deny, That Onan’s not raifing up Seed to his Brother, was only an Aggravation of the Sin of Self-Pollution ; and alfo, that the greateft part of the Offence, lay in his Self Pollution. For I am rather inclined to believe, that this his Self-Pollution, was only an Aggravation of his other Sins, and not they an Aggravation of this ; and that the leaft part of the Sin, lay in his Self-Pollution, as fimply confider’d, and the Curcumftances lay’d afide. My Reafons are thefe which follow.
    “Firft”, This Sin was committed againft an exprefs Command of God, “Deut. 25. 5, 6.” “If Brethren dwell together, and one of them die and have no Child, ____ her Husband’s Brother fhall go in unto her, and take her to him to Wife, and perform the Duty of an Husband’s Brother unto her.” Now that this Duty, was, his performance of Conjugal Embraces, in order to the raifing up of Seed to his Brother, muft be owned by all. But if you objectThat this Law was not promulgated at that Time, and fo “Onan” could not transgrefs it before it was : I anfer, This will not help you ; for it’s plain, the “Hebrews” had this Practice or Law reveled to them, as well before “Onan”, as after “Mofes” ; as appears from Gen. 38, 8. “And Judah faid unto Onan, Go in unto thy Brother’s Wife, and amrry her, and raife up Seed to thy Brother.” See alfo the 11th and 26th Verfes of the fame Chapter So that we fee, that marrying the Wife of the deceafed Brother, was by the Holy Patriarch, “totidem berbis”,, exprefsly commanded.
    • pp.4-5
  • His Sin was not one fingle Act, but a continued Practice ; for the Text fays, “when he went in unto his Brother’s Wife ; and not, as foon as he went in unto her, or, at firft going in unto her,” or, “upon their firft Embraces.” This Sentiment is further confirmed, from “Tunius’s” and “Tremellius”’s Transflation, who render it, “Si quando confreffurus erat” ; “ When at any time he was about to “ Embrace her. Now, this continued Practice, was no doubt, a very great Aggravation of an Act, whereof one fingle Commiffion is finful : So that it was rather for a Continued Prctice, than One Act, that God fmote him : But this rather tends to advance Gods Patience, than to extenuate his guilt herein.
    • p.6
  • I fay, That this Sin was undoubtedly greater in “Onan”, than it can be to any in thefe Days ; and that, becaufe,
    1ft, It was done againft one of the moft pofitive Commands under the Old Teftament, “viz”. the fore-cited Text, “Deut. 25. 5, 6. Where the Brother of the deceafed Husband is not elft at liberty to Marry, or not to Marry, as he pleafes, according to his Gift of Continency, as he is under the New Teftament ; but he is exprefsly charged, both to Marry, and whom to Marry, “viz”. his Brother’s QWife ; and alfo, wherefore, “scil”. To raife up Seed unto his Brother.
    “2ndly”, His Sin was greater, from his Defign in it, “viz”. to root out the Memory of his Brother out of the Congregation of “Ifrael” ; which certainly is no fmall Sin of it felt, ( without any other Aggravation ) to raze the Memmory of the Dead, and efpecially of our near Relations, for whom we ought to have the fincereft Love when Alive, and whofe Memory we ought to embalm with a favoury Report to Pofterity. It was reputed a Curfe, for a Man to have his Family and Name deftroyed, plucked up, and not planted.
    “3dly”, His Sin was aggravated beyond other Mens Sin, from the Caufe of it, “viz”. Envy and Hatred of his Brother’s Name and Honnour, which fprung from the Pride of his Heart. Now, he knew, “if a Man hate his Brother whom he daily feeth, how can he love God whom he ever Saw ?” And if a Man, for “calling his Brother Fool , be in danger of Hell-fire ; much more, if he, “Onan” like, bear an irreconcilable Hatred againft his Brother when dead ; yea, and to hate him to fuch a degree, as out of Malice and Envy that “Onan” fhould break this exprefs Command of God, pofitively commanding him, by the Mouth of the Patriarch, to “raife up Seed to his Brother, in defpite of God’s Command and Law. How many defperate Tragedies acted, has Hatred been the Caufe of ? But,
    4thly, “Onan’s” Sin exceeds others in this ; and, the fuppofe there had been no other Sin in the whole Act, was fufficient Caufe to procure that fevere Judgement of God, wherewith both He and his Brtother were fmitted, “viz.”. that from the Loins of this very Couple, was “Chrift Jesus, who is “God over all”, and “in whom all the Nations of the Earth” were to have been “bleffed” ; I fay, from this their Loins was “Chrift”, according to the Flefhh, to have defcended ; as afterwards, notwithstanding both “Er” and “Onan’s” wicked Practices, he did defend of that very Woman “Tamar”.
    • pp.6-8
  • ”3rdly”, A Marry’d Perfon who is guilty of this Sin, as it argues him to be Infatiable in Luft, fo in the diverfity and fundry Kinds and Ways of gratifying the fame ; becaufe a lawful and moderate Ufe tf the Marriage Bed cannot fatisfy the fame ; but as he excogiated, fo he gives himfelf up to other Ways to fulfil the flaming Luft that is in him : whereas a Single Perfon who is guilty of Mafturbation, may pretend that he has not attained that Lawful Means of preventing the fame, and therefore is guilty of this, to prevent a great er; when indeed to an Unmarried Perfon this can be no manner of Excufe provided his Circumftances allow of Marriage, when ripe for it ; or if he do not condemn God’s Ordinance, out of choice, that he may have a Liberty thus to fatisfy himfelf: Both thefe are great Aggravations of the Guilt of this Sin in Unmarried Perfons. But hope there is not One of Ten Thoufand who neglects Marriage upon the laft Account ; as there is not, generally, One of Hundred, who are ready to Marry as foon as their Inclinations ferve them, from the Firft Account “viz.”
    • pp.10-11
  • As the Lawfulnefs and Moderate Ufe of the Marriage-Bed betwixt Husband and Wife, is frequently an effectual Means to prevent a thoufand Quarrels and Debates that frequently either may or wou’d arife from meer Trifles, and defpicable Occafions ; fo the Man that practifes Maftupration in Marriage, is the Occafion of the Rife and Growth of thefe Jars, and often irreparable Breaches, which fall out, through the neflect of Conjugal Love and Embraces. Whereas a Single Person, tho’ he may be guilty of voluntary Self-Pollution, yet it this Caufe of Contention, Strife or Debate betwixt Him and Others ; becaufe None ccan hereby juftly plead themfelves injured and flighted, befides the Perfon himfelf.
    • pp.12-13
  • But to return to the Café of Onan ; Our Author fays, “It was the Thing wwhich he did, ____ which difpleafed the Lord”.
    This is a ftrange Way of Arguing in our Author : For who that reads the Text, does not fee plainly at firft view, a Sin complicated of three other Sins ; 1. Seed fpilt in a Married State, left he fhou’d raife up Seed to his Brother. 2. Contempt an implacable Wrath, and Hatred of his Brother, left he fhould raife up Seed to his Brother. 3. A premediate, deliberate, and defigned Refotion to hate his Brother ; and rather to fpill his Seed on the Ground, than to give Seed to his Brother. Now, fuppofe that Action of fpilling of his Seed had been indifferent, as it was exceeding finful, yet, ( as I faid before) the Wickednefs of the Defign why he did it, as it was the fole Caufe of his doing of it, fo it was fufficient enough to procure all that befell him : But alfo, Who knows not, that the beft Action, committed out of fuch a devilifh Defign, becomes hellifh and abominable ; as in the Café of “Jezabel”? What could either be more lawful or expedient at fuch a Time, than to proclaim a Faft? Yet look to the Degign which was to have “Naboth” murdered, and that could be more negarious ? Or what could look more promifing in Jezabel, than to advance a Holy, Pious “Naboth”? But the Intent made the Action become most finful : So that, many times, we are to examine the Action, from the Intention of the Doer, and to judge accordingly.
    • pp.13-14
  • But I can the more eafily difpenfe with your mistaken Notion, about the greateft part of “Onan’s” Guilt lying in Defiling of himfelf, (the countrary whereof I have proved ) becaufe you have fo good a Degign in it, as to deter the World from Maftupration : But you Affertion, in pag. 153, I muft own, is furprising to me, where “Pedagogus”, in a Letter, fats, That he doubts not, but that “Onan” had been guilty, feveral times before of Maftupration ; and you, in your Anfwer, fay, “He may, with the fame Justice, charge the Same on Adam, and every Man fince him, to this day.” I affure you, this Charge defereves a little more Confideration, and fome better Authority, than that of an anonymous Author. You oughtnot to expect to put out the Eyes of all Mankind, by your proud Affertions ; tho’, for love of a little Money, you, by an affected Whim and Cant, impofe upon a Set of illiterate Men ; or rather, feign a parcel of Letters, to drw home Money to your felf : I fay, we have no fuch ground, to fufpect either “Adam’s” guilt, or the Patriarchs and Prophets Guilt herein : For if “Adam”, the Patriarchs, Apostles, and all Christians ever fince, had been as guilty hereof as “Onan”, why was God’s Juftice only to fall upon “Onan”, and not upon all, or fome of them, as well as upon him efpecially feeing, “whom God loves, he chaftifes” for their Faults ; and that if all fhould go unpunifhed, yet will he not fuffer his People to go free : This he formerly declared unto “Israel”, that them only “of all the Families of the Earth had he known” ; them therefore would he “punifh for their Iniquities.”
    • pp.14-15
  • You deftroy the Sence of your own Argument, by yelling us, Marry’d Men are guilty, as well as Single Men and Boys : And you in another lace tell us, that this Practice is Univerfal. So that, by your own way of Reafonining, you will, as it were by Force, bring in “Adam” and all his Pofterity guilty. But why “Adam” guilty, I befeech you ? You will have him to have been a very Lafcivious Perfon, indeed, for he was not one Day a Batchelour : Nay, hereby you will needs introduce Sin into the World, before it was in it ; as tho’ it had not been early enough. As to the Patriarchs, Prophet’s Apoftles, and a great Number both of Ante-Diluvians and Poft-Diluvians ; I fhall, in its proper place, fhew, that you induftioufly go about, “Viis & Modis”, to bring them in guilty ; which I am not yet fatisfied in : and fuppofe they had, fure you need not expect now any Letters from them, with Gunea’s inclofed, neither for Advice, nor Tincture. But again ; you, inftead of propagating your Bufinefs, as you intend, go the right way to deftroy it : For why, if “Adam”, and all thefe Holy Men, who were immediately infpired and taught of god, did practife Mafturpration, as well as “Onan” did before them, muft fuppofe they did not count it finful ; otherwife, they fhould in exprefs Words have told us fo much, efpecially thofe of them in a Married State, who you fuppofe as guilty as “Onan”, provided “Onan” practifed it oftner than once.
    • pp.15-16
  • The very Letter of the Sacred Text, gives just ground to think, that “Onan” had oftner than once committed this ; for ( as I before hinted ) its exprefsly faid, “And it came to pafs, than when he went in unto his Brothers Wife, that he spilt it on the ground : Not, “as soon”, or, “at firft time”, he went in unto his Brother’s Wife. Now, we know, the Scripture, in other Places, fpeaks thus pofitively ; as you may fee in “Exod. 32.19. Josh. 8. 19. Luke 1. 23. Phil. 2. 23. &c.” But this is yet clearer, from “Tremellis” and “Junius” ( before quoted ; ) which Transflation affords us yet another Aggravation of this Offence, “viz.” that fo wicked and malicious was he, that he would not allow his Wife to share of that Pleafure before Ejection ; for it is faid, 1. “When he was about to embrace her : So that, it feems, he had not at all to do with her. 2. He “Spilt it on the ground” : So that if he had to do with her, and made her Sharer with him in the Enjoyment, fuppofe he had withdrawn juft at the critical Juncture, either he could not carry it fo far as the Ground, but, “ad vaginae labia Semen emitteret” ; or he might totally have retained it without Ejection, But, fays a great Divine, “No doubt”, Onan “had been guilty of this Sin before ; for” (fays he) “it is suppofed Er had been guilty of the Same Sin.”
    • pp.16-17
  • So that we have Reafon to fufpect “Er” and “Onan” both guilty of this Practice, tho’ from different Degigns ; the one, our of Luft; the other, out of Hatred and Envy : Tho’ we have no manner of ground nor Authority from Scripture or Commentators, Jews or Chriftians, to fufpect the fame of “Adam”, or every Man fince, to this Day. It remains for our Author then to give us fufficient Proof, that “adam”, and all Mankind defcended from him, have been as actually guilty, as I have here done, that “Onan” oftner than once committed this Wickednefs, before you tell us, that we may with the fame Juftice fufpect “Adam”, and every Man fince.
    • pp.17-18
  • You tell us alfo, in the beginning of your “Preface”, of God’s fudden udgment on “Onan”, for this Sin : But you ought to have fatisfied us what you mean by “fudden” ; whether as to the Time when it was inflicted ; or “fudden”, as to the Manner how it was inflicted ; “neither” of which, I am fure, ou have the leaft Ground the gather from the Sacred Text, where our Translation render it, “The Lord flew him” : and the “Latins” turn it, “Eum morti tradidit Jehovah”. As to the firft, I perfume it was not fuddenly, nor immediately after the Nuptials. 1. Becaufe I have already fhwen, that both our Verfion, and the Latin by “Junius”, feem rather to imply a continued Practice for fome Time. 2. Becaufe it’s inconfiftent with the Method of God’s Common Procedure, fo quickly to punifh a Sin, (if it had been only for Self-Pollution ) againft which, we do not find, that he had revealed any more pofitive and exprefs Law.
    If you here Object to me, the Deftruction of “Sodom” : I anfwer, I. I do not find that “Sodom” was deftroyed for any one particular Sin only, and no other befides : Nay, the Prophet adds, “Fulnefs of Bread” and Idlenefs”, or “Glurrony” and Idlenefs”, which, no doubt, excited their Unnatural Luft. But fuppofe I condefcend, that it was for “Sodomy”, yet this is quite another Sin, worfe than Adultery, Fornication, or Mafupration ; that is, Men with Men doing that which is bafe, defiling their own Bodies betwixt themselves. And again, This Objection fhould corroborate my former Argument, that it was for a continued, audacious, open, and maintained Practice of this Sin in “Sodom”, that God inflicted this fevere Judgment on “Sodom” and “Gomorrha”, and not for one Act only.
    • pp.18-19
  • ”Onan”’s Sin was further aggravated, becaufe he was not warned by his Brother’s bad Example ; like “Belfhazzar”, whofe Heart was not humbled, by the Fall of “Nebuchadnezzar”, Dan. 5. 22. So that we have very great reafon to believe “Er” and “Onan” to have been both Sodomite and Mafuprators ; Sodomited before Marriage, Self-Polluters in a Married ftate, and that with Continuance. Which Confideration affords a very ufeful and neceffary Reflextion to all Youth to beware of Sodomy, and all Married Perfons of Self-Pollution : For if God fo feverely punifhed Sodomy in fo tender an Age as “Er” and “Onan” were of, neither of them beign above Sixteen or Seventeen Years old when married to “Tamar” ; it muft be undoubtedly be an Aggravation of the Sin of fuch, who are come to greater Maturity, more ftricken in Years, and may be fuppos’d to be come to more natural Strength and Capacity, and a riper Judgement : I far, for fuch as are in a Married Eftate, and in daily Converfation with their Wives, to practife this Sin, to the depriving and defrauding their Spoufes of that due-Benevolence and Conjugal Delights that they ought to entertain them with, fo far as is requifite and lawful, certainly it muft be no finall Sin; as is undeniably manifeft, from God’s Judgment on “Sodom” and “Gomorrha”, for this, a among their Sins ; and alfo, from God’s Judgment upon Er”, who was to have been the Father of our Bleffed Lord.
    Here alfo we may fee the exceeding Sinfulnefs of Sodomy, beyond either Inceft or Whoredom : For albeit our Lord came of Judah’s Inceft with his Duagher-in-Law “Tamar”, and of “Rabah” the Hrlot, yet would not God suffer his Son to defcend of Sodomites.
    A Sodomite is fo ffar condemned by the Law of God, as that his Sin is made capital ; for he that Lieth with Mankind as with Woman, they are both to be put to death, “Lev. 20. 13.” Whereas the SInfulnefs of Self-Pollution in Single Perfons, is only drawn from its being a Species of Uncleannefs, as having, for the moft part, ftrong impure Imaginations, going along with it, and alfo unhering in the Act, whereby the Perfon may be endangered of falling into greater Acts of Uncleannefs, as Sodomy in Boys, Fornication or Adultery in riper Years.
    • pp.21-22
  • [T]his is another Reafon why I am ready to think, that “Onan” had been guilty of fome greater Sin than Self-Pollution ; becaufe at that Time the Will and Command of God was not go exprefsly revealed againft all Sin of Uncleannefs, only againft the greater Acts of it. And it would have been remarkable indeed, if God fhould have thus feverely punifhed a Sin, againft which we do not find that at that Time he had given any exprefs Command, if it had not been both preceded and accompanied with other Sins whereof it was only an Aggravation, and they not an Aggravation of it.
    That it was preceded by Sodomy, I have reaion to believe, both from the Identity of Sccripture Phrafe, and also from the Suffrafe of both Jewifh and Chriftian Writers, as I fhewed before, that it was accompany’d with Hatred of his Brother, (yea, caufed by it) and refufing to raife him up Seed, and that from premediate Refolution, we have clear Scripture for.
    Now you know, that fuch a Peron as under the Law refufed to raife up Seed to his Brother, by refufing to take his Brother’s Wife to be his Wife, was 1. To have “his Shoe loofed from off his Foot”, as a Mak of Infamy ; fifnifying, that by this unnatural and difingenious Action, he was unworthy to be amongty Free Men, and fit to be reduced to the Condition of the meaneft Servant or Captive. 2. He was to have “his Face Spit upon”, as a Return of Contempt upon himself. 3. The Difgrace thereof was to defcend upon his Pofterity, becaufe he would not perform the Duty of Brotherly Love and Charity.
    • pp.22-24

“The long sexual revolution: English women, sex and contraception 1800-1975” (2004)Edit

Cook, Hera, “The long sexual revolution: English women, sex and contraception 1800-1975”, Oxford University Press’’, (2004)

  • By the late 1930s, the more progressive authors began to adopt Sigmund Freud’s (1856-1939) argument that masturbation in infancy and adolescence was a phase through which the vast majority of the population passed. Freud’s analysis of masturbation provided an explanation for the observed fact that the practice was too frequent to cause the alleged ill effects. A new rationale was used to explain why adult masturbation was unacceptable: ‘It is a solitary vice; it conduces to egoistic pleasure. It is an anti-social and selfish act. The doer is in love with himself; he does not share his pleasure with another. Biologically, it is in opposition to the law of mating.’ The concept of a social act was made unnecessary by the introduction of birth control. Unacceptable sexual activity could no longer be defined by the fact that it did not result in reproduction. Men who did not care about female pleasure and women who did not want sexual intercourse were also both described as selfish. However, some authors extended this interpretation of masturbation using it as the basis for a more tolerant attitude to other sexual practices, including homosexuality.
    • p.210
  • As early as 1934 it was possible to publish a translation of the French sex theorist Rene Guyon’s lengthy defence of ‘mutual’ and solitary masturbation as a ‘natural form of sexual pleasure’, showing that the law had limits. Alec Craig, although he was a practicing nudist who wrote about censorship, and a man of similar class and type to the more liberal manual authors, specifically rejected Guyon’s liberal approach in 1936. Dr. Edward Griffith included a ten-page stricture on avoidance of masturbation by use of self-control in his 1935 sex manual. Censorship law was liberalized in 1959. In his substantially revised 1963 edition, Griffith initially declared masturbation was not harmful, but only two pages later he wrote that ‘the sex act is really intended to be used between two persons for their mutual benefit’. He still felt the need to emphasize that acceptable sex was a social act. Thus even after the law ceased to be an obstacle he still expressed reservations about masturbation, confirming that his anxieties were genuinely felt. Kenneth Walker’s attitudes had been, and appear to have remained, even more ambivalent. In 1954, he still included masturbation (and oral sex) in a list of ‘deviations of Aim’, which also included coprophagia, that is, eating faeces.
    • E.F. Griffith, ‘’Modern Marriage’’, p. 253; as qtd. on p.212
  • In 1938, a ‘medical psychologist’ named Estelle Cole published a manual. She reveals attitudes that the manual authors were to take up in the 1950s as they became more sexually and socially conservative. She based her manual on ‘simple talks’ she had given to the ‘most varied types from young women just down from university to girls in offices and shops’. This probably included women in their twenties rather than those in their teens. Cole intended the talks to overcome ignorance and, by so doing, lower the divorce rate. She wrote that the wife’s sexual satisfaction was the ‘basis of a successful marriage, and of a happy family life, which [led] to worthy and competent citizenship’. The use of such language demonstrated the growing acceptance of a respectable female genital sexuality and reinforced the male’s responsibility to ‘give’ his wife orgasms. In Cole’s manual, the association of masturbation with clitoral stimulation has become explicit and extended to include frigidity: ‘A frigid woman is interested in the sensations derived from the stimulation of the clitoris; the vaginal sensations, so necessary for normal and satisfactory intercourse are absent. She has probably been a masturbator and may be unable to rid herself of the habit.’ She follows Freud’s assertion that clitoral orgasm in women was a sign of immaturity, and that mature adult women who accepted their female role experienced only vaginal orgasms. This is a more conservative approach than that of Wright whose manual had been published nearly a decade previously. Cole rejected masturbation and Freud’s ideas reinforced this belief.
    • Cole, Education, p.71; as qtd. on, pp.223-224

“Excessive Venery, Masturbation and Continence: The Etiology, Pathology and Treatment of the Diseases Resulting from Venereal Excesses, Masturbation and Continence Excessive Venery, Masturbation, and Continence”, (1887)Edit

  • Acton published the remarks of a clergyman who seems to have been blessed with more than the ordinary amount of clerical common sense on this question. He says : “Advantage could and ought to be taken of the opportunity when a boy says his catechism to explain to him the meaning of some of the terms therein contained. When a child is taught to ‘keep his body in temperance, soberness and chastity,” it would not be difficult to explain to him what chastity is, instead of leaving him to find out as best he may. He might be given to understand that it does not merely mean that all indecency and foul language must be shunned. The child might be told that he must keep from meddling with his secret parts, except when the necessities of nature require it, and that any emotion he may experience in these members must not be encouraged, and all thoughts which originate in them must be avoided. And when he grows older every boy should be taught that chastity means continence ; that if he would be chaste he must not by any act of his own, or by indulgence of lascivious imaginations, cause the fruit of his body to be expended. He should be taught that all such expenditure is a drain on his system, and weakens the powers which god has given him to be employed only in the married state. He may be sure that ‘his sin will find him out,’ and if he married with his powered undermined by unlawful gratification it will be visited upon his children also.
    • p.23
  • Besides this instruction given by the family physician, the tutor, or the schoolmaster under whose eye the ordinary school knowledge is inculcated, should maintain a degree of watchfulness over the boy which would enable him to detect any private irregularities, and he should also add (with the advice of the physician) any further lessons as to the best methods of regulating generally the sanitary condition of the youthful pupil. Under this point the same author says: “I maintain that a conscientious schoolmaster’s task does not end with providing for cleanliness, decency, and exercise among his boys. In spite of his assumed ignorance of the practice, masturbation and other vices may spread widely through the school unless careful supervision be employed. Against these secret evils there is no better safeguard within his reach than a steady endeavor to raise the moral tone of the whole school by means of the upper forms, so that the older boys may of their own accord join in discountenancing any ungentlemanly or disgraceful conduct. Without some such auxiliary, the efforts of the best-intentioned master to prevent the practices, with their demoralizing accompaniments and consequences, will be almost powerless. How diffused secret wickedness may become in schools appears every now and then in scandals so dreadful that the natural tendency of all concerned is to hush them up and forget them as soon as possible. Indeed, it is impossible not to sympathize with the feeling that to be obliged seriously to doubt as to the manliness and in a rough way, of the purity of our large schools, would be a great calamity.
    • pp.25-26
  • Insanity
    Often follows epilepsy and pathophobia as a result of abused of the sexual organs. The former is more likely to terminate in insanity than is the latter. Insanity, however, is liable to occur, as a result of onanism or sexual excess, without the development of either of the above mentioned affections. Authorities differ as to the percentage of cases of insanity arising from self-abuse. The principal authorities on the subject say that ten per cent. of all cases of insanity are traceable to masturbation and sexual excess.
    • p.102
  • Insanity among masturbators is more apt to develop in those whose intellectual capacity is below the average, and in cases where loss of memory occurs as a prominent feature in the early stages of the ice. Persistent loss of memory is always a precursor of serious mental disease. Maudsley says, “Self abuse is the cause of particularly disagreeable form of insanity characterized by intense self-feeling and conceit, and profound moral disturbance in the early stage, and later by failure of intelligence, nocturnal hallucinations and suicidal or homicidal propensities.” Dr. Ritchie says that these cases chiefly occur in members of families of strictly religious education, and those who from this cause become insane have generally, to all appearance, been of strictly moral life and recognized as persons who paid much attention to the forms of religion. As will be afterwards more fully stated, it is frequently observed, especially in the acute attacks resulting from this cause, that religion forms a noted subject of conservation or delusion.
    • p.104
  • Nymphomania is apt to occur between the ages of sixteen and twenty-five. Blondes are more frequently subject to it than brunettes. It is characterized by an uncontrollable appetite for lascivious pleasures, exhibited by an uncontrollable appetite for lascivious pleasures, exhibited (in its worst forms) in public and private, without regard to time, place, or surroundings. In mild cases the patient is nervous, easily excited, subject to hysterical attacks, and is constantly exciting herself in various ways to provoke an orgasm. The mind is full of lascivious ideas which find vent in self-pollution. While there is any modesty left, the patient-deceives every one with regard to true state of her feelings. She will invented numberless diseases to account for her condition, and for the purpose of being manipulated by the surgeon. Every disease that necessitates an examination of the genitals will in turn be taken up.
    • p.109

“Plain Facts For Old and Young” (1881)Edit

John Harvey Kelogg, “Plain Facts For Old and Young”, (1881)

The net which this vice weaves around its victims is so strong, and its meshes are so elaborately interwoven with all his thoughts his habits, and his very being, when it has been long indulged that it is important to be able to detect it when first acquired, as it may then be much more easily overcome than at any subsequent period. It is often no easy matter to do this, as the victim will resort to all manner of cunning devices to hide his vice, and will not scruple to falsify concerning it, when questioned. To be able to accomplish this successfully, requires a careful study, first of the signs by which those who indulge in the practice may be known, and, secondly, off the habits of the individuals.
In younger children, with whom moral considerations will have no particular weight, other devices may be used. Bandaging the parts has been practices with success. Tying the hands is also successful in some cases ; but this will not always succeed, for they will often contrive to continue the habit in other ways, as by working the limbs, or lying upon the abdomen. Covering the organs with a cage has been practiced with entire success. A remedy which is almost always successful in small boys is circumcision, especially when there is an degree of phimosis. The operation should be performed by a surgeon without administering an anaesthetic, as the brief pain attending the operation will have a salutary effect upon the mind, especially if it be connected with the idea of punishment, as it may well be in some cases. The soreness which continues for several weeks interrupts the practices, and if it had not previously become too firmly fixed, it may be forgotten and not resumed. If any attempt it made to watch the child, he should be so carefully surrounded by vigilance that he cannot possibly transgress without detection. If he is only partially watched, he soon learns to elude observation, and thus the effect is only to make him cunning in his vice.
The sin of self-pollution is one of the vilest, the basest, and the most degrading that a human being can commit. It is worse than beastly. Those who commit it place themselves far below the meanest brute that breathes.
  • IF illicit commerce of the sexes is a heinous sin, self-pollution, or masturbation, is a crime doubly abominable. As a sin against nature, it has no parallel except in sodomy (see Gen. 19: 5, Judges 19:22). It is the most dangerous of all sexual abuses, because the most extensively practiced. The vice consists of any excitement of the genital organs produced otherwise than in the normal way. It is known by the terms, self-pollution, self-abuse, masturbation, onanism, manusupration, voluntary pollution, solitary or secret vice, and other names sufficiently explanatory. The vice is the more extensive because there are no bounds to its indulgence. Its frequent repetition fastens it upon the victim with a fascination almost irresistible. It may be begun in earliest infancy, and may continue through life.
    Even though no warning may have been given, the transgressor seems to know, instinctively, that he is committing a great wrong, for he carefully hides his practice from observation. In solitude he pollutes himself and with his own hand blights all his prospects for both this world and the next. Even after being solemnly warned, he will often continue this worse than beastly practice, deliberately forfeiting his right to health and happiness for a moment's mad sensuality.
    • p.315
  • Testimony of Eminent Authors.—Says a medical writer, "In my opinion, neither the plague, nor war, nor small-pox, nor similar diseases, have produced results so disastrous to humanity as the pernicious habit of onanism; it is the destroying element of civilized societies, which is constantly in action, and gradually undermines the health of a nation."
    "The sin of self-pollution, which is generally considered to be that of Onan, is one of the most destructive evils ever practiced by fallen man. In many respects it is several degrees worse than common whoredom, and has in its train more awful consequences, though practiced by numbers who would shudder at the thought of criminal connection with a prostitute.”
    • Dr. Adam Clarke as qtd. on p. 318
  • “However revolting to the feelings it may be to enter upon such a subject, it cannot be passed over in silence without a great violation of duty. Unhappily, it has not been hitherto exhibited in the awful light in which it deserves to be shown. “The worst of it is that it is seldom suspected.” There are many pale faces and languid and nervous feelings attributed to other causes, when all the mischief lies here.”
    • Sir W. C. Ellis as qtd. on p. 318
  • We scarcely need add further evidence of the fearful extent of this evil, but will conclude with the following:-
    “The pernicious and debasing practice of masturbation is a more common and extensive evil with youth of both sexes than is usually supposed.” “A great number of the evils which come upon the youth at and after the age of puberty, arise from masturbation, persisted in, so as to waste the vital energies and enervate the physical and mental powers of man.” “Many of the weaknesses commonly attributed to growth and the changes in the habit by the important transformation from adolescence to manhood, are justly referable to this practice."
    • Boston Medical and Surgical Journal. as qtd. on p.318
  • It is needless to recapitulate all the causes of unchastity which have previously been quite fully dwelt upon, nearly all of which are predisposing or exciting causes of solitary as well as of social vice. Sexual precocity, idleness, pernicious literature, abnormal sexual passions, exciting and irritating food, glutton, sedentary employment, libidinous pictures, and many abnormal conditions of life, are potent causes in exciting the vile practice; but by far the most frequent causes are evil associations, wicked or ignorant nurses, and local disease, or abnormality. These latter we will consider more particularly, as they have not been so fully dwelt upon elsewhere.
    • p.321
  • Evil Associations.-A child may have been reared with the greatest care. From infancy he may have been carefully shielded from all pernicious influences, so that by the age of ten or twelve, when he is for the first time sent away to school, he may be free from vice; but when he associated with his fellow-students, he soon finds them practicing a habit new to him, and being unwarned, he speedily follows their filthy example and quickly becomes fascinated with the vice. Thousands have taken their first lessons in this debasing habit at school. Teachers and scholars testify that it is often practiced even in school hours, almost under the teacher’s eyes ; but where the infection most quickly spreads is in the sleeping apartments, where more than one occupy the same bed, or where several sleep in the same room.
    Nothing is more indispensable to purity of body and of morals than a private sleeping room and a single bed for each student. Such an arrangement would protect the youth from the reception of much evil, and would allow an opportunity for privacy which every young man or youth needs for his spiritual as well as physical benefit. Not the least benefit of the latter class is the opportunity for a thorough cleansing of the whole body every morning, which is almost as indispensable to purity of morals as cleanliness of body. The same suggestion is fully as applicable to the sleeping arrangements of girls. The exceptional cases in which this plan would not be the best are very few indeed.
    • p.322
  • Corruption in Schools.-Says Dr. Acton, “I cannot venture to print the accounts patients have given me for what they have seen or even been drawn into at schools. I would fain hope that such abominations are things of the past.” The entrance of a single corrupt boy into a school which may have been previously pure-though such schools must be extremely rare-will speedily corrupt almost the entire membership. The evil infection spreads more rapidly than the contagion of smallpox or yellow fever, and it is scarcely less fatal.
    This danger exists not in public or city schools alone, but in the most select and private schools. A father who had kept his two sons under the care of a private governess for several years, and then placed them in a small school taught by a lady, and composed of a few small children from the most select families, was greatly astonished when informed by a physician that his sons showed symptoms of the effects of self0abuse. He was totally incredulous, but an investigation showed that they had already practices the vile habit for several years, having learned it of an infantile school-mate.
    We are acquainted with one instance in which a primary school in a secluded and select community was nearly broken up by the introduction of this vile habit through a corrupt student. Many a watchful teacher has seen the light of growing intelligence suddenly dim and wane in the eye of his favorite student just when he was giving the most promise of developing unusual talents in literature, mathematics, or some one of the natural of physical sciences, and has been compelled to watch the devastating influence of this deadly upas tree that often claims the best and fairest human flowers as its victims.
    • pp.323-324
  • Wicked Nurses.-In those cases in which the habit is acquired at a very early age, the work of evil is usually wrought by the nurse, perhaps through ignorance of the effects of the habit. Incredible as it seems, it is proved by numerous instances that it is not an uncommon habit for nurses to quiet small children by handling or titillating their genital organs. They find this is a speedy means of quieting them, and resort to it regardless or ignorant of the consequences.
    Not an Uncommon Case.-Prof Lusk of Bellevue Hospital College, New York, related to his medical class in our hearing a case which came under his observation in which all of the children in a large family had been taught the habit by a wicked nurse for the purpose of keeping them quiet after they were put to bed. The vileness that would lead a person to thus rob childhood of its innocence, and blast its prospects for this life and the next, is base enough for the commission of almost any-crime. Indeed, the crime could hardly have been a worse one had the nurse referred to in the above case in cold blood cut the throats of those innocent children ; perhaps it might have been better for the children.
    • p.324
  • The Instructor in Vice.-Are these line perused by any one who ever taught another this vice so vile, and so certainly followed’ by penalties so terrible-penalties not upon the instigator but upon the hapless victim ? let such a person clothe himself in sackcloth and ashes, and do penance for the remainder of his life. The only way in which he can hope to atone even in some small degree for such a heinous crime, is by doing in all his power to warn those in danger against this sin. When all men receive their just deserts, what will be the punishment of such a one who has not, by thorough repentance and a life spent in trying to undo the work of ruin so foully wrought, in some measure disburdened himself in the consequences of his act
    Sending children very early to bed before they are weary, “to get them out of the way,” or for punishment, is a grave error, as this may give rise to the vice. Confining children alone in a room by themselves is an equally reprehensible practice, as it favors the commission of the act, at least, an may afford a favorable opportunity for its discovery. Allowing children to form a habit of seeking solitude is an evil of the same nature.
    • pp.326-327
  • Signs of Self-Abuse.- The net which this vice weaves around its victims is so strong, and its meshes are so elaborately interwoven with all his thoughts his habits, and his very being, when it has been long indulged that it is important to be able to detect it when first acquired, as it may then be much more easily overcome than at any subsequent period. It is often no easy matter to do this, as the victim will resort to all manner of cunning devices to hide his vice, and will not scruple to falsify concerning it, when questioned. To be able to accomplish this successfully, requires a careful study, first of the signs by which those who indulge in the practice may be known, and, secondly, off the habits of the individuals.
    • p.330
  • Suspicious Signs.-The following symptoms, occurring in the mental and physical character and habits of a child or young person, may well give rise to grave suspicions of evil, and should cause parents or guardians to be on the alert to root it out if possible:-
    1. General debility, coming upon a previously healthy child, marked by emaciation, weakness, an unnatural paleness, colorless lips and gums, and the general symptoms of exhaustion, when it cannot be traced to any other legitimate cause, as internal disease, worms, grief, overwork, poor air of poor food, and when it is not speedily removed by change of air or appropriate remedial measures, may safely be attributed to solitary vice, no matter how far above natural suspicion the individual may be. Mistakes will be rare indeed when such a judgment is pronounced under the circumstances named.
    • pp.332-333
  • 3. Premature and effective development is a symptom closely allied to the two preceding. When it cannot be traced to such natural causes as overstudy, overwork, lack of exercise, and other influences of a similar nature, it should be charged to self-abuse. The early exercise of the genital organs hastens the attainment of puberty, in many cases, especially when the habit is acquired early, but at the same time saps the vital energies to that the system is unable to manifest that increased energy in growth and development which usually occurs at this period. In consequence, the body remains small, or does not attain that development which is otherwise would. The mind is dwarfed as well as the body. Sometimes the mind suffers more than the body in lack of development, and sometimes the reverse is true. This defective development is shown, in the physical organization of males, in the failure of the voice to increase in volume and depth of tone as it should; in deficient growth of the beard ; in failure of the chest to become full and shoulders broad. The mind and character show the dwarfing influence by failure to develop show the dwarfing influence by failure to develop those qualities which especially distinguish early womanhood. Such signs deserve careful investigation, for they can only result from some powerfully blighting influence.
    • pp.333-334
  • 10. Untrustworthiness appearing in a child should attract attention to his habits. If he has suddenly become heedless, listless, and forgetful, so that he cannot be depended upon, though previously not so, lay the blame upon solitary indulgence. This vice has a wonderful influence in developing untruthfulness. A child previously honest, under its baneful influence will soon become an inveterate liar.
    • p.336
  • 11. Love of solitude is a very suspicious sign. Children are naturally sociable, almost without exception. They have a natural dread of being alone. When a child habitually seeks seclusion without a sufficient cause, there are good grounds for suspecting him of sinful habits. The barn, the garret, the water-closet, and sometimes secluded places in the woods, are the favorite resorts of masturbators. They should be carefully followed and watched, unobserved.
    • p.336
  • 15. Easily frightened children are abundant among young masturbators, though all easily frightened persons are not vicious. It is certain, however, that the vice greatly exaggerates natural fear, and creates an unnatural apprehensiveness. The victim’s mind is constantly filled with vague forbodings of evil. He often looks behind him, looks into all the closets, peeps under the bed, an is consistently expressing fears of impending evil. Such movements are the result of of a diseased imagination, and they may justly give rise to suspicion.
    • p.338
  • 19. Weak backs, pains in the limbs and stiffness of the joints, in children, are familiar signs of the habit. To the first of these conditions is due to the habitual stooping posture assumed by these children. The habit referred to is not the only cause of these conditions, but its causative occurrence is sufficiently frequent yo give it no small importance a suspicious indication.
    • pp. 339-340
  • 21. The gait of a person addicted to this vice will usually betray him to one who has learned to distinguish the peculiarities which almost always mark the walk of such persons. In a child, a dragging, shuffling walk is to be suspected. Boys, in walking rapidly, show none of that elasticity which characterizes a natural gait, but walk as if they had been stiffened at the hips, and as though their legs were pegs attached to the body by hinges. The girl wriggles along in a style quite as characteristic, though more difficult to detect with certainty, as females are often so “affected” in their walk. Unsteadiness of gait is an evidence seen in both sees, especially in advanced cases.
    • p.340
  • 22. Bad positions in bed are evidences which should be noticed. If a child lies constantly upon its abdomen, or is often found with its hands about the genitals, it may be at least considered in a fair way to acquire the habit if it has not already done so.
    • p.340.
  • 23. Lack of development of the breasts in females, after puberty, is a common result of self-pollution. Still it would be entirely unsafe to say that every female with small mammary glands had been addicted to this vice, especially at the present time when a fair natural development is often destroyed by the constaant pressure and heat of “pads.” But this sign may well be given a due bearing.
    • pp.340-341
  • 24. Capricious appetite particularly characterizes children addicted to secret vice. At the commencement of the practice, they almost invariably manifest great voracity for food, gorging themselvesin the most gluttonous manner. As the habit becomes fixed, digestion becomes impaired, and the appetite is sometimes almost wanting, and at other times almost unappeasable.
    25. One very constant peculiarity of such children is their extreme fondness for unnatural, hurtful, and irritating articles. Nearly all are greatly attached to salt, pepper, spices, cinnamon, cloves, vinegar, mustard, horse-radish, and similar articles, and use them in most inordinate quantities without other food, gives good occasion for suspicion.
    • p.341
  • 27. Disgust for simple food is one of the traits which a victim of this vice is sure to possess. He seems to loathe any food which is not rendered hot and stimulating with spices and other condiments, and cannot be induced to eat it.
    28. The use of tobacco” is good presumptive evidence that a boy is also addicted to a practice still more filthy. Exceptions to this rule are very rare indeed, if they exist, which we somewhat doubt. The same influences which would lead a boy to the use of tobacco would also lead him to solitary vice, and each sin would serve to exaggerate the other.
    • p.342
  • 30. Acne, or pimples, on the face are also among the suspicious signs, especially when they appear upon the forehead as well as upon other portions of the face. Occasional pimples upon the chin are very common in both sexes at puberty and for a few years afterward, but are without significance, except that the blood may be somewhat gross from unwholesome diet or lack of exercise.
    31. Biting the finger nails is a practice very common in girls addicted to this vice. In such persons there will also be found, not infrequently, slight soreness or ulceration at the roots of the nails and warts, one or more, upon one or both the first two fingers of the hands-usually the right.
    • pp.342-343
  • 37. Epileptic fits in children are not infrequently the result of vicious habits.
    38. Wetting the bed is an evidence of irritation which may be connected with the practice ; it should be looked after.
    39. Unchastity of speech and fondness for obscene stories betray a condition of mind which does not exist in youth who are not addicted to this vice.
    As previously mentioned,, so single one of the above signs should be considered as conclusive evidence of the habit in any individual ; but any one of them may, and should, arouse suspicion and watchfulness. If the habit really exists, but a short time will elapse before other signs will be noticed, and when several point in the same direction, the evidence may be considered nearly, if not quite, conclusive. But persistent watching will enable the positive signs to be detected sooner or later, and then there can no longer be doubt. It is, of course, necessary to give the individual no suspicion that he is being watched, as that would put him so effectually on his guard as, possibly, to defy detection.
    • p.344
  • Positive Signs.—The absolutely positive signs of solitary vice are very few. Of course the most certainly positive of all is detection in the act. Sometimes this is difficult, with such consummate cunning do the devotees of this Moloch pursue their debasing practice. If a child is noticed to seek a certain secluded spot with considerable regularity, he should be carefully followed and secretly watched, for several days in succession if needed be. Many children pursue the practice at night after retiring. If the suspected one is observed to become quickly quiet after retiring, and when looked at appears to be asleep, the bed clothes should be quickly thrown off under some pretense. If, in the case of a boy, the penis is found in a state of erection, with the hands near the genitals, he may certainly be treated as a masturbator without any error. If he is found in a state of excitement, in connection with the other evidences, with a quickened circulation as indicated by the pulse, or in a state of perspiration, his guilt is certain, even though he may pretend to be asleep ; no doubt he has been addicted to the vice for a considerable time to have acquired so much cunning. If the same course is pursued with girls, under the same circumstances, the clitoris will be found congested, with the other genital organs, which will also be moist from increased secretion. Other conditions will be nearly as possible the same as those in the boy.
    • p.345
  • Before puberty, the effect of the vice upon the genital orgasns is to cause an unnatural development, in both sexes, of the sensitive portions. When this is marked, it is pretty conclusive evidence of the vice. In girls, the vagina often becomes unnaturally enlarged, and leucorrhoea is often present. After puberty, the organs usually diminish in size, and become unnaturally lax and shrunken.
    All of these signs should be thoroughly mastered by those who have children under their care, ad if not continually watching for them, which would be an unpleasant task, such should be on the alert to detect the signs t once when they appear, and then carefully seek for others until there is no longer any doubt about the case.
    • p.346
  • For the rising generation, those yet innocent of the evil practices so abundant in this age of sensuality, how the evil habit may be prevented is the most important of all questions connected with this subject. This topic should be especially interesting th parents, for even those who are themselves sensual have seen enough of the evils of such a life to wish that their children may remain pure. There are, indeed, rare exceptions to this rule, for we sometimes learn of parents who have deliberately led their own children into vice, as though they desired to make them share their shame and damnation.
    • p.378
  • From earliest infancy all of those influences and agencies which cultivate chastity should be brought into active exercise. These we need not repeat here, having previously dwelt upon them so fully. The reader is recommended to re-peruse the portion of the work devoted to this subject, in connection with the present section. If parents have themselves indulged in this vice, they should use special care that all of the generative and gestative influences brought to bear upon their children are the purest possible, so that they may no inherit a predisposition to sin in this direction.
    Special care should be exercised to avoid corrupt servants and associates. Every servant not known to be pure should be suspected until proof of innocence has been established. They should be especially instructed of the evil arising from manipulation of the genitals even in infants, as they may do immense harm through simple ignorance.
    • p.379
  • Timely Warning.-But, in spite of chaste surroundings and all other favorable circumstances, if the child is left in ignorance of his danger, he may yet fall a victim to the devices of servants or corrupt playmates, or may himself make a fatal discovery. Hence arises the duty of warning children of the evil before the habit has been formed. This is a duty that parents seldom perform even when they are not unaware of the danger. They in some way convince themselves that their children are pure, at least, even if others are corrupt. It is often the most difficult thing in the world for patents to comprehend the fact that “their” children are not the best children in the world, perfect paragons of purity and innocence. There is an unaccountable and unreasonable delicacy on the part of parents about speaking of sexual subjects to their children. In consequence their young, inquisitive minds are let wholly in ignorance unless, perchance, they gain information from some vile source.
    Objections are raised against talking to children or young persons about matters in any degree pertaining to the sexual organs or functions. Some of the more important of them are considered in the introduction of this work, and we need not repeat here.
    The little one should be taught from earliest infancy to abstain from handling the genitals, being made to regard it as a very improper act. When the child becomes old enough to understand and reason, he may be further informed of the evil consequences; then, as he becomes older, the functions of the organs may be explained with sufficient fullness to satisfy his natural craving for knowledge.
    If this course were pursued, how many might be saved from ruin! It is, of course, necessary that the parents shall themselves be acquainted with the true functions of the organs before they attempt to teach any one else, especially children.
    • pp.379-380
  • When the habit and its effects are of very short duration, a cure is very readily accomplished, especially in the cases of children and females, as in them the evils begun are not continued in the form of involuntary pollutions. In cases of longer standing in males, the take is more difficult, but still the prospect of recovery is very favorable, provided the cooperation of the patient can be secured ; without this, little can be done. But in those cases the patient may as well be told at the outset that the task of undoing the evil works of years of sin is no easy matter. It can only be accomplished by determined effort, by steady perseverance in right doing, and in the application of necessary remedies. Those who have long practiced the vice, or long suffered severely from its effects, have received an injury which will inevitably be life-long to a greater or lesser extent in spite of all that can be done for them. Yet such need not despair, for they may receive inestimable benefit by the prevention of greater damage, which they are sure to suffer if the disease is allowed to go unchecked.
    • p.382
  • In children, especially those who have recently acquired the habit, it can be broken up by admonishing them of its sinfulness, and portraying in vivid colors its terrible results, if the child is old enough to comprehend such admonitions. In addition to faithful warning, the attention of the child should be fully occupied by work, study, or pleasant recreation. He should not be left alone at any time, lest he yield to temptation. Work is an excellent remedy ; work that will really make him very tired, so that when he goes to bed he will have no disposition to defile himself. It is best to place such a child under the care of a faithful person of older years, whose special duty it shall be to watch him night and day until the habit is thoroughly overcome.
    In younger children, with whom moral considerations will have no particular weight, other devices may be used. Bandaging the parts has been practices with success. Tying the hands is also successful in some cases ; but this will not always succeed, for they will often contrive to continue the habit in other ways, as by working the limbs, or lying upon the abdomen. Covering the organs with a cage has been practiced with entire success. A remedy which is almost always successful in small boys is circumcision, especially when there is an degree of phimosis. The operation should be performed by a surgeon without administering an anaesthetic, as the brief pain attending the operation will have a salutary effect upon the mind, especially if it be connected with the idea of punishment, as it may well be in some cases. The soreness which continues for several weeks interrupts the practices, and if it had not previously become too firmly fixed, it may be forgotten and not resumed. If any attempt it made to watch the child, he should be so carefully surrounded by vigilance that he cannot possibly transgress without detection. If he is only partially watched, he soon learns to elude observation, and thus the effect is only to make him cunning in his vice.
    • pp.383-384
  • The sin of self-pollution is one of the vilest, the basest, and the most degrading that a human being can commit. It is worse than beastly. Those who commit it place themselves far below the meanest brute that breathes.
    • p.428

”Here's What Happens To Your Body When You Masturbate Regularly” (March 20, 2018)Edit

Laken Howard, ”Here's What Happens To Your Body When You Masturbate Regularly”, Bustle, (March 20, 2018)

  • "Masturbation is the best research study you can do on yourself," Dr. Uchenna "UC" Ossai, pelvic health physical therapist and sex educator for LifeStyles Condoms, tells Bustle. "It is the best way to not only learn about your body, but to also understand how your pleasure can be cultivated through touch. It is not [a] secret that research has shown that women who masturbate [have] higher levels of self-esteem, positive body and genital image, as well as reporting higher satisfaction in their sex life."
  • "If you masturbate regularly (just like if you have sex regularly), you will strengthen your PC muscles," Stacy Rybchin, founder and CEO of of sexual health and wellness services My Secret Soiree and My Secret Luxury, tells Bustle. "Orgasms are essentially pelvic floor contractions. Similar to when you regularly lift weights, you get stronger. The same happens with your pelvic floor. A stronger pelvic floor and PC muscles produces stronger orgasms."
  • According to Jodie Slee, relationship and psychosexual therapist at Sensate Therapy, the feel-good hormones that are released during orgasm have tons of benefits, like lowering blood pressure, and reducing stress, insomnia, and pain. But orgasms aren't just good for your body; they're also good for your soul.
    "Regular orgasms cause the release of oxytocin and endorphins —hormones that boost general mood, making you feel more happy and satisfied," Slee tells Bustle.
  • "For men, regular masturbation has been linked to prostate health as frequent ejaculation helps to flush out cancer causing toxins," Slee says. "Similarly in women regular masturbation can help prevent UTIs and cervical infections due to the 'tenting' effect that occurs during the arousal process: tenting allows fluid circulation allowing cervical fluids to flush out harmful bacteria."
  • "Evidence suggests that daily masturbation increases desire, sexual sensitivity arousal and overall sexual functioning in men and women suffering with sexual dysfunctions," Slee says. "Women experience better vaginal lubrication and men can improve their erectile functioning. Mutual masturbation is a great way to explore and experiment with pleasure too!"
  • "Studies have shown that sexual arousal is inherently linked to a highly functioning immune system," Caleb Backe, Health and Wellness Expert at Maple Holistics, tells Bustle. "Arousal, and orgasming specifically, has been found to increase the number of leukocytes in the body, which act as natural killer cells and target potentially harmful foreign substances in the blood."
  • "Many men believe that frequent masturbation can lead to infertility, but there is no evidence to support such beliefs," Backe says. "In fact, the testes produce hundreds of millions of sperm daily, regardless of your masturbation tendencies. Surprisingly, self-pleasuring may actually increase male fertility by ejaculating older, less-fertile sperm cells and making room for more suitable ones."
  • "[Masturbation]... increases heart rate and blood flow to the entire body, promoting deep breathing and muscle flexion, serving as a mini workout (or a more intense one, depending on how you do it)," sex educator Bianca Alba, MPH, tells Bustle.

“An Epic History Of Masturbation Around The World“ (Feb 2, 2017)Edit

“An Epic History Of Masturbation Around The World“, Medium, (Feb 2, 2017)

  • The Ancient Egyptians venerated masturbation. It formed the crux of their creation myth: the God Atum created the world by wanking it into existence. Atum’s act was re-enacted every year to ensure a good crop.
    There’s probably never been a more potent metaphor for male hubris.
    “One of the Pharaohs’ most onerous ceremonial duties in Egypt was to bring fertility to the Nile by masturbating annually into its waters,” writes Jonathan Margolis in his history of sexuality “O: The Intimate History of the Orgasm.”
    Women weren’t left out of the game. Queen Cleopatra is said to have enjoyed a hollow gourd filled with bees, who pleasured her with their angry buzzing.
    However, most references in Egyptian history are to male masturbation. Most historical accounts are written by men, and accord greater importance to the habits of men than women.
  • Geographic location also helped determine the Jewish view of male masturbation, according to “The Cambridge History of Judaism” by historians Davies, Finkelstein and Katz. During the Rabbinic Period (70 CE — 1000 CE) scholars in Palestine believed that both male and female “seed” contributed to the conception of a baby, and were relatively tolerant of masturbation.
    Babylonian and Zoroastrian sages had a different view of how an embryo was formed. “That leads them to condemn masturbation ‘as deserving of death’ on the grounds that the wasting of semen, per se, represents the potential destruction of a life,” Davies writes.
  • The Ancient Greeks thought male masturbation was a natural remedy to frustration when women were unavailable, Margolis writes. Men were depicted masturbating on vases and frescoes and it was widely featured in comedy. In one play by Aristophanes, a slave complains that he indulged to such a degree that his foreskin would soon look like the back of a whipped slave. To prove its value as a free pleasure, philosopher Diogenes once masturbated before an audience, lamenting, “Would to Heaven that by rubbing my stomach in the same fashion, I could satisfy my hunger.”
    This liberalism did not extend to women, who were thought of as modest and unable to attain sexual pleasure without the introduction of semen to their bodies. This was belied by the fact that Greek women were fond of taking spa days, where — behind closed doors — they indulged with an olisbos, a word left decorously untranslated by many historians. (It meant, more or less, a detailed, penis-shaped dildo.)
  • Romans also accepted masturbation, writes Margolis. While the poet Marcus Valerius Martialis, or “Martial” for short, once warned a young patron, “What you are losing between your fingers, Ponticus, is a human being.”
    He also said, “Veneri servit amica manus — Thy hand serves as the mistress of thy pleasure.”
  • [T]he Christian Church spent its first 300 years of existence putting the screws to the sexual liberation enjoyed by much of the Ancient World. However, moralists were far more concerned about fornication than masturbation. In fact, Margolis writes, one anonymous medical tract from 1644 encouraged it, calling it a good defense against the temptation of women.
    Laqueur traces the prohibition of masturbation to a tract entitled “Onania; or, The Heinous Sin of Self Pollution, and all its Frightful Consequences.”
    Published anonymously in 1724 in notoriously Puritan Boston, it repeated the same erroneous reading of the Old Testament passage. During the Enlightenment, masturbation became a grave concern, literally for some: German philosopher Immanuel Kant considered it worse than suicide.

“Concerning Specific Forms of Masturbation” (1922)Edit

Wilhelm Reich, “Concerning Specific Forms of Masturbation”, in “Internationale Zeitschrift fur Psychoanalyse, Vol. 8, 1922; as qtd. in Wilhelm Reich, “Early Writings”, Vol. 1, (1975), p.125

  • The nature of masturbation has been clarified, and the origins of typical unconscious fantasies with their resulting guilt feelings have, for the most part, been brought to light. However, I should like to fill in a small omission in the understanding of masturbation by observing the specific forms it can assume. The difficulties encountered in the treatment of impotence have taught me to pay special attention to the manner in which the patient masturbates. I have discovered that many an unconscious drive may express itself and find release in a manifest but seemingly insignificant detail in the manner of masturbation. This escapes discussion during analysis until its mention is brought into sharp focus, and above all until the patient is advised to refrain-not from masturbating-but from this or that detail in the manner of its practice.
    • pp.125-126
  • Guidance of masturbational practices during treatment is an essential and active therapeutic tool in the hands of the analyst. In some cases it may involve danger, and much more experience in its use should be acquired.
    It may be assumed, and has already been proven repeatedly, that the most essential emotional drives are accumulated, expressed, and released in masturbation, which serves as the focal point for infantile and pubertal sexuality. In many cases one must strive to apply this knowledge to the technical aspects of analysis. In doing so, one finds confirmation of the hypothesis that masturbational fantasies are best approached through the analysis of the form of masturbation at the specific time, as well as through forms of masturbation practiced earlier. Correct transference and all the other criteria of a smoothly proceeding analysis are, of course, also necessary. I should like to express the hope that the emphasis I have placed upon the importance of the form of masturbation will not be interpreted to mean that I view this consideration as a cure-all. All that is being implied is that, by this means, one can achieve insight into questions pertaining to genital eroticism easily and quickly. This is especially true in cases of impotence. We know that masturbation is normally prominent for a varying length of time around puberty. Attention given to the form of masturbation can render some assistance in judging whether or not processes which may cause trouble later on are hidden behind masturbation. It can by no means tell all.
    • p.130
  • A boy in generally good mental health masturbates in a manner which clearly reflects his role. I have become acquainted with the following principal forms:
    1. Masturbation against the sheet or an improvised vulva (shirts, pillow, etc.), lying on the stomach, by means of active movement of the pelvis and without manual assistance. In this case the masculine adjustment seems to be assured and the fantasy directed toward the opposite sex (even if unconsciously insectuous). Alloeroticism is the motivating force here.
    2. In manual masturbation, lying on the side or in a bathtub, the autoerotic element is much stronger. In my experience, this form of masturbation is by far the most frequently employed.
    3. When the individual masturbates lying on his back with all activity localized in his hands the prognosis is not very favorable. My experience has shown that this mode of masturbation is primarily practiced by males with feminine attitudes.
    4. Forms of masturbation similar to those described earlier must be viewed as pathological. A few examples: A Boy masturbating in his parents’ bedroom during parental intercourse, whereby he attempts to have his orgasm coincide with that of the father. Two analyses (erthrophobia and a case of neurotic anxiety) served to show me the danger of this kind of behavior. Masturbation which involved placing the penis between the wall and the bed-or between the mattresses; pinching of the penis, as well as masturbation with a cloth wrapped around the penis. Both of these forms can be traced to self-punishment tendencies; the latter is rationalized with “so that it won’t hurt.” Masturbation in front of a mirror (narcissistic); while reading rape scenes (this is very frequent); on the toilet; in public parks, even though well hidden behind bushes; mutual masturbation with friends; etc., etc. All these indicate pathological process in the unconscious.
    • p.131
  • In girls, masturbation lying on the back, involving the clitoris (prior to puberty) and the vulva (after puberty), must be considered normal. Of the pathological forms of expression I might mention the following: masturbation by tugging the clitoris (desire for a penis) or lying on the stomach with the hands pressed to the breast; masturbation involving the anus (very frequent in men also). It is open to question just how we are evaluate female masturbation by pressing together of the thighs. Usually it is considered normal, but I feel, after having once analyzed a woman enuretic, that in such cases considerable disturbance may be present.
    • pp.131-132

“Masturbation: A Brief and Rigorous History" (Jun 25, 2012)Edit

Martha S Rosenthal, “Masturbation: A Brief and Rigorous History", Psychology Today, (Jun 25, 2012)

  • Masturbation is the most common sexual activity. Ironically, it’s also probably the one people talk about the least. Big people, small people, practically all people masturbate. A recent nationally-representative sample of almost 6000 men and women aged 14-94 found that most people have masturbated at some time in their lives, though the frequency depends on a person’s sex, age, health, and sexual habits. Most of the findings aren’t surprising: men are more likely than women to masturbate, and among those who do masturbate, men do so more frequently than women. Teens and college students report the highest frequency of masturbation, averaging two to three times per week. This frequency decreases as we age. It is a fallacy that people only masturbate when they are not involved in a sexual relationship. Some studies even suggest that the frequency of masturbation increases with a person’s frequency of intercourse, especially in women. Makeda Gerressu and colleagues found that women who report more oral and anal sex and more sexual partners were more likely to report masturbating.
  • In the Judeo-Christian tradition, masturbation has generally been condemned as sinful, mostly due to the mandate to “be fruitful and multiply.” In fact, Catholic theologian St. Thomas Aquinas believed that masturbation was a worse sin than rape, incest, and adultery, because in these other sins procreation is a possibility.
  • During the Victorian age, masturbation was thought to lead to impaired morals, depression, social failure, epilepsy, tuberculosis, blindness, insanity, sterility, and early death. Since masturbation was thought to be so dangerous, many “cures” were developed to eliminate its practice. Men of the time were encouraged to wear straightjacket pajamas or erection alerts to discourage handling of the penis. Some would wear a little suit of armor that would fit over the penis and testicles. Others wore a spermatorrhea ring. Available from the Sears catalogue, these rings fit along the base of the penis with spikes on its inner lining to prevent erection. As a last resort, some chronic masturbators had their foreskin stapled shut, or were castrated. In the nineteenth century, John Kellogg invented cornflakes as one part of a diet that he felt would lessen the sex drive and diminish the practice of masturbation, which he called a "crime doubly abominable."
  • In reality, not only is masturbation physically and psychologically harmless, but there are a number of therapeutic benefits to self-stimulation. Aside from producing sexual pleasure, masturbation relieves stress and lowers blood pressure, and can be enjoyed by couples or by those not in a relationship. Some feel that masturbation may improve a man’s fertility, as ejaculation flushes out the old, less motile sperm left behind in the urethra. Masturbation may even lower a man’s chance of getting prostate cancer— a study by G.G. Giles and colleagues found that men who ejaculated five times or more a week, especially while in their twenties, were found to be less likely to develop the disease, perhaps by preventing the buildup of carcinogenic substances in the prostate gland. Masturbation allows both men and women to learn about their bodies and their sexual response. In fact, women who masturbate as adolescents are better able to achieve sexual gratification as adults. Finally, masturbation presents no risk of pregnancy or transmission of STIs. It may even lower a woman’s chance of getting an STI, as orgasm increases the acidity of the vagina and protects against infection.

“Cases of Masturbation (Masturbatic Insanity)” (April 1887)Edit

E.C. Spitzka, [ “Cases of Masturbation (Masturbatic Insanity)” Journal of Mental Science, Volume 33, Issue 141, April 1887, pp. 57-73

  • With few exceptions, the classical writers on insanity regarded masturbation as an important factor in its aetiology. Ellinger, after a careful study of the patients at Winnenthal, concluded that twenty-five per cent. of them owed their condition to this cause. More modern writers, while admitting it to be an element in the production of mental disease, do not assign anything like so high a proportion, and it is probable that the distinguished alienist cited, must have failed to discriminate between those cases in which masturbation precedes and provokes insanity and those in which it accompanies, follows, and results therefrom. Bucknill and Tuke place insanity from masturbation , or masturbatic insanity, under their Somato-Aetiological classification of mental disorders. The latter (Hack Tuke) says “Reliable facts are of course most difficult to obtain, and such figures reveal little of the real truth, the extensive mischief done [by masturbation] of which there can be no doubt whatever. Savage states that masturbation may occur as a cause in either sex, but that it is far less frequently a cause than a symptom of mental derangement. Folsom regards it as an exciting and predisposing factor, creating a morbid psychical state by exalting the sensibility of the youthful nervous system; but adds that it does not often do so. The views of both these, the most recent writers of systematic treatises in the English language, are in accord with some of the leading German authorities. The latter do not recognize a special form of masturbatic insanity in their tables. Schule speaks of onanistic insanity in the same sense in which Maudsley uses that term, but gives it no place in his classification, disposing of it in a few lines of the text. Krafft-Ebing recognizes the vice to be an aetiological factor, and speaks of such-and-such forms of insanity as being developed on a masturbatic basis. He, as well as Schule, with the majority of recent German writers, follows Ellinger in attributing to the “masturbatic neurosis” a relation to the causation of insanity, analogous to heredity and the great neuroses, such as hysteria, epilepsy, and alcoholism. I am unable to find any dissent among the Germans from the statement approvingly cited by Emminghaust from Krafft-Ebing, that the clinical forms growing out of this neurosis are too numerous and widely different to permit the erection of a special form of insanity, such as that which the renowned somato-aetiologist Skae attributed to, and named after, the vice in question. This criticism appears to acquire some support from the lack of unanimity among those writers who have defined and attempted to demarcate such a type. While Skae speaks of a peculiar imbecility and shy habits as characterizing the disorders among the youthful, and suspicion, fear, scared looks, cardiac palpitations, the delusion of having committed the unpardonable sin, and feeble bodies, as found in older victims of this habit, his most distinguished follower attributes to it exaggerated self-feeling, conceited, shallow introspection, frothy emotional religious notions, and a restless, unsettled state, with foolish hatching of philanthropic schemes.
    • pp.57-58
  • Luther Bell, who, with Isaac Ray, was among the first to direct special attention to insanity caused by masturbation, furnishes a very faithful picture of certain cases, whose particular features he states to be a tendency to dementia, loss of self-respect, a mischievous, dangerous disposition, and an irritable, depressed state of mind. Griesinger* states that the majority of cases are marked by a profound dullness of sentiment and mental exhaustion, by religious delusions, and hallucinations of hearing, and a rapid transition to dementia in the event of incurability; which latter is the usual destiny. Schule recognizes two phases of onanistic insanity, in the brief paragraph alluded to. The first consists in a persecutory delusional insanity, usually with an erotic or lascivious tinge; the second is a moral insanity, marked by a mean hypochondriacal egotism and a loss of the normal emotions. Savage speaks of sexual hypochondriasis as one form of insanity due to masturbation, but also attributes this disorder to marital excesses and unsuccessful marital performances. Elsewhere he refers to a form of adolescent insanity due to “masturbation and the onset of sexuality.” Folsom asserts that most of the primary dementia in asylums is classed in some institutions as insanity of masturbation (“masturbatic insanity”).
    • pp.58-59
  • At the time of making these statements I regarded the following as expressing the general opinion among alienists:-
    “While there is no special form of insanity attributable to masturbation, yet those psychoses accompanied and modified by this vice seem to have certain characters in common. Melancholia, stuporous insanity, katatonia, and insanity of pubescence, are the forms most frequently found in masturbators, and the essential characters of these psychoses are always recognizable under these circumstances. The ordinary characteristics of the masturbator are, however, found in addition. Thus such lunatics are usually retired, shy, suspicious, hypochondriacal, mean, and cowardly. . . .
    • pp.59-60
  • The effect of masturbation on the nervous system varies according to the age at which the habit is commenced. Like other agents which are injurious to the developing brain, such as epilepsy, alcohol, and syphilis, its effect is most rapid and serious in younger children,* less so in adolescents, and least so in adults. To produce anything like the ravages I the adult brain which it effects in immaturity, it must be greatly protracted. In very young infants it causes a profound deterioration, manifesting itself in convulsive or choreic disorder and imbecility. In those who masturbate between the fifth and tenth years, the effects seem to be chiefly manifested in arrested brain nutrition. Spontaneity of thought and action is rare in such children; they do not play as their comrades do. Here a noteworthy difference is observed between the two sexes. The boy masturbator usually becomes shy, and above all when in presence of female company. The girl masturbator, while shy in general society, seeks out persons of the opposite sex, makes advances to boys, and may even secude them. To some extent this difference between the two sexes is maintained throughout later life. The adolescent and adult male masturbator, with a few exceptions later alluded to, has in the earlier period of his vice a shyness before, and in later ones an aversion to women. The adolescent and adult female onanist usually entertains ideas of an erotic character, develops foolish marriage notions, and may throw away all reserve before males. It is a singular feature of these cases that there should exist a very great difference between these females as regards the fruition of their expectations.
    • p.61
  • The older the victim of self-abuse, the more likely is he to develop an unpleasant irritability or hypochondriacal egotism. In those rare cases where the habit is continued into or commenced late in life, organic brain-disease is a possible sequence. Whether this be a sole result, or merely a consequence of a precipitation of existing pathological changes, or of premature senility, I am unable to say. It is recognized by a number of writers that masturbation may be-like natural sexual excess-a contributory cause of paretic dementia. There is another form of brain-trouble found as a result of self-abuse when continued through a lifetime, to which reference will be made.
    Among the factors modifying the clinical picture of masturbatic insanity is the original disposition of the patient. If this were sanguine or choleric, we find conceit, project-building, and aggressive meddlesome behavior; if the opposite temperaments exist, we find timidity, anxiety, melancholic and hypochondriacal tendencies. Commonly there is some dovetailing of these different states. Not infrequently it is found that they alternate somewhat like the phases of an irregular cyclothymia. Thus, a patient on his reception in the asylum is found depressed, afraid of others, suspecting that they can read his crime in his face, or is filled with an unaccountable dread of death. After a few weeks or months, however, he who sat motionless in one corner, with cold hands, a pale, careworn, anxious countenance and crouched body, who could scarcely be induced to open his mouth when visited by his relatives, meets the latter with a firm or even swaggering demeanour, shakes hands energetically, his eye is brighter, and his expressions positive and loud. The relatives are gratified at the change, even physicians have been, to my knowledge, deceived by it. But in the course of an otherwise connected and able conversation, he drops an expression whose abrupt silliness betrays the abyss and developing dementia, in which he is about to sink. The patient who demonstratively asserts what “a good boy” he always has been, who never “broke his word,” nor “did a dirty thing,” is found to possess the credulity of a child, and attempts to impose assertions on others which imply the same infantile credulity on their part.
    Another important modifying factor is of a more strictly psychical nature than the elements just alluded to. The age between twenty and thirty-five is pre-eminently the period of somatic introspection. It is at this period, if at any, that the average man begins to think of his bodily condition. At this age men weigh themselves, discover-or think they do-that they have too much or too little flesh, develop slight gastic disorders, reflex nervous symptoms, indulge in excesses in tobacoo, “in baccho”, and “in venere”. They are consequently on the watch for cardiac, renal, or venereal disease, or of sexual disability. At this period, too, the remote consequences of masturbation are felt by the victim of that habit. The prevalent tendency of his age, and his associates of the same age, tinctures his depression with a veritable “nosomania”. Possibly, under the advice of physicians or laymen, he attempts coitus, and fails. Body and mind react on each other in a vicious circles ; spinal irritation in the domain of the former, and hypochondriacal insanity in that of the latter, being a frequent result.
    • pp.62-63
  • One of the exploded superstitions of a past era is that the simple and radical remedy for nervous and mental disorders resulting from masturbation is the resorting to natural gratification of desire. How utterly erroneous this is…
    • p.69

“Clinical Holistic Medicine: Teaching Orgasm for Females with Chronic Anorgasmia using the Betty Dodson Method” (September 21, 2008)Edit

Pia Struck and Søren Ventegodt; “Clinical Holistic Medicine: Teaching Orgasm for Females with Chronic Anorgasmia using the Betty Dodson Method”, The Scientific World Journal, Volume 8, (September 21, 2008)

  • Holistic sexological manual therapy is a new and developing field, integrating efficient methods from standard medical sexology, Hippocratic medicine, and CAM (complementary and alternative medicine). There are many ways to work manually with female sexual dysfunctions in the sexological clinic; from simple therapeutic touch and acceptance through touch, to vaginal acupressure, and manipulation and stretching the pelvic muscles through the vagina. Direct sexual stimulation in the holistic medical clinic, i.e., with a clitoral vibrator, is a new, radical, and efficient approach, where the barrier created by accumulated and repressed shame, guilt, and lack of acceptance is taken down by direct and confrontational sexological work, taking the woman all the way to orgasm in the clinical setting. Whenever there is a physical contact with the female genitals, there is a possibility for decharging emotions repressed to the tissues that can be used therapeutically.
    • p.884
  • When discussing the CAM bodywork use of clitoral vibrators, it must be presented in a manner that communicates the scientific nature of the process. In the U.S., the use of vibrators in funded research might be considered to be unethical or even illegal in some states. We understand that it might be difficult to get this presented research accepted in these states, however, Betty Dodson, Ph.D. did this work from 1973 to 1995 in New York City, and her method is now being used and further developed by many complementary therapists in the U.S. and Europe. We therefore find that it is time to address this kind of work scientifically, and we hope that we will be able to present it carefully so that this quite radical work in holistic sexology can be understood and appreciated.
    The clitoral vibrator chosen for the treatment was a Hitachi Magic Wand, which has a very large head designed for efficient transference of vibrations to the vulva and clitoral region without causing soreness or irritation of the tissue. It can be used for an extended length of time compared to other vibrators, which is important when treating anorgasmic women with delayed orgasmic response. From a psychodynamic perspective, we find it interesting to note that bodily pleasure seems to be even more strongly repressed than emotional pain, and many layers of shame and unpleasant feelings must often be confronted before the female patient reaches the plateau of orgasm. This process needs prolonged sexual stimulation combined with therapeutic processing of emerging negative feelings and emotions, which is made possible by the specific design of this vibrator. Of course, this could also be done manually (compare the historical discussion below).
    • p.885
  • We used the confrontational method developed by Betty Dodson. For 40 years, Dodson has been known in the U.S. as “the mother of female masturbation”, and she has spent her life teaching women to accept their own bodies and sexuality, and to allow themselves the pleasure of genital satisfaction, alone and with a partner. Her motto is known from her many books and videos as “transforming masturbation to self-love”. To our knowledge, this is the first time her method has been tested scientifically. The program has been adjusted to the Danish culture and changed according to our understanding of holistic therapy. Pia Struck developed a program of anatomical and physiological teachings, including Betty Dodson’s films, followed by intensive existential group therapy with very strong elements of sexual confrontation, a concept that can be boiled down to “encountering and accepting your own body and sexuality, and your genitals in structure and functioning” as well as applying all of the means of the body in order to be able to encompass higher levels of sexual excitement. An important aspect of the therapy is the therapeutic energy work, involving the patient’s pelvic floor muscles and hip movements, making her push the pubic bone forward while tensing and releasing the musculature of the whole body, adding sound, complimented with different kinds of breath work, including holotropic breath work. Sexual fantasies are encouraged while she is stimulating all her erotic zones, including breast and nipple stimulation, and clitoral, vaginal, and anal stimulation. A key tool is thus the prolonged masturbation with variety and diversity. Every possible thing is done to make the female patient confront her emotional resistance related to her sexuality and to support her experience of a full body orgasm.
    • p.885
  • Patients who were severely sexually traumatized earlier in life often had some emotional difficulties, while their “old wounds” healed in the weeks after the therapy. Patients who were mentally ill (with diagnosed borderline conditions or major depression, sometimes on antidepressants) were included in the study and all reported feeling mentally better after the intervention. No patients had severe developmental crises or developed psychiatric disturbances, such as depression or psychosis. Many patients reported positive additional benefits, such as increased desire and quality of life, higher self-esteem, better relationship with partner, etc. (see case reports at The method of direct sexual stimulation in manual sexological therapy has no significant negative side effects or adverse effects.
    • p.888
  • Direct sexual stimulation of women has a long history in medicine. Before use in the sexological examination (see below), it was used in holistic medicine for millennia. In the Corpus Hippocratic, “hysteria” is described as a disease caused by the energies related to the womb, treatable with exercise and pelvic massage. In the first century AD, Celcus and Soranus recommended genital massage for hysteria. Aretaeus Cappadox recommended the same in the third century AD based on Hippocrates. Galen (ca. AD 129–200) also understood “hysteria” to be caused by lack of psychosexual development. He carefully describes, obviously based on Hippocrates, the procedure of genital massage therapy, resulting in the contractions and the release of fluid from the vagina, after which the patient was relieved of her symptoms. (The great respect for Hippocrates and Galen made the procedure of genital massage a standard procedure until the end of the 19th century.) In “Tetrabiblion”, Äetius of Amida (502–575) described a uterine contraction, muscle spasm of the entire body, and discharge of fluid from the vagina. Muschion’s Gynaecia describes the procedure a little differently as manual therapy of the vulva. Rhazes, an Arab physician, described a similar procedure around 900 AD. It is not clear from most medieval sources whether the manipulation of the female genitals needed to go all the way to orgasm to be therapeutic, but many sources write that it is necessary to continue the massage treatment until the vagina discharges its fluid, indicating that the physicians massage must be sexually stimulating for the therapy to work, and the descriptions of universal muscle contractions mentioned above leave little doubt that the treatment was taken all the way to orgasm. It is clear that many different styles of genital massage have been used, some concentrating on raising the energy of the uterus, such as Hippocrates, and others, such as Muschion and Rhazes, focusing more on sexual stimulation of the vulva. The many historical sources leave little doubt that physicians have successfully used this kind of massage therapy for millennia to heal the female patient and free her from severe physical, mental, existential, and sexual problems. The rationale for such a therapy that seems strange and quite mysterious for most modern physicians is that there is a close statistical connection between sexual maturity and physical and mental health and general well-being, as recent research has documented.
    • pp.889-890
  • In the middle of the last century, Reich, Hartman, Fithian, Morgan, Hoch and other researchers in sexology developed a sexological intervention they called “sexological examination”. With regard to the obvious above-mentioned ethical problems of treatment with direct sexual stimulation, we must emphasize that this “sexological examination”, from the beginning, included the method of direct sexual stimulation. The method is in contemporary use by Hartman, Fithian, and many others. Hartman and Fithian noted that they do not, as a part of the examination, intentionally stimulate the patient to “a high level of arousal”, but “some women do become aroused, and occasionally a sex flush will be observed in the process practice of the vaginal caresses”. The sexological examination involves all parts of the genitals, including the vagina, the labia minores and majores, and the clitoris. It is noteworthy that the tradition of sexological examination seemingly has been without ethical difficulties; the reason for this is presumably that everything in the sexological clinic happens after consent and obviously is justified by the severity of problems of sexual dysfunction that often completely destroy the patient’s sexual and marital life.
    • p.890
  • Some of the obligatory steps of the sexological examination are, according to Hartman and Fithian: •Acquainting the female with her own body to dispel some of the feeling that the genital area is a special place forbidden for all but physicians to see. •Searching for areas where nerve endings come together in a systematic way, suggesting that this may develop positive feelings. •Assisting women in determining areas of perception, feeling, and awareness in their vagina. Pointing out areas in the vagina that tend to be more sensitive and responsive for many women (i.e., 12, 4, and 8 o'clock positions). •Determining a woman's response and arousal patterns. Indicating to her whether or not she lubricates well and vasocongests when she does. •Locating areas digitally that may be producing pain, discomfort, or problems with sexual arousal or intercourse — such as separation of muscle in the vaginal wall; long labia minora; scarring, which may be tender or fibrous — and to pinpoint the source of “pain” when present. •Determining whether or not clitoral adhesions are present is more important than the stimulation of the clitoris in the female sexological examination. This is a condition where the prepuce is stuck or adhered to the glans clitoris. For preorgasmic women, the inability of the clitoris to withdraw as part of sexual arousal may prevent particular women from full response. Even though some women are orgasmic with clitoral adhesions, freeing them usually results in easier, quicker orgasms and less discomfort due to calcified, trapped smegma. •Identifying, where present, reasons for vaginismus, which are not only physiological, but psychological.
    • p.890-891
  • The holistic manual sexological therapy used in this study was performed in the feministic tradition of nudity, expressive sexuality, genital self-exploration with mirrors, and common masturbation in a group of females. It also built on the 40-year-long process of sexual liberation in western societies, making it unproblematic for Danish women of all ages to participate in the group and share their sexual problems. The efficient elements of the highly confrontational method for breaking the female orgasm barrier in patients with anorgasmia seem to be reparenting, genital self-touch, acceptance through touch, and direct sexual clitoral stimulation in therapy, allowing all the difficult feelings associated with the genitals, pelvis, body, and sexuality to emerge in order to be processed in therapy. A clitoral vibrator was used. In the traditional sexological examination, the therapist is not naked, the therapist is often male, and therapy happens without the common masturbation that seems to be an important aspect of Dodson’s treatment, presumably because of the emotional resistance provoked by this radical procedure. The patients are normally not taken all the way to orgasm, although this occasionally happens, without this becoming a problem or in conflict with the ethical rules. On the other hand, Betty Dodson sometimes avoids the digital stimulation of her female patients’ genitals that is obligatory in the sexological examination, by using the mechanical stimulator. The specific features of masturbation and nudity that makes Betty Dodson’s method spectacular and somewhat alienating, controversial, and strange to normal therapists, especially if they are trained as physicians or nurses, seem to be there to enhance the therapeutic resistance work. Other elements, such as direct sexual stimulation, are, in spite of their radical nature, traditional elements of the “sexological examination”, and also of the Hippocratic tradition of psychosexual healing and salutogenesis. All of this indicates that the tool of direct sexual stimulation of the patient should be accepted as a usable therapeutic tool, and added to the advanced holistic medical toolbox. We know for sure that many therapists would not like to masturbate naked with their patients in the future. We also now know that direct sexual stimulation is one of the most powerful tools of holistic sexological manual therapy and has been so for millennia. As 11–60% of all women on the planet seems to be struggling with anorgasmia, and problems related to sexual pleasure and desire often destroy their sexual life or hinder them in having a happy and successful marital life, we cannot afford to be “tight” and moral in our attitude towards this powerful medical tool, and disappoint the patients that so desperately need it. Manual sexological work that takes the female patient to orgasm creates a huge arousal in the patient and can also, obviously, be sexually gratifying for the therapist, also without the therapist acting out. Sexuality is pleasurable. This is how we are made as human beings and there is nothing we as sexually normal therapists can do about it. However, we can be extremely certain that we have the training and the ethics needed to prevent us from acting out sexually towards our patients during therapy.
    • p.891

”6 Benefits of Female Masturbation That Will Convince You to Do it More” (May 30, 2019)Edit

Haley Swanson, quoting Nan Wise in ”6 Benefits of Female Masturbation That Will Convince You to Do it More”, Glamour, (May 30, 2019)

  • Obviously, masturbating feels amazing—your clitoris has 8,000 nerve endings—reason enough to reach for the vibrator. There are actual pleasure pathways in the brain that are strengthened by masturbation, Wise explains. She’s devoted years of research to mapping them out specifically for women—something that (not shockingly) hadn’t been done before. “I noticed that when women simply thought about those regions [of their bodies], they were able to activate the pathways,” she says. With enough practice, “these pathways become well-tuned highways for sensations in the body,” especially pleasurable ones.
    Pleasure alone is reason enough to masturbate—something women don’t always feel comfortable with. “Really give yourself permission for pleasure so that when you do experience the biophysical benefits, you can actually bask in them,” says Jenni Skyler, a certified sex therapist and sexologist at the Intimacy Institute in Colorado.
  • “If you feel like bringing an outsider into the circle of trust, masturbating will help you know which moves don’t cut it and which to advocate for,” says Skyler. “There's a lot of utility to just knowing yourself and advocating for your own needs.”
  • “A falling off of desire happens for lots of people, in particular women in long-term relationships,” says Wise. But making time for masturbation can actually increase your sexual appetite when you’re with a partner.
    Let’s go back to the concept of pleasure pathways—the more you walk down them on your own, the easier it will be to find them when you’re with a partner. When women masturbate, “we're activating the systems that will turn on our appetite for sex and, in a bigger way, even our appetite for life,” says Wise. “Seeking pleasure from ourselves with ourselves is a really good way to keep those neurochemical and hormonal systems primed.”
  • In studying pleasure and the brain, Wise’s research also shows widespread brain activations during stimulation, which means “the brain is getting oxygen, which is really good for it,” she says.
  • Think about it: Focusing on your own pleasure leaves no room for the stress of to-do lists or whatever is giving you anxiety at work. Masturbating can be a very pleasurable path to a state of zen. Wise has seen this in her patients, many of whom come into sessions overthinking: “They're in their heads, not attuned to their bodies at all. There’s a real imbalance there.” Masturbation can give you space to feel really present, establishing a connection between mindfulness and pleasure. Make self-pleasure a part of your self-care routine; you might like it more than Headspace.
  • The female orgasm is all about pleasure—it has nothing to do with reproduction. It’s time to own that idea, and masturbation can help. “Take a stand now for owning our bodies; find the pleasure in them,” says Wise.

“A Solemn Appeal. Relative to a Solitary Vice, and Abuses and Excesses of the Marriage Relation”], (1870)Edit

Ellen White, “A Solemn Appeal. Relative to a Solitary Vice, and Abuses and Excesses of the Marriage Relation”, (1870)

  • “The solitary vice is one of the most common cause of insanity is a fact too well established to need demonstration here.”
  • Have you not felt distressed and anxious as you have seen the strong desire in your children to be with the other sex, and the overpowering disposition they possessed to form attachments when quite young? With your daughters, the boys have been the theme of conversation: and with your sons, it has been the girls. They manifest preference for particular ones, and your advice and warning produce but little change. Blind passion overrules sensible considerations. And, although you may check the outward manifestations, and you credit the promises of amendment, yet, to your sorrow, you find there is no change, only to conceal the matter from you. They follow their willful course, and are controlled by their passions, until you are startled by perhaps a premature marriage, or are brought to shame by those who should, by their noble course of conduct, bring to you respect and honor. The cases of premature marriage multiply. Boys and girls enter upon the marriage relation with unripe love, immature judgment, without noble, elevated feelings, and take upon themselves the marriage vows, wholly led by their boyish, girlish passions. They choose for themselves often without the knowledge of the mother who has watched over them, and cared for them, from their earliest infancy.
    • pp.3-4
  • Attachments formed in childhood have often resulted in a very wretched union, or in a disgraceful separation. Early connections, if formed without the consent of parents, have seldom proved happy. The young affections should be restrained until the period arrives when sufficient age an experience will make it honorable and safe to unfetter them those who will not be restrained, will be in danger of dragging out an unhappy existence. A youth not out of his teens is a poor judge of the fitness of a person, as young as himself, to be his companion for life. After their judgment has become more matured, they view themselves bound for life to each other, and perhaps not at all calculated to make each other happy. Then, instead of making the best off their lot, recriminations take palce, the breach widens, until there is settled indifference and neglect of each other. To them there is nothing sacred in the word home. The very atmosphere is poisoned by unloving words and bitter reproaches. The offspring of such are placed in a much more unfavorable condition than were their parents. With such surroundings, such examples, what could be expected of them if time should continue? Mothers, the great cause of these physical, mental, and moral evils, is secret vice, which inflames the passions, fevers the imagination, and leads to fornication and adultery. This vice is laying waste the constitution of very many, and preparing them for diseases of almost every description And shall we permit our children to pursue a course of self-destruction?
    • pp.4-5
  • Mothers, view your children from a religious standpoint. It gives you pain to see your children feeble in body and mind; but does it not cause you still greater grief to see them almost dead to spiritual things, so that they have but little desire for goodness, beauty of character, and holy purposes? Secret vice is the destroyer of high resolve, earnest endeavor, and strength of will to form a good religious character. All who have any true sense of what is embraced in being a Christian, know that the followers of Christ are under obligation as his disciples, to bring all their passions, their physical powers and mental faculties, into perfect subordination to his will. Those who are controlled by their passions cannot be followers of Christ. They are too much devoted to the service of their master, the originator of every evil, to leave their corrupt habits, and choose the service of Christ.
    • p.5
  • How important that we teach our children self-control from their very infancy, and teach them the lesson of submitting their wills to ours. If they should be so unfortunate as to learn wrong habits, not knowing all the vil results, they can be reformed by appealing to their reason, and convincing them that such habits ruin the constitution, and affect the mind. We should show them that whatever persuasions corrupt persons may use to quiet their awakened fears, and lead them still to indulge this pernicious habit, whatever may be their pretense, they are really their enemies and the devil’s agents. Virtue and purity are of great value. These precious traits are of heavenly origin. They make God our friend, and unite us firmly to his throne.
    Satan is controlling the minds of the young, and we must work resolutely and faithfully to save them. Very young children practice this vice, and it grows upon them and strengthens with their years, until every noble faculty of body and mind is debased. Many might have been saved if they had been carefully instructed in regard to the influence of this practice upon their health. They were ignorant of the fact that they were bringing much suffering upon themselves children who are experienced in this vice, seem to be bewitched by the devil until they can impart their vile knowledge to others, even teaching very young children this practice.
    Mothers, you cannot be too careful in preventing your children from learning low habits. It is easier to guard them from evil, than for them to eradicate it after it is learned.. Neighbors may permit their children to come to your house to spend the evening and the night with your children. Here is a trial, and a choice for you, to run the risk of offending your neighbors by sending their children to their own home, or gratify them, and let them lodge with your children, and thus expose them to be instructed in that knowledge which would be a life-long curse to them.
    • pp.6-7
  • The young indulge to quite an extent in this vice before the age of puberty, without experiencing at that time, to any very great degree, the evil results upon the constitution. But at this critical period, while merging into manhood and womanhood, nature then makes them feel the previous violation of her laws.
    As the mother sees her daughter languid and dispirited, with but little vigor, easily irritated, starting suddenly and nervously when spoken to, she feels alarmed, and fears that she will not be able to reach womanhood with a good constitution. She relieves he, if possible, form active labor, and anxiously consult a physician, who prescribes for her without making searching inquiries, or suggesting to the unsuspecting mother the probable cause of her daughter’s illness. Secret indulgence is, in many cases, the only real cause of the numerous complaints of the young. This vice is laying waste the vital forces, and debilitating the system and until the habit, which produced the result, is broken off, there can be no permanent cure. To relieve the young from healthful labor, is the worst possible course a parent can pursue. Their life is then aimless, the mind and hands unoccupied, the imagination active, and left free to indulge in thoughts that are not pure and healthful. In this condition they are inclined to indulge still more freely in that vice which is the foundation of all their complaints.
    • pp.7-8
  • Mothers, it is a crime for you to allow yourselves to remain in ignorance in regard to the habits of your children. If they are pure, keep them so. Fortify their young minds, and prepare them to detest this health and soul destroying vice. Shield them, as faithful mothers should from becoming contaminated by associating with every young companion. Keep them, as precious jewels, from the corrupting influence of this age. If you are situated so that their intercourse with young associated cannot always be overruled, as you would wish to have it, then let them visit your children in your presence, and in no case allow these associates to lodge in the same bed, or even in the same room. It will be far easier to prevent an evil than to cure it afterward.
    If your children practice this vice, they may be in danger of resorting to falsehood to deceive you. But, mothers, you must not be easily quieted, and cease your investigations. You should not let the matter rest until you are fully satisfied. The health and souls of those you love are in peril, which makes this matter of the greatest importance. Determined watchfulness, and close inquiry, notwithstanding the attempts to evade and conceal, will generally reveal the true state of the case. Then should the mother faithfully present this subject to them in its true light, showing its degrading, downward tendency. Try to convince them that indulgence in this sin will destroy self-respect and nobleness of character; will ruin health and morals, and its foul stain will blot from the soul true love for God, and the beauty of holiness. The mother should pursue this matter until she has sufficient evidence that the practice is at an end.
    • pp.8-9
  • The course which most mothers pursue, in training their children in this dangerous age, is injurious to their children. It prepares the way to make their ruin more certain. Some mothers, with their own hands, open the door and virtually invite the devil in, by permitting their daughters to remain in idleness, or what is but little better, send their time in knitting edging, crocheting, or embroidering, and employ a hired girl to do those things their children should do. They let them visit other young friends, form their own acquaintances, and even go from their parental watchcare some distance from home, where they are allowed to do very much as they please. Satan improves all such opportunities, and takes charge of the minds of these children whom mothers ignorantly expose to his artful snares.
    • pp.9-10
  • Mothers should take their daughters with them into the kitchen, and give them a thorough education in the cooking department. They should also instruct them in the art of substantial sewing. They should teach them how to cut garments economically, and put them together neatly. Some mothers, rather than to take this trouble, to patiently instruct their inexperienced daughters, prefer to do all themselves. But in so doing, they leave the essential branches of education neglected, and commit a great wrong against their children for in after life they feel embarrassment, because of their lack of knowledge in these things.
    Mothers should educate their daughters in regard to the laws of life. They should understand their own frame, and the relation their eating, drinking, and every-day habits, have to health and a sound constitution, without which the sciences would be of but little benefit.
    The help of the daughters will often make so much difference with the mother’s work, that kitchen help can be dispensed with, which will prove not only a saving of expense, but a continual benefit to the children, by making room for them to labor, and bringing them into the society, and under the direct influence, of their mother, whose duty it is to patiently instruct the dear ones committed to her care. Also, a door will be closed against much evil, which a hired girl may bring into a family. In a few days she may exert a strong influence over the children of the family, and initiate your daughters into the practice of deception and vice.
    • pp.10-11
  • Children should be instructed from their early years to be helpful, and to share the burdens of their parents. By thus doing, the can be a great blessing in lightening the cares of the weary mother. While children are engaged with active labor, time will not hang heavily upon their hands, and they will have less opportunity to associate with vain, talkative, unsuitable companions, whose evil communications might blight the whole light of an innocent girl, by corrupting her good manners.
    Active employment will give but little time to invite Satan’s temptations. They may be often weary, but this will not injure them. Nature will restore their vigor and strength in their sleeping hours, if her laws are not violated. And the thoroughly-tired person has less inclination for secret indulgence.
    • p.11
  • Mothers allow themselves to be deceived in regard to their daughters. If they labor, and then appear languid and indisposed, the indulgent mother gears that she has overtaxed them, and resolves henceforward to lighten their task. The mother bears the extra amount of labor which should have been performed by the daughters. If the true facts in the case of many were known, it would be seen that it was not the labor which was the cause of the difficulty, but wrong habits which were prostrating the vital energies, and bringing upon them a sense of weakness and great debility. In such cases, when mothers relieve their daughters from active labor, they, by so doing, virtually give them up to idleness, to reserve their energies, to consume upon the altar of lust. They remove the obstacles, giving the mind more freedom to run in a wrong channel, where they will more surely carry on the work of self-ruin.
    • pp.11-12
  • The state of our world is alarming. Everywhere we look, we see imbecility dwarfed forms, crippled limbs, misshaped heads, and deformity of every description. Sin and crime, and the violation of natures laws, are the causes of this accumulation of human woe and suffering. A large share of the youth now living are worthless. Corrupt habits are wasting there energies, and bringing upon them loathsome and complicated diseases. Unsuspecting parents will try the skill of physicians, one after another, who prescribe drugs, when they generally know the real cause of the failing health; but for fear of offending, and losing their fees, they eep silent, when, as faithful physicians, they should expose the real cause. Their drugs only add a second great burden for abused nature to struggle against and in this struggle nature often breaks down in her efforts, and the victim dies. And the friends look upon the deatha s a mysterious dispensation of Providence, when the most mysterious part of the matter is, that nature bore up as long as she did against her violated laws. Health, reason, and life, were sacrificed to depraved lusts.
    • p.12
  • As Christian parents, we are bound to train our children in reference to the laws of life. We should instruct them, by precept and example, that we do not live to eat, but that we eat to live. We should encourage in our children a love for nobleness of mind, and a pure, virtuous character. In order to strengthen in them the moral perceptions, the love of spiritual things, we must regulate the manner of our living, dispense with animal good, and use grains, vegetables, and fruits, as articles of diet.
    • p.15
  • Mothers, is there not a work for you to do in your families? You may inquire, How can we remedy the evils which already exist? How shall we begin the work? If you lack wisdom, go to God. He has promised to give liberally. Pray much, and fervently, for divine aid. One rule cannot be followed in every case. The exercise of sanctified judgment is now needful. Be not hasty and agitated, and approach your children with censure. Such a course would only cause rebellion in them. You should feel deeply over any wrong course you have taken, which may have opened a door for Satan to lead your children by his temptations. If you have not instructed them in regard to the violation of the laws of health, blame rests upon you. You have neglected an important duty, the result of which may be seen in the wrong practices of your children. Before you engage in the work of teaching your children the lesson of self-control, you should learn it yourself. If you are easily agitated, and become impatient, how can you appear reasonable to your children while instructing them to control their passions? With self-possession, and feelings of the deepest sympathy and pity, you should approach your erring children, and faithfully present to them the sure work of ruin upon their constitutions, if they continue the course they have begun; that as they debilitate the physical and mental, so, also, the moral must feel the decay, and they are sinning, not only against themselves but against God.
    You should make them feel, if possible, that it is God, the pure and holy God, that they have been sinning against that the great Searcher of hearts is displeased with their course; that nothing is concealed from him. If you can so impress your children, that they will exercise that repentance which is acceptable to God, that godly sorrow which worketh repentance unto salvation, not to be repented of, the work will be thorough, the reform certain. They will not feel sorrow merely because their sins are known, but they will view their sinful practices in their aggravated character, and will be led to confess them to God, without reserve, and will forsake them. They will feel to sorrow for their wrong course, because they have displeased God, and sinned against him, and dishonored their bodies before him who created them, and has required them to present their bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto him, which is their reasonable service.
    • pp.15-16
  • You should present encouragements before your children that a merciful God will accept true heart repentance, and will bless their endeavors to cleanse themselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit. As Satan sees that he is losing control over the minds of your children, he will strongly tempt them and seek to bind them to continue to practice this bewitching vice. But with a firm purpose they must resist Satan’s temptations to indulge the animal passions, because it is sin against God. They should not venture on forbidden ground, where Satan can claim control over them. If they in humility entreat God for purity of thought, and a refined and sanctified imagination, he will hear them, and grant their petitions. God has not left them to perish in their sins, and will help the weak and helpless, if they cast themselves in faith upon him. Those who have been in the practice of secret indulgence until they have prostrated their physical and mental strength, may never fully recover from the result of the violation of nature’s laws; but their only salvation in this world, and that which is to come, depends upon entire reform. Every deviation is making recovery more hopeless. None should be discouraged if they perceive no decided improvement in their health after the habit has been broken off for quite a length of time. If nature’s laws have not been too long abused, she will carry on her restoring process, although it may ot be immediately realized. But some have so long abused nature that she cannot recover entirely. Such must reap as long as they live, to a greater or less degree, the fruit of their doings.
    • p.17
  • The only hope for those who practice vile habits it so leave them forever, if they place any value upon health here, and salvation hereafter. When these habits have been indulged in for quite a length of tim, it requires a determined effort to resist temptation, and refuse the corrupt indulgence. Those who destroy themselves by their own acts will never have eternal life They that will continue to abuse the health and life given them of God in this world, would not make a right us of health and immortal life were they granted them in God’s everlasting kingdom.
    The practice of secret habits surely destroys the vital forces of the system. All unnecessary vital action will be followed by corresponding depression. Among the young, the vital capital, and the brain are so severely taxed at an early age, that there is a deficiency and great exhaustion, which leave the system exposed to diseases of various kinds. But the most common of these is consumption. None can live when their vital energies are used up. They must die. God hates everything impure, and his frown is upon all who give themselves up to gradual and sure decay.
    • p.21
  • Those who corrupt their own bodies cannot enjoy the favor of God, until they sincerely repent, make an entire reform, and perfect holiness in the fear of the Lord. None can be Christians and indulge in habits which debilitate the system, bring on a state of prostration of the vital forces, and end in making a complete wreck of beings formed in the image of God. This moral pollution will certainly bring its reward. The cause must produce the results. Those who profess to be disciples of Christ should be elevated in all their thoughts and acts, and should ever realize that they are fitting for immortality, and that, if saved, they must be without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing. Their Christian character must be without a blemish, or they will be pronounced unfit to be taken to a holy Heaven, to dwell with pure, sinless beings in God’s everlasting kingdom.
    It is the special work of Satan in these last days to take possession of the minds of youth, to corrupt their thoughts, and inflame their passions, knowing that by thus doing he can lead them to self-pollution, and then all the noble faculties of the mind will become debased, and he can control them to suit his own purposes. All are free moral agents; and as such they must bring their thoughts to run in the right channel. Their meditations should be of that nature which will elevate their minds, and make Jesus and Heaven the subjects of their thoughts. Here is a wide field in which the mind can safely range. If Satan seeks to divert the mind from this to low and sensual things, bring it again, and place it on eternal things; and when the Lord sees the determined effort made to retain only pure thoughts, he will attract the mind, like the magnet, and purify the thoughts, and enable them to cleanse themselves from every secret sin. “Casting down imagination, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5. The first work of those who would reform is to purify the imagination. If the mind is led out in a vicious direction, it must be restrained to dwell only upon pure and elevated subjects. When tempted to yield to a corrupt imagination, then flee to the throne of grace, and pray for strength from Heaven. In the strength of God the imagination can be disciplined to dwell upon things which are pure and heavenly.
    • p.22-23
  • Some young persons who have been initiated into the vile practices of the world, seek to awaken the curiosity of other inquisitive minds, and impart to them that secret knowledge, ignorance of which would be bliss. They are not content with practicing themselves the vice they have learned. They are hurried on by the devil, to whisper their evil communications to other minds to corrupt their good manners. And unless the youth have fixed religious principles, they will be corrupted. A heavy penalty will rest upon those who suffered Satan to use them as mediums to lead astray and corrupt the minds of others.
    • p.23
  • Many professed Christians do not labor perseveringly. They make too little effort, and are not ready and willing to deny self. The prayer of the living Christian will be to “be filled with the knowledge of His will, in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, that ye may walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God, strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and long-suffering with joyfulness.” Colossians 1:9-11. “In whom are had all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Colossians 2:3.
    Here is the true knowledge, which should be desired and possessed by every Christian. This knowledge will not lead to ungodliness. It will not break down the constitution, nor bring a gloomy cloud over the mind; but will impart substantial hoys and true happiness. This wisdom is divine, and flows ceaselessly from a pure fountain which gives peace, joy, and health.
    Even many professed Christian seem to have no earnest desire for this heavenly knowledge, and remain in willing ignorance of this divine grace which it is their privilege to obtain. The only safety for the youth is to seek this precious wisdom, which will assuredly destroy all desire for corrupt knowledge.
    • p.25

“Looking Back: The solitary vice” (2001 July)Edit

James Whorton, “Looking Back: The solitary vice”, West J Med. 2001 Jul; 175(1): 66–68.

  • By the time Dr Robertson dismissed “masturbational insanity” as a “popular superstition” (see box), belief in masturbation as a cause of mental illness had flourished as a medical superstition for fully a century. To be sure, sexual self-service had been regarded as immoral for a much longer period, because it was an “unnatural” practice. For that same reason, the act had on occasion been supposed to be unphysiologic as well; so perverse an assault on nature must necessarily injure the body designed by nature. Thus, an early 18th-century treatise on The Heinous Sin of Self-Pollution advised young male readers that if they persisted in their evil indulgence, they would arrive at manhood unmanned, either impotent or subject to ejaculatio praecox and, in either case, rendered “ridiculous to women.”
  • A connection of the heinous sin with insanity began to be forged in the later 1700s, as Enlightenment era values fostered an understanding of mental imbalance as illness that might be cured. The construction of asylums to treat the mentally ill brought physicians into closer and more frequent contact with patients who masturbated often and openly. Because sexual arousal involved stimulation of the nervous system, it was easy to conclude that chronic nervous excitation attending the unnatural act of masturbation might eventually undermine the health of the brain. By the early 1800s, European and American physicians concurred that masturbation led to insanity.
    During the 1830s, the notion was extended into the realm of popular belief by America's first lay health reformer, Sylvester Graham (1794-1851). Remembered today only as the inventor of a whole wheat cracker that constituted the modern era's first health food, Graham was a Presbyterian minister who preached a system of health behavior derived not from scientific observation, but from a moral logic based on 2 unquestioned premises: first was the puritanical conviction that all pleasurable sensation was satanic temptation in disguise, and second was the certainty that any behavior that was immoral had to be unhealthful as well. An efficient God wouldn't have ordered things any other way. In practical translation, any activity appearing to be stimulating, to emotions as well as physical organs, was potentially pathologic.
  • Because sex was the most stimulating activity of all (even Graham knew that), it was considered the most dangerous. Some forms of sex, nevertheless, were more dangerous than others. Least risky was the marital variety, the form established by the Creator for replenishing the earth. If enjoyed no more than once a month, connubial commerce was free of threat—so long as the partners were young and in robust health. There was such a thing as “marital excess,” and it led to injury. Even so, it entailed less danger than the “social vice” of premarital or extramarital sex. Lest his readers foolishly suppose that 1 orgasm was much like another, Graham reminded them that adultery involved additional excitements. Both in the violation of a social taboo and the prolonged anticipation and final realization of coupling with a new body, one experienced stimulation far beyond anything to be found in the marital bed; to Graham's mind, the great virtue of marital sex was that it so soon became boring.
    Far more treacherous was the “solitary vice,” masturbation, which had been thought of as somewhat less rousing than the real thing. Graham, however, pointed out that as a solitary activity, the practice of masturbation was likely to start at an earlier age and to occur more often than partnered sex. Most important, the lack of a partner meant resorting to fantasy and the conjuring of erotic scenes and lewd images that surely stirred the brain to a fever pitch. (By this analysis, lusting in the heart was physiologically equivalent to lusting in the flesh.) Because the brain's inflamed state could be transmitted to any organ or tissue of the body through the nervous system, all manner of disease could follow. But with sexual solitaire, the climax—rather the culmination—was insanity. “This general mental decay,” Graham warned, “continues with the continued abuses, till the wretched transgressor sinks into a miserable fatuity, and finally becomes a confirmed and degraded idiot, whose deeply sunken and vacant glassy eye, and livid, shriveled countenance, and ulcerous, toothless gums, and fetid breath, and feeble broken voice, and emaciated and dwarfish and crooked body, and almost hairless head—covered, perhaps, with suppurating blisters and running sores—denote a premature old age—a blighted body—and a ruined soul!”
  • The linking of ruined soul to blighted body reveals the moralistic basis of Graham's concept of pathology. It is no coincidence that the level of physical injury ascribed to each type of sexual practice is directly correlated to the level of immorality of each: the naughtier you were, the more you could expect to suffer. That kind of correlation made eminent sense to the Victorian mind, and as products of Victorian culture, physicians were hardly immune to such analyses. An American doctor who blasted “the sin of self-pollution” as “the vilest, the basest, and the most degrading that a human being can commit,” one that should make a boy “ashamed to look into the eyes of an honest dog,” was the same person who as late as the 1880s was still citing masturbation as a frequent cause of tuberculosis, heart disease, epilepsy, and insanity, and urging parents to make unannounced nighttime raids on their children's rooms to catch youthful masturbators in the act and then to cure their prey with cauterization of the clitoris or circumcision without benefit of anesthesia. Circumcision was, in fact, recommended by more than a few medical experts as masturbation therapy (“a tight or long foreskin is a frequent cause of the habit”), and it was advised for both sexes. “The clitoridectomies of Baker Brown” alluded to by Robertson were the remedy applied to female masturbation by London's Isaac Baker Brown for several years in the 1860s.
  • Masturbation served for decades as a useful catchall diagnosis for all manner of medical complaints of uncertain etiology. During the late 19th century, however, it fell from favor as investigations in psychiatry and sexology made it clear the practice was nearly universal. As Robertson recognized, if masturbation truly did cause insanity, the capacity of state asylums would have to be increased from 5,000 to 500,000—he apparently felt it unnecessary to add that many of the inmates would be physicians.

“Genital stimulation, imagery, and orgasm in women”Edit

Wise, Nan; Komisaruk, Barry R; Delgado, Mauricio; Tricomi, Elizabeth (internal member); Hanson, Catherine; Whipple, Beverly; Rutgers University; Graduate School - Newark; “Genital stimulation, imagery, and orgasm in women”

  • The main questions addressed in my dissertation are: 1) how does fMRI- measured activity of the brain respond to physical versus imagined stimulation of the genitals, and 2) as the brain activity progresses from response to genital stimulation through orgasm to its resolution, how does the regional activity change? These questions are addressed in the form of two studies: 1) Activation of sensory and other brain regions in response to imagined versus physical genital stimulation, and 2) Brain regional activation upon transition to self- and partner-induced orgasm in women. The first study developed from a genital sensory mapping study (Komisaruk, Wise et al, 2011) in which our control condition revealed the intriguing serendipitous finding that just imagining genital or nipple stimulation activated the same regions of the genital sensory cortex as did actual tactile stimulation of these body regions.
    • p.1
  • Imagined and physical self-stimulation of the nipple and clitoris both resulted in activation of the paracentral lobule (the genital sensory cortex) and the secondary somatosensory cortex. Imagined stimulation of clitoris and nipple resulted in greater activation of the frontal pole and orbital frontal cortex than did the actual tactile self-stimulation of these two bodily regions. Tactile self-stimulation resulted in greater activation of the cerebellum, primary somatosensory cortex (hand region), and motor cortex than did imagery. Imagining dildo self-stimulation generated extensive brain activation in the genital sensory cortex and “reward system”, whereas imagining speculum stimulation generated only minimal activation throughout the brain. The present findings provide evidence that imagery activates brain regions implicated in bodily sensation, orgasm, and reward that both overlap with, and are different from, the brain regions that respond to tactile self-stimulation.
    • p.1
  • In the course of this study, a serendipitous finding arose from a control condition, during which the participants were instructed to “think” about self-stimulating their clitoris, vagina, and nipple: it was observed that just “imagining” stimulation of these regions generated activity in the genital sensory cortex that overlapped substantially with that induced by actual physical stimulation, although the imagery condition activations were of a lesser magnitude. In addition, thinking about stimulating a body part appeared to activate the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, frontal superior medial cortex, and frontal inferior orbital cortex substantially more than did the corresponding physical stimulation(Wiseet al., 2010).
    These findings are consistent with recent studies demonstrating that imagery of stimulation of specific body regions activates corresponding regions of the primary, secondary somatosensory cortices (S1, S2) and the insula, although to a lesser degree than tactile stimulation of those body regions, while in contrast, the magnitude of activation of the inferior parietal lobule, medial frontal gyrus, dorsolateral prefrontal areas, and inferior frontal gyrus is greater for the tactile imagery conditions (Yoo et al., 2003; Olivetti Belardinelli et al., 2009).
    • p.2
  • The only significant differences between the self-stimulation and partner-stimulation groups were found during the stimulation period, the self-stimulation group showing more activity during mid-stimulation (than early stimulation), while the partner-stimulation group showed more activity during late stimulation (compared to mid-stimulation). It is possible that these differences stem from group differences in latency to orgasm. The self-stimulation group, controlling their own stimulation, had significantly shorter latency to orgasm than the partner group. They may have “ramped up” sexual arousal earlier in the stimulation sequence than the partner-stimulation group, thereby showing more activity when mid-stimulation was compared to early stimulation.
    Conversely, the partner stimulation group took longer to reach orgasm, and as a result, may have built up significantly more brain activation after what was a longer stimulation period for them. Thus, when late stimulation was compared to the mid-stimulation, they had experienced a significantly longer duration of stimulation. It is possible that this resulted in more cumulative brain activity than the self-stimulation group. Although the self-stimulation group did need to plan and execute their own stimulation, once the stimulation built-up to orgasm, it is possible that a final common “orgasm pathway” rendered the differences between self and partner stimulation less salient to the brain than the experience of the orgasm, itself.
    • pp.91-92
  • Clitoral, vaginal, and cervical self-stimulation differentially activated regions of the sensory cortex, but all were clustered in the medial paracentral lobule. Because the perineal (groin) region is also stimulated incidentally during the clitoral, vaginal, and cervical self-stimulation, its corresponding sensory cortical region -- i. e, the dorsal convexity of the paracentral lobule, immediately lateral to the midline -- was also activated. The present findings may help to resolve a discrepancy in the literature that claims that the location of the genital sensory cortical representation is on the dorsolateral paracentral lobule, rather than the medial paracentral lobule [8–12]. That is, based on the present findings, the discrepancy in the literature may be due to responses to indirect stimulation of the perineal (groin) region rather than to adequate stimulation of the genitals per se.It is likely that the clitoris is indirectly stimulated by self-stimulation of the cervix or vagina. Under the conditions of the present study, it is not possible to discern whether the overlap among regions of the sensory cortex activated in response to self-stimulation of each of these three genital regions is due to true overlap of the brain regions that would be activated by “pure” stimulation of each of these three genital regions separately, or whether the overlap is due to incidental stimulation of one genital region (e.g., vagina) during self-stimulation of a different genital region (e.g., cervix). What is clear, however, is that to some extent, the sensory cortical regions activated by each of these three genital regions are to some extent separable and distinct. Unexpectedly, nipple/breast self-stimulation activated not only the (expected) thoracic sensory homuncular region, but also the region of the paracentral lobule that overlaps with the region activated by clitoral, vaginal, or cervical self-stimulation. This finding is consistent with many women's reports that nipple/breast stimulation is erotogenic and can elicit orgasms ([16–18] and personal communication).
    • p.172

“Abstinence from Masturbation and Hypersexuality” (4 March 2020)Edit

Felix Zimmer, Roland Imhoff, [ “Abstinence from Masturbation and Hypersexuality”, Archives of Sexual Behavior (4 March 2020) 49:1333-1343

  • Despite the lack of evidence for negative health effects of masturbation, abstinence from masturbation is frequently recommended as a strategy to improve one’s sexual self-regulation. We adopted a framework of perceived problems with pornography to collect first hints about whether abstinence from masturbation stems from a psychological and behavioral “addiction” or conflicting attitudes. In an online questionnaire survey recruited via a non-thematic Reddit thread (n = 1063), most partici-pants reported that they had tried to be abstinent from masturbation. As visible from zero-order correlations and multiple linear regression, motivation for abstinence was mostly associated with attitudinal correlates, specifically the perception of masturbation as unhealthy. While there were associations with hypersexuality, no significant correlation with behavioral markers such as maximum number of orgasms was found. Higher abstinence motivation was related to a higher perceived impact of masturbation, conservatism, and religiosity and to lower trust in science. We argue that research on abstinence from masturbation can enrich the understanding of whether and how average frequencies of healthy behavior are pathologized.
  • p.1333
  • Alongside other strategies to abstain from Internet pornography, abstinence from masturbation is advocated within a quickly growing online community. The subreddit NoFap, which currently has 516,444 followers (R/NoFap, 2019), suggests abstinence from masturbation as part of “reboot” challenges comprised of 90 days of abstinence from porn, masturbation, and orgasms. While the notion that consumption of Internet pornography is problematic has received scientific attention (Grubbs, Perry, Wilt, & Reid, 2019), abstinence from masturbation has remained unexplored.
    • p.1333
  • Individual motivation for abstaining from masturbation has been diversely scattered across recent history. It is present in religious arguments, discussions surrounding the fear of physiological or psychological consequences, and efforts to avoid feelings of guilt or loss of control (Patton, 1986). Until the early modern age, moralists and theologians considered masturbation a “sin against nature” (Stolberg, 2000), whereas medical professionals left it largely unnoticed (Laqueur, 2003). In the beginning of the eighteenth century, this view changed with the publication of “Onania: or, the Heinous Sin of Self-Pollution,” which ascribed physiological symptoms to masturbation (Laqueur, 2003). In one edition of this work, Tissot (1781) elaborated on the concept of a “post-masturbatory disease.” He regarded the loss of semen and the mechanical manipulation of the genitals as possible causes of infection, sexual dysfunction, and insanity (Patton, 1986; Stolberg, 2000). Complementing religious argu-ments, fear of pathological consequences became an incentive to abstain from masturbation (Kontula & Haavio-Mannila, 2003). This fear widened to a loss of self-control or control over one’s own sexual desire (Hunt, 1998), which was linked to the ability to control and satisfy a woman and maintain the patriarchal position within the family (Stolberg, 2000). Abstinence from mas-turbation also reached political significance as “Victory over the sexuality of young men was symbolically necessary to provide the legitimacy for their capacity to carry forward the national or imperial project” (Hunt, 1998, p. 589). After the “masturbation panic” reached its peak in the beginning of the twentieth century (Kontula & Haavio-Mannila, 2003), progressive evaluations by medicine and psychology were on the rise (Patton, 1986). For example, Freud viewed masturbation as a natural developmental component in childhood and adolescence that should nevertheless be discarded in adulthood (Laqueur, 2003). Around the end of World War II, masturbation was regarded as a treatment option rather than a cause of psychosexual dysfunction (Patton, 1986). Finally, the “Kinsey Reports” (Kinsey, Pomeroy, & Martin, 1948; Kinsey, Pomeroy, Martin, & Gebhard, 1953) contributed to a normalized view of masturbation by revealing how widespread the behavior was across all strata of the population.
    • pp.1333-1334
  • Today, learning about the pleasures of masturbation at an early age is part of European sexuality education standards (“Standards for Sexuality Education in Europe,” 2010). In a survey in the UK, about 95% of men and 71% of women reported they had masturbated at least once (Gerressu, Mercer, Graham, Wellings, & Johnson, 2008). Positive aspects of masturbation include becoming familiar with one’s own body, forming sexual fantasies, and possibly achieving sexual satisfaction without risk (Driemeyer, 2013). Furthermore, masturbation plays an important role in sex therapy (e.g., LoPiccolo & Lobitz, 1972; Zamboni & Crawford, 2003).
    • p.1334
  • Despite the positive effects of masturbating, overly frequent masturbation might also have negative effects. At a purely biological level, the long reigning authoritative view is that overly frequent masturbation reduces sperm quality. This conviction encouraged the World Health Organization (2010) to recommend an intermediate duration from 2 to 7 days of sexual abstinence before sperm donation. Yet in a recent review, Ayad, van der Horst, and Du Plessis (2018, p. 245) called for a revision of this recommendation based upon finding superior sperm quality in shorter abstinence periods. On the level of physiological outcomes, thus, there is currently no evidence for any beneficial effects of abstinence from masturbation (notwithstanding endocrinological effects like an increase in serum testosterone; Exton et al., 2001; Jiang, Jiang, Zou, & Shen, 2003).
    • p.1334
  • Abramson and Mosher (1975) developed a measure to assess negative attitudes toward masturbation. Unsurprisingly, they found a negative correlation with the average frequency of masturbation per month, implying that persons with negative attitudes masturbate less frequently (or vice versa). They also found a high correlation of negative attitudes with sexual guilt. Sexual guilt, conceptualized as a tendency toward feelings of violation of a moral standard (Mosher, 1979), is a construct which Coleman (2003) attributed “most of the ill effects of masturbation” (p. 7) to, rather than considering the behavior itself or its frequency. Liberal sexual attitudes are connected to the general prevalence of masturbation (Das, Parish, & Laumann, 2009; Gerressu et al., 2008). Finally, religiosity has been found to be associated with negative emotions toward masturbation (Strasser, 2011) and the view of masturbation as a sin and unhealthy behavior (Davidson, Darling, & Norton, 1995).
    • p.1335

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