11.27.17 Dildo
Whitney Williston

Masturbation has always had a bad reputation. From causing you to go blind to making you crazy, there are many myths that surround the act. The truth of the matter is masturbation is a simple and amusing way to explore your own sexuality.

Masturbation was long ago thought to cause many illnesses, but it has since been proven that not only is it untrue, it’s a normal part of the development of human sexuality. According to the National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior, 78 percent of Americans aged 14 and older have masturbated at some point in their lives. There’s no reason to be ashamed or feel like an outlier for masturbating. Many people around you are doing it too.

Research shows masturbation benefits a person’s mind and body by reducing stress, improving self-esteem and strengthening the muscles in the pelvic and anal area. When a person has an orgasm, endorphins – the feel-good hormones – are released throughout the body. It gives a person a natural and healthy high. It’s a much better alternative to some other endorphin-increasing activities.

Masturbation is not only good for certain health benefits – it’s a method of sexual exploration much less risky than engaging in sexual activity with partners. There is no risk of pregnancy or obtaining an STD because it’s all done solo. Not to mention it’s always good to know what you like during sex. Masturbation allows you to determine what you believe feels best to you, opening doors to better communication with current or future partners.

There have been scientific theories for why masturbation occurs. Evolutionary biologists discovered the longer a male goes without masturbating,  the higher the number of sperm is rejected from the female body, according to Scientific American. This has allowed them to conclude that masturbation helps get rid of older sperm that is less likely for a female to take and allows for newer, more fit sperm to be released instead. They have also determined that masturbation helps women orgasm more, an act that contributes to higher sperm retention. Knowing masturbation adds to an evolutionary advantage, there are even fewer reasons to not masturbate.

Masturbation will always be available to humans as a safe and easy method of enjoyment. It isn’t “naughty,” and it is your own personal business. It’s not up to anyone else to tell you what you should or shouldn’t do behind closed doors. As long as it does not interfere with daily activities, it can and should be done as often as one likes.

Chantelle Baker is a 20-year-old communication studies senior from Waipahu, Hawaii.

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