The answer to this question  –  NO, masturbation will not make you go blind. Unless maybe if you get copious amounts of jizz in your eye, many times. JK, Maybe not even then.

As ridiculous as this question sounds, it points to the plethora of myths surrounding masturbation. Myths exist to create fear and taboo. Want to demonize something? Surround it with myths, add some stigma and stir! The idea of pleasure scares the powers that be in a patriarchy, and the idea of self-pleasure, of women of female identifying bodies experiencing that, on their own  –  oh! there is nothing deadlier than this. * insert exploding sounds*

Truth is there is nothing more empowering that realizing the potential of your own pleasure. Your pleasure is in your hands (pun intended) and when you take the time to explore your own body – what you like, what you don’t like, where your boundaries are – you will be a better position to communicate those to your partner(s). And good communication means good sex, so hey! Everyone wins.

So let’s get the bottom of these masturbation myths shall we?

Myth 1: Only sad people who ‘can’t get some’ with a partner, masturbate.

First of, it is impossible to ‘be sad’ while masturbating. Secondly, this myth propagates the problematic view that people in relationships do not masturbate.

Masturbation is good for you. It helps discover volumes about yourself and not just with regards to your sex life.

Truth: Everyone deserves pleasure and exploring your own body can be really good for your sexual relationships with others. 

Masturbation is good for you. When you take the time to explore your own body, at your pace, you can discover volumes about yourself and not just with regards to your sex life. Sex with a partner can often performative, especially for women and female identifying bodies. Instead of being present in the moment and enjoying the journey we are on, we can become distracted by how our bodies look while having sex, if we are making the right sounds, or faces, if our hair is falling over our shoulders the right way. This distraction can stand in the way of us following our bodies call to pleasure, especially if we don’t know what makes us feel good. When you take the time to practice some solo-self-love, you can let go more easily and the insights you gain will be good for your sexual relationships with partners.

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Myth 2: Masturbation/Vibrators can ruin sex for women.

Does eating lunch ruin eating dinner? If you can eat different things on the same day and still like eating, why can’t you enjoy both masturbation and sex?

Truth: Masturbation/vibrators help women have better sex.

Women who masturbate are more likely to be comfortable with their bodies. Women who masturbate are more confident in bed because they know what they like and are also more likely to be open to communicate this to their partner. Basically, female masturbation can only ruin sex for men who don’t want their female partners to feel pleasure. And girl, trust me, you are better off without these kinds of men. Also, vibrators are aides that allow women to feel pleasure in different ways or faster. They are not a threat to sex, they could very easily be incorporated into partnered sex and add to the pleasure. Also, masturbating together with a partner can be very sexy.

Myth 3: Masturbation can damage your genitals. 

Not unless you masturbate with a sledgehammer.

Truth: Masturbation is safe for your genitals. 

Some touch themselves every day, some a few times a week and some never. All of these are normal. Masturbation does not cause any physical, emotional or psychological damage to your body. In fact, it is good for you. Masturbation can become ‘ too much’ if it gets in the way of your daily life responsibilities, job or social life. In this case, you can get help from a therapist and treat it like any other addiction.

Also read: Female Masturbation: Politics and Pleasure

Myth 4: Masturbation causes hair growth, infertility, acne, mental health issues, *insert your own scare*. In short, masturbation is BAD for you. 

Myths around masturbation are propagated as a result of ignorance, lack of information and fear around human sexuality and pleasure. Masturbation is not bad for you.

Masturbation relieves stress, helps you sleep better, promotes a healthy self-image, reduces cramps, strengthens your pelvic floor and even helps lubricate your joints!

Truth: Masturbation is healthy and is associated with various physical, emotional, and psychological benefits. 

Taking the time to pleasure yourself has many many health benefits. Masturbation relieves stress, helps you sleep better, promotes a healthy self-image, reduces cramps, strengthens your pelvic floor and even helps lubricate your joints! Masturbation is self-care. Those of us who grapple with trauma around sex and intimacy can use masturbation as a way to heal our relationship to pleasure and develop different ways of being in our body.

Also read: Flying Solo: 5 Female Masturbation Techniques Worth Exploring

Basically solo-sex, flicking the bean, masturbation, erotic self-love whatever you call it, is good for your emotional, physical, psychological, sexual health and for your relationships, especially the one with yourself. The myths listed here are just four out of the countless myths that stigmatize pleasure, after all they have developed over centuries of patriarchy. So next time you come up against one just take a step back and ask yourself who you are hurting by giving yourself a few minutes/hours of self-care? The answer is nobody. Because everybody deserves care and touch and pleasure and there is nothing more empowering than giving that to yourself.

This article was featured on Medium as a recommended read for the topic Sexuality.

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  1. Masturbation might be natural, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it is good. Few people can control themselves enough not to masturbate more than once a week. People make masturbation a daily thing and soon begin to watch porn. This is likely to lead to an increase in perversion and ED. Abstinence from masturbation leads to noticeable health benefits that I have personally experienced, at least in males.

    It is okay to masturbate to discover your sexuality, but you should know when you have discovered enough and put a stop to it.

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