In this part of our world especially in Nigeria, Masturbation is seen as a great deviation from moral life, it is greatly seen as a gross personal misconduct which leads to questioning the individual’s upbringing and a lot of factors are blamed for it, especially pointing fingers at the way this person was nurtured. Masturbation is a normal and healthy sexual activity with few side effects. While it once was regarded as a perversion and a sign of a mental problem, masturbation now is regarded as a normal, healthy sexual activity that is pleasant, fulfilling, acceptable, and safe. It is a good way to experience sexual pleasure and can be done throughout life.
Masturbation is only considered a problem when it inhibits sexual activity with a partner, is done in public, or causes significant distress to the person. It may cause distress if it is done compulsively or interferes with daily life and activities.
What Then Can We Say About Masturbation?
Masturbation is when an individual stimulates their genitals for sexual pleasure, which may or may not lead to orgasm. Masturbation is common among men and women of all ages and plays a role in healthy sexual development. Experts and researchers have agreed that masturbation is a completely normal process for all human beings and is considered a healthy sexual behavior.
Research has found that among adolescents aged 14–17 years in the Nigeria, around 74 percent of males and 48 percent of females masturbate. Among older adults, roughly 63 percent of men and 32 percent of women between 57 and 64 years of age masturbate. People masturbate for many reasons. These include pleasure, enjoyment, fun, and tension release. Some individuals masturbate alone, while others masturbate with a partner.
How Harmful Is Masturbation?
Masturbation is harmless. Some people may experience chafing or tender skin if they are too rough, but this will usually heal in a few days. If men frequently masturbate within a short space of time, they may experience a slight swelling of the penis called an edema. This swelling usually disappears within a couple of days. Other potential side effects include:
Decreased Sexual Sensitivity: If men have an aggressive masturbation method that involves too tight a grip on their penis, they can experience decreased sensation. A man can resolve this over time with a change of technique. Enhanced stimulation, such as using a vibrator, may increase arousal and overall sexual function in both men and women. Women who use a vibrator have reported improved sexual function and lubrication, while men experienced an improvement in erectile function.
Prostate Cancer: A study demonstrated that men who ejaculated more than five times each week during their 20s were one third less likely to develop aggressive prostate cancer than those who ejaculated less often. Researchers speculate that the reduced risk was because frequent ejaculation may prevent the build up of cancer causing agents in the prostate gland. A similar link between frequent ejaculation and a lower risk of prostate cancer was discovered in another research. Researchers found that men who ejaculated 21 times per month or more had a reduced risk of developing prostate cancer.
Increases Procrastination: In rare cases, some individuals may masturbate more than they desire, which may: cause them to miss work, school, or important social events, interrupt a person’s daily functioning, affect their responsibilities and relationships and serve as an escape from hip issues or substitute for real life experiences
Guilt: Some people who worry that masturbation conflicts with their religious, spiritual, or cultural beliefs may experience feelings of guilt. However, masturbation is not immoral or wrong, and self-pleasure is not shameful. Discussing feelings of guilt with a friend, healthcare professional, or therapist that specializes in sexual health might help a person to move past feelings of guilt or shame that they connect with masturbation
Erectile Dysfunction: This is among the most prominent side effects of masturbating too much. Men who indulge in over masturbation have an increased risk of suffering from erectile dysfunction. Some research also suggests that frequently masturbating can contribute to erectile dysfunction. Though, there is very little research about it.
Neurological Concerns: Neurological problems are closely related to excessive masturbation in men. Over masturbation is associated with several severe neurological problems in older men.
Premature Ejaculation: Excessive masturbation is linked with premature ejaculation. Men who masturbate too much find it extremely hard to control the release of sperm. Over stimulation of the penal nerve is largely responsible for premature ejaculation.
Are There Really Some Health Benefits Of Masturbation?
The answer is yes! Masturbation has many physical and mental health benefits, few studies focus specifically on the benefits of masturbation, but research suggests that sexual stimulation, including stimulation through masturbation, can: reduce stress, release tension, enhance sleep quality, boost concentration, elevate mood, relieve menstrual cramps, alleviate pain and improve sex. Masturbation has also been identified as a strategy to improve sexual health by promoting intimacy, exploring self-pleasure, desires, and needs, reducing unwanted pregnancies, and preventing sexually (STIs) and HIV transmission. Individuals who choose to abstain from sex or who do not currently have a sexual partner may often masturbate as a sexual outlet. Masturbation also has sexual health benefits specifically for older women, such as less vaginal dryness and decreased pain during sex.
Some experts suggest that masturbation can actually improve sexual health and relationships. By exploring your own body through masturbation, you can determine what is erotically pleasing to you and can share this with your partner. Masturbation is only considered a problem when it inhibits sexual activity with a partner, is done in public, or causes significant distress to the person. It may cause distress if it is done compulsively or interferes with daily life and activities.