Growing up, we all can relate to those hushed discussions during free periods in schools and colleges, or grouping in parties to share each other’s hook-up stories, jerk-off shenanigans, and dating faux-pas. As somebody who was seemingly open to listening to my friends, I often heard my guy friends break into banter about how much they masturbated and what some things they needed to avoid at all costs.
Many of these were preconceived, faulty assumptions and myths, now that I reflect, and I’m sure as you’re reading this, you might have grown up learning a lot of things about your body that you could never be sure of.
In a country like India where the topic of sex itself has been a taboo for long time, many men often may find themselves more confused than ever about what works and what doesn’t when it comes to male masturbation.
“There was no education given on this matter so it was easier for us to believe anything told to us, so it was often that friends would make fun, joke, or call each other out on masturbating and spread rumors”, shared Vansh, 25, a Delhi-based artist about how lack of sex education was a contributing factor in how men grew up perceiving their bodies.
From the infamous No Nut November to Dhat syndrome (a condition common in India where many men complain of physical and emotional distress linked to perceived semen loss), we live in a society that is riddled with misinformation when it comes to practicing self-pleasure.
Masturbation should be a healthy intimate practice for everyone because it has been recognized for its health benefits far and wide. Not only that, it’s a great way to explore your sexual preferences and understand your pleasure needs better. So, let’s get straight into some of the most common myths you might have heard about male pleasure and masturbation, and bust them up!
Myth #1: Masturbation will ruin your erections
Fact: Medically speaking, when you masturbate and experience an orgasm, your pelvic floor muscles go through a mini-workout that in turn enhances pleasure and boosts arousal. Hence, having a wank is recognized as an effective way to improve the quality of your orgasms, and eventually erections.
Having said that, some men or penis-owners often experience performance anxiety during solo and partnered experiences that can be attributed to a lot of factors including consumption of mainstream p*rn that sets unrealistic expectations around their bodies and what sex can look and feel like.
Ronit, 27, a Consultant from Mumbai opened up about his experience, “It’s a lot of pressure to take as someone who probably is also exploring his own body, you know? I remember once I jerked off 4 times in a day and towards the night I couldn’t get a hard-on. I freaked out so bad, I didn’t touch myself for a week! I wish I knew back then that maybe I was just tired and that it was completely okay.”
Myth #2: Masturbation can shrink your penis size
Fact: Your penis build, size, and overall anatomy are all based on your genes. Practicing masturbation (or not) doesn’t have any impact on the size of the shaft. Neither can your penis shrink or grow in size on its own, and there is no established link to your self-pleasure habits. So jerk off, and carry on!
A tale almost every person with a penis can tell you is how they’ve grown up with (and still do face) an astounding amount of pressure around penis size and girth. In a rather interesting conversation with Amit, 23, who’s based in Bangalore, they let me in on what it was like for them being a part of those ‘boy groups’ and engaging in what we colloquially know as a ‘d!ck-measuring’ competition.
“There was so much attention given to the size of our penis; it was almost as if our self-esteem was directly associated with how big, long, and hard we are supposed to be. But, the irony is that I was a literal teenager comparing my size to that of a grown up man (in adult films/p*rn).”
Myth #3: Masturbating every day will bring down the quality of your experience
Fact: This is not entirely true. Masturbating every day doesn’t interfere with how good the session was. Every day is a new day, and you can explore different techniques and grips to add to the fun.
For a lot of people with penises, it has been noted how being familiar with a particular way of stroking or gripping the shaft can make it challenging to switch routines and experience an orgasm more smoothly.
However, you can always break the monotony and keep things fresh and frisky by incorporating novel ways of going about giving yourself a good shake.
Another important experience to take into consideration here is that of Phimosis. It’s a condition wherein the penis foreskin cannot be retracted or can only be pulled back to a certain limit (Partial Phimosis).
As per research in 2020, roughly 13.5% of Indian men have some form of Phimosis, and yet a lot of us have little to no awareness about it affects people with penises, their sexual health and their ability to have pleasure during masturbation and partnered play.
Vansh shared, “One thing I learned was how phimosis or partial phimosis can affect pleasure or make it difficult to engage in the act so I was always afraid of not being able to pleasure my partner, or finishing too soon. I thought pleasure was only associated with penetrative sex because I also believed that masturbation is all about pleasuring the genitalia alone.”
Myth #4: Masturbating while being in a relationship means you’re not satisfied
Fact: Masturbation and partnered sex are not mutually exclusive. Both of these practices can co-exist for couples as they unlock new milestones in pleasure, intimacy, and their relationship.
You can have the greatest sex of your life as a couple and yet want to indulge in some me-time, every now and then. In no way does that impact your relationship or overall sexual satisfaction.
Since masturbation is primarily viewed as a solo experience, many partners often masturbate by themselves in private. But, opening up to mutual masturbation can be a game-changer move for couples who are looking to engage in the subtle art of mutual pleasure.
You can even try introducing sex toys to your play repertoire and ensuring communication throughout.
“In one of my previous relationships, my partner walked in on me masturbating. Her immediate response was a look of surprise, followed by shutting of the door. In that moment, I felt so guilty and ashamed when I know I didn’t have to. Even she didn’t have a problem with it but she had never seen me like that.” shared Rishi, 29, a Creative Strategist based in Noida.
Myth #5: Men don’t need sex toys to masturbate
Fact: That is SO NOT TRUE! Contrary to popular notions around male pleasure, sex toys, and intimate massagers are an awesome way of inciting the spark for experimentation and intentional masturbation.
This means putting in the effort and taking out time to give yourself a slow, passionate, and much-deserved release. Sex toys for men are also great for promoting partnered intimacy since you can explore some exciting stuff in the bedroom.
That Sassy Thing is launching a very special surprise for our beloved peen gang. All the men reading this right now, stay tuned for an all-new, bombastic sidekick that’s gonna be so st(r)oked to meet you soon! Enough taco-ing about it, this is some top-secret sassy stuff and we can’t wait for it to be in your hands. Until next time, till then, give yourself the break you deserve and tune into fap-o’-clock!
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