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Curiosity About Self-Pleasure

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Curiosity About Self-Pleasure

The only thing about masturbation to be ashamed of is doing it badly. –Sigmund Freud

If ever there were a place in life to allow our curiosity free reign, it would be in the realm of our sexual exploration. Becoming curious is a powerful antidote to both the fear and the shame that has long shadowed the desire and experience of pleasure. Indeed, there are many sexual educators and therapists that consider the ability to self-pleasure as the cornerstone of sexual health.  It’s not really a stretch to consider that a large percentage of the sexual dysfunction that so many people suffer from might easily have begun with the shame and anxiety about touching oneself early in life.  In fact, there is a clear correlation between the degree of guilt that early physical curiosity met and the ability to experience sexual pleasure in adult life.

Just for the record, masturbation is the most common sexual practice on the planet. It is not just for lonely people either.  Survey research shows that people of all ages masturbate both in and out of relationships. Kinsey’s survey found that almost 40% of men and 30% of women in relationships masturbated. A study of Playboy readers found that 72% of married men masturbated, and a study of Redbook readers found that 68% of married women masturbated.  Even given those statistics, many people feel they have to hide this behavior from their partner.

Feeling isolated and alone with our sexuality is standard in this country.  The little sex education that is provided through adolescence, is an exercise in naming body parts at best and in some institutions is merely a drawn out diatribe of abstinence theory and the sinfulness of sexuality in general. Historians have suggested, that “the forbidden fruit” that is referenced from Adam and Eve is the experience of orgasm, so it is not surprising that this first gate of knowing and loving ourselves through masturbation has been continuously affirmed in most religions as sinful.

Yet, this is not the state we are born into–if you have ever watched a small child explore their own body and the look of happy surprise when they discover their highly enervated erogenous zones that have no other meaning than pleasurable sensation, it is clear that the shame and discomfort that replaces this healthy curiosity is part of our collective education, to which we are all subjected, even as it ranges in severity depending on your own family’s reaction to sexuality in general.

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Wendy Strgar

Wendy Strgar, founder and CEO of Good Clean Love, is a loveologist who writes and lectures on Making Love Sustainable, a green philosophy of relationships which teaches the importance of valuing the renewable resources of love, intimacy and family.  In her new book, Love that Works: A Guide to Enduring Intimacy,  she tackles the challenging issues of sustaining relationships and healthy intimacy with an authentic and disarming style and simple yet innovative adviceIt has been called "the essential guide for relationships."  The book is available on ebook.  Wendy has been married for 27 years to her husband, a psychiatrist, and lives with their four children ages 13- 22 in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.


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7:35AM PDT on Jul 11, 2013


1:33AM PDT on Jun 9, 2011

Hi Wendy,
Your article hit the nail on the head, so to speak. There is an vibrator questionnaire on the internet which can help women learn more about this important subject.

1:32AM PDT on Jun 9, 2011

Hi Wendy,
Your article hits the nail on the head, so to say. There is a Vibrator Questionnaire on the internet which can women learn more about this important subject.

6:51PM PDT on May 31, 2011

Yup, just makes everything else so much better!

6:37AM PDT on May 31, 2011

thank you

6:37AM PDT on May 31, 2011

thank you

6:48PM PDT on May 29, 2011

Wouldn't be wonderful if more of the culture was sex-positive, including masturbation?

How can we learn about our changing sexuality if we don't explore it?

5:14PM PDT on May 28, 2011

Thanks so I am not a bad boy.

2:22PM PDT on May 27, 2011

Sex nature is made by God but religious man made wrong rules about it.

8:31AM PDT on May 27, 2011

How dare we be fulfilled... Time to tell that little voice to "shut up!"

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.


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