Jun 122014

Masturbation: The most fun you can have alone. Watch any youth romp style movie with a Jay and Silent Bob type of character in it and you know that masturbation goes with male adolescents like hand goes with… Well, you know what hand goes with.

masturbation3 300x300 Masturbation and Men

Yet when you do a scholarly search on masturbation, you will find the words ‘sex guilt’ right next to it. Masturbation in men is one of the most joked about, guilt-ridden, double-edged acts of the sexual spectrum. Let’s look at the typical sitcom generated belief system revolving around male masturbation. If the door is closed to your adolescent son’s bedroom, the obvious possibility is that he is spanking the monkey.

For guys, culture has decided that masturbation is normal but disgusting, kind of like pooping. Everyone poops but it is still gross. Like women, historically male masturbation was considered unhealthy. Unlike women, men had the issue of spontaneous erections and nocturnal emission. Now a days, we know that both of these are normal and healthy. As a matter of fact, the lack of spontaneous erections are a sign of male impotency.

From the Victorian Era through the early 1900’s, they had readily available devices to stop a man from masturbating or achieving an erection without it being for the purpose of baby making. Some of these devices included a ring with sharp teeth that would bite into the tip of the penis if it became engorged, the process of becoming erect. After the advent of electricity in the home, they created a machine that delivered an electric shock if the penis became erect.

It is a common tune in the history of our culture that women have control over sex and if they cannot control themselves then a man needs to intervene, whereas a man has no control over his sex parts and will put his penis anywhere that he can if given the slightest opportunity. Neither of these is true but the underlying theme still permeates our beliefs about sex, especially masturbation.

There was an interesting study that came out recently that looked at our beliefs around sex and masturbation. It was a meta-analysis of sex beliefs over the last 15 years. It showed that men and women’s ideas about sex are basically the same. This surprised us. Men and women have the same basic beliefs about sex, how often, what is good or bad sex, and what is sexy. The place where they differ is in their beliefs on masturbation. There are a larger percentage of women that think that masturbation is bad and, by bad, we mean anything from sinful to hedonistic to yucky.

This is where men have it all over women (yes, the pun was intended). Men think that it is yucky also but that it is necessary. Everyone knows that an adolescent boy is going to whack off. Yes, we even have a hundred or so names for the act. Thanks to this, we know about our sexual response. We know what we like. We know the sensitivity, or lack of sensitivity, on every square millimeter of that flesh. Unlike women, who are trying to engage their brains and find the sweet spot, men are using this knowledge to disengage the brain and just stimulate enough to keep things going without climaxing.

So let’s recap. Masturbation has bad PR. Masturbation is good for women to understand their body’s so that they can achieve orgasm. Masturbation is good for men to understand how not to achieve orgasm too quickly. And most importantly, masturbation feels good.

Remember what they say about idle hands. Give your hands something to do.

Jun 102014

Women talk. We talk explicitly. If you don’t know this then you are probably male. We tend to get vague when we discuss masturbation. Sure, we may share a review of a vibrator or a lube that you have enjoyed but we never talk about how we enjoy solo sex. What we know statistically is that women do not masturbate as much as men. Men are expected to masturbate while women are still considered asexual until coitus. Women know this to not be the facts but we will not set the record straight.
women masturbation 300x300 Women and Masturbation

The history behind female masturbation is both bizarre and telling of societal attitudes of women being sexual without a man.

– Women were thought to suffer insomnia and hysteria due to external stimulation of the sexual organs.

– The invention of the chastity belt was not only to limit coitus but also genital touching.

– Signs of sexual enjoyment even with your husband was considered wrong and blamed on the clitoris.

– Clitorectomies were performed to control women’s hysteria.

– Sylvester Graham and Caleb Jackson invented the graham cracker and hydropathic therapy, cold baths, showers, etc, to curb masturbation.

– Freud saw female masturbation childish and that as soon as a woman has experience with a real penis it should/would stop.

– John Harvey Kellogg not only performed gruesome surgeries on men and women to stop them from masturbating, he also encouraged yogurt enemas and vegetarianism to promote healthy living and avoid the heinous act.

Even today, with all the political rhetoric, the same themes continue. The issue of choice versus religious ideals is not just a question of abortion but also a revisiting of an age old debate, is a woman allowed to be sexually mature without a man? Is a woman allowed to make choices about her sexual organs or are they the domain of man? Allowing a woman to choose what happens to her body is tantamount to allowing a woman to orgasm sans a phallus. Even though most of us have no issues with men and their penis, the ability to masturbate ultimately makes a penis obsolete for the purposes of sexual release. That would definitely put a crimp on controlling women.

The disparity of woman masturbation versus male does not end in frequency. Women masturbate in a million different ways. Some of them are:

– Hand to genital stimulation

– Vibrator

– Straddling a pillow (humping- providing friction to the clitoris)

– Water – shower massage

– Force of thought

– Crossing legs and tightening the leg muscles thus creating pressure on the clitoris

Each woman has their own way of doing it and become proficient at reaching orgasm quickly which is a tremendous aid when they have sex with a partner.

Men historically believed that the only way a woman could orgasm is if a phallus was introduced to the vagina. When they realized that the clitoris was the heart of the female orgasm, the nub was demonized and given a mind of its own; projection of how men envisioned their own members caused women more grief than anything else.

While men are expected to masturbate starting in early adolescence and throughout their life, women have only recently gained some respect in the field of masturbation. However, masturbation for women must only occur when they are adults and only because they are not with a man. The advent of the sex industry and the innovations in sex toys has only opened up the discussion on female masturbation which can only result in positive things for women. In the end, anything that promotes sexual satisfaction in either sex is a positive thing for society; happy people make happy couples which make happy communities and a happy world. And, ultimately, isn’t that the point of all of this?

Jun 052014

Sex. CoupleDumb likes to bring up the subject a few times a year to remind everyone that sex is a normal function. What we usually don’t talk about is how the outside world messes up our sex-life. If it isn’t the government getting in our business, it’s the church or our parents or family members that do not approve or society saying it has to look a certain way. Sex has become a topic of discussion with the same passion rating as discussing taxes or the economy. Sure, it will get you hot but not the fun kind of hot.

eye chart Its OK To Masturbate

This week we have been discussing masturbation and this topic gets as much outrage from some groups as flag burning. Have you ever wondered why? We know everyone does it (mostly). We know that it is a natural sexual response. We know that it relaxes people and teaches them to understand their body and how to make them aroused. We know that masturbation is a great cure for a headache and even migraines! So what’s the big deal about a little self-pleasure?

In a word: SHAME

Shame is the killer of all erections and orgasms. People are vocal about masturbation because we were taught that it was dirty and, because we did it, we were dirty. Then we grow up and continue to spread the lies that masturbation is a dirty thing and tell our kids that they will grow hair on their palms and go blind and become crazy and a sex fiend and like acid jazz and tofu!

Remember Dr. Joycelyn Elders? She was the American Surgeon General for about 5 minutes because she had the audacity to recommend that encouraging kids to masturbate may curb the spread of AIDS. What a fiend! She was saying that masturbation was healthy and may help kids avoid acting out irresponsibly due to lack of sexual release. Dr. Elders, a pediatric endocrinologist, was a strong advocate of teaching Sex Ed to children. People with incredible sex shame hear this as a call to have third graders swinging and having orgies during recess. Educating kids about sex is the first line of defense against the shame-filled troglodytes who think that Sex Ed is ridiculous. Of course, these same Neanderthals would prefer that everyone learn about sex the way they did- looking through Daddy’s magazine collection and getting misinformation from your older sibling and fumbling around in the back seat of a car.

Masturbate. Teach your kids that it is O.K. to do it. Explain that sex is a beautiful thing and we need to be responsible. Sexual Education is important in the classroom and at home. Arming your children with the right information will safe-guard them from learning to feel ashamed about that part of their life. We know we don’t like thinking of our children growing up and being sexually active but the bigger horror is thinking that they will grow up and have horrible sex because we were too afraid to speak up.

Apr 142014

CoupleDumb has discussed the issues of infidelity many times. Recently, studies have shown that the advent of social media has coincided with a spike in cheating. Adultery, emotional infidelity and using the internet to hook-up have created a new avenue of unfaithful behaviors heretofore unseen. This week we will explore this phenomenon as well as what is behind these behaviors.

sex app 300x225 Sex, Cheating, And The Cyber Pimp

Want to get laid? There’s an app for that! While the technology age has brought us an access to information that this world has never known, it also is bringing us closer to a Caligula-esque Rave party that will make the 70s look like the 50s. Smart phones are allowing people in relationships with a wandering eye to let their fingers do the walking. Cheating is as easy as paying .99 for an app that will land you in a threesome with some local couple or even find you an anonymous hookup within 5 miles from where you are standing. There is no need to take someone to dinner, chat them up or even compliment their looks. It is as easy as point and click; names are optional.

Does this ease of sex scare anyone else? We aren’t worried that there may be too much sex out there but the lack of intimacy is a concern. Anonymous sex has been found to also involve risky behaviors that may lead to sexually transmitted disease. Once the veil of propriety is broken, the need to employ socially acceptable norms, such as safe sex, flies out the window as well. It isn’t the sex that is scary; it is the fact that inhibitions are not always the enemy.

Inhibitions are considered a ‘bad’ thing in sex because they limit our repertoire. We inhibit behaviors that we deem dangerous to ourselves whether they cause physical or emotional harm. This type of anonymous sex allows us to step outside of our usual personas and be someone else which includes letting go of the ‘hang ups’ or better judgment that keep us safe. It isn’t enough to go out and have nameless hook-ups, they then go home and pass on whatever unwanted souvenirs they may have picked up to their significant other.

Seven factors were associated with greater vs lesser involvement in anonymous sex among those practicing the behavior: (1) being involved in a relationship with a long-term partner; (2) liking to have sex in public places; (3) using bareback-oriented websites to identify sex partners; (4) greater impulsivity; (5) low level of condom use self-efficacy; (6) greater knowledge about HIV/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome; and either (7a) severe childhood maltreatment or (7b) Caucasian race.

The emotional toll of this behavior is extensive. People who have been sexually active for a while can attest to the fact that over the years some activities that were once taboo are less so. The more we try, the less we feel is ‘bad’ or ‘out of the question’. We call this sexual tolerance. When you engage in risky behavior, you become accustomed to that rush. Going back to ‘vanilla’ sex with the old ball and chain just doesn’t cut it anymore. We begin to trigger the addictive mechanism which feeds off that rush of feeling naughty. And, just like a drug, the first time high of getting off on an elicit act is never re-experienced, so you do more -try more.

Look, sex is great and we encourage everyone to be healthy and have a lot of sex all the time. Be open with your partner about how you feel. The ease with which we can access sex like this is tempting. Think about it before you act. In the words of Fat Amy from Pitch Perfect, “Well… sometimes I have the feeling I can do crystal meth, but then I think, mmm… better not.”