Body Love: M is for Masturbation
It was a no-brainer for me that when I got to the letter M, I would talk about masturbation. Self-pleasure has so many meanings and it doesn’t even have to end with an orgasm. For me, it is not only about getting off or being horny. It is also about reconnecting with my body, about relaxation, anxiety and stress relief. It is about refocusing on the positives in life. And I find it sad that there is still so much shame linked to masturbation, mostly coming from conservative societal standards and religious expectations. I am all for using our bodies in safe and pleasurable ways, and I personally found that sort of self-exploration paramount for helping me discover my kinky side.
As I wrote in my post on libido: I didn’t have consensual sex before my early twenties, but that fact had nothing to do with a low libido. I was just scared to engage in anything sexual. Lack of confidence, internalized fat-phobia and traumatic past experiences created a weird vacuum for me where I didn’t think that sex with others was possible. But my libido was high, and I had a strong urge to explore my sexuality. So I turned to masturbation.
Masturbation as a Coping Strategy
I masturbated a lot. All the time. I did all sorts of naughty things to myself. In my mind I thought that I would never experience the same sort pleasure with another person. Masturbation became more than a way to get rid off my sexual energy though. I used it to battle anxiety and stress, when I was angry or sad. Masturbation became a coping strategy for me.
And it still is. When I am on edge and very anxious, lying down with a sextoy is a way to breathe out for me. It breaks the cycle of anxious thoughts. An orgasm definitely helps too, but it is more about the refocusing of my energy. Whatever else is on my mind doesn’t matter in the moment, my body is the focus, my sexual fantasies are the focus.
I have wondered in the past if this is a healthy coping strategy, and if it could lead to things like masturbation addiction, or maybe even dull my sexuality somehow. I think it is all about how it affects me personally. And I can see how it could become unhealthy, obsessive and maybe even addictive for some people. I personally seem to have found the right balance, because up until now there has been no negative effect on me. And it definitely helps me to avoid very unhealthy coping strategies, like self-harm. So masturbation as a coping strategy is a total healthy yes for me!
And even when I am not struggling, masturbation is self-care. A moment that is just for me, and my body, and my soul. Relaxation, breathing out, a break from the stressors of life. I would also always pick masturbation over a hot shower or a soothing bath. And the nap after a good wank? There is almost nothing better in the world.
Discovering my Sexuality
Masturbation has also helped me discover my kinky side. When I masturbate, I have a scenario in my mind. A sexual scene I am involved in. And there is no holding back: it is a private moment, so there is no need for shame. No one can see what I am seeing, no one can judge me for the fantasies I am having. And it was during masturbation that I discovered that I am a masochist, that I like erotic humiliation, that I want to be submissive, that I am pansexual, that I have fantasies that I want to become a reality, and those that I want to stay in the fantasy realm.
Without masturbation, I might have never explored those things in my mind. And without masturbation, I might have never known how high my libido actually is. Self-pleasure was the one thing that gave me the confidence to try out sex with another person. For a very long time, I had come to terms with the idea that I would never have actual sex with someone else. I didn’t believe that I would feel safe enough, or I’d be attractive enough. Masturbating over webcam made all the difference. It was a way to connect with someone sexually, while still using ways that I knew would give me pleasure, and that were safe.
Sex and Masturbation
In my first marriage, I quickly discovered that I found masturbation more pleasurable than actually having sex with another person. And eventually, when our sexlife died down, the only sort of sexual pleasure I had, was through masturbation. And I didn’t mind. It was what I had known all my life, and I could get myself off exactly the way I wanted to get off. But I had tasted the sweetness of intimacy with another person and eventually went to search for something that would spice up my masturbation sessions. So online sex it was. Practically, it is still masturbation. But the mind plays such a huge role in sex, so masturbating together with someone online was just taking it to another level.
These days, I don’t masturbate as much. I do sometimes, sure. It is still my to go to coping strategy when I feel on edge. And every now and then, my partner’s libido doesn’t match up with mine, so I need to get the sexual energy out of my body. But I have not had any long masturbation sessions in a very long time. I feel absolutely safe naked, sexually and even fantasy-wise, with my partner. Our sex gets me off. The BDSM helps me get rid off the edgy and sexual energy in stronger ways than a masturbation session ever could. Teenage me would be very surprised to see that sex with another person can actually trump masturbation.
I am doing the A to Z challenge during the month of April. My theme is Body Love. So you will get 26 posts from me, following the alphabet, related to the topic body love. You can check out more about the to A to Z challenge by clicking on the banner. You can find a list of sexbloggers participating in the challenge on Mrs Fever’s site.