By Kelly Cristine Barbosa CherulliMasturbation comes from the Latin expression masturbatione, and the verb masturbate also comes from Latin masturbare, that is to say, to provoke orgasm by manual rubbing or by means of instruments. According to Duarte and Bauer (2001), the word comes from Latin "masturbari" and means "to pollute oneself".
Psychologist and Sexologist
Perhaps thatís why, throughout the centuries, this sexual practice has been accumulating taboos and prejudices. Based on social, religious, cultural and secular values, masturbation got to the point of being condemned and characterized as a sexual deviance (onanism), which was catalogued by the dictionaries around 1835. Historically, by more or less three decades, masturbation began to be understood as a part in the process of knowledge of oneselfís body, as well as a primary form of knowing oneself and obtaining pleasure.
Nowadays, although it hasnít had the "approval" from some religions and cultures yet, nor being faced with less prejudice by men than women, we can say that masturbation became to be seen as something beneficial to the health as well as for the human sexuality. Given the precocity of the current sexual relations, boys and girls began to better understand the importance of sexual self-discovery.
Although very common in the puberty, and yet today doubts about masturbation remain due to the hundreds of myths, legends and crystallized prejudices, so I deem necessary to demystify some of them: masturbation does not cause the appearance of pimples on the face; masturbation does not make hair grow on the hands; masturbation does not cause impotence; masturbation does not interfere with the sexual desire; masturbation does not cause blindness; masturbation does not cause madness; masturbation does not cause distortion of the penis; masturbation is no cause for precocious ejaculation; masturbation does not cause baldness; etc.
Men can practice masturbation alone or with a partner. When solitary, men manipulate the penis to get erection (hard penis). Holding the penis with one of the hands, they make repetitive movements, forward and backwards (or up and down) in the search for pleasure. During masturbation, it is common that men search for inspiration in erotic fantasies, which can be created by their own imagination or stimulated by memories of pleasant sexual experiences or still, by making use of movie scenes (not necessarily pornographic), nude, photos, magazines, videos, internet, or even creating situations that provide them pleasure. When accomplished by two (a man and a woman or two men), the partner may use his/her hands or feet. From this moment on, masturbation would become part of the private life, able to enrich the sexual relation of the couple.
Therefore, as one may notice, masturbation is not a perversion or sexual deviance as it was preconceived in bygone times, thus there are no reasons for recrimination or discrimination towards this practice. It is for sure a kind of autoeroticism, a way to discover self-pleasure, which can be shared in the so search for a rich and complete sexual life.
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