Ten Reasons Not to Share this Post about Masturbation. ~ Iris Henn

Via elephant journal
on Jul 25, 2011
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The touch.

  1. People might think you enjoy your body.
  2. They might be judgmental
  3. Or jealous
  4. Or curious
  5. They might want to talk with you about it.
  6. And you probably don’t want to talk about it,
  7. They might laugh at you, out of their own discomfort.
  8. They might assume you’re lonely, sad, a loser.
  9. You might have to be honest.

10. Because what would happen if we all started talking about it?

And discovered that we can speak gently, respectfully, thoughtfully on the topic. We can listen and be curious and discover that our fears and our delights are common and understandable, that our bodies are beautiful and unimaginable, that we are alive and we are wonderful.

I’ll tell you what would happen: we would all sigh a great sigh of relief, of pleasure, of possibility. We’d talk about how it is okay to touch ourselves, to have sexy and strange fantasies, to be safe and slow with ourselves. We would support each other. We wouldn’t be weird with each other. We’d celebrate that pleasure is ours to give ourselves and offer to others, that we don’t need to buy it at the store or beg for it at the bar. We’d start going on dates with ourselves more often. We’d start giggling uncontrollably for the joy of this topic finally being on the table with our friends we trust, with our partners we love.

Maybe you don’t want to talk about it.  Oh, how fine this is. Maybe you don’t want to masturbate. Also, so okay. But maybe you just want to know it is okay, women do it, men do it.

I do it. I love it.

Maybe you will just feel better knowing the conversation is out there, is possible.

That is all I hope for…to begin a conversation about how giving ourselves pleasure is not only not shameful it is worthy of celebration, of song, of widespread sharing.

Enjoying our own bodies is a birthright.

Share away. 


Iris Henn is a teacher and writer. Her favorite blogs include All is Listening: Tools and Tales for Breaking Up, Waking Up, and Falling in LoveCleavage and Unabashedly Female.


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21 Responses to “Ten Reasons Not to Share this Post about Masturbation. ~ Iris Henn”

  1. Matthew says:

    Finally a piece on something other than spiritual masturbation! I kid, from love of course. Anyway: Fun and true article. Well done.

  2. Masalaflower says:

    For women, whole body orgasm is a circulation of energy which is rejuvenating. But a portion of adult females depend on using dildos and vibrators to get there, with negative effects on real relationships. Many women have no understanding that orgasm begins in the breasts and the flow of the magnetic pole between the breasts and the entire pelvic floor, not the clitoris. (for more on that see the book "Tantric Orgasm for Women").

    Another angle not covered by this essay is that of spontaneous fulfillment – many non masturbating, serious meditators find the experiences of physical ecstasy that happen while resting, and the general oceanic contentment during a regular day, to be far more satisfying that a quick blast off. Mantak Chia has identified lots of different energetic orgasms, including 'brain orgasm' that happen when we properly redirect sexual energy back into self-nourishment rather than externalizing it.

    We need sexual self-mastery that goes far beyond only physical orgasm. Sexual energy is powerful stuff, and when we channel it consciously it has limitless potential.

  3. elephantjournal says:

    Nathan F Masturbation is just sex with someone I like… ( My feelings but a Variation of a Woody Allen quote in Annie Hall)…

    Steve C OK, I'll start. I'm 57, and have proudly been masturbating since I was 12–at least once a week on average. That's 52 times a year for 45 years or nearly 2400 times–most likely a lot more. Each one of those was safe,consensual sex with someone I could trust completely. So there…

    Trey M why is so much of "elephantjournal's" content prurient?

    Melissa Bertrand Great pic…lol!

    Lucy Hayles F because life is usually prurient

    Nadarajah S endless perception cycle once started …. mind subroutine program … in a loop …. till understanding of mind is understood …

    Belinda B. Steve I think you started and finished!

    Steve C I always try to—even at 57—

    elephantjournal.com Trey, good question. But why is so much of "elephantjournal's" content "that younotice and remember" prurient might be an even more interesting question to explore. It's about 5%, at most, of our offerings—and it's celebrating or looking at sexuality, not exploiting it. Also, how is the above article prurient? There's no sexy images, just an openness about a subject and activity that many, including perhaps yourself, regard as taboo. All best– ~ Waylon

    Caroline P Tanner ‎" shared" :p

    Lucy Hayles Faoutas shared too

    Mary C This is not such a good article actually. It doesn't talk about lots of important aspects that deserve awareness in a yoga-oriented blog. I thought with that great pic it was going to at least mention the downside!

    Belinda B. I needed a good laugh today 😉 certainly more people should start and finish themselves and the planet would be more blissfully instinct I think (;

    Belinda B. Oops spell check changed my word in sync because I totally misspelled

    Jennifer B ‎@ Mary – How long have you been reading Elephant? It's not all Yoga or Spiritual.

    Steve C Belinda-I wholeheartedly agree–instinct and in sync. Both can be blissful 😉

    Choga Nyima I love Ele!!! Funny pic!!! I don't look like that thank you. I try to switch it up. : )

  4. Shanti says:

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

  5. Shanti says:

    actually you should read the whole page here it's pretty funny, http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Masturbation

  6. […] Why “elephant”? I’ve been asked “why elephant” three times yesterday, and once today in an interview for a book about entrepreneurship and intuition. So, here you go, a comment adapted from my response to a reader asking why we, a yoga-oriented blog. were publishing an article by a lady about her appreciation of masturbation. […]

  7. ashley says:

    In my circle we have no problems sharing our thoughts, experiences, and advice. (: And no one minds it when one shows off something new that they have acquired for this very purpose. ;D

  8. Louise Brooks says:

    Oh my Masalaflower, I knew it wouldn't be long before a yoga purist arrived to throw a wet blanket on the topic. Did you even read the essay? Why must you take the topic of masturbation and bring it to the extreme? Self-stimulation is normal, healthy and a wonderful and safe way for people to explore what they desire sexually. It can help sexual relationships if you know your own body. It is a known fact that sex (and masturbation) help keep the pelvic region and genitalia healthy. Sex and orgasm are good for the heart, lungs, and skin. Oxytocin is released after orgasm which helps to lower cortisol levels.

    Enough with the puritanical diatribe and pseudo-sexuality studies.

  9. guest says:

    not sure where you got all that crap but please don't share. At least you didn't try to tell us that masturbation leads to blindness or spinal deformations. There is nothing wrong or bad about masturbation, a man who masturbates can still have sex-oh shock-on the same day.

  10. female says:

    sorry, I don't have a magnetic pole between my breasts. wth? Also, my breasts are considerably less sensitive than men would like them to be.sorry dude.

  11. The article is wonderful but the comments are HILARIOUS! It seems so silly that in a culture that encourages bragging about sex with others we would be ashamed of having sex alone.

  12. Jasmine says:

    I'm with you Kate! I just came back from a week away from the internet to discover my article had been published and I really didn't know what to say/think/laugh/cry as I read all the comments. Just wanting to encourage a little conversation and care around a tender topic. May we all be gentle with ourselves and each other.

  13. […] I wonder what made them use Twitter as a control here…anyway, don’t share this post about masturbation. […]

  14. […] was a period in my life, from ages 11-13, when I would masturbate almost every day. Yet in the midst of that sexual exploration, I also felt profound levels of shame. I saw members […]

  15. Male says:

    Yoga has transformed me overall, and it enhanced my masturbation experience. I really don't have to masturbate anymore unless I choose to. And even when I do I have ejaculation control (most of the time: still working on that), thankfully. I've also noticed those 'oceanic' sensations that arise spontaneously, as a result of my daily yoga and meditation routine.

    I'm also curious as to whether prana/life force is 'lost' after stimulating the genitals (man or woman), even without ejaculation for men. It almost seems as if I feel ecstatic and blissful overall, and more centered — by NOT masturbating. It takes a lot of will power, but I feel more empowered when I do. Thoughts anyone?

  16. Brooke says:

    I personally feel more empowered when I do masturbate. I do not feel like there is any energy lost at all. Actually, what I do is send that energy that is concentrated in my genitals through my whole body and it is very invigorating. I do this by visualizing a gold light moving from my head to my genitals as I breathe in and back to my head as I breathe out. The orgasm I have doing it this way is amazing, too, which is a great plus. Sex shouldn't deplete the life force either, it's quite the opposite… During sex you are giving and receiving energy and both parties' energies should grow because of this.

  17. Brooke says:

    I really like this! I agree that masturbation shouldn't be so taboo. I started masturbating when I was very young..5 or 6. At that point I had no clue what I was doing I just knew I liked it. lol When I got older and I knew, I did feel bad about it for a while and stopped for a few months..until I realized that there was nothing to feel bad about. I am a very sexual person, so what. Is that really something to be ashamed of?? I don't think so. I think people have the whole thing backwards, they flaunt their sex life like it is so great to have so many partners and then they act like masturbating is so gross. WTF is that about?? My mom always told me not to have sex with anyone i didn't want to share my soul with…she told me this so much that is was seriously branded on my brain and I thought about that whenever an opportunity arose… I felt like backing off and going home and masturbating was a better option than sharing my soul with someone on many occasions, so maybe that is why I feel the way about it that I do… but still, I'm right. 0:)

  18. Rosalita says:

    When my son was younger he asked me if it was ok to masturbate and whether God thought it was ok or not. I told him God designed our bodies so he knows how they work. It's good for stress relief. Be sure to do it in a private place. And don't rush. (I had heard that if young men rush through masturbating it can lead to later sex problems in a relationship due to premature ejaculation.)

  19. Freja says:

    Great post Masal.
    I don't believe there should be any shame in self exploration, I PERSCRIBE it as an intimacy educator. But you're spot on about how sexuality is beyond orgasm and fixating on the orgasm (men with porn, women with vibes) often creates the reverse of intimacy and diminishes pleasure in real relationships.

  20. Ida Chiavaro says:

    The 10 reasons you write about cover every emotion I go through (except maybe 8) whenever I have to write about anything intimate… but personal intimacy has to be the most challenging of all. When I found out that the clitoris is more than just a little knob at the top of the vulva, it confirmed that everything we are usually taught, including the shamefulness of self love, is a misguided lie… Women in particular have an organ designed purely for pleasure, (that get's chopped out and mutilated in some cultures.) What we can do with it and how it should be treated absolutely needs be talked and written about more…
    Reflex Reactions

  21. Jessica says:

    i love this. i am pretty sure most people who seem to be scared to talk about this or even admit to doing it, do it a lot, but are unaware of how okay it is. my sisters and i have very open conversations about our sex lives, even those sans partners 🙂 its just not that scary when you realize your not alone and your definitely not "weird".