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Male masturbation is a way in which males of all ages can explore their bodies and learn what pleases them sexually. Masturbation is a healthy and normal activity. There are many myths surrounding masturbation, but really masturbation has very few negative effects. Masturbating can help a man to learn what areas on his body are most sensitive and arousing, what areas are not arousing, and this helps him to communicate his desires to a partner in the future.
There is not as much variability in male masturbation as there is with female masturbation. According to Miracle and Baumeister, generally, men rub or stroke the shaft of the penis with one hand. Some also stimulate the head of the penis, scrotum, frenulum, or anal area with the other hand (Miracle and Baumeister, 2003:356). When the penis is erect, men increase the speed and pressure of their stroking pattern. The speed and pressure increases until the man is able to reach orgasm, and after this point the glans is often much too sensitive to be touched (Miracle and Baumeister, 2003:356). Some men also enjoy masturbating while moving their genitals against a pillow or mattress. Sex toys such as anal plugs or vibrators can also be used.
Whatever technique a man employs, masturbating should be something that he does in his own personal time when he does not have to worry about interruption. Many men find that it is arousing to incorporate fantasy into their masturbating. It is important for men to avoid negative fantasy themes- such as rape and having sex with children- that could lead to unacceptable behavior if they become highly eroticized by being repeated during masturbation too many times. Masturbatory fantasies can become problematic when men become dependant on them as the only thing that is able to get them aroused, and they cannot get sexually excited by activities with a partner.
While statistics are not readily available on the subject, it is probable that almost all males have or will masturbate at some point in their lives. Male masturbation is much more widely discussed than is female masturbation; thus most males do not feel that there is anything wrong with it. The Sexperts want you to remember that masturbation is a very common and normal activity. A man can learn by exploring his own body, and use that information to teach his partner what he enjoys the most.
References: Miracle, Miracle, and Baumeister. (2003). Human Sexuality, Meeting Your Basic Needs. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.
Created May 9, 2003, last updated December 6, 2007