We all believe something, and often just don’t notice how often these beliefs repeatedly inveigle themselves into our lives and dictate what we do or say. Our cherished beliefs unconsciously determine many of our everyday decisions, even going as far as to affect our desire to experiment in bed! Don’t believe us? Unfortunately, it’s true; even within our relationship with ourselves, when it comes to masturbation beliefs we “believe” that we cannot clearly communicate our needs. Well, it’s time it came to an end! Let’s look a bit closer at the different beliefs around masturbation and how they affect us and our approach to masturbating.
What are beliefs in general?
Beliefs are internal, generally unconscious convictions that we have developed (often during our youth) about how to react to specific behaviours. They’re automatisms which support us by making everyday life easier. Some of these ways of behaving help, but not all of them. They can even hold us back from fulfilling our needs. Beliefs can be positive and constructive, but also destructive. Which is why when it comes to sexuality, we need to take care that we don’t become set in our beliefs.
As with anything, but particularly when it comes to masturbation, beliefs can be very diverse. You should therefore always check them to make sure they are valid. But where to start? We asked around a bit to find out what the common beliefs are. We’ve brought together the most popular ones here. Do you recognise one or more of them as your own beliefs?
Beliefs about masturbation
#1 “Masturbation is dirty and is not proper”
Who has never heard this one before? Whether through hearsay or even directly from immediate family, we hear all too often that self-pleasure is not “proper”. Even among young people, unfortunately it’s still very clearly the message. Women in particular are told that masturbation is something bad, or even forbidden*, and that they shouldn’t do it because otherwise no man will be interested in them, or they won’t be a “good” girl any more. Yes, it’s sexism, pure and simple! It might be a reason to brag for their male counterparts, but for many young women unfortunately it’s still a source of shame. Even though, as we have discovered, masturbating is an excellent opportunity for women to get to know their own body better and discover their sexual desires. So, quickly scrub the fears that masturbation is dirty from your mind.
#2 “Everyone does it, but no one talks about it”
This belief is also very prevalent, even if it is only indirectly related to how we masturbate. This is more a question of how we handle the topic of masturbation in public. It should be clear that really almost everyone masturbates. According to our survey** more than 63% of women and 77% of men do it regularly. And yet, despite this, many people are sure “that people don’t talk about it”. Which is the very reason for our campaign: speak openly about masturbation & particularly #femalemasturbation. Because men do indeed still talk a bit more often about it, and this really is one area where women do not need to straggle behind them. Because the belief “Everyone does it, but no one talks about it” can easily be removed from our collective memories.
#3 “Masturbating in a relationship is like being unfaithful”
And, last but not least, a really very stupid belief, as it includes another person as well. “Masturbating in a relationship is like being unfaithful”, or even “I don’t need to do it anymore, I have my partner for that now!” You quite often hear this if-then principle when it comes to masturbation and relationships. However, it is not actually logical, as if we are in a relationship or starting a new relationship, we do not stop playing sport or our other hobbies! In any case, what you enjoy doing when you’re alone can also be beneficial to your relationship. 😉
Masturbating can even bring a spark to your relationship in the best of cases, and it absolutely has nothing to do with being unfaithful. Loving yourself can only bring benefits to your relationship, as it is frequently how you learn what you enjoy, which you can then pass on to your partner. So they can satisfy you even more successfully! Masturbating also frequently gives you new opportunities to discover new things. If you like, for example, you can try out new toys or different techniques that might help you mutually satisfy each other even more. Your partner can then always learn something new, and together you can continue to discover new elements of desire.
In general, one thing is key: to disguise or even conceal that you enjoy masturbating is an absolute no go. And saying masturbating in a relationship = being unfaithful is simply complete nonsense. It is better to be true to yourself and your lover, and talk openly from the start about what you want in the relationship, in bed, when masturbating and particularly other sex practices, and even what you don’t want.
Comment: If you just do not enjoy masturbating because it does nothing for you and you have more fun having sex with other people, of course that’s ok, and certainly not something we will judge you for! But if you enjoy masturbating and are only thinking about stopping because you are now in a steady relationship, and you think that is in some way incompatible with masturbating, then you need to pay particular attention: do what you enjoy and what does you good. Giving up masturbation just because of old or false beliefs makes no sense at all.
Can masturbation beliefs interfere with your routine?
Beliefs mean something different for all of us, as we’ve already said. But how exactly do your beliefs affect masturbation? No matter how, they can interfere with your masturbation, stifle your urges in cases of doubt, and distract you so that you can’t relax and don’t manage to orgasm as easily.
For example, if you keep thinking that masturbation is “something dirty”, then how can you properly enjoy yourself?! Or, if you are in a relationship and perhaps even feel guilty for masturbating, how can you let yourself go and embrace your desires?
So, whenever you notice that your beliefs or archetypes are getting in the way of pleasurable masturbating, try to relax more and reprogram yourself. This is the best way to gradually “unlearn” beliefs and behavioural bias.
So, let’s create new mastubation beliefs
Let’s try and do just that with these six new beliefs:
- “I’m allowed to masturbate as much as I like and am not ashamed”
- “I enjoy masturbating a lot and in many different ways, and often talk about it”
- “It is fun to masturbate together or in front of my partner”
- “I do not need to have sex if what I really want is to masturbate”
- “Masturbating is healthy and improves my orgasms”
- “I masturbate exactly where I want, and with the support I want, whether in bed or in the shower”
Defeat your own destructive beliefs & taboos and, if you haven’t already done so, talk openly about masturbation!
We’ve looked at the beliefs around masturbation and how this affects us and how we masturbate. All that’s left is to repeat ourselves one more time: it’s quite natural to pleasure yourself and, along with sex, it’s the best way to get to know yourself and your needs. The best thing to do is to reprogram yourself so that you can enjoy your orgasms that much more. Starting to talk more openly about it is the best way to help make sure that nobody has to feel ashamed about their body or their preferences.
*Did you know that in many cultures masturbating is actually forbidden? Particularly very devout people and families take this very seriously, so it’s no wonder that many women are not enlightened about it.
** Source: pjur & yourself survey 2021