We’re Feeling the Love!

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Our very good friend, Lynn Comella, wrote a fantastic article about National Masturbation Month. Here are a few snippets:

Masturbation has a long history of stigma, shame and misconceptions. In Solitary Sex: A Cultural History of Masturbation, historian Thomas W. Laqueur argues that ideas about modern masturbation emerged quite powerfully in the early 18th century in the form of a new “disease that required medical intervention. Masturbation was thought to cause blindness, madness and a host of other physical ailments and moral defects. By the mid-19th century there was a booming anti-masturbation market, including devices such as erection alarms, penis cases, sleeping mitts and hobbles to prevent girls from spreading their legs.

“[Masturbation] is an amazing way to discover what you like, says Dr. Charlie Glickman. Bodies are unique and knowing what feels good is an important part of being able to communicate your likes and dislikes to a partner. Masturbation also helps individuals take responsibility for their own pleasure, so they aren’t solely dependent on a partner, or partners, for meeting their sexual needs. And finally, there’s truth to the adage, “Use it or lose it. Evidence suggests that when people experience prolonged periods without engaging with their sexual responses, those responses diminish. According to Glickman, “Solo sex is a wonderful way to keep bodies happy, healthy and responsive.

Markie Blumer, an assistant professor in the Marriage and Family Therapy Department at UNLV, builds upon many of these tenets when she talks about masturbation to students in her Human Sexuality class. Blumer introduces the topic of masturbation in the context of discussing a wide range of sexual behaviors and attitudes. She finds that masturbation creates a useful middle ground for talking about sexuality, especially among diverse groups of students with varying sexual backgrounds and experiences.

You can check out the rest of the article here. Enjoy!

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Dr. Charlie Glickman

Charlie Glickman is the Education Program Manager at Good Vibrations. He also writes, blogs, teaches workshops and university courses, presents at conferences, and trains sexuality educators. He’s certified by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists, and loves geeking out about sex, relationships, sex-positivity, love and shame, communities of erotic affiliation, and sexual practices and techniques of all varieties. Follow him online, on Twitter at @charlieglickman, or on Facebook.

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