Sex in MTL: About Self-Love

Sex in MTL. Masturbation. Photo Benoit Vermette Sex in MTL. Masturbation. Photo Benoit Vermette

Everybody has their own ways of having fun or gaining pleasure from different activities. For some it’s yoga and for others it’s good food or a movie night. Having sex is probably one of the most popular and pleasurable activities. Those who choose to have sex usually like it and would recommend it to their friends (yes, because you want your friends to be happy). You have two options when you decide to have sex: doing it alone or with one or more partners. Most people do it by themselves more than once in their lives, so why are we afraid to talk about it? Masturbation consists of stimulation of our own genitalia with another part of our body, like our hands, or with an object (use your imagination or visit a sexshop). When it comes to things that we do when nobody’s looking, we tend to be discrete. Talking about masturbation is often seen as obscene or inappropriate, and even admitting to masturbation is perceived as negative. Everybody knows that everybody does it, but if you ask, no one will admit it.

One reason behind this stigma is religious. Although here in Montreal, religion doesn’t have as much influence as it did in the past, we still live today with the consequences of a community that was built and controlled by the Church. Masturbation was seen as dirty and dangerous for your health, even described as a sin, and sexuality was meant for procreation and nothing else. However, the dissociation from religion we’ve had in the last 60 years brought a certain comfort about sex we never had before. But solo-sex stayed taboo, particularly when it concerns women. One step at a time. It’s normal that we have some difficulties dissociating totally with what was taught to our parents and to generations before them. Our education, even if it is more open-minded and individualistic than before, still hides some old fashioned values that are hard to forget. A lot of people also feel uncomfortable with the idea that their partner masturbates even though they have a sex life together, even if sex therapists now consider auto-eroticism as a normal part of sexuality.

But masturbation is so much more than “touching yourself”. It’s a way to discover our own bodies, to learn what we like and what we don’t enjoy that much. It’s a moment for yourself only, where you don’t have to worry about satisfying a partner or about the face you make (although it’s pretty sad that pornography shows us only “pretty” orgasm faces even if the reality is much more complex and different for each individual. Please don’t worry about your face or your body when you have sex with a partner; natural is better and you were chosen as you are). Auto-eroticism is also a way to find love for your own body so you can be more comfortable naked all alone or around other people. It is also proven that masturbation is very healthy! The oxytocin produced during masturbation and orgasm acts as a natural pain reliever, it helps reduce headaches and other pains, it can be a great way to fight insomnia, it may help fight off depression because of the endorphins that are released during sexual activities, and since sex and masturbation increase the flow of testosterone in the body, which helps to transport a hormone called DHEA, it can also improve the immune system and strengthen the bones. Really, do you need other reasons to have fun?
So eat your veggies, do some exercise, drink a lot of water, go outside everyday and… masturbate!

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