The last few years in Africa has felt like a rush of information shoved into our brains through the internet and the explosion of a general consciousness allowing us to see beyond darker days. We’ve made it our daily mission to take on narratives that hold no place in our era, old ways clinging on through tradition and ignorance of the previous generations.
In 2019, it’s finally okay to be a young African and openly talk about fucking without being judged as a child without proper home training. The idea of two individual adults having consented sex being weird is withering away and we’re openly becoming able to explore our bodies and sexuality. I’ve always felt this because we weren’t taught enough sex-Ed and given the freedom to understand sex is why most kids end up having unwanted pregnancies or live in fear of ever exposing their sexual side to avoid being judged. If you’re young and I mean above 18, there’s still time to find yourself sexually.
I’m not saying everyone feels this way or we should all just go around sleeping with each other but as a young adult having sexual relationships with other people is perfectly fine [don’t let your parents or pastor get to you though]. Sex is a narrative we champion here at More Branches [we have an entire branch dedicated to sex, duh].
Enter Self Stimulation
Masturbation is the sexual stimulation of one’s own genitals for sexual arousal or other sexual pleasure, usually to the point of orgasm. The stimulation may involve hands, fingers, everyday objects, sex toys such as vibrators, or combinations of these.
When I was a kid, everyone acted like masturbation was a myth, even though I’m sure we all did it. I could remember always feeling some weird guilt and disgust with myself anytime I tried to masturbate because my friends never talked about it. It was like a void, the word not to be said and action not to be seen. Now I’m older and sexually intelligent, I wonder how society made such a simple act of self-pleasure more-so this outrageous sin of disgust.
Some people may feel guilty about masturbating because of cultural, spiritual, or religious beliefs. Masturbation is neither wrong nor immoral, but you may still hear messages that self-pleasure is “dirty” and “shameful.”
This way of thinking needs to be left behind, just like sex itself, it’s a thing of choice, masturbating isn’t some negative thing you should feel ashamed about. Now we have shows like Netflix’s ‘Big Mouth’ & ‘Sex Education’ making sex education and freedom something mainstream for everyone to understand.
Masturbation is very important. Any one that tells me otherwise doesn’t mean well for me. Or mankind. – Angel
Masturbation can actually be good for you. Here are some benefits of masturbation:
- Masturbation is safer than any other type of sex. You can’t get pregnant or get any sexually transmitted infections from masturbating.
- Masturbation can help you learn what you like and don’t like sexually. And if you decide to have sex with someone, you can know what you do/don’t want to do.
- Exploring your body and learning how to give yourself sexual pleasure can be empowering and help improve your body image.
- Masturbation can lower stress and help you relax. It even helps some people fall asleep.
- Having an orgasm releases endorphins — feel-good chemicals in your brain. Orgasms can be a natural painkiller and can even help with period cramps.
- Mutual masturbation [masturbating with a partner] is a really safe way to have sex and let the other person know what feels good to you.
- For women who have sexual dysfunction, enhanced stimulation — including masturbation — can help increase sexual desire and sensitivity.
But like everything in life, it should be done in moderation. Some people can and do develop an addiction to masturbation which may hurt your romantic relationships and friendships. If you’re worried you may have an addiction to masturbation, speak with your doctor or a counsellor about ways to cut down on masturbating. Talk therapy can help you manage your addiction. You could also cut down by replacing masturbation with other activities. Next time you have an urge to masturbate, try:
- going for a run
- writing in a journal
- spending time with friends
- going for a walk
Feel free to share your masturbation experiences, and people’s mind-boggling awkwardness about it in the comments.