As a Boy Scout in the 40’s I knew instinctively that the Boy Scout Manual was a huge lie—it stated unequivocally that masturbation led to everything from acne to seizures, epilepsy, and insanity! Fortunately, I never bought the lie! To me masturbation was normal and healthy and I indulged from at least age 4, reaching a peak of one to seven times daily during my teens. I grew up in an era before effective birth control and in a society where the curse of a lifetime for a girl was to become pregnant before marriage. Thus, masturbation was my continuing friend until marriage. After marriage, my commitment to my wife meant that frequent travel returned me to masturbate when alone, rather than consider an affair.
Interestingly, my wife brought to my attention Wilhelm Reich when she gave me a copy of ME AND THE ORGONE by Orson Bean and that led me to MAN IN THE TRAP by E.F. Baker and on to FUNCITON OF THE ORGASM and many others by Wilhelm Reich. Reich considered psychic health to depend upon healthy orgasm, which is a total body experience.
Reich, in my opinion, is the second most important psychiatrist in history, second only to Carl Jung—guess who did not make the top two! Reich considered orgasm to be an expression of optimal health and is reported to have said “If you cannot please yourself sexually, you will never have a satisfactory sexual relation with anyone else.”
When my children approached dating age, I talked to them openly about the health benefits of masturbation and invariably told them “Don’t forget to masturbate before you go out” on a date! During their teens I even gave each of them Margo Woods MASTURBATION, TANTRA AND SELF LOVE, which I still recommend to patients who seem to need this.
The evidence is virtually conclusive that at least 95% of men have masturbated and generally the other 5% are either lying or impotent! And on one occasion, a visiting woman psychologist and I went out to purchase a dildo for one of my female patients whom I considered in need of self-love! A couple of decades ago, I enrolled 3 couples in an experiment where I went out to their home to draw blood and left for 45 minutes before I returned to draw blood. On 3 occasions they had either had intercourse, mutual masturbation or solo masturbation. Afterwards, they also listed their level of satisfaction with the experience on a zero to ten scale; and I measured a wide variety of neurochemicals, including beta endorphins and oxytocin. One man, who had agreed to the experiment, but who was so Catholic that he felt solo masturbation was a sin, had NO neurochemical benefit from the solo masturbation. Another man, whose solo masturbation was slightly more pleasurable than intercourse, had the best neurochemical response to solo masturbation. So, if you do not enjoy it, don’t do it!
If you have not learned to enjoy masturbation, you might want to play with mutual masturbation with your partner to discover the health and psychic benefits. Of course, sex with a beloved mate/partner is most of the time one of the greatest health enhancers. But when that is not possible with a partner, true self love is still phenomenal!