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You may be grinning or chuckling by now after reading the title of this blog. Well, several decades ago, if you spoke about this topic, you’d be hanged. Just kidding! But this topic has been tabooed for several millennia. It’s a good thing that it is now brought into the open in the same way that people no longer cringe upon hearing about sex toys.
But can we truly say that masturbation is the real secret to a long life?
Well, we have heard about herbs of immortality—those herbs that are capable of prolonging one’s life. But seldom would we hear about masturbation as the secret to a long life. Moreover, there seems to be a lack of studies that link masturbation to a long life. Maybe because people are still afraid to tackle it. Yet, there are some health experts who unhesitatingly say that masturbation has some good and healthy benefits.
How we achieve long life is usually explained by our genes and by our lifestyle (biomedical). Of course, your health and your genes play a huge role in having a long life. Yet, there are also other factors that contribute to a long life such as education, childhood personality, nutrition, how you handle stress, and social support. But seldom would you hear someone say that you must masturbate regularly to live long. This leads us back to our primary question: “Is masturbation the secret to a long life?”
To understand masturbation, let’s look at some ideas about masturbation in the past. Diogenes, for example, of Sinope, a cynic philosopher (400 BC) had often been caught masturbating in public. When confronted about this habit, he would retort that masturbation is the easy way to quench his sexual urge and he hoped that quenching hunger is as easy as rubbing his belly.
However, some pamphlets written a couple of centuries ago said that masturbation had been the cause of people being confined in the hospital. Moreover, the Swiss physician Samuel-Auguste Tissot, for example, said in his "L'Onanisme" that masturbation has ill-effects. Some ancient religions likewise tag masturbation as a mortal sin.
But when Ernest Borgnine, an actor, was asked about how he still looks fantastic even at 91 years of age, he whispered: "I masturbate a lot." Was he simply joking or was he really telling his view on the issue?
So, what seems to be the real score with masturbation? Is it really a key factor to a long life?
Let us first understand what masturbation is. Masturbation is the stimulation and fondling of one's own genitals for sexual satisfaction that usually leads to orgasm. This stimulation may involve the use of hands, fingers, sex toys, other objects, or a combination of these things. It can be a substitute for actual penetration.
There had been no unhealthy effects attributed to masturbation, except for those attributed by the conservatives. Additionally, various psychological and medical benefits have been casually attributed to masturbation. Based on experience, masturbation is a good avenue of releasing your pent-up energy.
People have developed various techniques on how to masturbate. Some men and women do it by simply touching, rubbing, pressing, or massaging their penis or clitoris. Some, however, use electric vibrators which they insert into their vagina or anus. They usually complement these acts by fondling the other erogenous zones of their bodies like their nipples.
Men usually hold their penis using a loose fist, moving their hand up and down. Women, on the other hand, usually stroke or rub their pussy, specifically, that of the clitoris using their middle or index finger. Some, however, insert their fingers inside the vagina and stroke the frontal wall where the G-spot is supposed to be located.
Conservatives would usually tag masturbation as bad. Luckily, we now have sexual revolution movements. Thus, in some ways, masturbation has redeemed itself a bit. Some sex therapists nowadays would casually recommend masturbation to their female patients for health and relationship improvements. These therapists believe that masturbation leads to more satisfactory sexual relationships. They also believe that it deepens intimacy if a couple engage in mutual masturbation.
In mental health circles, masturbation is often believed to relieve depression. It is also known to increase self-esteem, according to some psychologists.
Masturbation, to many, offers a balancing effect on their mind. If you are single you can easily release your pent-up sexual drive via masturbation. Hence, many people engage in masturbation to release their inner sexual tension.
Although there seems to be very few studies about masturbation and its effects, we can still find some studies about masturbation. A 2003 research done in Australia, for example, pioneered by Graham Giles concluded that males who are often masturbating showed lower chances of developing prostate cancer.
A study in 2008 likewise indicated that ejaculation via masturbation can reduce the swell of nasal blood vessels, and thus improves breathing.
Masturbation can also be safer than penetrative sex, as the risk of catching sexually transmitted infections and diseases, and unwanted pregnancies are removed.
Another study shows that there is higher concentration on testosterone in a person during a period of abstinence from masturbation. And we all know that mood swing and increase aggressiveness are usually associated with high testosterone level in the body. Thus, if you masturbate, you can decrease some of your stored testosterone.
So, with all these seemingly positive effects of masturbation, can we now say that it truly leads to a long life? Or do we still need to look at the risks factors that cause early death to understand if masturbation helps in prolonging one’s life?
For most people, the main cause of early death is unhealthy eating habits. Another factor is loneliness, and then, there is the silent killer called “chronic stress.” If we can prove that you can destress yourself by masturbating, then, we are closer to proving that masturbation can lead to a long life. Moreover, if depression and loneliness are critical factors to early mortality and if we can prove that masturbation can relieve depression, then, in some way, we can say that masturbation might be a key factor to a longer life simply because masturbation is known to relieve depression and loneliness.
There are many studies about the intricate relationship between mental health and sexual intercourse. However, there are only anecdotal reports about the relationship between mental health and masturbation. Yet, masturbation has been known to provide many general benefits. First, it helps you fall asleep easily. It also promotes the release of the neurotransmitters called endorphins that are known to cause good feelings. So, if masturbation is known to lead to good feelings, pleasure, and mental wellbeing, then, there must be something in masturbation that could lead to a long life.
Masturbation has been vilified all throughout the history of men. Religions have made it a mortal sin and a taboo to speak of. Some old-school physicians also had associated it with mental diseases. Thus, if you were programmed to look at masturbation in this way, you may end up feeling guilty whenever you masturbate, and masturbation will surely become a curse for you instead of helping you live longer.
But if you were reared under the new school of sexual liberation, you may view masturbation as natural, and you may say that “nothing human is alien to you.” If this is your view then, you may now use your sex toys and masturbate every time you feel stressed and pent-up. You will feel relieved of these negative feelings and emotions. If you feel good more often because of masturbation, then, you must masturbate. It’s up to you to satisfy your craving for sexual pleasure on your own. If this is your mindset, masturbation will surely lead you to a longer and more fulfilling life. Lastly, you can truly say together with Ernest Borgnine that your real secret to a long life is masturbation!