Monday, July 22, 2024

Health : Self-pleasure actually keeps you in fine fettle!

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“Pleasure” is a thing to be discussed! In this week’s Health Talk, The Pioneer’s Shikha Duggal speaks to experts about masturbation among women, its health benefits, common cultural myths associated with masturbation, and more.

It was then that many people targeted Swara Bhasker for the controversial masturbation scene, and it became a trending topic.While we fail to understand, why is it considered inappropriate? Do the sexologists of our country feel the same? Perhaps it’s a big no! None of them, not even the women of present times, consider masturbating to be a taboo topic anymore. A natural phenomenon of the body shouldn’t be shrouded in shame, period!

Dr. Chirag Bhandari, a sexual health expert, informed us, particularly on the note when a Muslim leader claimed a false statement, claiming that mixed seating in classrooms promotes masturbation! As bizarre as it sounds, the doctor was also taken aback and continued, “I condemn this statement as a medical expert:mixed seating has nothing to do with touching yourself for pleasure.The declaration is far from factual! It’s even more pitiful because he’s in power and is leaving a lasting influence on the youngsters despite his lack of knowledge.The commoners in his district and community will do their best to believe him. Masturbation is very natural. When an individual hits puberty, it keeps their reproductive system healthy instead. However, it cannot be denied that excessive masturbation may also be harmful to one’s sexual health!”

Moving ahead, without any awkwardness, we get to know, “Yes, masturbation carries a stigma, much like practically everything that takes place below the waist! Due to a confluence of personal discomfort and social shame, this joyful action is frequently only discussed in whispers. It is difficult to combat the stigma associated with masturbation even now because numerous cultural factors contribute to widespread misconceptions and false beliefs in all major religions. In order to help people access the health advantages of masturbation, such as stress alleviation, or to help them become more at ease with their bodies, it is crucial to address the disgrace associated with it.

Sex education in the classroom can be highly beneficial for overcoming this and will encourage behavioural changes in children from an early age! In order to combat it more, offer sexual advice.” He’s right, and even the stats agree with him because, largely due to the long lockdowns, sex toys soared in popularity, with self-pleasure becoming the new self-care. It clearly shows that we want to try our hands at masturbation because “pleasure” is a thing to be discussed!

Sometimes, there is limited sex education on it, and sometimes there is no privacy, so it has damaging effects too, which the doctor from the Institute of Andrology and Sexual Health addresses for the readers: “Reduced penile sensitivity, low sperm count, nightfall, and erectile dysfunction are some of the detrimental effects of it for men. When it begins to interfere with your sexual life, stop. If it feels like work and not a choice, stop. When guilt seeps in, stop. If you can’t stop thinking about it, stop. Release the endorphin hormone into the system happily, not as a chore.”

Encouraging pleasure more, “Nearly all religions forbid it as an act of sin! The impact of these common cultural myths associated with masturbation is clinically understood as “Dhat” syndrome or “masturbatory guilt”. Many individuals with masturbatory guilt can have comorbid anxiety, depressive symptoms, loss of focus, and lethargy.

In India, women, in particular, are expected to either never acknowledge or easily suppress their innate sexual longings. For a woman, having pleasure in this situation carries a heavy burden of guilt and humiliation! They do not know their likes and dislikes when it comes to an intimate relationship with their partners. It probably has a bad reputation because it is intensely private sexual behaviour, which no one discusses, even with the closest friends. Masturbation can instead help women understand their bodies better,” added the expert. Girls, you still haven’t missed the boat!

Rashmi Sharma, a 24-year-old woman, finds spending “me-time” a legit thing and isn’t sorry about it either. She explained, “The first time I understood what masturbation is was when I was in eighth grade. What I didn’t understand was that women can do it too; I felt it was a manly thing to do. That’s where sex education seeps in, and we weren’t given any.

During my bachelor’s degree, I learned how foreplay happens. Initially, true to God, I felt flagrant about it. It feels good to move forward in life after gaining some clarity and understanding. What I also don’t like is: why aren’t sex toys viable in our country.

Would love to experiment with one of them! I attempted to access it via email from abroad, but it was prohibitively expensive. Even if I order the duplicates that are available online, I have to rethink because, funnily enough, when you live in a brown family, there is no privacy. You’ll find your packages already opened, and my mom may get a heart attack (she laughed). My partner is aware of my sexual activity and sometimes tries to fool me by saying I may get addicted to it, while I wonder what’s the big deal. It has numerous health benefits! You know what I mean when I say reaching for your pants is faster than reaching for a vibrator?”

A famous sexuality educator named Apurupa was up next and illuminates, “The statement by the Muslim leader reinforces cis-heteronormativity. We often feel like we need to put on a brave face to be able to do this, but why? It also helps us understand our preferences, which we can then choose to communicate with our partners! It is crucial to note that we are never too old to go on this journey of self-pleasure, and it can start with an exercise as simple as gazing at our bodies in the mirror and gently running our hands across them.

Open conversations shouldn’t be just held in a sexual setting; why cannot it be a dinner table conversation? This needs to be represented in popular media, like what you guys are doing, or with the help of adult films. The hype around orgasms needs a shift now; we worry too much about the climax! For some of us, it’s a sleep ritual. Pleasure positivity and sexual liberation have feminist roots! We now see doctors, educators, storytellers, and celebrities using social media platforms to spread awareness and foster conversations on sex positivity. Brands like “domina” by Pee Safe and niche platforms like the “Gaysi” family have further bolstered the movement, and women-led small businesses like “sassy thing” are helping normalise pleasure products.

Also, what might be a negative pleasure for someone might be a positive pleasure for another person! Masturbation is neither wrong nor immoral, regardless of what you may have been told. If you are enmeshed in the “guilt,” talking to a sex therapist can help you ease out of the mental block.”

Health benefits of the safest sex out there:
1. Releases sexual tension
2. Helps you sleep better
3. Improves your body-image
4. Relieves menstrual cramps
5. Strengthens your pelvic areas
6. Natural detoxification
7. More youthful appearance

How much is too much?
There are a couple of signs masturbating might be a problem for you, or you might be doing it excessively.

If your pink bits are getting red raw or even – *gasp* – bleeding from repeated masturbation, and you can’t seem to stop, or if you find yourself going multiple times in a row out of compulsion rather than pleasure, this could be an indication of addiction, and it’s best to see a doctor or therapist to figure out the cause behind it.

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