This is a website that WE are building together. If you have a question there is no answer to on this site, send it here!

Sex Clinic by Willingness
For Teachers & Professionals

For Teachers & Professionals

Taboo topics: Masturbation

The topic of masturbation has seen dark ages in its history. It wasn’t until the last century that it started to be considered beneficial for psychological and sexual health. For example, it has been found to boost self-esteem as well as to increase sexual desire, sexual arousal and to improve marital satisfaction. Masturbation can be a means of self-actualization and self-appreciation. Despite all the research underlying the positive health consequences, the topic of self-eroticism still feels like a taboo. Young people internalize these taboos, they feel guilty and there is a social censure in regard to their own masturbation. 

The type of sexual education, as well as parents’ and teachers’ attitudes, greatly influence young people’s perceptions. When individuals are taught negative lessons about masturbation while they are in school at a younger age, they will develop negative views of self-eroticism. Specifically, the lessons of “avoiding masturbation” and “abstaining from sex until marriage” are the strongest predictors of negative attitudes. 

Here are some strategies to introduce the topic.

1. Be comfortable in the first place

Review and reflect on your attitudes and thoughts. Be aware of eventual prejudice and barriers like discomfort while talking about specific areas of sexuality.

2. Talk about body image and self-esteem

Body image is how one views their physical self. Males are usually concerned with masculinity concerns and thus are concerned with the desire for toned and defined muscles. Females are often concerned about the shape of their bodies and body fat. Reflect with them on the concept of beauty: share positive ideas about body image, exercise, health, and beauty with them. Think about how you can model the type of attitude and behaviour you want your teen to adopt. 

3. Start with talking about body parts

“The name and functions of the reproductive organs of sexes” taught by parents or teachers during high school is a strong predictor of positive attitudes toward masturbation. Make clear that there is not a single model or “perfect form”, and that genitalia can look very different among individuals. Avoid referring to gender, use if possible neutral terms such as “people”.

4. Masturbation advocates for pleasure

Too often, when young people start having sex, it’s not a particularly pleasurable experience. But they get talked into continuing with uncomfortable acts because they’ve been told for all of their lives that sex is the best thing EVER. But do they really know what pleasure is like? Masturbation gives the possibility to discover one's own body. If a young person has experienced masturbation, they will have a better idea of how things should or should not feel. Hence, they would be more able to tell whether their sexual experience with someone else is pleasurable to them.

5. Teach about the clitoris

Female pleasure is often seen as too complex and at times, may be ignored. Teach about where the clitoris is located, how important it is for the female orgasm and how unlikely it is that they will make their girlfriend orgasm from their normal backseat missionary humping. It would also teach men that if they actually want to please their partners, it involves much more than just putting a penis into a vagina

6. Remove the stigma

It is surprising to see how many people still think that if they have sexual intercourses they don’t need masturbation, and actually, that would mean that the relationship is not working. Sometimes kids grow up in a home where masturbation is a shameful act. Why stigmatize something so private and safe when the alternative is often letting emotions and urges build up until the young person has partnered sex? If students actually learned that masturbation is a safe and easy way to bring sexual urges into check, it might reduce the constant pressure to "hook up" with someone and help avoid a lot of unfortunate sexual encounters. Young people should understand that they do not need another person to reduce sexual urges. This could lead people to have sex when they want to actually share something, not merely for biological purposes.

Teaching about masturbation can also prevent some unwanted consequences from dangerous masturbation practices (like inserting some type of unsafe object). Overcoming the barriers to taboos like these may allow people to overcome the barriers to pleasure.

REFERENCES

Ayers-Callahan, E. (2017). 5 Reasons I'm Teaching My Teenagers About Masturbation. Retrieved 2022, from https://www.yourtango.com/2017299313/5-reasons-why-we-should-teach-teens-how-to-masturbate 

Ray, J. and Afflerbach, S., (2014). "Sexual Education and Attitudes toward Masturbation," Journal of Undergraduate Research at Minnesota State University, Mankato: Vol. 14, Article 8. 

If you think that you can benefit from professional support on this issue you can reach out here.

Share the knowledge!

More For Teachers & Professionals Q&A

For Teachers

Spina Bifida and Sexuality

Read More
For Teachers

9 Principles for Sensitive Talks about Sexuality

Read More
For Teachers

Autism and Sexuality

Read More
For Teachers

Teaching Children About Gender Diversity

Read More
For Teachers

The Problem of concepts such as Femininity and Masculinity in Sex education

Read More
For Teachers

The PANTS lesson plan

Read More

This is a website that WE are building together. If you have a question there is no answer to on this site, send it here!